Cheating on nursing exams - page 3

What would you do if you found out people were cheating on nursing exams? I don't mean just copying during the tests, but I've seen people share questions from the previous semester, since some... Read More

  1. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from Bala Shark
    My friend was absent in class one time on the test date..I was talking to her and gave her several questions and answers..Did I help her cheat? No, she was an excellent student anyway and she could have passed nursing school without any of my help..Sometimes friends do go out and help each other; that is what friends are for..And that was just one time..

    To have an eleborate plan like making out the whole test and giving it to the students or friends, that is a lot of work..I mean you have to a lot of proof that this is happening rather than just students just writing notes down.
    If you just wanted to help your friend out to score higher than she normally would have with her excellent study skills (so she would've had an excellent score w/o your help) , then that's your choice. But some would still say it's unfair.

    Believe it or not, people have re-created tests and distributed them. It's not just one person memorizing, but a group who shares what they memorized, and puts it together. It's not as difficult as you think, since the class is very large and people can sit in the back and quietly type (some people can type very quickly). I have seen people sharing info, and even told about it. I can't name exact names of whose the head behind it all, but it is happening. Also, some people talk too much and rat themselves out sometimes, or are not careful of who may be listening to them in the library or hallways.
  2. by   Bala Shark
    Quote from MiaNJ
    If you just wanted to help your friend out to score higher than she normally would have with her excellent study skills (so she would've had an excellent score w/o your help) , then that's your choice. But some would still say it's unfair.

    Believe it or not, people have re-created tests and distributed them. It's not just one person memorizing, but a group who shares what they memorized, and puts it together. It's not as difficult as you think, since the class is very large and people can sit in the back and quietly type (some people can type very quickly). I have seen people sharing info, and even told about it. I can't name exact names of whose the head behind it all, but it is happening. Also, some people talk too much and rat themselves out sometimes, or are not careful of who may be listening to them in the library or hallways.
    The only way they can cheat on an exam is being absent on the day of the exam and the cheaters will give them the questions and answers afterwords....Plus they have to be very trusting of people in the next semester, to actually sell the exam...You did not mention this, so I dont know what to say in your argument..
  3. by   sunnyjohn
    First let me again say, I do not condone cheating.

    If you can't name names, then you might not have enough proof.

    Unless you see WITH YOUR OWN TWO EYES (like my mum used to say) someone violating the nursing professor's policy, everything else is hearsay.

    Others here, students and experienced RNs, have told you were your priorities should first lie; with the safety of your patients and your own studies.

    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a second so please don't get offended or mad. Are you SURE your just not upset 'cause they are getting better grades than you or are not sharing their "test-bank' with you?
  4. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from robred
    Some background.....10 yrs critical care nursing experience as an RN.

    You seem to be putting alot of emotional energy on this subject. My suggestion would be that you move that energy back into your studies unless you know for a fact that a fellow nursing student is placing the safety of a client second to their own needs. Believe me when I say that the day will come after state boards that you will be in a position of protecting the safety of a client...that is the bottom line. It will be your responsibility, just as your main responsibility today is to prepare yourself to be a knowledgeable, skillful, compassionate nurse in our imperfect world.
    Good Luck
    Thanks for your advice. Fortunately, I do put lots of energy in my studies and have managed to do very well so far. I don't start school again until next week, so I'm on a little break. I haven't seen a nursing student act irresponsibly, but I and some other students have noticed how several students (who we suspect cheat on tests since they score so high, yet don't know answers to some basic questions when asked by the clinical instructors), don't seem to care much about their clinical experience or patient care. There are numerous small examples, but in general, if you observed these students' behaviors and comments, you get a sense that they really don't enjoy caring for patients. I know that nursing is a popular career choice now ,and there are people who just seem to want to get into the field because they think there are lots of jobs with great pay.

    What bothers me the most is that when I commented about how some
    students are cheating, to my family and other friends outside the school, they seemed to imply that my school was too lax and probably easy to pass anway. Some said that maybe the instructors realize students will share questions and answers, but want their school to have high averages since they get funding from the govt. Or else they would change their tests every semester. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but it bothers me that people would think this way, since I don't want them to think it's so easy to be a nurse and my study efforts are meaningless. They also said to try and let them know what hospitals my fellow students were going to be in when they graduated, so they wouldn't go there and get treated by incompetent nurses. It makes my own skills and knowledge, and hard studying seem less worthy, since they feel it's an easy program to pass.
    The problem is that the tests are what enable students to pass, since clinicals are not graded. The instructors give a pass or fail grade,but most instructors don't want to fail students even if they feel they are not doing well. They give them warnings, but they also don't see all mistakes or lack of caring from some students.
  5. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    First let me again say, I do not condone cheating.

