Good Grades=Bad Nurse?

  1. Yesterday, my psychology instructor (who also happens to head the nursing program) indicated that students with a 3.5 GPA would make better researchers than caregivers because of lack of "bedside manners". She claimed research indicates that "C" students make better nurses.
    Am I supposed to quit studying and earning those "A's" in order to be a better nurse? (of course not, rhetorical question...) Why does that fact that I happen to do well in my studies supposedly negate my ability to be a quality caregiver? It seems to me, that in addition to the bedside aspect, a good knowledge of the subject at hand (which is what good grades indicate) is desirable in a nurse.
    Why the generalization that you can't be both smart and caring?



    Cyndi
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   CATHYW
    Bull hockey! That is a ridiculous, prejudicial, elitist, blanket assumption! Of all the gall! I was an A student-twice-LPN and ADN. I have always wanted to right there in the thick of it-procedures, trauma, etc. It does help to have good critical thinking skills and to be able to do things in a New York minute in those areas. Maybe my grades helped, maybe my personality. I'm sure I worked with some "C" nurses in the ER-I never asked them. There, they either show what they are made of, or move on. Do not let anyone tell you that you can't do anything, or that you "have" to do something, because of your grades. That is absurd!
  4. by   meownsmile
    My sentiments exactly. I dont buy this one at all, who knows where her "research" came from.
    Bedside manner has nothing to do with GPA.
  5. by   NurzofFaith
    Graduating is important of course, passing NCLEX is way important, but GPA doesnt make the nurse! My classmates with high GPAs didnt stand out as stellar nurses nor were they without bedside manner, they were book smart. One specifically freaked out in the clinical setting and wanted someone to hold her hand..but she learned and got over it
    I also had classmates who were B/C students who were the same as the higher grade students.

    What's that saying.. ABC= RN

    I have yet to have any patient when I was attending school grab me by the arm and ask what grades I made. They knew I was confident and competent and that is what mattered!!

    Just my thoughts....Channa

    P.S. I also had a few classmates that were laughed at and made into bets at how long it would take before they are eaten alive or kill someone...that has nothing to do with GPA, it has to do with the person!
  6. by   StudentSandra
    originally posted by tmcmom
    yesterday, my psychology instructor (who also happens to head the nursing program) indicated that students with a 3.5 gpa would make better researchers than caregivers because of lack of "bedside manners". she claimed research indicates that "c" students make better nurses. cyndi
    this really ticks me off was this said in front of the whole class? was she being serious? could it have been said to boost the esteem of those not making good grades? it's bad enough i've had to hear this crap from students that are just bairly passing but from the head of the program....what a crock of sh*t!!! i've never told someone that barely passed (or didn't) that they weren't smart enough to be good nurses.....so why is it some of these same folks always jump on the a's don't make good nurses bandwagon? i am livid now grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Last edit by StudentSandra on May 21, '02
  7. by   PhantomRN
    The stereotype is if you are book smart you cant be a good bedside nurse. How absurd.

    Have that instructor put her money where her mouth and produce this "research."
  8. by   TMCmom
    Originally posted by StudentSandra
    This really ticks me off Was this said in front of the whole class? Was she being serious? Could it have been said to boost the esteem of those NOT making good grades? It's bad enough I've had to hear this crap from students that are just bairly passing but from the head of the program....what a crock of sh*t!!! I've never told someone that barely passed (or didn't) that they weren't smart enough to be good nurses.....so why is it some of these same folks always jump on the A's don't make good nurses bandwagon? I am livid now Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    She was serious. The topic came up after a discussion about affirmative action. That moved to the topic of open enrollment and then on to grades.
    I'm not saying someone with good grades is automatically a good nurse. But, sheesh, to hear that C students make the best nurses isn't what I call incentive to excel.
  9. by   crnasomeday
    I totally agree with what everyone else is saying, and especially liked StudentSandra's comments. It's irritating to hear from everyone else how the A you worked hard to get doesn't really matter, but it would be especially disturbing to be hearing that from an instructor. And I would definitely have to employ some critical thinking there as PhantomRN said and ask, "Just exactly where do you get that research?" because I would want to see it before I believe it. I was an A student, even graduated suma cum laude, but I know that I am not lacking in bedside manner. I really care about my patients, and I work hard to let them know that I care and they matter to me. What an entire crock!
  10. by   Sleepyeyes
    Gee, I only had a 3.298 GPA. Missed the honor roll by 0.002 of a point.

    Now I wonder.....
    Was it because I had a better bedside manner?

    Or because I worked full-time as a CNA in addition to carrying a full academic load?

    Was my GPA because I CLEP'd out of a couple courses (thereby not receiving as much credit as students who felt compelled to take them)?

    Or because I was too "stupid" to care about GPA's and pad it with "easy A" courses?

    Hmmmmmmm......?

    Well, no matter. Research's loss is bedside's gain. :roll

    Moral: Give your all to whatever you do and hold your head high. Don't let anyone steal your dream. :kiss
  11. by   peaceful2100
    The head of the nursing program is full of BS. Just because your GPA was 3.5 or greater does not mean you will lack bedside manners. The nurse who was a C average nurse can also easily lack beside manners as well.

    Nurses with wonderful bedside manners come from the A range to the C range spectrum just like nurses with horrible bedside manners come from the A range to the C range spectrum. This instructor is totally clueless.

    For some people they do everything they can to make the best grade possible. Some do so because they want to do so for scholarship purposes and some do it because they want to do so because they did not do it in high school, some do it because they take great pride in their work and want make the best grade possible.
  12. by   ageless
    What makes or breaks a nurse is good critical thinking skills. It isn't enough to be able to reguritate information Some students are good test takers, some are not. The ability to apply the knowledge in a clinical situation is the goal.
  13. by   live4today
    Originally posted by ageless
    What makes or breaks a nurse is good critical thinking skills. It isn't enough to be able to reguritate information. Some students are good test takers, some are not. The ability to apply the knowledge in a clinical situation is the goal.
    I agree with you, ageless. Just because a student makes excellent grades does not mean they will be able to apply what they test well on in the physical environment of their chosen career, nor does it mean that they won't be able to apply what they learn in their chosen career field (i.e. nursing). There are excellent test takers due to their ability to comprehend what they read, retain what they read, and recall what they have read when taking tests. These same students MAY fumble in the clinical setting because application does not come as easy to them as comprehension when test taking. THIS IS TOTALLY AN INDIVIDUAL PROCESS OF LEARNING AND APPLYING. Although I was an excellent student, my greatest performance came in being able to apply what I learned in the clinical setting. I've seen with my own eyes what that instructor was trying to relay to her students. Perhaps her ability to relay to her students what she felt came across totally different and insensitive, but you would have to be able to 'see' in action what that instructor really tried to relay to the class to grasp the whole of what she was sharing with the class.
  14. by   Randall
    Sad---especially from the instructor. Usually the students that make these comments are making "C's". I say congratulations to all who are able to make good grades and pass clinical---isn't that the goal while in school?
    dotrandall

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