Reality Check Needed for BSN Student

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    Hi everyone,

    I am a first year BSN student at a private college. I really need advice, so please bear with me!
    This is my last semester for my first year.
    All was well, and then I got very ill at the start of the 2nd semester.
    I had to have surgery a month into school. I was on narcotic pain meds everyday for a month before surgery, and so severely anemic I almost needed a transfusion.
    Before this happened, grades were fine.
    During my illness, my grades in pathophysiology did suffer. I told the instructor what was going on. She didn't care. I had a 55% average in the class while I was ill for a month.
    After surgery, my grades improved dramatically, and my average was 80%.
    It wasn't enough to save my patho grade, though. I failed the class by 5% due to my performance prior to surgery. I explained to my instructor that I was so ill during that first month that I couldn't even sit in a chair most days, from the meds and the pain.
    I had uterine surgery, btw.
    I wrote my instructor a letter a week ago, asking if I could do anything to make up my pre-surgery grades and pass this class. I included a one page letter from my physician, explaining my case also.
    I did fine in my other 2 nursing courses. Patho was a different breed- 7 chapters average per test, plus weekly quizzes and 4 page worksheets every 5 days. It was difficult at best to keep up that pace when my 02 levels were nil and the meds made me sleepy all the time.
    The school of nursing and my instructor are telling me too bad, so sad. They aren't willing to do anything to assist me. I have to appeal to stay in the SON now, and cannot proceed with my cohort in the Fall. My instructor won't consider helping me in the least, even with proof of my condition and surgery.
    I am paying an astonishing $14,000 per semester for this school. I feel that for the $, there is no willingness to help me at all.

    My question to you: Am I delusional as to expecting an instructor to actually help me out? I am not asking for a free ride- I was willing to take another exam/anything to make up the points.

    Any honest thoughts are appreciated.

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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    So sorry you're going through this, but your instructors can't make any exceptions for you that they can't make for the other students in the course. The syllabus for the course is the official "contract" between the instructor and you, the learner. The explicit course requirements are spelled out there, and cannot be amended after the fact.

    And you are probably aware of this: that paying money for a course is no guarantee for success. As an adult learner, the burden for your learning lies with you, not the instructor. You are ultimately responsible for the grades you earned.

    Best wishes to you.
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    Sorry that this had to happen to you.....I too got sick during school. I was leaking CSF out of my left ear and had emergency surgery. However it was during the 2nd semester of my senior year. I also went to a private university that was close to 15,00 per semester. Thankfully, as soon as I got sick, I was able to take incompletes for my classes. I wonder what would of happened if you had an instructor who would of helped you through this difficult time? While no one can prepare for an illness, it astonishes me that the nursing department in your school was not willing to help you. That is the profession that they are in. As far as the failing grade, keep your head up. Maybe retaking the class would be best. No one said that nursing school would be easy. Just that it is worth it. So you reached your first mountain.......pick yourself up and climb over it and begin again. If this is your dream, no one can keep you from it.
    Maybe this isn't the type of caring environment that you need to get your education in. If they are going to make you wait....are there any other schooling options for you? Keep your head up and keep us posted!!! We all support you and your decisions!!
    mattsgirl likes this.
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    VickyRN is right. If the instructor makes an exception for you, the she will have to make exceptions for every other student who did not pass her class and that would open a can of worms I am sure the school is not interested in opening. I am in the same boat as you. I was hospitalized and missed the maximum number of clinical and lecture hours. I think my situation is a little different than yours because our state board of nursing requires a certain number of hours for both in order to pass. My school did refund all of my tuition though. The sad part is I have to wait another year in order to get into the next cohort. I am sorry this happened to you. I chalked my hospitalization up as one of life’s obstacles. Will you be able to retake Patho in the Fall with a new cohort?
  7. 0
    Quote from ParkerBeanCurd
    VickyRN is right. If the instructor makes an exception for you, the she will have to make exceptions for every other student who did not pass her class and that would open a can of worms I am sure the school is not interested in opening. I am in the same boat as you. I was hospitalized and missed the maximum number of clinical and lecture hours. I think my situation is a little different than yours because our state board of nursing requires a certain number of hours for both in order to pass. My school did refund all of my tuition though. The sad part is I have to wait another year in order to get into the next cohort. I am sorry this happened to you. I chalked my hospitalization up as one of life’s obstacles. Will you be able to retake Patho in the Fall with a new cohort?
    They said I MAY be able to retake it on a space available basis. I have to write a letter to the commitee and plead my case. They have room for new students and there are no promises for those that need to retake a class.
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    I am sorry you are going through this, but I agree an exception for you would mean an exception for everyone. I had to sit out because of a broken arm and leg and knew because of the pain meds and inablility to use my right arm there was no way I could pass.
    Another student 's wife was killed in a car wreck and his grades suffered, anothers 1 yr old had to have a heart tansplant and his grades suffered. There were numerous people who had surgery or tragedy and they were not any exceptions for their cases. The requirements are set and no matter the situation you have to deal with it, it sucks but that is the way it is in nursing school.
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    where i think the school "fell down" on their job was in not advising you to take an incomplete when your grades started to suffer....can you find an on line class that they would accept? good luck
  10. 0
    I understand that professors cannot make exceptions for students (as noted in every single syllabus) and I am not sure how your school works but I would look into appealing your grade). This is usually a lengthy process (about a month) and you will need to submit all of your documentation and then have a meeting with the appeal board. This happened to a friend of mine and she was able to re-take her final exam which allowed her to pass. Goodluck!!
  11. 1
    Quote from morte
    where i think the school "fell down" on their job was in not advising you to take an incomplete when your grades started to suffer....can you find an on line class that they would accept? good luck
    I agree that once your grade dropped, your advisor should have been notified. At that point a meeting should have occurred to determine the best course of action. Whether it had been postponing exams for you a few days, allowing you to take more exams with less content (using the same questions), or just taking an incomplete.

    Know that you tried your best. Don't give up though. Use every lifeline you have (i.e. appeals) first.

    For anyone reading this, ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS FIRST. They can only help you before your grades drop not after. I know we always think that we can do things on our own, but always explore your options first not after. Once you take the exam, that's it.
    mattsgirl likes this.
  12. 0
    Thanks to everyone who replied!

    Summer has come and gone, and I appealed my case. They let me retake my class,which I am in currently, with a new cohort. I like my new cohort better than my previous one, too which is a plus!
    I felt sorry for myself right after the bad grade and being put on probation...but I quickly got over that and was incredibly thankful for a second chance to succeed in school. My health is much better and I can now study.
    I learned A LOT about communication with my instructors and accountability. I know that illness was not my fault, but there were things I could have done to be more proactive.

    All the advice you have given is right on, and I thank you for it. If anyone is reading this that is in a similar situation, don't give up. :heartbeat


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