Why are so many people dropping out or failing Nursing school? - page 2

I have heard of classes starting with like 60 students then only 15 graduating at the end.Why does this happen? Whats the harderst thing about Nursing school and how can You successfully finish... Read More

  1. by   richardjboro1
    that link didn't work previous poster.

    In regards to NS, I feel the same as at least one other said. It's really NOT that hard if you can deal with the "busy work". It's all about deadlines and focusing on the next task. I've never been more organized and on a schedule. Each day is planned carefully and down to the minute generally. Other than that, it's a LOT of material, but if broken down correctly, by great instructors (most of which we have) then it's manageable. Good luck to us all!

    Richard
  2. by   mistydave
    I think they are dropping because they have extremely bad attitudes from the start. We had a whole bunch of trouble makers in the beginning of our class, loud mouths, telling off the teachers, threatening other students, every one of them failed. I figure unless they have some major attitude changed, they don't have any place being there.
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    There are multiple reasons why. A few, if you will:

    1. Most schools are rated on their NCLEX passing standards for graduates. In that case, anybody that doesn't actually graduate, doesn't count. There IS no incentive to reduce attrition.

    2. Many programs use arbitrary admission standards, including the worst of all: lotteries for admission. The result is the need to resolve issues after matriculation, at the worst possible time as far as preserving seats.

    3. Many instructors view themselves as gatekeepers to nursing, tasked with a florence-like devotion to weed out undesirables. Since there is no penalty for doing so, the result is high attrition.

    Average nursing school attrition is 20-40% with some programs reporting routine attrition as high as 70%.

    California did a study on this, and I'll find the link later. When schools actually TRY to reduce attrition, they can get attrition down to 10% with 6% being unavoidable attrition (students drop for personal reasons not related to the program or their academic standing) and 4% related to school related issues.

    The solution is that, in addition to scoring programs on the basis of NCLEX pass rates, programs should be graded on attrition.

    Programs that keep attrition under 10% should be rated as excellent. Programs that keep attrition under 12% as good. Programs that keep attrition under 20% as acceptable. Programs that allow over 20% attrition should be placed on probation.

    Bottom line: a program that allows greater than 20% attrition is not the result of a failure of students but of a failure of the program, itself.

    Rating programs based on attrition would force programs to front load success: they would be more interested in only accepting students already proven TO BE nursing material

    Rating programs would force schools to carefully look at each individual drop: no more instructors bias about who is nursing material. Wasting precious program seats is NOT the right place to determine nursing material - the admissions process IS.

    Rating programs would bring more minority candidates into nursing. A MAJOR consideration of whether to pursue a long term goal is the viability of attaining that goal. Arbitrary attrition could and SHOULD make most candidates wary about success. Many candidates feel that, given a chance, they WILL be successful. What about candidates concerned that attrition might not be completely arbitrary? It CERTAINLY isn't out of reach to suggest that some programs just do not care who gets dropped so long as the almighty NCLEX pass rate is maintained. Knowing that getting TO the front door creates a high probability of getting to the finish line might invite more diverse applicants to attempt to knock on the front door of nursing.

    The answer to your question is arbitrary attrition is allowed because it isn't penalized. The solution is to penalize it, or, more to the point, to grade the programs based on attrition.

    I'll say this again: 20% attrition should be viewed as an utter failure of a nursing program itself. That program should be placed on academic probation and heads should roll until it stops failing its students, and its communities.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  4. by   APBT mom
    The class I'm in started with 48. 3 people dropped for medical reasons, 1 dropped because of travel distance and 8 people failed out. Two failed out today alone and there may be others next week. It's not only that the program is fast paced but it requires alot of independant studying and the ones who failed out due to grades were more worried about partying or waited until the last minute to study. We were told when we started the proram by the time we graduated there would only be half of us left and we have five months left and 36 students and hopefully it stays that way. Although there are still a handful of students that the majority of the class is wondering how they've managed to ake it this far.
  5. by   Monica D
    I can easily see how easy it would be to fall behind and end up dropping due to being overwhelmed with trying to keep up.

    My father died the Sunday following the first week of class and he lived out of state from me. I was faced with grieving for my father and having no choice but to miss class to be at the services. I ended up having to make up my first exam and quiz, then do a make up lab as well. Of course, at the same time I was having to keep up with where we were at at that time as well. I got off to a rough start and when we were given our grades last Monday (Sept. 10th), I had only an 80% which is the minimum to stay in the program. I made up the first quiz, finished the lab, and scored 100% on last week's quiz and 100% on this week's exam and now my grade is up to a 90% and we still have one more exam to take next Monday that will factor into our grade for the first five weeks, which is Nursing 101. After that exam, those who do not have 80% will be dismissed.

