Why are nursing instructors mean?

  1. 0
    I am not in nursing school yet, but am hearing horror stories from other students about the instructors. I've heard it from many students and they say that some (I realize NOT ALL), will pick apart certain students, fail them in a clinical without explanation, etc. They have even gone to the dean of students, and nothing is done. I don't quite understand this mentality of teaching, and I am terrified to start my clinicals......

    Any insight on this?
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  3. 44 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I know that where I went to college they just cannot fail you for no reason, there must be an explanation...like missing to many hours etc. I know that most nursing programs are extremely structured. I did not have mean instructors even though many other people thought they were mean. I just did what I was suppose to do and I was fine. Just go by the rules and you will fine and did I mention study, study, study!
  5. 21
    Of course there are some instructors who aren't very nice ... or very fair ... or very skilled at teaching ...etc. -- just as there are always a few "bad apples" in any profession.

    When you read those posts, you have to remind yourself that very few students who do poorly in a class and/or flunk out of school say, "Oh, that was my fault for not working hard enough." or "I realize that I did not follow the guidelines." or anything like that. The overwhelming majority of students who do poorly in school will blame the teacher. So ... a lot of the posters complaining about the teachers are really struggling students whose judgment about their teacher's performance is a bit biased.

    Nursing is a profession that involves taking responsibility for the health and safety of other people. The standards of performance are high and rarely allow the student much room for not meeting those standards. For many students, it is the first time in their lives in which "being nice" and "being average" is not enough. There may be less "extra credit" or "second chances" available for students who don't perform well the first time -- just as in practice, there is no second chance if you hurt a patient. As some students struggle with this reality, they blame their faculty. Sometimes, that blame is justified -- but many times, it is not.

    Good luck,
    llg
    hzjess87, GrnTea, IUstudent, and 18 others like this.
  6. 2
    I have loved all the ones that I have had the pleasure of being taught by.

    there are some bad ones i hear, but there are so many great ones too.
    xtxrn and jpRN84 like this.
  7. 2
    Quote from llg
    When you read those posts, you have to remind yourself that very few students who do poorly in a class and/or flunk out of school say, "Oh, that was my fault for not working hard enough." or "I realize that I did not follow the guidelines." or anything like that. The overwhelming majority of students who do poorly in school will blame the teacher.
    I agree. It's always easier to blame someone else than to blame yourself.
    xtxrn and cardiacRN2006 like this.
  8. 3
    Form your own opinions about your instructors. I remember hearing horror stories about instructors when I was in school. But given a fair chance, I really liked most of them...even loved a few. Its the same with your patients after you get out in the real world. The nurse before me might think they are the grouchiest, meanest person in the world but I find them to be charming.

    Vickie :hatparty:
    xtxrn, Spidey's mom, and sicushells like this.
  9. 5
    I think labeling certain instructors as "mean" is entirely subjective to the individual. I've had many instructors that others termed "mean" and found they were some of the best instructors I had. They made you work hard and think critically, but that doesn't imply that they're "mean." It's all based on personal opinion. Don't believe everything you hear. Find out for yourself.
    GrnTea, xtxrn, blueyesue, and 2 others like this.
  10. 1
    Prior to college, a lot of students have an external locus of control. Basically, nothing's their fault. In college, and especially nursing, one must develop an internal control. I know there are exceptions, but most nursing instructors are tough at times due to how tough nursing is. It's alot of information, and you learn a whole new way of thinking. Any instructor wants to know that they have turned out excellent, skilled nurses. In my experience, they can be tough, but they are usually very supportive as well. The differences between nursing school and nursing practice are many, and just one of those is that you won't have anyone to cover your butt. I feel like the first couple of semesters are the hardest due to one becoming acquainted with the new information. Most of the comments I hear about horrible instructors come from those in the early parts of the program, after that, they may have the same instructor for a different class, and they love them. Ok, I'm rambling now, hope this has been somewhat of a help!
    ETA: Good luck!!!
    GrnTea likes this.
  11. 2
    It's all subjective. I overheard a student who was in my class talking about a A&P insturctor, that we both at at the same time. "He was terrible, he gave me a D and now I have to repeat it because of him". I made an A and thought he was the most dynamic instructor I've had for co-req courses.

    Fortunately my instructors were all good in nursing school, not a vicious one in the bunch.

    There will be people with genuine horror stories about insturctors and they are true. Hopefully, they are few and far between.

    Best advice, work hard, know your stuff, and form your own opinions about your instructors.
    Spidey's mom and hikernurse like this.
  12. 0
    It depends what you mean by "mean." But my nursing instructors were some of the kindest, most knowledgeable people I've ever met. I think information grows by rumor- one intructor telling a student she shouldn't wear hot-pink undies under her white nursing uniform can grow into "and she yelled at her in front of the whole ward!"

    Keep in mind that nursing students, like any students, can do dumb things and be told off for it, from showing up drunk to evening clinical to spending an hour arguing over a point on the test. This telling off then grows... even the ones who I heard horror stories about were sensible, nice people when approached the right way.

    In other words, if that's all that's keeping you from applying to nursing school... don't let it!!


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