What to do when your school fails you

  1. The ambiguity in my phrasing of the title was intentional. I was dismissed from my BSN program halfway through the last semester of the program. I strongly believe that this was due in large part to numerous monumental failures on the part of my now-former program. I was an average nursing student at a very well regarded nursing school. Before nursing school, I was a straight A student who was always on top of everything, was eager to learn, and always went the extra mile. My nursing school had some terrible instructors and ask some otherwise great instructors to teach subjects that were far outside of their areas of expertise. So, halfway through the last semester of the program I was in my med-surg preceptorship with a psych nurse with zero med-surg experience (since her undergrad) as my instructor. All of my preceptor evaluations were excellent. One day, my instructor comes to the floor and asks for a report on my patients. After I spout of my organized, thorough, and admittedly somewhat jargon filled report, my instructor tells me that I seem nervous and disorganized and she sends me to remediation with the only other instructor in the program with whom I have ever had an issue. This instructor drags me across the coals, calls me on the tiniest literally insignificant things, and ultimately tells me that I failed remediation. With that, I'm out of the nursing program a mere 8 weeks before I would have (should have?) graduated. I'm now in the process of appeal my grade. My issue now is that I had to drag a lot of people throw the mud (including the chair of the program for somehow allowing someone so unqualified to be the instructor for the class) and in the process appear to have made a lot of enemies within the program's faculty. If I'm successful, I'm worried that these two instructors along with the chair of the program will look for any possible reason to fail me again. If I am unsuccessful, I'm still screwed with 95% of a BSN.

    TL;DR

    How to I go to another school after being dismissed/sue my former school/otherwise salvage this situation?

    Thanks in advance!!!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   KrCmommy522
    Yikes! Sorry about your situation! You failed out of the program after failing just one course?! That seems really strict. My school if you failed 2 nursing classes, then you failed the program and had to reapply to try and get another spot. You said you dragged a lot of people through the mud, including the chair of the program? That might affect you when you come back. I'm not sure about getting into another school, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to try. Especially, if appealing your grade works out. I'm not sure about suing the school either. There's always 3 sides to a story - your side, the instructor's side, and somewhere in between falls the truth. At my school, when a student had any type of issue, the instructor would write up the student. That would go in the student's file - it was a description of what had occurred, what the instructor wanted to fix the situation, and signatures of the student and instructor. When a student failed, the instructor would write out a detailed report of what he/she felt had occurred. I had 2 students I knew in a clinical with me where the instructor kept writing them up - I mean it was literally a daily basis, 2 or 3 write ups! Sometimes, the clinical day started with them getting a write up from the previous clinical day for something that happened at the end that she didn't have time to write up for at the time! Eventually, they failed the clinical. They appealed, but she had records that described each incident. Of course, they didn't keep detailed reports of each clinical day like that. They said they were able to win the appeal because the instructor had previous incidents where students were written up multiple times for small things and this was sort of a habit of the instructor - to pick 1 or 2 students and find multiple things wrong and write them up. I failed a clinical for missing one day. It was my last clinical, I only had one more semester to go after that. I got her email the day before she wanted me to make up 6 hours in the clinical, which there was no way I had to do because I had to work - and I'm a single mom and need every chance I can to work - so I couldn't call off. I was upset because I had only missed one day and she didn't give me much of a chance to make it up. She told me if I didn't like her decision to go above her to the faculty member overseeing the clinical, so I did. But, I ended up failing. I didn't know you could appeal the decision of failing a clinical - but if I did I'm not sure I would have. My failure wasn't going to make me lose my spot in the program, just put me a semester behind. So, I'm not sure I would have wanted to rock the boat and possibly upset the faculty and heads of the program. However, if the failure would have meant I failed out of the program and lost my spot, then I probably would have. But, you have to be careful how you say things.

    It sucks that the instructor was employed by the school but wasn't qualified, as you say, but you still don't want drag people through the mud that are overseeing a program you are trying to be a part of again. You should appeal your case in as nice as way as possible.

    I would see what happens with the appeal. If the decision is appealed and you feel the program is so bad and that you have made enemies, you might want to see if you can transfer your credits and get in at another school. Best thing would probably be to tough it out though since you are so close to the end. If the decision isn't appealed, I'm not sure what to do. Maybe see if you're able to transfer the credits you have to another school.

    Sorry I don't really have much advice! I hope it all works out for you! Hang in there!
  4. by   Kuriin
    Seems pretty drastic to fail someone for seeming disorganized while giving a SBAR or report. Even experienced nurses can't even SBAR or give report correctly.
  5. by   caliotter3
    I went to school with a student who left on bad terms with behavior that continued after she left. A peer who kept in touch with her told me that her attempts to enter other nursing programs in the area were unsuccessful. Not surprising, considering the trouble this individual caused. You could only expect the school personnel to utilize their chance to deal with her on their terms.

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