    If you can't name names, then you might not have enough proof.

    Unless you see WITH YOUR OWN TWO EYES (like my mum used to say) someone violating the nursing professor's policy, everything else is hearsay.

    Others here, students and experienced RNs, have told you were your priorities should first lie; with the safety of your patients and your own studies.

    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a second so please don't get offended or mad. Are you SURE your just not upset 'cause they are getting better grades than you or are not sharing their "test-bank' with you?
    No, I'm not upset because they are not sharing their test bank with me. I am fortunate to get good grades, since I study hard. Besides, even if I were to have access to these questions, I wouldn't want to use them and not study, since I would feel I am cheating myself. When I go to clinicals and see how much is involved in nursing, it seems overwhelming all the info nurses have to remember. I would feel horrible if I did not study at all, and went on to become a nurse. I think it's crucial to study and know what you're doing.
    I feel like I've learned alot, and feel proud when someone in my family or other friend, asks me a question about a disease or treatment and I know the
    answer. Or I can give them some advice on what to ask doctors, what treatments are options, what warning signs to look for, etc.

    As far as naming names, I don't want to be a rat, but the fact is we (more than 1 person) have witnessed it.
    But I don't want any anger or hatred directed towards me from people who are cheating. I'm just saying it's wrong.
  6. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from MiaNJ
    No, I'm not upset because they are not sharing their test bank with me. I am fortunate to get good grades, since I study hard. Besides, even if I were to have access to these questions, I wouldn't want to use them and not study, since I would feel I am cheating myself. When I go to clinicals and see how much is involved in nursing, it seems overwhelming all the info nurses have to remember. I would feel horrible if I did not study at all, and went on to become a nurse. I think it's crucial to study and know what you're doing.
    I feel like I've learned alot, and feel proud when someone in my family or other friend, asks me a question about a disease or treatment and I know the
    answer. Or I can give them some advice on what to ask doctors, what treatments are options, what warning signs to look for, etc.

    As far as naming names, I don't want to be a rat, but the fact is we (more than 1 person) have witnessed it.
    But I don't want any anger or hatred directed towards me from people who are cheating. I'm just saying it's wrong.
    Mia,

    You sound like a very conscientious student and person. I noticed from you previous posts that you are in an accelerated progam. For the hard work that goes quickly along with such a program, I commend you.

    If you SEE other students cheating, send that anonymous letter. Don't let them ruin the grade curve.

    One bit of advice. Don't worry about those other people. Don't worry about their poor clincial skills or seeming inability to grasp simple facts/tasks in class discussion. It is the instructor's job to take care of this. Don't add this burden on to your already overloaded shoulders. Trust me, it will drive you nuts if you do. Clear you mind of such thing that may entagle you or impede your path.

    Although family mean well, they might not understand the intricacies of nursing school. They may think that the cheaters mean your university is lax, but you know it is hard and requires MUCH time and effort.


    Good fortune to you.
  7. by   RN-Diane
    I have to say that if it bothers you, you should do something. I was in a similar situation. At the top of each of our test, we had to sign the honor code. I felt like if it somehow came out and the teachers knew that some students could have taken steps against it, I was going to be in trouble. An anon. letter is the way that one of my classmates went about it. The only problem she had, was that the professors came to class and said that if they did not have names, method, ect that they could do nothing.
  8. by   LilPeanut
    I agree with Diane. We had an honor code as well.

    If you knew people were diverting narcs at work, or strongly suspected it, would you notify someone?

    Maybe these students won't be able to pass the NCLEX, but they do also have many hours of clinicals prior to the NCLEX when they have the potential to harm patients.
  9. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from LilPeanut
    I agree with Diane. We had an honor code as well.

    If you knew people were diverting narcs at work, or strongly suspected it, would you notify someone?

