Cheating on nursing exams - page 6

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
    You know how people do well in class without attending class? They just ask for the notes from their classmates; that is one way..Another way, is that they just read the book. Some students can read the book and absorb a lot of material; some are extremely intelligent at that..Plus clinical and classroom theory are two different things..The students might have book smarts but can not do clinicals well..Some students can do the clinical well but fail the classroom portion..You cannot assume since so and so is not doing well in clinical it means that they are cheating..That is ridiculous! I seen some students who do very well in the classroom tests and fail clinical..They are two different things!
    That may be true, that some people have book smarts. But there's more to this situation that you are not aware of, esp. since these same students did not do 'extremely' well the first semester and in other classes where the professor does not use the same exam, they don't score extremely high. It's also interesting that these other classes are not the same level of difficulty as the classes they do very well in. If someone is an extremely intelligent student it should carry over to other tests in other classes. How do we know what they score, because people talk and gossip leaks and they also were seen seeking help from tutors last semester for less difficult classes.
    So it's not just assuming, but there's more. Besides, there are people that have 'seen' these people with the 'cheat' sheets, and that's all i'm leaving it at. There are not just assumptions at work here. We know for a fact they are not extremely intelligent students who read the book at home. There are indeed those extremely intelligent students, but they ace every class, since the beginning of the program, not just now.
  2. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from Bala Shark
    You know how people do well in class without attending class? They just ask for the notes from their classmates; that is one way..Another way, is that they just read the book. Some students can read the book and absorb a lot of material; some are extremely intelligent at that..Plus clinical and classroom theory are two different things..The students might have book smarts but can not do clinicals well..Some students can do the clinical well but fail the classroom portion..You cannot assume since so and so is not doing well in clinical it means that they are cheating..That is ridiculous! I seen some students who do very well in the classroom tests and fail clinical..
    Another thing, it's true classroom theory and 'practical' application are different things. But I wasn't just referring to their skills. There have been several instances were they were 'asked' in front of the group, fairly common 'theory' questions that were in the book and discussed in class, but they didn't know the answer. If they were that intelligent to get very high scores on tests, and not attend class regularly, and read the book and 'absorb' alot of material, then why would they not be able to answer questions which other students who get lower scores on test, can answer?

    There was also a times when couple of these same students were 'arguing' with some others about how the circulation works thru the kidneys (general facts they should know if they are getting high test grades and supposedly reading the book) when discussing a patient's condition, and what the difference between metabolic alkalosis and respiratory alkalosis, and they didn't realize they were wrong. It wasn't even a very difficult case, and if they had read the entire chapter or paid attention enough in class, they would've known this. What's funny is, we had just taken a test on that subject. But of course, the test only includes a few questions on it, and if a person only memorizes specific test questions/answers, they don't have a more in depth grasp of the material, so they wouldn't be able to answer other questions that were not on the test ..if they didn't read the book or pay attention in class.
  3. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from goriodel
    "It's scary that it's also happening in other schools. But how do we know for sure if these people can't find a way to cheat on the NCLEX? I had read some posts a while back about people sharing questions they remembered from NCLEX. Of course not everyone will get the same questions, but it's possible to have groups of people join together and share their questions, and eventually form a large collection of exact questions. At least some of those may be encountered on the NCLEX. There was an incident like recently that in the Phillipines, where a group of students were found to have cheated on the licensing nursing exam. It was a big deal on the news, and some people want the nursing school where these students attended to close down." As mentioned in this message, we had a very big national issue regarding the most recent Nursing Licensure Exam in here. It has really grown in such a huge story, that it has been occupying prime spaces on the national broad-sheets and prime-time TV news and even talk shows almost everyday. The saddest part of it all is that, it has practically put the lives of hopeful individuals in limbo, not knowing what will become of them or to the fruition of their life-long dreams and aspirations of someday becoming a duly licensed nurse, as the whole Licensure Exam altogether is being contemplated to be disregarded and a new exam be administered. Yes, thanks to the callousness and blatant inpropriety of a few "bull-hearted" individuals (students) (in connivance with other equally dishonest and "enterprising" school, review center officials and (yes) the national nursing association officials-all boils down to business and bragging rigths of producing a big number of RNs from their own institutions, which will yield more money eventually). Just a clear example why cheating or being dishonest is a bad, bad thing to do. It's like a sweet fresh banana or apple or even freshly baked pecan pie, nice and appealing at first but eventually will stink like a filthy garbage after a long while out in the open. Of course even innocent individuals like who really toiled, worked and "burned their eye-brows" to learn and pass the Exams would have to suffer. Their efforts came to naught and their sweet dreams and ambitions into a pffft. As of late, even us, RNs who took the Local Boards way ahead could be "tinted" and looked upon, disdained if you will by the whole world, and tagged as nurses coming from a country of cheats and of callous morality. That's farthest from from the truth. God forbid. Because there are more or most who did it the right way, and to generalize this uneventful, sorry "adventurism" of a handful is way uncalled for. There's no way to do it but the proper way.
    I read about what's happening in the Phillipines, and I'm so sorry for what you and other fellow nurses from your country are going through. I completely understand your feelings, and it's the same feelings I have now, if students are allowed to cheat this way in my school and many others, eventually the public will start to look at nurses as cheaters, not intelligent, and possibly not trustworthy. It will kind of diminish respect for the profession.
    I don't understand why people who say, oh just worry about yourself, don't see the ethical consequences that cheating can create for all nurses everywhere. People can start to form stereotypes about nurses and wonder it they all got thru school cheating.

