Stop the inequities in the Post Diploma Degree Nursing Program at RU

Stop the inequities in the Post Diploma Degree Nursing Program at RU

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Sukhi Brar started this petition to Ryerson University

Students in the post-diploma degree program (PDDP) at Ryerson University, are constantly facing inconsistencies in their nursing program delivery as compared to our classmates in the four-year BScN degree. The only difference is that we PDDP students are currently licensed registered practical nurses with the CNO and are currently practicing. 

Some of the disparities in our program include:

  • Confusion around why the students regardless of their stream in C/NCL 700 have differing requirements while attempting to obtain the same BScN degree. This confusion is due to the wording of the clinical requirements, which state that PDDP students must do 2 shifts a week. Why do the BScN students have a total of 203 hours with 179 of those hours being clinical but PDDP students must do 2 shifts a week? For the same course and credit the PDDP students will complete 264 on unit hours compared to the 179 of the BScN students, why are the PDDP students completing 85 more hours for the same credit for the same degree?
    • The BScN four-year degree students are given clear and concise instructions on what is expected from them at clinical (by the means of total hours to complete), whereas PDDP students are told 2 shifts per week with the time of the shift not counting. Students in both programs are taking the same course but the only difference is that the PDDP students are already licensed RPN's or diploma RN's. 
    • The course codes for all students are NCL700 (for full time) and CNCL700 (part-time). The aim of this course is that it is the first of two preceptor courses prior to graduation. All students attempting to obtain their BScN regardless of being in a 4-year degree or a PDDP student are expected to complete this course. 
  • What makes this matter more confusing is the 2 shift per week requirement. Why must PDDP student’s clinical be counted by the number of shifts they work and not the hours? Students who have 8-hour clinical are at a greater advantage than 12-hour clinical students because they will be completing 16 hours weekly as compared to the 24 hours we have to do.
  • Not only is this a disadvantage to some students, but they are also limited in the amount of time they have to dedicate to assignments and other courses. As a result, 8 hour placement students will complete 176 hours (which is even less than the 4-year BSCN student requirements) and 12-hour students will complete 264 hours total, this is unfair as some students will be completing only 67% of the hours the 12-hour placement students will be and they will still be passing clinical.
  • The setting in which our clinical takes place (that is the hours of the shifts we complete) should be more important than the number of shifts itself.
  • Many of us PDDP students either chose a part-time stream or this program at a full-time delivery because we work.
    • Having a student complete 4 shifts biweekly is the equivalent of a part-time job and is unfair to the working professionals in this program that do have other commitments. 
  • This clinical requirement of two shifts a week is not only confusing but unfair. Our clinical is not a work/study as we are not being paid to attend, it is a nursing pre-consolidation that has traditionally been counted by hours to ensure that all students are eligible to write the NCLEX. 
  • The reality is that RPN's and diploma RN's attempting to obtain their BScN are being discriminated against. PDDP and BScN students are expected to have the same entry to practice requirements as per the CNO.
  • There is no difference in the courses, and referring to the course outline is not fair to PDDP students, clinical preceptors and organizations who have agreed to take on Ryerson students.

The objective of this petition is to draw awareness to the inequities that practising nurses who are upgrading to BScN are facing at Ryerson University. We call on Ryerson University and the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing faculty to review their delivery of this program. Adult learners who are attempting to obtain their BScN should not be treated or evaluated differently than any other BScN learner. We bring this forward because the idea of counting clinical for the PDDP students by shifts makes no sense when we are not obtaining a different credential from the BScN students. We are in fact BScN students.

We thank you for your time and for reading our petition, and we hope you can join us in raising awareness on this matter. 

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