The School of Nursing students met in Grambling Hall with Dr. Rhonda Hensley, FNP program director/assistant professor of nursing, Anna Karen Jones, director of bachelor of science and nursing program/associate professor of nursing, and Dr. Robert M. Dixon, provost/vice president for academic affairs to find some answers to several problems they have had.
“The purpose of our meeting today is to find out how do we straighten out the nursing program,” Dr. Dixon said. “How to produce graduates, how to contribute to our fields throughout graduation and I am interested in achieving a strong program and be responsible to your needs to be better able to pass courses.”
“We are receiving input and trying to implement it right away,” Dr. Jones said.
The requirement to get in the nursing program is based on percentage of ranking score and actual GPA. This is a breakdown of a minimum of 2.75 GPA, 48 pre- requisite hours, and nursing components 23 hours of math and science.
There is a long waiting list which causes students to take electives that are not part of their curriculum. The waiting list runs until the Fall 2007 and nursing officials haven’t finished reviewing the 2006 applications. So it is possible that this will make the waiting list even longer.
There isn’t a transfer policy in the school of Nursing, therefore transfer students are getting into clinicals right away over Grambling students despite the waiting list that extends to Fall ’07.
“I feel that the Grambling students are being treated unfairly,” Damita McNeal said. “The transfer students from MLU, LSU and LA Tech are taking precedence over Grambling students. They already received minority scholarships for coming here,”
For the classes Nursing 120 Components and Nursing 201, students are charged $150, which was not explained to them. When the fee is paid, students not accepted are not being refunded.
“It goes towards the student’s tuition, salary for teachers and insurance,” Dr. Jones said.
The students felt they were not being equipped with the necessary supplies they have paid for and this makes it difficult to study for the Hessey test that is required to get to level 5. Students not only have to pass exams in their classes but they also have to take an assessment test known as progression.
“The progression is a test that is to assess comprehensive knowledge throughout the program,” Dr. Jones said. “Every level is tested to build the students and to make sure they are ready. It helps the student to continue to prepare through out the program. It is to also enhance the program’s strength and base.”
Another teacher (known as a vendor) conducts this test and all of the questions are not taught by the student’s regular teacher. The progression can make you fail the class if students don’t pass the test.
“I don’t think it is fair,” Dr. Dixon said. “I’m trying to find out the concerns of the students and in order to gain a policy.”
When students were asked what their concerns were in the nursing program they shad various responses.
“It’s a good program that has to make adjustments to the students,” said one nursing student.
“There is a need for more teachers in the first level plus summer class for the first level,” Sharon Jones said. “And state the truth about the GPA if there is an increase of 3.0 and above.”
“Need for more teachers in Anatomy & Physiology lab,” Jones said. “Need to decrease percentage in Hessey, and provide level 5 in the summer. If the minimum requirement is 2.75, why is it so hard to get in when your GPA is a 3.0 to 3.5? Why is it that school’s such as Delgado leave a certain amount of slots open for students who make a C average to enter clinical. Grambling seems to think that C students don’t do well, but Delgado doesn’t. They have a ranking of the 3rd top nursing school in the country.”
“I do not understand if a student has met the requirements why do we still have to wait and what should we do?” Junior Kala Heard said. “How long can a pre-nursing student be on the waiting list? What are international students have to do as they want to be admitted? Why should a grade of C be 80 percent, and in other schools it is still 75 percent?”
“I feel that we as Grambling students are being treated poorly,” Alicia Murphy said. “It’s not fair that other students that transfer are given priority over Grambling students.
If the minimum requirement to get into clinicals is a 2.75 then regardless of whether or not I have a 2.75 or a 3.0 I should be accepted into the program because I or anyone else met the requirement with a 2.75.”