Students who fail

  1. That time of year again. Where I teach students must have an exam average of 79.5 or higher to pass the class, otherwise it is a D. I have 7/100 students fail this class this year. That is a pretty good pass rate for a first year nursing class, and I'm pround of the passing students. They did well. Yes, they all earned their grade. I don't take blame or credit for bad or good grades. But it REALLY HAS TO SUCK to fail with a 79.4 as in one of my student's cases. It literally came down to missing one too many questions on the final. She earned it herself, but I feel sorry for her just the same. I'm sure there are a few students who passed because they guessed an answer right. But if she hadn't been on the fence all semester, she could have done better. It is still sad.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   ProfRN4
    Needless to say, this is, without a doubt, the worst part of teaching . And this semester has to be worse. It's like..."You fail...Merry Christmas!!!". I can't imagine going home and celebrating the holidays after such a devastation.

    Yes, they all earned their grade. I don't take blame or credit for bad or good grades.
    Oh, how true. Sadly, many do not see it that way tho. We need to draw the line somewhere, and if they don't cut it, they don't cut it.

    And for those students who think we are all cold and heartless, I urge you to think again. I can't tell you how upsetting last week was for me. None of my clinical students failed theory (none of them failed clinical), but seeing the few who did fail theory, and looking at their tear-stained faces was so upsetting. Even the students who passed said they fale sad fot those who did not. Maybe it's because I am still new at this, but I doubt it gets any easier to deal with.
  4. by   NaomieRN
    Why not make the passing grade 79? This is the first time I see an average of 79.5.
  5. by   SarasotaRN2b
    Well, the passing grade is probably an 80 and a 79.5 can be rounded up to 80. If you set it at 79, students getting a 78.5 will expect to pass. Unfortunately, you have to have a limit and stick to it.
  6. by   savedbutterfly
    My class did not round up at all, and although i never failed an nursing class it ws very hard to accept a B when you acually had a 92.9. I always felt for the ones in our class who did not pass and alot of them were my friends, but i never had one of them say it was anyones fault but their own. I think having teachers that understood and felt bad when someone did not pass helped them to believe that the teachers did not just have it out for them.
  7. by   NaomieRN
    Quote from SarasotaRN2b
    Well, the passing grade is probably an 80 and a 79.5 can be rounded up to 80. If you set it at 79, students getting a 78.5 will expect to pass. Unfortunately, you have to have a limit and stick to it.
    The reason I said that is because my school passing is 79 and if you get a 78.9, they will not round off. It was odd to see 79.5 as oppose to 80. Majority of the schools I know, do not round off. If 80 was the passing, if you get a 79.5, you will not pass.
  8. by   llg
    It shouldn't ever be "easy" when your students fail, but it does get a little easier to do with time and experience -- at least to fail those students who truly do deserve the failing grade. It is never easy when a student who is sincerely trying to pass the course is unable to do the level of work required in spite of giving it his/her best shot. Those students always break my heart.

    What mystifies me (and makes me angry) are those students who don't put forth much effort throughout the entire semester and receive bad grade after bad grade on assignment after assignment. They "assume" that a good grade on the final exam or final paper or whatever will "save them." Then, at the end of the semester when they haven't done well on the final project to bring up their failing grade, they argue that one score to death, saying, "But that one grade prevents me from passing the course ... and I don't deserve to fail!" If they had been so concerned about their grade back in October, they wouldn't have put themselves in such a position in the first place. I had 2 students like that this semester. At some point, you just don't know what to say them. They missed classes: they didn't follow directions on assignments: etc. and received several failing grades throughout the semester. Yet they never sought help nor took the advice I tried to offer. Now that they have failed the course, it's my fault for not allowing them to re-do the final paper.
  9. by   nurseangel47
    Nurse Educate: LOVE your moniker visuals, " ' corrupting the minds of future nurses!' " TEEHEE!
  10. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from llg
    what mystifies me (and makes me angry) are those students who don't put forth much effort throughout the entire semester and receive bad grade after bad grade on assignment after assignment. they "assume" that a good grade on the final exam or final paper or whatever will "save them." then, at the end of the semester when they haven't done well on the final project to bring up their failing grade, they argue that one score to death, saying, "but that one grade prevents me from passing the course ... and i don't deserve to fail!" if they had been so concerned about their grade back in october, they wouldn't have put themselves in such a position in the first place. i had 2 students like that this semester. at some point, you just don't know what to say them. they missed classes: they didn't follow directions on assignments: etc. and received several failing grades throughout the semester. yet they never sought help nor took the advice i tried to offer. now that they have failed the course, it's my fault for not allowing them to re-do the final paper.
    you make a very good point. while it may seem like only one point (the average at the end) it is hard for them to rationalize that perhaps they needed about 5 more points on the final to bring up their average to a passing grade. it is very complicated. but, as many have said, you have to draw the line somewhere, whch is why we have a point system.

    also, i really feel with some (not all) that there is this sense of denial, or invincibility: "not me, i will not fail, all i need is one test to pull me up". but if they have been dong poorly all along, it is virtually impossible to pull it up. where i work, it is a very small school. we council those in danger of failing very early on. we advise them to drop, to avoid the failing grade from appearning on their transcripts, and they could start fresh again. those who were in danger did not take the advice, and sadly, ended up failing , and cannot return next semester, b/c their gpa is way too low now. that's what a 6 or 8 credit nursing class will do.
  11. by   puggymae
    In the program I teach passing is 78%. When students fail with a 77% they lament "I only needed one point." Or "I failed by one question." When in fact they failed by a whole percentage point which could represent 10-20 points. I have been teaching since 1993 and it still bothers me when they are unsuccessful. This semester I was grading the comps and calculating final scores and I felt like a prisoner in my office until I was finished because 37 students were literally standing outside of my door waiting!
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Whew - can you educators tell me if the positives of teaching outweigh the negatives?

    I have only an MSN and don't want to go back to school for a PhD or a DNP and have considered teaching. I am clinically competent and do like patient care.
  13. by   ProfRN4
    Whew - can you educators tell me if the positives of teaching outweigh the negatives?
    OMG Yes!!! I must say, at the end of this semester, my students made me feel sooooo good. They all brought in a load of goodies on the last clinical day, and gave me a card with a giftcard. While the money was nice it was what they rote on the card that just put me on cloud nine. They all told me how much they learned, and how they loved my teaching style and I did not make them feel nervous and was so patient. It was such an unbelievable feeling. And after the semester I had, between working, finishing school and dealing with life, it made it all worth it.

    Right now, I am on the fence about doctoral studies. It will likely be inevitable, but right now, I just cannot do it. I need to take a break. If someone puts a gun to my head, then I'll have to do it.
  14. by   sewgold10
    It just seems to me that if the students aren't putting forth real effort in class or clinicals then they don't really understand what being a nurse is. It isn't the same as graphic design or auto mechanics: no one will die if they don't come to work or are hung over. Nope, I tell my students that I intend to help them be the kind of nurse I want taking care of my mother, that adequacy is not a standard I care to promote in nursing. Call me tough, I don't care. I will not encourage the "warm body syndrome". I've seen too many nurses who should have gone into some other field, but somehow they passed boards.

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