Review Averages: 7.2 out of 10
Accreditation: Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Excelsior College Reviews:
Practical Exam Horror
nursing - September 25, 2015
I am a 1992 ASN grad from Regents (Excelsior) college, and I had a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Biology and a successful laboratory career when I decided to go into nursing. I thought the easiest and quickest way would be to go to a BOCES LPN program (which was excellent) PT while working FT and then take the Regents exams (which I successfully completed within 6 months of my LPN.)I excelled academically in all areas, but since I had no clinical experience (most of my classmates were CNAs), I was never comfortable on rotation (one of my LPN instructors told me I would never pass clinical because I couldn't miter the corners when making the bed! this was before the days of fitted sheets.) The Regents/Excelsior program offered NO clinical training at all (I don't know how they do it now) before the final practical exam, and even though I was working as an LPN at the time (and had great training in the float pool at a Med. Ctr.), that final practical experience was so sickening, even the memory of it still is, after 25 years. I do think they play psychological games with you hoping to stress you out so that you fail and they make more money when you retake; one of the clinical 'instructors' actually said to me - what was I doing taking the test for RN when I had a Master's, I should be teaching a Bio course. (There was also a young practicing psychologist in the same group, she tormented her too.) Although I was familiar with the city (where I had gone to undergraduate school), instead of the exam site being a state of the art Medical Center (there was one just a few blocks away), the small hospital seemed very backward; for example, they didn't use electronic thermometers, and I hadn't seen a mercury thermometer in years! So what do you think happened when I took the practical? I told my elderly patient I was going to take her temperature, she opened her mouth, and when I removed the thermometer from the alcohol container at her bedside, the instructor quietly walked up behind me (scared the pants off me) and said "Step away from the bed, you have just failed the exam, that's a rectal thermometer." Though that may sound funny now, at the time I was so traumatized (it was the FIRST exam I had ever failed in my entire life) it took me 2 years to get up the courage (and the amount of money they wanted to repeat it was absurd even then) to take the exam again. I passed the second time, (and worked as a hospital RN 8 years before happily moving onto office-based clinical research), but even looking back at this experience after all this time, it still makes me cringe with regret. I wouldn't recommend this program to anyone. In fact, I wouldn't even recommend nursing as a career, it is all brawn and no brain, you get no respect at all, and most people only go into it now for the money.
CPNE is fine, you just need to prepare properly..
nursing - August 16, 2015
Excelsior is NOT out to fail people - they DO want you to do well and to pass the program and the CPNE. I took my CPNE many years ago, but the format appears to be exactly the same as it was today. I was an LPN with only about a year of experience and didn't even have the benefit of the internet, Facebook, workshops, etc. All I had was a big blue spiral book with all the CPNE rules of the road . I MEMORIZED that huge book, cover to cover, and learned how to do things the way Excelsior wanted them done. Make sure you wash your hands if you even twitch, don't turn your back with the side rails down, verify ID of your patient even if you just asked 30 seconds ago. It may feel silly, but do it anyway. Passed the CPNE on my first try with no repeated PCS's or lab stations. I'm sorry, the lawsuit that several students have filed stating that they were unprepared and didn't realize what the clinical exam involved is pretty iffy. I knew what the exam involved and how to get through it and all my materials and information came via snail mail - no 'net!!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excelsior College CPNE is Totally Fair
nursing - August 9, 2015
I'm so tired of reading all of the complaints from students who have failed Excelsior College's CPNE requirement. Many of you start out by telling us how good of a nurse you are, as well as how many certifications you have behind your name. You talk about how you graduated your LPN/LVN programs with honors and how your fellow students and staff adored you. You go into elaborate detail about you LVN/LPN accomplishments on the job. The list goes on. Then you talk about how horrible and unfair you experiences were while taking the dreaded CPNE. The truth to the matter is that it doesn't matter how good of a nurse you are, or what you've accomplished, or what your patients say about you, or how your teachers and coworkers have adored you throughout the years. The Excelsior College CPNE manual makes it very clear in the beginning of its 500 page of bliss that the CPNE is not designed to measure how good of a nurse you are, instead it is designed to test your ability to read and follow instructions. It's that simple. The test is so simple that our human brains make it complicated and stressful because we simply can't believe the test can really be so simple. Do you know the most common reasons I've found that my fellow students have failed the CPNE for? There's two of them actually: failing to