    I know this topic is hot, and may not be a good idea to get into it, but all I know is what I read, and haven't see the news broadcast from the Phillipines. I know they said that 'inside' officials may be implicated, but wasn't the cheating done in the form of getting questions ahead of time?
    I think this is definitely cheating and am amazed that some people posting here (maybe some nurses) fail to see how getting questions ahead of time is no problem and not really cheating. If it wasn't, then it wouldn't be such a scandal and problem in the Phillipines right?
    If everyone got the Exact questions and answers to tests ahead of time, there would be no need for studying and anyone can get a nursing degree. It's easier to memorize some questions/answers than study several books, and know more material in depth.
    I hope your situation gets resolved soon. I am truly sad that his happened. I decided to become a nurse not just because I am interested in health and caring for people, but also because I heard it was a highly respected and trusted profession. I never heard that nursing school was 'easy' to pass. I always thought it was challenging and only those students who put alot of effort in their studies would make it.
  4. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from MiaNJ
    That may be true, that some people have book smarts. But there's more to this situation that you are not aware of, esp. since these same students did not do 'extremely' well the first semester and in other classes where the professor does not use the same exam, they don't score extremely high. It's also interesting that these other classes are not the same level of difficulty as the classes they do very well in. If someone is an extremely intelligent student it should carry over to other tests in other classes. How do we know what they score, because people talk and gossip leaks and they also were seen seeking help from tutors last semester for less difficult classes.
    So it's not just assuming, but there's more. Besides, there are people that have 'seen' these people with the 'cheat' sheets, and that's all i'm leaving it at. There are not just assumptions at work here. We know for a fact they are not extremely intelligent students who read the book at home. There are indeed those extremely intelligent students, but they ace every class, since the beginning of the program, not just now.
    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS ALREADY. Your posse of amateur detectives sounds completely obsessed with busting some classmates for cheating, despite not having PROOF, just a feeling. You are using faulty logic too. Just because a student does not do well in a previous class, seeks the help of a tutor, seems like an idiot to you and isn't caring enough for your tastes does NOT mean they are cheating. But do whatever your gonna do and hopefully then you can let it go.
  5. by   sunnyjohn
    No offense,

    But it's time to p* or get off the pot. If there is proof the students are cheating, schedule a meeting with the nursing professor and your school obmudsperson's and share your group's investigative information.

