Accommodations in nursing school- are they good?

  1. 2
    I know that school has changed quite a bit over the years. The numbers of kids with designated special needs seems astronomical compared with when I was younger. I didn't realize until recently that our nursing program also has things set up to accommodate students that have certain issues. I'm not discounting the validity of an issue and maybe it really doesn't matter, but the point of school is to prepare people for the real world, correct? We have students that get extra time for the exam because they don't work well under time pressure, and students that take tests in a room by themselves because the distraction of students around them getting up when they're finished is unbearable for them. Now, I would think that in a nursing career at some point you may have to make very important decisions, and quick actions, without a nice quiet place and extra time to think. So, are these school accomodations really doing anything other than giving them extra time and their own space? And if you can't handle a multiple choice exam in school, are you really going to be ready for a life or death crisis when you're practicing? The reason I'm posting this for nurses and not in just the student forum- does it really make any difference in the real world what you do in school? Just wondering.
    Fiona59 and RN in training like this.
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    Since its none of my business what other students are doing or what their medical or psychological history is, I've never really thought about it. Just concentrate on your own studies and let others do the same. It really doesn't concern you.
  4. 0
    The same disabilities you speak of are some of the same you will be working with when you become a nurse. You have some work to do......
  5. 2
    I did not mean to be insensitive to students (and people) with disabilities of any sort, I apologize if that's how it sounded. What I meant was, should the school be more pro-active in teaching students that have an issue how to overcome them within the more natural environment they'll eventually need to work, rather than changing the environment because of the issue? Sorry if I offended anyone.
    Aurora77 and RN in training like this.
  6. 10
    I agree with you. Despite what a person truly desires, some people are not cut out to be nurses. I went to school with a person that got extra time on tests, got to go to a quiet room to do the test, and at one point had a proctor in the room reading the questions outloud. How is this gonna pan out when in an urgent situation?

    People come with all sorts of problems. Some don't read very well, some are terrible at math. But you have to take a good look at yourself to determine if your weak points can pose a huge problem. For instance, I believe I would make a terrible waitress. I am incredibly clumsy and would end up covering patrons with food. So, I never became a waitress. Same thing with nursing - if you can't do the work, don't become a nurse.
    Aurora77, Fiona59, LaughingRN, and 7 others like this.
  7. 2
    OP, I see your point and I don't think that you are being insensitive. It is a very valid question.

    But I think the answer likely lies in the fact that the school (unless completely privately funded) is probably between a rock and a hard place. They are very likely required by Federal law to provide these provisions to nursing students who qualify for them. Unfortunately, in this scenario, the students with the various learning disabilities may be the ones to suffer the most. Instead of figuring out early on what they can and cannot handle, they may make it all the way through nursing school with the accommodations, only to find out that the real world does not provide them.

    I wonder if accommodations are given for taking the NCLEX?
    Fiona59 and Ashley, PICU RN like this.
  8. 7
    Quote from roser13
    OP, I see your point and I don't think that you are being insensitive. It is a very valid question.

    But I think the answer likely lies in the fact that the school (unless completely privately funded) is probably between a rock and a hard place. They are very likely required by Federal law to provide these provisions to nursing students who qualify for them. Unfortunately, in this scenario, the students with the various learning disabilities may be the ones to suffer the most. Instead of figuring out early on what they can and cannot handle, they may make it all the way through nursing school with the accommodations, only to find out that the real world does not provide them.

    I wonder if accommodations are given for taking the NCLEX?
    Yes about NCLEX , time and a half I believe it is. I'm a 2nd year A.D.N. student with ADHD and agraphia. When I take tests with class and not at testing center, I am always the last one out.

    I too believe O.P. asked a fair question. Here are things for O.P. to consider.

    In the real world, I don't have to do dimensional analysis on my math. In nursing school, I can't just list the answer which I can solve in my head almost instantly, but in nursing school, I have to show my work. It takes me forever to figure out how to set those things up, and I already have the problem solved.

    In the real world, I know what to do for conditions, but in nursing school on multiple choice tests I have to sit and think about what could be 4 right answers but have to think about which one is most right for the test.

    I am a very robotic and black and white person. I recently took a test in Mother-Baby where there were 2 very right answers. I took the test with my class, I didn't use special accommodations testing center.

    I went up to teacher and said elevated estrogen is right answer, it can make hands itch, I said but so is protein loss in blood. Protein pulls fluid from extracellular space so without it, hands can get swollen and itch too.

    She said, "Oh you are WAY overthinking that. Choose the simple answer."

    So the right answer was estrogen, but a robotic person like me could look at that question for hours.

    On another note:

    I think a problem we are facing in this country is labeling and judging people for asking questions.

    If a person publicly questions for instance about the welfare of children being adopted into gay families, that doesn't make that person a homophobe full of hate.

    I applaud the O.P. for asking the question.
    Last edit by adnrnstudent on Oct 12, '11
    llg, Gently.me, beckster_01, and 4 others like this.
  9. 3
    OP, this is a question that is often on my mind as the world/ADA changes things. I had a whopper of a fitness test and physical to go through before I was accepted into my nursing program. I've also had grueling pre-employment tests as well as drug screens, hearing and vision tests and mental acuity exams before hire.

    It is unsettling to me to think that an RN who cannot read/process information/hear might be interpreting my health data or be responsible for my care. And I say this as an interpreter for the deaf and someone married to a man with severe dyslexia.

    There are physical truths of clinical nursing that cannot be overcome by will alone. I'm never going to be an Olympic ice skater or triathlete, no matter how much I might want to be.

    The good news is that employers are entitled to ask an applicant to perform the essential functions of the job before hire. e.g. a nurse with quadriplegia could be asked to demonstrate how they would deliver bedside care.

    The disconnect in my mind is that schools are potentially graduating RNs that can never function in that role.
    Last edit by Quickbeam on Oct 12, '11 : Reason: typo
    not.done.yet, Aurora77, and Fiona59 like this.
  10. 0
    Thank you, adnrnstudent. That was a very informative and helpful answer.
  11. 0
    I made a few edits, so you may want to re-read it.


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