wash hands and/or forgetting to I.D. a patient. Some of my fellow students have failed the CPNE three times over the same mistakes. Three times! I think this clearly demonstrates that the CPNE, again, is not designed to make you a really good nurse. Really good nurses take the CPNE and fail it all the time! What the CPNE does incredibly well is take every student back to the basics of nursing. The very basics if you know what I mean. They do this because they want to graduate nurses who will be consistently safety minded every day on the job. You have to approach the CPNE like you're going to kindergarten. In kindergarten we do the most basic of tasks, and really it's all about learning foundational things as well as following directions. Now, with that said, the reason so many brilliant and deserving LPNs/LVNs and paramedics fail the CPNE is because they let their nerves get the best of them. And, let's be honest, some of them don't read the manual or bother to take a workshop, or bother to practice, practice, practice running through the labs and care plans like they really should. Doesn't matter if you're a nurse who should be performing brain surgery, if you don't practice you won't pass. Simple as that. I took the CPNE and passed all labs and all PCS's the first time. I walked out of the hospital on Sunday morning at 9:30am with a "pass" certificate in my hand. It was one of the greatest days of my life. I was extremely ill, had lost a bunch of weight and felt as though I might need to admit myself into the hospital when I got home for rehabilitation. Yes, the CPNE, as easy as it was in theory, was also one of the worst experiences of my life and I will never do it again. Is it doable? YES. The instructors were very nice and they wanted the students to pass. But they also have to abide by the rules. The key to passing the CPNE is this: take a workshop, read the manual at least once through then go back and read the meat and potatoes (I think it was section 4) over and over again, practice your labs over and over again, practice writing care plans (do 30-40 care plans at LEAST before you go to CPNE weekend and send at least 3 of those care plans to EC for feedback). And lastly, practice PCS's with stuffed animals or people and run through how you're going to approach each assessment/patient interaction so when problems arise during your weekend, you will be better prepared mentally to handle it. That's it. If you do these things, making it a lifestyle before you test, the chances of you failing are slim. And one last piece of advice: learn to "read" your CE. They will give you clues during your PCS's to help you succeed. Oh yeah, one more piece of advice. Listen very carefully: don't put up an attitude. You minus well go home early. I saw students do this, acting like they deserved to pass before they finished the weekend, arguing with their CE's about why they failed a PCS or why they were dinged on something. Guess what? They didn't pass the weekend. So act professional, keep your mouth shut, keep the patient safe, read your CE and follow the rules. Remember, the CPNE is not about how good you are- they really don't care about that- it's about how competent you are in following directions, and keeping the patient safe. And no, EC didn't pay me to write this review. I'm writing this because EC deserves to get a positive review. Great program!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
nursing - July 20, 2015
I understand the concept of Excelsior. Licensed practical nurses who already have several years working experience as a nurse would not necessarily need to go to a community college and start learning how to be a nurse from scratch all over again. Those with no prior nursing experience who are not already licensed nurses would not be appropriate for Excelsior. Excelsior builds on previous knowledge and upgrades the LPN skills to that of an RN. Its an extremely difficult program from start to finish, even the online portion. Definitely not something I would do again. But it is a quicker option for LPNs that are going to stay in their practice setting and advance to an RN. I worked at a local general hospital as an LPN for a few years through a temp agency before completing Excelsior LPN to RN. Its a good program if you do it their way and you can pass the CPNE. If you do decide to do it, please don't get rapped up in outside publishing companies. Their materials are really substandard and their is no comparison to Excelsior books and online resources. Trust me. working out here in the real world, and even to pass the NCLEX-RN, you will need every bit of that theoretical information. Brunner & Suddarth's is a must along with the other books. When in doubt, call Excelsior and speak to them directly. They may not tell you what you want to hear, but they will tell you right. As far as CPNE workshops, Sherri Taylors is good and so is Excelsior's. I did them both. Youtube has a lot of info and practice for CPNE too. Its not something I would do again. There are licensing restrictions by some states and California state board will no longer license nor endorsee Excelsior RN grads. It also may be harder to find a job as an Excelsior RN. The job market is very competitive and the traditional students will have first preference sometimes. But if you choose to do it, get all you can out of it. Its ultimately your decision. So do you boo. ;)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excelsior College RN program should be for Licensed Practical Nurses and Parametics only.
