How to fail clinical - page 3

by cnmbfa

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This is from a document I post for my students at the start of clinical. Doing any of these things will probably result in failing clinically. Remember, we faculty have wide leeway in making a call on this. It often boils... Read More


  1. 6
    My first clinical was a nightmare, I had to wear the nurses hat, have my shoulder length hair off my collar, my hair would never stay up and my hat always slid off, my instructor gave me the impression I would fail and then when it was over, she said "you were one of my best students" whew! I'm glad those days gone. There is no reason for an instructor to act like a drill sargent.
    Miss Lizzie, timmedico, joanna73, and 3 others like this.
  2. 4
    I think these are all totally reasonable. I would be willing to follow these rules as a student, But also as a students we should have some expectations of our instructors as well. The main one is to be treated respectfully especially, with all the prereqs, most of us are adult learners, not children at reform school. All nurses should be treated respectfully including showing each other respect and that should start in school.
    Miss Lizzie, DawnJ, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
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    I just saw a fellow student get dismissed today. He was given lots of chances, and instead of really being humble and admitting his shortcomings after the first few incidents, he just kept going. He conveyed a sense of not taking things seriously, he was confused about what paperwork was required, and he didn't ask for help.

    I appreciate your view as an instructor. I think you make a valid point; most instructors are not out to make your life a living hell for no good reason. There is a reason they want you to read all that stuff and do all those assignments. This is not going to be a job where you can just kind of sit at your desk and nurse a hangover or otherwise be distracted.

    These rules are really not that big of a deal. These are the kind of rules you would be expected to follow in the real world, and you could lose your license and your livelihood for doing these things.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Hear hear, regarding clinical instructor behaviors. I had one once where our post meeting regularly consisted of her sobbingly sharing her personal details about her pending divorce and soon-to-be ex-husband. Those who were the most helpful and empathetic ended up with the best grades, strangely. And the amazing thing is, she didn't get fired... she ended up getting promoted to the head of the PN program! Of course, she got fired the next year, for saying to the class, "If you don't like it- [flips the double bird]".
    Fiona59, joanna73, redhead_NURSE98!, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from aileenve
    My first clinical was a nightmare, I had to wear the nurses hat, have my shoulder length hair off my collar, my hair would never stay up and my hat always slid off, my instructor gave me the impression I would fail and then when it was over, she said "you were one of my best students" whew! I'm glad those days gone. There is no reason for an instructor to act like a drill sargent.
    It's called a *CAP*, I tell ya I nurse's *CAP*

    Hats are worn out of doors.

    Whew! Gotta stop drinking that coffee after dinner, it keeps me up late then I pop in here! *LOL*
    BuckyBadgerRN likes this.
  6. 7
    Could add a few more:


    1. Student nurses should follow their instructors not "other" nurses. If your CI wants something done *that* way, then that is how it's done regardless of how nurses on the floor do things. Once you graduate and get a license you're on your own.

    2. Supplies are not a "help yourself" market. That is called theft.

    3. Ask before assuming you are part of the "staff". If there are snacks, a birthday cake or other goodies the nurse's lounge or station ask before just helping yourself.
    timmedico, vintagemother, Fiona59, and 4 others like this.
  7. 2
    I should clarify that for some of these (being unprepared, inability to answer straight forward questions about patho, drugs, etc. or failure to follow up when specifically directed to do so), I am quite tolerant of it happening once or maybe even twice. I know that everyone has a bad day now & then. It becomes a probklem when it happens repeatedly. This document is intended to send a clear message about my expectations, so that students cannot use "I didn't know that being unprepared could lead me to fail clinical."


    After being clearly told that a rumpled (actually, beyond looking like it had been slept in) uniform was not OK, doing it a second time is not good. Neither is coming smelling so awful that I could detect BO within three feet, as could the staff and patients. Yes, I will fail you if you do this; when I let it slide, the person went on to get even worse in the next clinical.

    Students will fail after just one incident of falsifying data (has happened), or of clearly rude, disrespectful, or disruptive behavior.

    I have also had students come to clinical clearly hung over. When I was in school, one of my peers came in drunk! She tried to hide from the instructor. I waited a bit, went to a phone, and called the instructor to tell her where to find her. She was sent to the lab for a BAC level, and was later dismissed from the program.

    I have directly told students to go in and recheck the vital signs, I&O, or pain level and then found out in post conference they simply did not do it. Another one was directed to go the NICU, get certain information about preterm infants, and come back and go over it with the high risk pregnant Mom. This was the second time this person did not do something she was directed to do. Result was a clinical failure. After an appeal to me by another faculty member, I agreed to go back (on my own time) with her for two hours, so she could do the teaching she skipped. I also told her that she had to impress me with her knowledge of the client's condition. When we went back, she did an impressive job. She later thanked me for getting her attention, and went on to do well. I recently ran into her at a conference--she is now a nurse educatior.


    FYI: So far, all but one of the ~8 students I have nfailed (or threatened to fail) have thanked me for doing so. The one who did not was the someone who made up references and plagiarized on several papers.
    Last edit by cnmbfa on Oct 5, '12 : Reason: spelling errors, left out one sentence
    lemmyg and joanna73 like this.
  8. 2
    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    Clinical shoes should NEVER be worn outside of the clinical area!!! NO WAY do I want to take that stuff home to my family!
    Wow.

    Not that it matters, or should even be an issue, I take my shoes off at the door when I get home. I have separate shoes for work than I do for other activities.

    I guess you shouldn't assume things about people you don't know.
    Miss Lizzie and Fiona59 like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    Clinical shoes should NEVER be worn outside of the clinical area!!! NO WAY do I want to take that stuff home to my family!
    If you were to read her post, the hospital parking lot was muddy. She should be barefoot until she gets inside the hospital?
    EJGbranford123 and Miss Lizzie like this.
  10. 1
    Often times instructors and staff nurses forget that students are people. Not some lowlife to be looked down upon or treated like something rented. Students will get frustrated easily due to the stress of being in school. I have noticed often instructors act like their class is the only class you are taking. Sometimes we get conflicting information due to our books not having the same information. If the information conflicts those questions should not be on tests. If an instructor or staff member gets smart with me I give it back in kind. Maybe because I am an older student (nontraditional), or maybe because I am a male and don't go to the bathroom and cry if someone is rude. I have noticed over the years that those that go on a power trip when they are "in charge" of someone are those that have no backbone when dealing with their spouse or peers.

    Guidelines should be in place and clear cut. CI's should be required to follow the same guidelines as the students. Not be a "do as we say, not as we do" situation.

    A pet peeve of mine is do not show me how it is done in the "real world" unless that is how I will be tested on it. I tend to remember more what I see and do rather than what I read.
    EJGbranford123 likes this.


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