In my school a fairly large number of students, including me, have been failed in our clinical courses by arbitrary decisions made by instructors. By "arbitrary decisions" I mean that the instructors are given unrestricted power to fail students without the use of predetermined standards.
In addition, these decisions seem to affect males disproportionately. This is just based on my observations, not statistics, but males appear to make up 10-20% of the students at the school while more than 90% of those failed in these arbitrary decisions are men.
I'm pretty sure gender discrimination is at work here, particularly considering that this school decides which students to admit purely based on academic standards (meaning that the disproportionate number of men being failed cannot be explained away by suggesting that men are simply weaker than women, academically speaking.) All students at this school have about a 4.0 GPA at the start of the program.
In my own experience, the instructor who failed me was very unprofessional, rude, and nasty towards me. This behavior started literally on day one, which I think disproves any possible claim that her ill will towards me was based on anything other than some sort of prejudice. She proceeded to seek out opportunities to misrepresent events in order to make me look bad, presumably so she could build a case against me to fail me.
As an example, on the paperwork with which she officially failed me in the course she vaguely stated that she had a conversation with the RN I was working with that led her to the conclusion that I "lacked initiative." What is interesting is that she made that same accusation to me in person moments after the conversation in question (which I estimate lasted about 15 seconds.) When she made the accusation to me in person, I asked her to clarify what exactly she was basing this assumption on, and she stated that the conclusion that I "lacked initiative" was based on the fact that it had come up in this conversation with the RN that a procedure had been done on my patient and that the RN had done the procedure instead of me.
I only had one RN that I was working with that day, I only had one patient that day, and my patient only had one procedure. At the time of that procedure, the RN asked the patient, "Would you rather have a female [the RN] perform this procedure instead of a male [me]?" And the patient said, "Sure. I guess I'd prefer a female." So this was an example of explicit gender discrimination that was actually cited as a reason for my instructor failing me.
I find the arbitrary nature of these decisions strange. These decisions are made against people who have invested years of their time and thousands of dollars of their money and against people who have succeeded at every step of the way in their educational career, and it is odd to me that all of their hard work can be thrown away purely based upon what appears to be an individual's personal dislike of them.
Can anyone relate to these kinds of experiences? Is this typical of nursing schools?