nursing - July 16, 2015
Excelsior College should only admit LPNs to its program, as an LPN is already a nurse and usually has several years of clinical nursing experience and are prepared to easily transition into med-surg. Paramedics should also be allowed as they are already experienced in some aspects of critical care. Excelsior recommended nursing textbooks and online conferences should be a requirement for its students. Publishing companies such as Rue, College Network and such of the like really disservice students as they lose the depth of that strong nursing theory base. Don't waste your time with that nonsense. Also, the excelsior books have case studies in them and links to online case studies and interactive practice and learn exercises, skills videos, NCLEX-RN test bank and the list goes on. Brunner & Suddarth's Medical Surgical Nursing cannot be matched. Smith Duel and Martin Basic to Advance Nursing Skills and Taylor's Clinical Nursing Skills also a must have. Look at those Excelsior Study Guides for each exam and get those books and read them, even if you have to go to the library to get them. Absorb all you can from the online conferences or courses. There's a lot of hidden treasures in that stuff. If you do this, you will pass every Excelsior exam and the NCLEX-RN on the first try. As far as the CPNE, you MUST open Excelsior College study guide, practice and study it. Become it. Sherri Taylor has a wonderful CPNE workshop. Look her up on Youtube.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
nursing - July 3, 2015
I must say that for well motivated person, Excelsior is a nice school. I did my associate nursing between October 2007 and August 2008, after being frustrated in a so called nursing class. Bright student who are failed for their accent and skin color have found Excelsior a blessing. I was academically smart though, so if you are struggling then their program in nursing requires real critical thinking, okey. I am doing my MSN with them, and so far I am happy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Quit complaining people
nursing - June 13, 2015
I am a 2000 ASN graduate of the College and have been working as an RN since that time-previously I was an LPN for 12 years-honestly, the CPNE was while challenging not all that hard for a well prepared student/LPN to pass-I studied the guide and it memorized and worked with other RN's including shadowing one at a local hospital for a day and working with RN's to write care plans. I felt the instructors were fair and were eager to help and they wanted you to pass. I was complimented on my care plans and using care plans many students do not use-I was proactive, I asked my charge nurses questions on my patients and I used reference materials. I also spoke up to my instructors when I was unable to perform a certain part of an assessment and gave them the reason why and they were supportive. There was even a question on my last patient and they conferred and passed me. I passed the first time-only one other in my group passed and I can tell you why the others failed-never looked at their CPNE book, did not prepare, etc. I am now working as an assessment nurse at a local nursing home submitting clinical assessments for reinbursment to the state-I have just again signed up to pursue my BSN degree and while overwhelmed at first I know I can do this-I have support and the BSN team has been a great support-so people get over it! There is a reason you did not pass the CPNE-maybe if you studied more-this is not something that can be handed to you-you must study and prepare-this program works great for those already working in the field and can apply every day experiences but again my must work and study to gain what you want.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Nothing has changed
nursing - June 12, 2015
I graduated from EC in 2006. I should have graduated in 2004. However, I failed the CPNE. Then had to wait 18 months to take it again. All while doing nothing other than waiting. I took all of the classes at EC using my LPN textbooks. I never bought one of their books. I printed out the outline for the classes and created a study guide using it. I also took classes at a local college for general ed classes. Everything went wonderful, until I took the CPNE. it was a complete nightmare. I failed a patient because the instructor said I didn't wash my hands when I entered the room. ( I most certainly did)... and I failed the second one because the instructor said I gave a medication without checking the