Quote from Daytonite
The "deal" with group projects is not only to give you the opportunities to practice and learn how to function within a group and as a team member, but to also learn to exercise skills in leadership, managment and communication. RNs are not just "hands-on" nurses. They become involved in any number of groups in the course of their professional careers: committees, special projects, staff meetings, supervision and leadership of various types of teams. Depending on the facility or organization where you will be working you may be called upon to head up special projects or, at the least, to be a member of such project teams. This is all part of being a member of a profession. The higher your training and designation, the more of this kind of activity that is expected of you.
Group behavior is a study within psychology. One of my first classes in my BSN completion program was a formal course in group behavior. It included several group projects, a term paper, reading of Eric Berne's book Games People Play and study and analysis of both interpersonal communication techniques and the behavior of individuals within groups.
If you are unconvinced this isn't serious subject matter as well as a skill that needs to be learned, read some of the posts in the First Year in Nursing and Geriatric and LTC forums where new or inexperienced charge nurses are having problems getting along with either co-workers or those they supervise. Your happiness and survival on a future job just may depend on any skills and experience you are able to absorb and learn from participation in class group projects. Like any school assignment, if there are problems, go to your instructors with the intention of seeking their assistance in strategies to get a project completed. I guarantee that during your nursing career you will butt heads with both patients and other nurses who will be difficult to interact with. In many cases, you will be called upon or expected to use your skills to "deal" with them. A lot of times the Buck is going to stop with you.
With all due respect, the difference between nursing school projects and real world projects, is that in the real world if a team member is not pulling their weight and they do not produce, they will be the first to be let go.
In my past career I managed a multi-million dollar sales territory. I led a diverse team, comprised of an inside sales person, many engineers and a project manager. It took the input of every person to get the job done smoothly and have the client happy at the project completion. Should someone not pull their weight, the project would be compromised. This would result in a credit to the client for their inconvenience -- hitting my bottom line, and as a result my paycheck. :trout: I made darn sure I chose my team players carefully.
In nursing school we are often assigned to a team NOT of our choosing. I have yet to see any adverse repercussions for team members on group projects who do not pull their weight. While I agree that it is a valuable lesson to work in a team, I get very frustrated when my grade is adversely effected by slackers.
Sorry, but school group projects are my pet-peeve.