Sink or swim: nurses edition

Texas A&M system changes program requirements

It is no surprise that Tarleton’s move to Division 1 programs is affection not only sports but academics as well. As Tarleton moves to make advancements in multiple facets of collegiate excellence, more students are taking up grievances with some of the changes to our once “small” college. One of the big changes that has taken place over the course of the last couple weeks is a change in the pre-nursing degree requirements. 

Tarleton’s already rigorous pre-nursing track got a hefty revamp of the requirements in order to be accepted into the Tarleton nursing program. Part of the reason this change has been enacted, is to in part make Tarleton a true competitive D1 nursing program alongside other schools in Texas such as; University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. This probable competitive program is hopeful to bring more attention to Tarleton in an effort to gain more state funding. 

Many students disagree and are frustrated with the new requirements for even standing a chance of getting in. The new requirements are as follows: raised GPA requirement to a 3.0 from a 2.8. Changed requirements and allowances for the HESI A2 exam, which now only allowed to be taken a total of three times a semester with a minimum of 75 percent on each section of the exam to be considered for admission. 

In addition, students hoping to apply may now only retake a class a total of two times, the class retakes will be now averaged together, instead of the previous system where they would take the higher of the two. If a grade of “C” or higher is not obtained in either of the attempts, the student may not apply for admission into the program. This in particular is what really has some students fired up. 

“Yeah I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m not so much mad at the gpa [sic] change from 2.8 to 3.0 because honestly I thought it was 3.0 all along. What I’m mad about is the new requirement about retaking classes. Instead of replacing the grade, they’re now averaging them and factoring that into your GPA. I’ve heard from other students that at the informational meeting, they basically said if you fail a class you need to change majors. Some of us want to be nurses. So in my case, I’m retaking some classes I didn’t do too hot in. But that now means I need to make a 4.0 in those classes to even think about nursing school here. I’m considering transferring schools so I have a better shot at getting into the nursing program. I’m also worried about applying for pre-nursing for some of the same reasons” said Melinda Dossey, a Tarleton class of 2026 member. 

These new regulations, while they might make Tarleton seem more competitive, serves essentially as a weed-out program. To put in perspective that means to meet the 3.0 requirements you must be making at least a “B” or higher in the majority of your classes, even in classes like Anatomy and Physiology 1 and A&P 2. Some of the toughest classes Tarleton offers, which although they are basic requirements for any nursing program, many students rely on them to count as on of their few “C” classes due to the extremely arduous conditions of the course. 

It is no secret that nurses are one of the many professions on the short of staff list these past couple years. It is one thing to be short staffed at a restaurant, but does anyone really want to be on a waitlist for a nurse? If colleges continue to raise the standards of education in regards to professions such as nursing, in hopes of churning out more nurses, nurses who then quit due to being overworked in real hospitals because of staffing issues, because colleges cannot find anyone to meet their academic requirements, it turns into the burnt-out-student to burnt-out-nurse pipeline…all in the name of churning a profit from the state for academic funding. Either way, in this new era of nursing, its sink or swim. What will you choose?