Is it moral for nursing schools to keep taking tuition if they canít place their - page 2

by chuckster

8,124 Views | 53 Comments

The question was from The Ethicist column in this Sundayís New York Times (found at . As you will see in the column (below), the question addressed law school, however, it is an equally valid question for nursing schools.... Read More


  1. 4
    You cannot buy a job when you pay for tuition. The school just helps you become ELIGIBLE for the job.

    However, I do agree that there is a disconnect. The literature states a shortage exists in certain AREAS of the country and that area may not be where you live. Also, the literature suggests that as the baby boomers retire, there will be plenty of spaces. But we aren't retiring fast enough evidently, as there are many new nurses without jobs. I do not have an answer for you, except to say it is not the fault of the school. All they sell is tuition.
    KelRN215, CP2013, Altra, and 1 other like this.
  2. 2
    Whatever happened to personal responsibility? It it not the school's responsibility to find the student a job. There are many factors that influence finding a job other than education: interviewing skills (we've all seen the thread on what not to do at an interview), salary expectations (I'd be laughed out of the interview if I asked for a New York City salary in my location), job requirements (BSN only, must have x years experience), and many others that are well out of the school's scope.

    Should schools offer help? I think they should. Seminars on interview skills, resume workshops, things like that, yes. Anything more than that should be the graduate's responsibility.

    People should also research the career field they want to study. As we've seen with nursing, there is a glut of new grads and no jobs for them. It hasn't always been like that, and as it seems cyclical, we'll see the days of hospitals begging for nurses again, but people need to research the reality and not believe everything they read in an ad or see in a television commercial.
    Susie2310 and roser13 like this.
  3. 2
    Quote from mappers
    Colleges and Universities for the most part, are not "businesses". They are institutes of higher learning. (Yes there are for-profit schools out there that operate more like businesses, but they are not the most common.) They don't "owe" students anything. You earn a degree by working hard and paying tuition. The only thing they promise is the opportunity for an education.

    Universities are not trade schools either. There is value in a degree beyond the major. I think too many have lost site of this. You learn to think, you learn to research, and to critically read things. You are exposed to schools of thought and ideas you might not otherwise have seen or heard.

    People used to go to college as much for the joy of learning as any other reason. Now they go to find a job. It's very sad.
    While I agree with the bulk of what you say, I differ with you on this point. They are most definitely businesses--hands down.
    Susie2310 and MBARNBSN like this.
  4. 2
    Schools are businesses, just as are hospitals.

    Sure, some of them have altruistic histories and mission statements - and some even donate a substantial amount of their 'product' but they are still businesses.

    Even a not-for-profit business is still a business.
    MBARNBSN and Esme12 like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from chuckster
    The question was from The Ethicist column in this Sunday’s New York Times (found at
    So Sue Me - NYTimes.com.

    As you will see in the column (below), the question addressed law school, however, it is an equally valid question for nursing schools. While there is no doubt that nursing school enrollment has increased significantly, that seems to not necessarily be the case when it comes to job placement of new graduates.

    I frankly agree with the response however, I believe that nursing schools have a responsibility to make their placement statistics clear to entering students. This should be especially true for those high cost program, many of which are offered through the new, for-profit colleges. In my limited experience, it seems that many nursing schools equivocate on the question of jobs for new grads and some simply refuse to address the question.
    I've been doing quite a bit of reading about the way the nursing job market and nursing shortage are covered in popular media and I believe that the old adage "buyer beware" has never been more true than it is right now in the nursing education market.

    This is true mostly of for-profit schools, who produce what are dressed up to appear to be unbiased professional or scholarly blogs that actually are advertisements rife with misinformation. Unfortunately, not-for-profit schools tend to highlight things that benefit them to a lesser extent, with the results being the advo-blogs build an entire false scenario from a little snippet of information.

    When all is said and done, though, I don't think there should be a legal remedy enforced on schools based on the success or failure of any one person's job search.
    Esme12 likes this.
  6. 0
    If every college, university, professional school and so forth shut down everytime there was downturn in graduates finding employment there wouldn't be many left.

    Nursing went through a major purge from the 1970's through 1980's when scores of programs both diploma and college (ADN, BSN) shut down due to lack of interest in the profession. Then when everyone was wailing about the coming "nursing shortage" there weren't enough programs/slots and or professors and clinical instructors.

    It is rather easy to shut down nursing programs, starting them up is another matter. Staff especially the good ones aren't going to hang around on tenter hooks, but move on to other gigs. Indeed one of the problems nursing schools are having now finding qualified instructors and professors is that many of the older guard either retired or has passed on. Those with potential to become nurse educators make far more with often less hassle working at the bedside or anywhere else but in teaching.

    The best any nursing program can offer is excellent traning and education in preparation for taking (and passing) the NCLEX and laying the foundations for a career in nursing. Everything else is up to the individual.

    Regarding law schools, the problem there is for years persons have believed having a law degree was the ticket to wealth, power and status. Ever since shows like "LA Law" and "Boston Legal", and even "Will & Grace", people seem to think all lawyers are goodlooking, wealthy, connected, and so forth. The reality is quite different however.

