Sign up for one of our email newsletters. Tricia Castelli wants recognition for her daughter, a new Duquesne University nursing school graduate preparing to take a job with UPMC. The graduate, Madison Castelli, made Dean's List several times, passed a controversial standardized exam called HESI, and is preparing for a nursing board exam. Her mother thinks those accomplishments, and the success of other graduates, are overshadowed by recent student complaints about the HESI exam. Two dozen students could not graduate in May because they did not meet a benchmark score on the test. They started an online petition last week to air grievances. “This really upsets me,” said Tricia Castelli, who works as a nurse educator in the Harrisburg area. “Madison busted her rear to get the right score. She practically lived in the library.” Sometimes, the pressure led Madison to call her mom for a pep talk. Sometimes, she cried and felt overwhelmed.
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