    Maybe these students won't be able to pass the NCLEX, but they do also have many hours of clinicals prior to the NCLEX when they have the potential to harm patients.
    I understand about the honor code, and I wouldn't want someone to harm anyone if I were in a work environment. The problem is that even if I know people are cheating, it's my word against theirs. There are other people in my class who suspect also, or some may have seen people exchanging info, but they haven't said anything either. I don't know what an anonymous letter would do, and if the prof. would even acknowledge it. So far no one has sent an anon. letter, since they probably also feel like I do, nothing may get done.
    Even if we were confronted with the people who were cheating, most likely they would not have evidence with them, and they can make up excuses or say they only had a study guide, and not the actual questions. It's still their word, and we would only make enemies. Plus the prof. may not look fondly on people who tattle tale.
    My post was just to get people's opinions, but I really don't plan to do anything about this, but keep studying as others have advised. Maybe I'm just venting, as many others do on this board, about their personal issues at school and work.
  10. by   sunnyjohn
    An anonymous letter would at least put your nursing professor on guard. She could watch out for students copying test questions and catch them herself/himself.

    Besides, I wouldn't be suprised if someone here from allnurses figures out your program (say an associate instructor or some nurse who knows an instructor at your school) and informs them.
  11. by   nursetay2006
    I think that no matter what school you attend, there will always be a select few that will cheat to get ahead. It is not our jobs as students to be a monitor. When I was in nursing school, I had barely enough time to worry about myself! I've always been told, what's done in the darkness always come to light! :wink2:
  12. by   Agnus
    Quote from MiaNJ
    What would you do if you found out people were cheating on nursing exams? I don't mean just copying during the tests, but I've seen people share questions from the previous semester, since some professors use the exact same tests. They don't return the tests to the students, but they don't realize that when the tests are reviewed next class, some people write down the answers. Even if the professor tells everyone not to write anything, he or she cannot make sure everyone is not writing, esp. on laptops or PDAs, and it's a large class. Also, there is also the element of 'remembering' the questions right after the test. I myself and some friends can remember many questions afterward since we look in our notes for the answers, to see how we may have scored. But we do this for our own purposes and not to recreate the test. So what's to stop certain people from writing down whatever they remember then writing more during the test review. So the following semester they share with their friends.
    I am doing well in all my classes since I study hard, but I just think it's not fair that certain students may simply memorize questions and answers and get high scores. It's not even about the scores, but what kind of nurses will they be, if they don't even grasp the material as a whole and are may just memorize questions.
    I am not the only one who has seen this happen, but the professors don't realize that even though they don't return the test form to us, that students can either memorize or write down the questions/answers during review.
    I know it's not nice to tell on people but do you think it's fair?
    I would not under estimate the knowledge of my professor in this respect. This has gone on for eons. It happened when your professor was a student. Some professors are not focused on test; some exjpect students to do this; some want them to (it looks good if the professor has classes that produce high grades); some figure the cream will always rise reguardless; some see this as a learnig tool.

    If you did not have this ability to remember you would be incapable of learning anything at all.

    Some professors do not want to rewrite test questions every semester (it is a bigger task than you can imagine) If your class mates are remembering a questions and the answer then they actually have learned something. As distasteful as that sounds.
  13. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from Agnus
    I would not under estimate the knowledge of my professor in this respect. This has gone on for eons. It happened when your professor was a student. Some professors are not focused on test; some exjpect students to do this; some want them to (it looks good if the professor has classes that produce high grades); some figure the cream will always rise reguardless; some see this as a learnig tool.

    If you did not have this ability to remember you would be incapable of learning anything at all.

    Some professors do not want to rewrite test questions every semester (it is a bigger task than you can imagine) If your class mates are remembering a questions and the answer then they actually have learned something. As distasteful as that sounds.
    It's a shame if some professors do realize this happens and let it slide.
    You're right, remembering is part of learning, BUT in the field of nursing it's not merely about remembering 'certain' aspects, but more about critical thinking. Just because a person memorizes certain questions and answers does not mean they have a good general knowledge of the subject, IF they were to be asked another question that they didn't memorize - if they never studied the subject, but just specific questions and answers. Especially if the questions are varied,and not a whole set devoted to just one subject or disease. So a student may just 'memorize' those specific question(s) to the disease that they know will be on the test, but not really study more about how to manage the disease. I know not all nurses remember every single thing they studied in school, but if they studied well, they will have more general knowledge than someone who just memorized specific questions.
    I know that I have learned alot more about certain diseases and nursing care, just by studying them, not because they were on the test.

    They may have learned 'something' but I don't think learning nursing by remote memory of questions and answers truly will make a good nurse.

close