Quote from PediRN2B2006
As a nursing student in my next to last semester in school, I feel ill prepared for the career that lies ahead of me. It seems to me that my school cares much more about keeping a high NCLEX pass rate than it does in producing capable and caring nurses. I went into the program excited and ready to soak up as much information as possible. I have kept a high GPA and do not complain about the amount of work I have to do at all. It is more the fact that in our BSN program, we spend so little time in clinicals that I feel I cannot apply what I do learn.
I also feel this "us against them" mentality coming from most of our professors. For example, many people missed a lecture a few weeks ago. I rarely miss class. However, these 2 weeks were horrendous with papers and tests coming out of the wazoo. I was hovering on a C in my psych class so I stayed home that morning to study so I could be fresh for the 1:00pm test. I take full responsibility for making this decision. What our lectures usually consist of is having a powerpoint presentation read verbatim to us anyway. Well, the instrutors who lectured took the lack of attendence personally and refused to give notes, made up out there questions for the test which have nothing to do with nursing (for example, what country is instructor x's son adopted from). I just feel, instead of trying to punish, could they try to understand maybe that the day before we had a 50 page paper due in another class and later that day we had a major test? Could they perhaps make their classes worth coming to? Honestly, I do not need notes read to me. I can do that on my on time. I need to be taught something.
On top of this being the hardest semester of them all, we have a clinical instructor who has a years long history of being incompetant, racist, and abusive. Yet, all the school does is move her from one course to another instead of doing something to improve the situation. I know there is an instructor shortage, but come on, students need more than just a warm body to guide them on this journey.
The instructors write their own test questions. Now some are very good at this. Others write incoherent misspelled questions in which one has to use the eeny-meeney-miney-moe answering method. I answer hundreds of NCLEX questions and get most right, I did extremely well on my practice HESI exam. On their tests, I will answer something I learned from the textbook or by answering an NCLEX question and these people will say, "well if you see conflicting info in what is in the text and what we say, go with us" (even if it is blatantly wrong). It is frustrating. I don't take tests anymore thinking, what is the best thing I would do for my patient based on evidenced based practice, but what would instructor X want? And of course, this is something different than what instructor y would want.
I remember my first week in the program and going to my assessment skills lab. We were told the following "I don't want to be here, I hate teaching this lab. If you have a question, look at the book or ask someone who knows." Wow, I did not know the impact of that statement at the time. But, I know it now. Assessment is THE BASIS of the nursing process and the most important set of skills a nurse can pocess. I feel cheated of a good education at this point.
Is this just my school, or is this a nationwide problem? If so, what can be done to improve this? What can we do to make nurses fell at least somewhat prepared and competant upon graduation?
:angryfire First off, let me assure you that you are not alone. Years ago (1988) when I was fresh out of high school and a new nursing student, I came across the same problem. Being a young male in nursing school was very difficult for me- I didn't so much mind the work, but when you're constantly singled out for everything INCORRECT that you do and nothing you do right...it can damage the psyche a little. I was a student in a 3 year diploma program and it didn't take long for me to get fed up and leave.
Now it's 17years later, I'm an experienced paramedic, and I have had my share of bad instruction like you mentioned above.
Many of the nurses I work with who came from 4 year programs share your feelings - telling me that it's much more "theory" than "practice". And as for instructors...let's say this: Your instructor can do the things you mention above AT LIBERTY. It's almost a joke. As with any college professor, they can condense an entire semesters learning to 5 pages in one book. They take all the info from, say, Kozier pages 303-309. And there are instructors who do just that. Obviously reliability and validity in examination means little to those instructors!
Clinicals are handled the same way, with some of the absolute worst nurses ever to grace the profession working as your instructors on the floor. Now they are few and far between, but they're out there.
Keep telling yourself "I'm gonna make it through this"....and stick to your guns. If an instructor tells you you're wrong..ask why. If you're not satisfied with the answer go over and above her head. You bang on enough doors you will get results.
Oh, and make sure to let the school know EXACTLY what you think of your instructors at the faculty evaluations at the end of the semester.
Best of luck.
Paramedic / Nursing student:chuckle