    I'm very proud of myself for pulling up from a low B to a low A, but it took perserverence and help and understanding from my wonderful instructors to get me there. It was very important to my Dad that I stay with it, do good, and finish nursing school, so that was my kick in the rear to get me moving when I fell behind. Otherwise, I probably would have considered it a bad omen and just let it go and drop out. I also waited too many years to have the opportunity to do this.

    Things happen, life happens and not everyone can stick with it. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes people drop or fail because they simply weren't meant to be a nurse or sometimes they just need a second chance.
  6. by   deeDawntee
    Quote from Monica D
    I can easily see how easy it would be to fall behind and end up dropping due to being overwhelmed with trying to keep up.

    My father died the Sunday following the first week of class and he lived out of state from me. I was faced with grieving for my father and having no choice but to miss class to be at the services. I ended up having to make up my first exam and quiz, then do a make up lab as well. Of course, at the same time I was having to keep up with where we were at at that time as well. I got off to a rough start and when we were given our grades last Monday (Sept. 10th), I had only an 80% which is the minimum to stay in the program. I made up the first quiz, finished the lab, and scored 100% on last week's quiz and 100% on this week's exam and now my grade is up to a 90% and we still have one more exam to take next Monday that will factor into our grade for the first five weeks, which is Nursing 101. After that exam, those who do not have 80% will be dismissed.

    I'm very proud of myself for pulling up from a low B to a low A, but it took perserverence and help and understanding from my wonderful instructors to get me there. It was very important to my Dad that I stay with it, do good, and finish nursing school, so that was my kick in the rear to get me moving when I fell behind. Otherwise, I probably would have considered it a bad omen and just let it go and drop out. I also waited too many years to have the opportunity to do this.

    Things happen, life happens and not everyone can stick with it. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes people drop or fail because they simply weren't meant to be a nurse or sometimes they just need a second chance.
    WOW!! Way to go!
  7. by   deeDawntee
    I see nursing school as a series of hurdles for people to clear. It is all about weeding people out. People leave or fail for so many different reasons.

    One thing that I saw trip several people up was the scrutiny and the criticism of doing the first skill labs, like making beds and washing hands. Some people just couldn't let go of their egos or attitude about being told EXACTLY how to do something that they failed out that way. Some very bright and promising people just couldn't do it.

    The truth is that I don't know if I want someone in nursing who is not able to follow detailed protocols and think they should be able to do things "their way". Know what I mean?
  8. by   vickynurse
    This is a very interesting thread and I find agreement with many of the posts. Most of the time people leave our program because life gets in the way. We have a very liberal policy about taking them back within 12 months if they feel they can make it work.

    That said, we do accept a lot of marginal applicants with the philosophy of providing an opportunity to become a nurse to anyone who MIGHT make it through. Some of these weak students make it through with lots of hard work on their part and the part of the faculty. However, many of the weaker applicants / students do not rebound as a result of life challenges no matter what we or they do.

    I can't keep myself from commenting on william5703's post.

    Quote from william5703
    I think most people drop out of nursing school at first because the first few semesters can seem practically stupid. You want to be learning how to do all the cool stuff, like IVs, meds, etc. Instead they teach you how to make beds and give baths...basically CNA stuff (no offense). It does get better you just have to stick it out. Like someone else said, most of it is busy work, but that's how a BSN program is different. You won't think you need it at the time, but most of the stuff I thought was busy work has come back to help me at times. Nursing school isn't hard as long as you have the motivation and desire, that's just my thoughts!
    A substantial part of being an RN is supervising the work of the nursing assistants and being RESPONSIBLE for their work. Unless you know HOW to do their tasks and have WALKED in their shoes for at least a few short weeks, it is impossible to be an effective and respected leader. If you respect them, they will respect you.

    I'm glad those 'busy work' assignments have proven to be of value down the road for you. We faculty certainly don't want to spend our time designing and grading assignments that don't improve the long term success of our graduates!

    Good luck to all of the students who have posted here. There is a lot of good advice to be had in this thread.
  9. by   Bala Shark
    Quote from caliotter3
    Sometimes students get on the wrong side of someone or several someones who have power over their progress in their respective programs. It is hard to believe, but there are occasionally instructors who develop personal issues with certain students, or this can develop in the clinical setting with staff nurses and preceptors, and the student is doomed. My school had at least one of these instructors and the wise students learned to avoid her like the plague (she had observable mental problems). Sorry to say that things like this happen, but sometimes people fall victim to these circumstances.
    Yea, I remember when I was at school..An instructor from a clinical rotation gave me bad marks and during my last semester of school, the instructor who gave me the bad marks told every clinical instructor to fail me..

    Well I did not fail and the instructor who had me in the last semester, asked me "Why should I fail you?" Then I gave her your explanation, lol..She got mad and cussed me out..LOL

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