    If concsience bothers you, ACT.

    It's alright to vent for a while, but if you want to stick around to just convince others their thinking is wrong and STILL have no plans to protect your own grade curve and turn is cheater, well......


    So you know, I don't support cheating and I respect you for your stand. I just want you to get this behind you so you can stop letting this inadvertantly distract you from your studies. You may say "It does not, I ma still doing well" but anything that does not HELP you in nursing school HINDERS you...
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Aug 28, '06
  6. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from lostdruid
    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS ALREADY. Your posse of amateur detectives sounds completely obsessed with busting some classmates for cheating, despite not having PROOF, just a feeling. You are using faulty logic too. Just because a student does not do well in a previous class, seeks the help of a tutor, seems like an idiot to you and isn't caring enough for your tastes does NOT mean they are cheating. But do whatever your gonna do and hopefully then you can let it go.
    Excuse me, but my aim has not been to seek and bust these students. I was only giving examples of how cheating on tests does affect how students learn, since one poster said that testing doesn't reflect 100% of learning. I agree that tests don't always do that, but my point was that if someone consistently cheats on tests, they are less inclined to study and will eventually not know much, but only the specific facts they memorized. It's like someone memorizing questions/answers from the show Jeopardy and build a database of random knowledge, but not really understand the subject with more depth, like people who do study it more. It's not faulty logic regarding the students I was referring to, because if someone repeatedly scores over 95+ on tests, but ONLY on those where the prof. is giving the exact same test from last semester, and do average or below average on other exams which are even easier material it's more than obvious to many (including others in my class) that these students may be cheating. If a person is extremely intelligent they are usually straight A students in all classes or at least high Bs. There are a few students who really are this intelligent and we all know who they are since they were on the honor roll since the first semester and they are also tutors.
    I think cheating affects everyone and even though we (not just me) have seen people do this, we don't have them on camera or we don't have the evidence, so it's still our word against theirs. So there is nothing I can do, even if i wanted to. Besides, I don't seek to bust them, I just simply think it's wrong. I don't understand why some people think it's ok to cheat and as long as one's minds their business, the cheating will never affect others..not just in my school but it's happening elswhere and some with more serious consequences, as some posters have noted.
  7. by   firstyearstudent
    Why not have a dialogue about this in class... Ask the instructor about what is or is not considered acceptable in terms of sharing knowledge about exam questions.

    We asked our instructor and she actually did NOT have an issue with students sharing the memory of specific exam questions and answers with other students -- even those who were not in our semester. In fact, she arranged for tutors who would regularly share recollections of topics or even specific questions that had been on the exam.

    However, the instructor was very concerned about the sharing of large portions of exam questions that had been copied or memorized verbatim, written down systematically and shared among students.
  8. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    Why not have a dialogue about this in class... Ask the instructor about what is or is not considered acceptable in terms of sharing knowledge about exam questions.

    We asked our instructor and she actually did NOT have an issue with students sharing the memory of specific exam questions and answers with other students -- even those who were not in our semester. In fact, she arranged for tutors who would regularly share recollections of topics or even specific questions that had been on the exam.

