Suggestions? Comments? Could use advise.

  1. Hello fellow nurses/nursing students;
    I could definitely use some suggestions, insights, thoughts, whatever anyone has to offer at this point of my nursing student career. I am at the tail end of my third year of nursing school in a university nursing program, and I am currently in my clinical posting. I am 44 years of age. My clinical tutor has pointed out to me that I am probably going to fail the course. There are several components to the marking guide: we need to pass a med-math exam, where I got 98%, we need to pass an OSCE which is a head-to-toe assessment on a patient, which I did very well in, we have clinical reflective papers to hand in, all of which have been good, patient research to hand every time we get a new patient; usually two or three a week. The research usually ends up being about 10-15 pages in length. We are also expected to do post-conference presentations which I have done and received good feedback.
    The patients, nursing staff, and my peers have all given me really good feedback, and really like me. My tutor's criticism of me is that I apparently lack knowledge-base, and she pointed out to me that "she can't put her finger on it, yet she's seeing some serious gaps in the clinical area which are of serious concern"....enough to fail me. Yet, she is unable to point out specific examples. I have made some errors, not thinking errors, which are definitely not good, yet on consulting with my peers, any one of them could have done the same thing.
    I am scheduled to see the nursing coordinator today to discuss what my "options" are since I will probably fail the course. My clinical instructor doesn't even think I should be a nurse as she said "I'm not assertive enough."
    To be honest, I am a very right-brained person, and excel in social sciences and the arts, yet also have a passion for health and healing, hence my decision to go into nursing. I am considering whether I should drop nursing altogether, as it seems as though every clinical, I get picked on for reasons which are foreign to me. I have gotten feedback from friends, colleagues, peers, that I should definitely not drop nursing as they see so much potential. I realize only I can make this decision, yet I am so incredibly discouraged at this point. My intention is to go into psyche and/or community nursing if and when I graduate.
    Anyways, given what I've pointed out, what would you folks out there do? I'm curious to know, and welcome experiences or insights, success stories, etc!!!
    Thanks.
    Entepe
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   CritterLover
    i don't think she should be willing or able to fail you if she "can't put [her] finger on it."

    it needs to be more concrete than that.

    if you've done well on your assignments, clinical papers, etc, then your class grade should be high enough to pass. is it?

    have you been counseled for the errors that you have made? is that enough to not pass?

    there has to be some written pass/fail standard. if you have met those standards, then you should pass.

    if your performance is not up to passing standards, then you deserve written, concrete examples of what you are doing wrong and what you need to do better. and they need to come before the end of the semester.

    really, barring a pretty huge, negligent error towards the end of the semester that causes them to just not be able to pass you, failing the course should not come as a surprise.

    you need to look at your student handbook and see what the passing standard is. if you have met the requirements, then that is what you need to focus on during your session with the coordinator.

    i wouldn't put too much stock into your tutor telling you that you don't belong in nursing. several of the nurses that post on this site tell similar stories, and they are successful, practicing nurses.

    good luck with your meeting.
  4. by   Daytonite
    You NEVER drop the course. If your grades are good how can they fail you? Sounds like an intimidation tactic to me. Just go to the meeting and let them produce evidence, but it doesn't sound like this instructor is very organized. Evidence is evidence and if she doesn't have any, then she's the one failing here. Point out the grades you've been receiving on your tests and assignments.

    I didn't realize until several years of working as an RN that there were a lot of things I didn't "get" as a student. Nursing school only gives you the basics. You'll learn and hone skills and learning you get in school for a long time afterward as you are working as a nurse. One of them for me was understanding how to think critically. I really didn't understand the nursing process and care planning until I started having to do it as a staff nurse.

    I repeat again, DO NOT QUIT THE PROGRAM. You're in it and they are stuck with you. Their only options if they think you would be that bad of a nurse is to fail you. If that were to happen, ask what your options are--such as, can you retake the course.
  5. by   caliotter3
    You have a right to be presented with concrete evidence of your deficiencies. Without that you have a good case to go before your dean and to take it up with your school's student grievance committee. She has to prove that you were not up to par. By reading your post, I see nothing that she has to stand on. Unfortunately, many clinical instructors get away with failing students based on whatever their attitude toward the student is. The students never fight back because usually they are overwhelmed by the process of being "failed". Gather statements from your clinical preceptor(s) that are favorable and request a meeting with the dean of the nursing school. Fight back. Don't let her do this to you without standing up for yourself.
  6. by   tlc2u
    I posted a message similar to yours as well. I also feel uncertain about clinicals.
    Just wanted you to know you are not alone and wish you all the best with school and your decisions.

    Best of Luck
    Last edit by tlc2u on May 27, '09
  7. by   caliotter3
    The only way that I can think of to fight a clinical failure is to get the written statement of your nursing preceptor on the floor where you were working stating that she found you to be doing satisfactory work. Any other nurses on the floor that can verify that you were performing satisfactorily would also help. As far as the paperwork associated with clinical, poor grades from your clinical instructor in this area is harder to fight. And if she/he just took a dislike to you from the start and had an agenda to fail you, that is also hard to fight, because most of the time, that type of person will create a paper trail justifying their actions.

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