sub-standard nursing opportunities

  1. 2
    From the Husband of a student nurse: I will not apologize for what must be said with some detail.

    My wife enrolled in a nursing program in what I call a satellite of larger 2 year school. When she did this, I asked the college if the training would be the same as what was offered at the main campus. We were told the training is the same and that everything is laid out in the nursing handbook that all campuses of the college would follow.


    By being able to observe the school, the training given, reviewing the class and seeing the equipment and after class access to these after class for reinforcement of the lessons, the school has set students up for failure.

    The term was about to begin. The satellite schools did not have the necessary information. They did not know where they would take their practicum. That may have made a difference as to where the student would reside. They were uninformed compared to the main campus students. The head of the nursing department was unaware of the disparity in the information dissemination between the main campus and its satellites.

    The term started. Books and tuition for the first term was about 5k. The lab fee was almost a thousand more than other comparable schools. The school told us that it was because of the costs of materials; satellite broadcasting was used for some mass lecture to all affiliated campuses, life-like practice dummies and materials were also part of the costs.

    We filed the proper financial aid papers completely, but, we did not get aid the first year until one month into the second term. At the beginning of year 2, we were informed that aid will not be made available until after the Winter term was completed.

    When I called the school to ask about the delays in the financial aid’s processing, the school said it was because they have a hiring freeze and there are working with one person short. Having spoken with several students from this college who dropped out because of no aid and no finances to continue the school continued to use the excuse of not enough employees in the financial aid office. More contacts to the financial aid office resulted in the school saying that they are backlogged because of the increase in enrollment. The second year and more delays resulted in the school reiterating its excuses from the first year.
    The school is operating at a deficit and students are dropping out because of unprocessed financial aid. Hiring one full-time employee would recoup any expenditures and produce income to reduce its indebtedness.


    My wife told me she was watching one of the lectures being broadcast and noticed the other students had a kit in their lap with tools/supplies they could manipulate and familiarize themselves with as the lecture ensued. The 2 satellite schools did not have this packet. No-one was aware that the satellite schools did not have the same equipment as the main campus. My wife, like other students , feared bringing this to the attention of the instructors fearing adverse recognition. This was continuous through the 4 nursing terms so far.

    I recall one term when the first year students were asked what materials were needed for them to proceed with training. They were told to evaluate their equipment in the classroom. First, they had no practice room and therefore no materials as a basis to gather such information.

    Wasn’t that the instructors”/management’s job to make sure there was a classroom and that it was stocked for the student’s lessons?


    Inequities are not supposed to happen. That is why a nursing handbook was drafted. However, rules only work if they are followed and failure to follow these policies results in inequitable: treatment, grading and class standing (potential for hiring or starting at a job at a different step level).
    One policy states that "a" practicum class can be made up-the main campus had students that missed 2 and 3 and were informed that make ups were cancelled-they did not fail. That year’s class was lectured about this and missing assignments eventhough the culprits were from the main campus- One instructor was told to be harder on their students to ensure enforcement of policies. The response was, “why, they do as they are asked.”
    Students learn from their mistakes, but, when grades are posted but the errors nor their answers are not, that is not a lesson-it is punishment. How do you know what is right or where you went wrong because so many of the questions had more than one right answer or the answer key was wrong as stated in peer reviewed journals and articles.
    When you post a question to the instructor 2 weeks into the term, it should be answered before finals week.
    Why is one student graded one way while others are discriminated against. In a group assignment with all the students contributing and turning in the same paper and there is not a presentation to evaluate, why should anyone of the group get a different grade than the rest?

    When the majority of the class failed a test so miserably that many would fail the course on the main campus, a curve was instituted.
    Throughout the class year, the main campus had activities scheduled in the community that would be graded. The satellite campuses did not have these activities lined out. The satellite campus students had to secure their own activities to attend, usually in other cities, because nothing was available locally. The satellite colleges had to go to the main campus for experiences because their location did not offer the same opportunities as the main campus.
    The calendar year for my wife has certain calendar days off. The program director made her class make up a holiday on a non school day (another day off).
    The class is assigned homework for the first day of class without having set foot inside the classroom.

    The students are expected to be responsible for all information posted on the school web-site. Policy was mandated that assignments were not accepted 10 minutes before class begins. I thought, due before class is before the time the class begins.
    The instructors post assignments after mid-night and the student is responsible for its content even though they have to leave home at 5:45 a. m. to get to clinicals then next morning. That allows 4 hours and less, at times, to sleep.

    My daughter is a nurse. It was hard then as it is now and I have experience going to school after secondary education, graduating in 2002 the last time. I always got my financial aid within a month of school starting. Taking: drafting, general studies, engineering and then business management, I never had to have school assignments during vacations, breaks or before the term began and I did not have nor was I responsible for disseminated information unless it was something I initiated or accepted beforehand. We had policies that were posted, consistent and adhered to. Grading was consistent. Tests were not so faulty that its answers were consistently revised. I never had an instructor that would not accept validated answers from peer reviewed articles that were more current than what was in the test’s answer key.

    My wife is bashful about speaking against the school for fear of retaliation, but, I must and I will. I will not let others second guess themselves and suffer such mental abuse as the system that is in place; stress from inconsistent policies, worry over money, why equal work gets a different grade, why are persons treated differently???
    Sorry for being so long-this must be said and will be going to the nursing board this summer.
    CaLLaCoDe and lindarn like this.
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Hmmmm, sounds like an OCNE school..... ?