    Just landing a spot as a junior associate at a top legal firm took some doing. Once there yes often one could earn >$85K to >$100K off the bat, but you worked your *** off to get it. Putting in literally almost 24 hour days where a car would drive you home long enough to bathe and maybe grab an hour of sleep then take you back to work. Oh and count on working weekends as well.

    Like nursing the problem with the legal profession is the practice is changing with the pace quickened by the recent fiscal/economic crisis.

    Being as all this may just as with nursing if persons would do their homework before going to law school they'd pretty much know what chances they had of finding work post graduate.

    There are only ten or perhaps under twenty law schools worth attending in the United States. We all know their names because some of hte most powerful and sucessful lawyers attended including Obama and most POTUS. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown, Columbia and about handful of others make up the top ticket.

    Law education in the United States has a dirty little secret that was exposed during the fiscal crisis. By and large obtaining a JD or law degree does *not* teach one how to practice law. That is where being a junior associate (and all those aforementioned long hours) comes in. Many fresh law school grads do not know how to draw up vaild contracts, start legal proceedings, and so forth. All that comes from the period spent post grad doing associate work. However during the economic crisis clients began taking a closer look at their legal bills and began refusing to pay thousands if not hundreds of thousands for billable hours done by associates. They found it cheaper to either to have the work done in house, outsource it, or simply demand as part of keeping them as clients the law firms absorb such costs themselves. This as one may imagine caused firms to scale back if not cease hiring new grad associates.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Dec 4, '12 : Reason: TOS/profanity
  7. 1
    With school, I look for training and enlightenment. Education.
    I don't expect any school to find a position for me. My school does assist, but I never counted on them. I never much paid attn to their rate for doing so, either. "They didn't try to find me a job!"

    All 'book-smarts' and no common sense. Really? I bet these people EXPECT to never be unemployed simply because they've a 4 year degree, too. sigh
    It's your career and your life. Does someone really have to tell you to look out for your own best interests, here? I don't say that anyone deserves to be unemployed, but it usually doesn't surprise me when some claim to be....
    cp1024 likes this.
  8. 0
    Quote from chuckster
    The question was from The Ethicist column in this Sunday’s New York Times (found at
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/ma...?src=dayp&_r=0.

    As you will see in the column (below), the question addressed law school, however, it is an equally valid question for nursing schools. While there is no doubt that nursing school enrollment has increased significantly, that seems to not necessarily be the case when it comes to job placement of new graduates.

    I frankly agree with the response however, I believe that nursing schools have a responsibility to make their placement statistics clear to entering students. This should be especially true for those high cost program, many of which are offered through the new, for-profit colleges. In my limited experience, it seems that many nursing schools equivocate on the question of jobs for new grads and some simply refuse to address the question.
    HERE IS A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
    The California Boad of Nursing addressed this exact issue at its November board meeting. First, the California Nurse Practice Act and its professional code requires that Calif nursing school offer concurrent lecture with clinical. Indiana State University (a distant learning LVN to BSN program who had partnered with California State University Sonoma) failed to offer concurrent lecture and clinical classes/

    1. The Codes are specific. Without concurrent classes, any student nurse who is in a clinical site is considered to be working not as a student nurse but a nurse without a license. Those ISU students are no2 subject to criminal prosecution.

    2. ISU had great difficulty placing its clinial students but had its students take their lecture class on schedule. The students did their clinicals when placement was found, sometimes 1-2 semesters later. This breached the concurrency requirement, but ISU ignored the Nurse Practice Act did not report it to the Board. It continued its program as usual.

    3. ISU was resourceful. To place its students, it developed a different nursing model that deviated from the authorized CA BRN model. Originally ISU had a 1:1 preceptor nursing model; to place more students, ISU introduced a 1:12 model. ISU flaunted the law when it never consulted nor got approval from the CA BRN about the major change to the program. Unknown to the CA BRN, ISU instituted the model.

    4. When there were student complaints that the program advertised ISU and the clinical syllibus did not adhere to the clinical they were experiencing, the CA BRN conducted an investigation. The outcome of the CA BRN investigation showed that ISU was operating an illegal nursing school in California from 2007 to December 2012.

    Who suffered: the students who had no knowledge of what ISU was doing because ISU kept everything secret and did a cover up when it was exposed. ISU was punitive it slandered, libeled and blackballed those students who complained of the lack of concurrency and the fraud in the program.

    IMO all nursing schools and their records should be transparent.
    Last edit by moorebluejacket on Dec 3, '12
  9. 0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED

    So in other words, he got a degree just to get a degree...
    Your buddy might want to look into a mirror the next time he's about to blame college for his life. I don't mean to put your friend down, but by the tone of your post, you've already told him this. Probably more than once.
    Yyyyyyup. You've hit that nail square in the middle of its "OMG, really?!" head.
  10. 1
    IMO, if a school promised you in writing that they WILL place you after graduation...then yes, it's unethical for them to take tuition if they renege on their end of the bargain.

    In reality, almost no school will promise to get you a job after graduation: it's too much of a liability for them. Even the local hospital diploma programs will tell applications that while they do prefer to hire their own grads, that job placement is in no way guaranteed.

    Now, if they promised to HELP to place you...there is no ethics violation. They only promised assistance with finding a job, not the job itself. Ultimately, landing the job is your responsibility.

    Moral of the story: do your homework before applying to any nursing program...and don't blame the school if you don't.
    Susie2310 likes this.


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