Question about nursing program testing policies

  1. I was wondering if anyone had any information/advice on their nursing schools testing policies/procedures?

    Also, if anyone has any advice for my situation below, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I go to a two year community college nursing program. Our testing is done independently. You have an alloted time frame after a unit of study is finished to go to the testing center and take the unit exam on the computer. You are NOT allowed to make-up a missed test under any circumstances. You could be hospitalized and they would still say "too bad".

    The background (or rant, whichever fits)for this question is this:

    Last year, I failed the first semester of my second year of nursing school. It was a clinical failure, and by getting a job as a CNA I improved my skills and was confident in returning to school. I had no problems in the academic portion, and passed. I still had to repeat the entire year.

    I returned to the program this fall, and was doing well. My grades are nothing to brag about, but pretty good for me. In October I came down with bronchitis. I was sick enough to be in the hospital, but things didn't come to that. So I was out for a week and when I returned to class I was still sick and pretty busy with trying to catch up on my lectures, prepare for clinical, and study for an upcoming test. I was concentrating so hard on studying (I have A.D.D. so I have the pleasure of trying extra hard just to get a C+) that I didn't notice the date and missed the last day that I was allowed to take the test. I notified my adviser from the program, she brought the problem up with the other professors, and of course they denied me a make-up or replacement assignment. After this, I needed to get at least 90's on all remaining exams and an 86 on the final to barely pass the semester. So far I have gotten two 78's (I have two unit exams left and the final on the 19th). I now need even better grades to pass, which is nearly impossible for me because of my learning disability. I have gone to the program tutor to improve my grades and contacted the disability services at my school, but they cannot do anything about the program's policies. Most recently I wrote to the dean of the health profession programs at my school. Today I received a reply from him saying that he feels the testing policy is fair and agrees with the professors that my situation does not warrant a make-up. I am most likely going to fail again, which does great for my self esteem, and my motivation to go to another school.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   RNinJune2007
    While I do not have any advice for your current situation (sorry it must be very frustrating!!), I have to ask... are you medicating for your A.D.D? My first two semesters of nursing school, I struggled to get my 80 (the pass grade), and then found out I had A.D.D.

    I am SO much more able to study just with 10 MG (the smallest amt you can get, I believe) of Methylphenidate whenever I have trouble focusing. I also take one about an hour before the tests. I have raised my grades from low 80's on each test studying hours and hours to getting 88 on EACH AND EVERY exam this semester with barely any studying (not that I suggest not studying! It just comes so much more easily now!).

    If you do not have a medication to take, and would not be opposed to it, I would highly suggest getting just a little. For the last two semesters, I have used my initial bottle of 10mg of Ritalin BID PRN (so that is 60 pills... lasting me two semesters)... I am finally down to the single digits and will be refilling soon for my fifth and FINAL semester
  4. by   funsizedliv
    Quote from RNinJune2007
    While I do not have any advice for your current situation (sorry it must be very frustrating!!), I have to ask... are you medicating for your A.D.D? My first two semesters of nursing school, I struggled to get my 80 (the pass grade), and then found out I had A.D.D.

    I am SO much more able to study just with 10 MG (the smallest amt you can get, I believe) of Methylphenidate whenever I have trouble focusing. I also take one about an hour before the tests. I have raised my grades from low 80's on each test studying hours and hours to getting 88 on EACH AND EVERY exam this semester with barely any studying (not that I suggest not studying! It just comes so much more easily now!).

    If you do not have a medication to take, and would not be opposed to it, I would highly suggest getting just a little. For the last two semesters, I have used my initial bottle of 10mg of Ritalin BID PRN (so that is 60 pills... lasting me two semesters)... I am finally down to the single digits and will be refilling soon for my fifth and FINAL semester

    Yeah, I started out on 20mg of Adderal QD, I usually only take it for school and work because I dont want to become tolerant of the dose (just finished my drug abuse lecture, can you tell?). Unfortunately I found that while the adderall worked very well in the morning shortly after taking it (only if I dont eat anything) it was wearing off towards the later afternoon. so my doctor has me on 20mg B.I.D now. I wish I had these medications when I first started school, I would have been a much better student.
  5. by   Daytonite
    i can't give you any advice about your school's policies except to say that, in general, most places follow their policies to the letter in order to be fair to all.

    i also went to an aa program where we tested independently, just as you do. we had deadlines we had to meet in getting those tests completed. all i can suggest is that you start making a calendar of some sort that you can refer to on a daily basis where you write these deadlines in, so there is no doubt in your mind as to when they are coming up. i am back in school again and the first thing i do before going to any new class is compose a calendar that includes the add and drop dates as well as the holidays that i get from the official school schedule. this calendar goes into the front of my notebook for that class. when i get the syllabus i start adding the days that tests and other important assignments are scheduled for. we just had a big tragedy in one of my classes last week where about half the students didn't have an important paper that was supposed to be turned in that was clearly marked due last week on our syllabus. the instructor mentioned that it was due very briefly the week before, but i guess half the students weren't listening. she won't take late papers, that's also in bold-faced capital letters on the syllabus, so they are screwed!

    if you would like information on studying for nursing tests, here are some links:

    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.
    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to choose the correct answer for these application type questions.

    http://www.efn.org/~nurses/ - this is a website maintained by the nursing students at lane community college in eugene, oregon. for study and learning tips specific to nursing students click on "tips for learning" at the left side of this home page.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f50/righ...dy-188919.html - right way to study?

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f50/nurs...er-187954.html
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    Ok, I have a question...do you have a learning disability or ADD? ADD is not a learning disability, it is a behavioral condition. It can cause you not to be able to pay attention that can affect your ability to learn, but it is not a learning disability. If you are ADD I trust that you should currently be taking medication to control it, especially if you say it affects your ability to do your schoolwork.

    Your school has a ridiculous policy. I would appeal all the way up to the President of the college. The Director of the Nursing program does not have the final say.

    To expect any student to go 2 full years and to never be sick on a test day, or be hospitalized, etc...is ridiculous and unreasonable.

    I would fight this one to the death, don't be afraid to go above their heads...because it sounds like you have already failed if you leave it like it is.

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