patients name band (bullshit). It was a total money scam. Did i finally pass?? yess... did I pass my boards... yes.... I also had been an LPN for 5 years before that, graduated LPN schooling with honors, worked in a busy ER as an LPN, and then became a flight nurse after getting my RN. I am not a dumb nurse. I am actually certified with so much alphabet soup behind my name (RN, PHRN, CFRN, and certified in ACLS, PALS, NRP, CPR, ITLS, NIHSS). Point being, the test did not measure any nursing knowledge... only if you could be trained like a monkey in a tree. Each time you take the test you pay more money... and have to wait to reschedule... it was TERRIBLE. I was done with everything as far as nursing classes and gen eds in 10 months... then it was another 18 months before i graduated due to the CPNE. COMPLETE RIP OFF AND NIGHTMARE.... I do not recommend this place to anyone. I am going elsewhere to obtain my BSN.. I could only imagine what kind of ridiculousness they have in store for those who attempt to continue with EC for the BSN program.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excelsior one of the worst experiences of my life
nursing - May 5, 2015
I made it through the program in less than a year. There is no financial aid. I paid for it all on my own. Then came the CPNE. One of six nurses on my cohort passed the CPNE. That's 17%. I am already a working LVN who graduated from a traditional LVN program as Valedictorian with a 4.0. I have completed all of my BSN prerequisites with a 3.9 GPA. At work, I float to ICU, ER, Tele, Med-Surge and other departments. I have years of experience and am a highly-awarded nurse who helps train other nurses. The Excelsior CPNE is one of the worst experiences of my life. The instructors are NOT helpful. I did not receive a SINGLE report from ANY nurse who worked at the hospital. I did NOT see a SINGLE patient. The Excelsior leader on site criticized all of my care plans, including one that used the exact criteria of the patient's nurse. After I made an argument to accept my third care plan, the leader had the nurse educator add a line to her critique to disqualify that argument as well. Upon walking me out, the "leader" gave me a letter and said "when you come back to try again" ... It's a money-making scam. Sure, a handful of people pass, but not many. I'm a pretty smart guy. The CPNE has nothing to do with knowledge or talent. It's about memorizing their 500-page manual and doing whatever the leader decides needs to be done that day. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT spend your time and money on Excelsior. It is NOT worth the trouble or tension. It is a terrible experience. Do yourself a favor and find something else. Excelsior is a money pit and the CPNE managers are cold, cruel and not helpful.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
You can pass CPNE
nursing - April 14, 2015
I passed the CPNE on the second try. The real secret is that you must basically memorize the study guide. Which is a 500 page document. If you do that then you will not fail. Everything you need to do or not do is in that book.I would also suggest obtaining outside nursing materials. Another thing I did it the second time was I got friends to play the role of a patient so I was comfortable in that atmosphere. I did the role-playing multiple times with other people. It really helped a lot. Lastly, I would say you must be very focused, serious,humble and professional when interacting with the nurse examiners. Do not debate them on any issue whatsoever. But you literally must memorize the study guide. I read it for six months and made extensive notes, flashcards, and did a lot of research. The last key I would sayis to become an expert at care plans the way that they want you to do them. Do as many as you can and submit them all. Do the phone coaching appointments. All of them! Have a list of questions and scenarios ready when they call you. Best of luck.! It can be done. It is definitely not easy.
Post a Public Comment:
Do not re-post articles, webpages or anything you didn't write yourself.comments powered by Disqus
OnlineDegreeReviews.org is not affiliated with Excelsior College in any way.
Did the reviews help you?
Help me get the word out about these reviews!
Each Facebook "Like" and Google +1 boosts the search rankings of these reviews so that more students will find them.
Click the "Like" or G+ buttons (or both) at the top right of this page now. Every click counts. Thanks!
Sorry for the interruption!
~ Steve Rawlinson (webmaster)