    However, the instructor was very concerned about the sharing of large portions of exam questions that had been copied or memorized verbatim, written down systematically and shared among students.
    The instructor(s) have not openly discussed this, but it is more than obvious when they collect and count exams that they will be using the same ones again, and if they thought it was ok for students to share questions/answers with new incoming student who will take the same tests, then they would just return the tests to us. But we only get the scantron back.
    They just assume that we can't possibly remember all test questions and since we are not supposed to write down the answer key or questions during review. I guess they don't think that people do have friends in other semester levels or make friends. If sharing questions was encouraged, then that means every new semester students will just find it easier and easier and much less inclined to study the material in depth. Why would someone spend hours/days studing pathophysiology for example, when they could easily memorize the questions they knew were going to be on the test? I don't think this would be a responsible act on the part of any nursing school, to send out graduates that really don't know their stuff, and just memorized a bunch of questions/answers. They most likely will not do good on the NCLEX and this can also make the school look bad.
  9. by   robred
    Quote from MiaNJ
    Thanks for your insight. You have good points, but I do believe that there are instances where an 'uncaring' attitude might endanger the safety of a patient. I have seen this myself where nurses didn't answer the bell of a pt. who they think is annoying or not really in pain but just want to press the bell. They don't really know when there is apiont where the patient really may need them. I know some patients can be annoying but that shouldn't take away our responsiblity in responding to the patient.
    But even if just an 'uncaring attitude' doesn't always endanger the safety of a patient, I think it can affect the patients overall well being and healing. I've read studies on how just a caring attitude or giving a patient a smile or asking them how they are today or making small talk for a few min (since I know nurses are busy) often makes the patient feel better. IT's about the 'human touch'. I think that's a core value of nursing- caring, and it's not just about protecting a patient's safety, but about the 'quality' of their care while they are in the hospital. Some nurses may feel they don't have time for that, but even if they are busy, it only takes a second to tell someone hello, how are you this morning, with a smile or asking them if they are comfortable, not just going in and giving meds silently and not even smiling. I've seen this happen, and I think it's sad that some nurses maybe have become calloused. It may be more understandable if they've been in the job for many years, but to see nursing students have this uncaring attitude even before they become nurses is truly sad and makes me think they don't really want to be a nurse.

    Of course, the 'human touch' will play a role in healing. But until you have lived on the job caring for clients and their significant others with complex health issues, coping dysfunction, and awful family dynamics on a daily basis, you will not have any understanding of the emotional stressors which clients, families [B]and[B]health care providers cope with. We are all individuals and in various stages of our own lives; what we each can offer can be limited by our own place in our stage of development. My employer is responsible to weed out and remove those individuals it feels are not meeting the standard of care. And yes, if I am witness to an act which jeopardizes a client's safety, I report that concern. We live in an imperfect world, Nia. Cheating and the inappropriate use of previous exams has been in the works for many years at all levels of higher education (to include our military academies which have an 'honor code') before you and will be present for many years after. Your idealism is thought-provoking, but the reality of nursing is a bit different. The following are the words from a card I received from a family of 10 who have some difficult family dynamics; there husband and father is fighting for his life. Dear Rob, Your attention and sincerity to our pain have made this challenging time, more tolerable to all of us. You are exceptional in your work and a true professional. You'll never know what a difference you have made in our lives.
  10. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from robred
    Of course, the 'human touch' will play a role in healing. But until you have lived on the job caring for clients and their significant others with complex health issues, coping dysfunction, and awful family dynamics on a daily basis, you will not have any understanding of the emotional stressors which clients, families [B]and[B]health care providers cope with. We are all individuals and in various stages of our own lives; what we each can offer can be limited by our own place in our stage of development. My employer is responsible to weed out and remove those individuals it feels are not meeting the standard of care. And yes, if I am witness to an act which jeopardizes a client's safety, I report that concern. We live in an imperfect world, Nia. Cheating and the inappropriate use of previous exams has been in the works for many years at all levels of higher education (to include our military academies which have an 'honor code') before you and will be present for many years after. Your idealism is thought-provoking, but the reality of nursing is a bit different. The following are the words from a card I received from a family of 10 who have some difficult family dynamics; there husband and father is fighting for his life. Dear Rob, Your attention and sincerity to our pain have made this challenging time, more tolerable to all of us. You are exceptional in your work and a true professional. You'll never know what a difference you have made in our lives.
    I appreciate your thoughts. I realize that cheating has been part of academia for many yrs, not just nursing. I have even heard about it from medical students, who have witnessed it, and some doing it blatenly while testing.
    I just thought nursing was about trust, and am feeling kind of down that I will graduate from a place where so much cheating probably took place,and people may eventually form stereotypes about me too, and wonder if I cheated, just because I get high grades. How will they differentiate the cheaters from non-cheaters? There are also cheaters who manage to pass the NCLEX and work as nurses and cut many corners.

