Controversy over nursing exit exam

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

Ammita Daniels says all she wanted was to be a nurse. However her dreams have been put on hold for another two years and her job in jeopardy.

"When I started school, unlike some of the other students, HESI was never an issue, it was never brought up," says Daniels.

HESI, Health Education System Incorporated, is an exit exam nursing students must take to graduate the program. Students are allowed three chances to pass the test.

But students say it was never introduced as an exit exam nor did they receive proper lessons to study by.

Former nursing student Kelly Creel says, “We didn't have any extra classes or any extra preps for this exam when other colleges that are implementing it actually do have extra exams and extra prep work."

But Wallace Communtiy College officials, like Kathy Buntin, disagree and saying students were given the information about the exam when they first began the program.

"It's known as the exit exam all the way through the program," says Buntin. "In our previous semester we had 47 graduates from the associate degree nursing program in our last December ceremony."

Creel says that's far from the truth:

"24 of us took the exam and 21 of us failed… The next class behind us took their exam for the first time and over three fourths failed."

Daniels and Creel have to wait two more years before they can take a chance at their dream...again.

Former nursing students say they want to see a change in the test and the way it is presented to students.

They say they will stop at nothing to make sure other students will not have to go through the same tribulations they have.

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  • by Tammy Location: georgia on Jun 25, 2012 at 07:38 AM
    I should have graduated from my ASN program in May, however, after three attempts at the hesi (836,734,822), we needed an 850, I am now shut diploma, no retake, no nothing. Just 2 years down the drain. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to handle this. This cannot be the end after spending thousands of dollars and countless hours on my nursing degree. If this test is suppose to be a training tool why is it used to eliminate us from graduating. I thought the NCLEX was the ultimate decider of our career/ licenses, not the HESI. Can these nursing classes be transferred to another school so we can graduate, I mean there has to be other options.....PLEASE HELP...I need some feed back on how to proceed. *email me at
  • by Chris Location: Houston on Jun 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM
    My wife has spent the last 3 years in nursing school we have spent 1000s of dollars and passing this assinine HESI test is absurd, I have a BBA from UH in Marketing and for a any school to require a test as part of a curriculum in order to recieve your diploma is absurd. I will spend another $25000 on litigation on the Lone Star school if she does not get her diploma. The HESI was designed as a tool to prepare you for passing the state boards. This has money and deception written all over it.
  • by Meghan Location: WSU Michigan on May 22, 2012 at 05:54 PM
    Itook the Hesi three times, we have to get a 950 on Ido not know who determines the the score you have to get I scorred an 870 and a929 on the 929 score my computor broke six times and had to be fixed. on the third allthe computers broke and we had to wait a half hour. It was very upsetting. I did a 879 on this but they didn,t know till the next day what my score was. because my computer didn,t record any questions after the break. How do I know if my score is right?? Don,t you think we all deserve somthing for having been interrupted???
  • by Abby Location: Houston, TX on May 6, 2012 at 12:55 AM
    I am currently a level 4 ADN student & my college has been allowing us practice HESI exams at the end of every course that factors into our average as preparation for exit exams. However, the middle of this semester they announced to us that they felt that people were cheating on HESI & they would be changing the ENTIRE exit exam policy & exit exam that we would be taking. It would no longer be HESI w/ 3 attempts to get 850 but now 2 entirely different exams with a ridiculous point system that will average out to their deciding. One of the two exams 70 of 72 students failed. We are supposed to have pinning next Friday & graduation on Saturday of next week but lo and behold we have our 2nd exit exam on Monday at 1pm of the week of pinning to determine graduation/ exiting the program. We are trying to fight this & are getting stonewalled on all sides. I am desperate for any help/advice, any articles to prove the NLN doesn't require exit exams to be determinant of pass/fail program or moving on to graduation. Please & thank you so much!!
  • by carrie on Apr 26, 2012 at 08:11 AM
    i recently graduated from ITT with my ASN and passed all classes with high to highest honors and still cannot pass my exit HESI along with several others! Now the school is making it a requirement that all student provide proof of 100 saunders questions per week in order to pass you nursing classes. they never required that for us and never stated a plan for studying, just that you had to pass the exit HESI with an 850. no other school in my area requires you to pass and exit exam but uses it as a determiner to see where you are at. These student with lower scores than me ar graduating and taking boards in 2 months and we are not allowed to set for boards until we pass. there are several people that are still trying and they graduated last september. the will have to start paying on outrageous school bills and not even taken boards. how horrible is that!!
    • reply
      by bobbie on May 5, 2012 at 07:38 AM in reply to carrie
      This also happened to us. We graduated without a diploma. We called our state board of education and they are starting work on this! They didnt even know this was going on! Also call the BBB! Stop these people!
  • by Anonymous Location: Youngstown , oh on Apr 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
    Can you let me know how it turned out and what you did about it im also in the same boat.
  • by Brooke Location: TX on Feb 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM
    I would appreciate any updates on anyones situation regarding graduation denial due to an exit exam. Please email me at
    • reply
      by bobbie on May 4, 2012 at 02:10 PM in reply to Brooke
      We have just run into the same problem as you! We cant get our diploma! I inturn have turned them into the BBB and stae board of education, i suggest do these first then go to your board of nursing. Good luck and wish us luck. We are in the process now!
    • reply
      by bobbie on May 4, 2012 at 02:34 PM in reply to Brooke
      I recently graduated with honors from itt's nursing school but cant get my diploma because i cant seem to pass the hesi. We are so depressed, broke and jobless.
  • by Jen Location: TX on Jul 20, 2011 at 02:59 PM
    I just took the LPN Hesi and I failed it by one point (799 out of 800). 800 is what my school required to graduate. I would like some advice on what to do. I have one more chance to take it but I'm really scared that I will not graduate because of 1 point.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 10, 2011 at 01:18 PM
    I need some information about the hesi being a part of your grade. I failed my hesi, which was added to my med-surge grade and my grade knocked me down to a 69.34%. without the hesi, I would have had a 71. Is there a way to fight this??
    • reply
      by bobbie on May 5, 2012 at 07:41 AM in reply to
      Look in your paperwork! It states that the hesi is not to be used as part of the grade! Call the department of education and stop this abuse! Itt is ruining lives around the country! We need to grow some ----- and stop these people!They are also taking our money and not giving us our diplomas! Call the BBB also!
  • by Tamara Location: Huntsville on Feb 3, 2011 at 06:08 PM
    I went through the exact same issue with my school but to add to the depresson of my situation is that i won a scholarship my last year that paid for my schooling and also a 1200 a month stipen for living expenses and now being told that i have to pay all that money back since i did not complete my nursing all because of one test and i did nursing school with a fulltime job and 3 children and now having to start all over again with another child added to that number if anyone know of a lawyer that is willing to look at these type of cases please contact me my email address is all help is greatly appreciated i will be praying for all you fellow nursing students that you will pass God Bless
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