    I know it's human nature to cut corners sometimes from being exhausted or burned out. But it's sad to see this from students JUST entering the profession. I guess I thought nursing was supposed to be the most trusted profession, full of honest, truly caring individuals who actually want to learn about health (not just pass by cheating) and care about people.
    Your note from the family was very touching. I can see you love being a nurse. I just hope I can forget about this cheating episode and that it won't haunt me later in my career, If more students everywhere find it easier to get thru nursing by cheating (if professors don't do anything more to prevent it) and eventually the nursing field becomes viewed upon as a 'lazy' easy degree anyone can get.
  11. by   quinnila
    The problem with cheating is bigger than school it's how will these people who cheat be good nurses. They are taking the "easy" route through school and are basically dishonest. I would not want a nurse like that working with me or taking care of me!
  12. by   MiaNJ
    Quote from quinnila
    The problem with cheating is bigger than school it's how will these people who cheat be good nurses. They are taking the "easy" route through school and are basically dishonest. I would not want a nurse like that working with me or taking care of me!
    I agree. It's not about school competition and who gets the best grades. I have no issues with that, since i've also been a good student and studied hard. I don't feel jealous of those that get the same grades or higher w/o much studying. I feel the contrary, sorry for them that they are cheating themselves from actually learning more. I don't understand how some people tell me to mind my own business or it's not my problem. It's not my goal to bust out these people. I just think it's wrong, and don't get why some don't see the bigger picture. As you pointed out, it can create a problem for more people. Some say these cheaters won't pass the NCLEX, but how can we be sure they won't find a way to pass that also, with cheating? I posted links above about how other health professions have experienced cheating on licensing tests and why wouldn't it possibly happen with nursing? Or maybe not cheating but a lucky strike? As someone said, tests may not completely reflect all knowledge, but if a person studies alot in school, they acquire more knowledge and are prepared to be a nurse, more than simply answering questions on a test. The people who cheat are most likely less inclined to study much at all, so they really cannot compare to those who studied hard all thru school. I for one, would not one of these cheating nurses to end taking care of a family member or friend. If they like cheating at school, why wouldn't they want to cut corners at work?
  13. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from MiaNJ
    The instructor(s) have not openly discussed this, but it is more than obvious when they collect and count exams that they will be using the same ones again, and if they thought it was ok for students to share questions/answers with new incoming student who will take the same tests, then they would just return the tests to us. But we only get the scantron back.
    They just assume that we can't possibly remember all test questions and since we are not supposed to write down the answer key or questions during review. I guess they don't think that people do have friends in other semester levels or make friends. If sharing questions was encouraged, then that means every new semester students will just find it easier and easier and much less inclined to study the material in depth. Why would someone spend hours/days studing pathophysiology for example, when they could easily memorize the questions they knew were going to be on the test? I don't think this would be a responsible act on the part of any nursing school, to send out graduates that really don't know their stuff, and just memorized a bunch of questions/answers. They most likely will not do good on the NCLEX and this can also make the school look bad.
    It seems like you are making a lot of assumptions here about what your instructor(s) would or wouldn't consider cheating. It isn't necessaily black and white. There is a grey area here. I was just sharing that when we openly asked our instructor, we were suprised at the response. She did not consider telling a classmate something like, "I think there is a question on antisocial personality disorder and its relationship to alcohol consumption," to be cheating. In fact, she encouraged this kind of dialogue by having the best previous students coach new students on the content of upcoming exams. She did consider cheating to be sneakily writing down the test questions and providing a written document with questions and answers to other students. Despite having this policy, and using the same exams year after year, grades have not been increasing.

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