    The instructors should be there for your success. If we didn't like how something was being done, we banded together as a cohort and requested a change in a professional manner.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from LinfieldNursingGuy
    Hmmmm, sounds like an OCNE school..... ?

    The instructors should be there for your success. If we didn't like how something was being done, we banded together as a cohort and requested a change in a professional manner.
    Curious how you came to that conclusion...

    To the OP, do they have an SNA (student nurses association...like student government for nursing school) at all? As part of our SNA board, we have two class liaisons for each cohort. It's their job to attend faculty meetings and bring concerns of their class to the faculty.

    Peace,
    CuriousMe
    CaLLaCoDe and lindarn like this.
  7. 1
    Nursing schools are not always prepared. I know sometime things would change last min. or we would not know where we were having clinical until the week of. We also had assignments due during our breaks. This is common,especially in many of the schools in Oregon. As far as the test answers they teach to NCLEX and NCLEX does not change answers based on peer reviewed articles. There is a process to go thru to dispute these questions. And it's important to know that nursing school is not real world. You dont do things always they way they teach, you have to look at the whole situation. But they are trying to prepare for NCLEX and their tests are given to mimick NCLEX
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 2
    Schools are a business just like any other and nursing programs are hot right now. The school knows that they don't have enough instructors or resources for all of their students but they don't want to lose revenue so they accept more people then they can handle.
    Jarnaes and lindarn like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from CuriousMe
    Curious how you came to that conclusion...
    Well, I will cough that up to some sarcasm...

    I do strongly believe a nursing student should NEVER feel intimidated to speak up if there is something wrong with the process. His wife obviously does not feel she can approach the faculty and speak her mind. I hear of so many programs where student's feel like the instructors are out to get them...

    Mind you I am not saying my school is perfect either. Student government has a student/faculty subcommittee where a student could anonymously submit a problem (one student representative would know the name of the student). Faculty and students would then work on the problem until a solution was found. My school is also elevating student centered learning - adjusting some content as topics sparked the interest of the class. They also listened to our needs as a cohort. "We had two midterms this week... can we move the due date of the paper to Monday?" and the professor said , "yes"! Just one example. Many students also sat in on the curriculum committee, and boy – we sure let them know what we like and don't like. The program was by no means easy, we worked our asses off... Nearly half of my cohort graduated cum laude, magna cum laude and even a few suma cum laude.

    I had so much support from my cohort (as expected) but also from my professors – as it should be. Many of our professors asked us to keep in touch and eventually come back and teach.

    My nursing school education made me even more passionate and excited to join the profession. Now that I have graduated, I know my cohort, the alumni and the professors there to back me as I make my transition to the professional world.
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from LinfieldNursingGuy
    Well, I will cough that up to some sarcasm...

    I do strongly believe a nursing student should NEVER feel intimidated to speak up if there is something wrong with the process. His wife obviously does not feel she can approach the faculty and speak her mind. I hear of so many programs where student's feel like the instructors are out to get them...

    Mind you I am not saying my school is perfect either. Student government has a student/faculty subcommittee where a student could anonymously submit a problem (one student representative would know the name of the student). Faculty and students would then work on the problem until a solution was found. My school is also elevating student centered learning - adjusting some content as topics sparked the interest of the class. They also listened to our needs as a cohort. "We had two midterms this week... can we move the due date of the paper to Monday?" and the professor said , "yes"! Just one example. Many students also sat in on the curriculum committee, and boy – we sure let them know what we like and don't like. The program was by no means easy, we worked our asses off... Nearly half of my cohort graduated cum laude, magna cum laude and even a few suma cum laude.

    I had so much support from my cohort (as expected) but also from my professors – as it should be. Many of our professors asked us to keep in touch and eventually come back and teach.

    My nursing school education made me even more passionate and excited to join the profession. Now that I have graduated, I know my cohort, the alumni and the professors there to back me as I make my transition to the professional world.
    Hmm...no sarcasm. Was curious as to how you came to your conclusion.

    Obviously a student should never feel intimidated to speak with faculty. Our faculty is wonderfully supportive. Our liaisons attend faculty meetings and any concern that has been brought to the faculty has been rapidly addressed. I also agree about the importance of supportive faculty, ours are outstanding, simply outstanding. They've figured out that wonderful balance of challenge and support that allows you to develop faster & further than you thought possible. Great stuff...
  11. 1
    Thank you for responding.
    I do understand the real world as I took; nursing in 74.drafting in 84, science in 86, Engineering in 91 and Business Management in 02. However, the answers given should correspond to those in the NCLEX as this is the basis for licensing exams.
    I may not have made it clear about the challenging of answers in the test key.
    The answers used to challenge test questions were taken from: out of the students' academic books including their seminars, NCLEX review materials, peer reviewed articles and research papers, and from the books they took their answers from. Many of the test question challenges were based on the material my wife found in the NCLEX and her test books.
    The bottom line is, erroneous answers should not be included in tests. Grading should be consistent and each ones treatment should be based on equality and guidelines should either be adhered to, updated and or done away with. The program has been going long enough to make faulty test material an error in professionalism.
    If we had known that the facility where the clinicals were offered did not have patients enough for each student and the remaining patients afforded limited access to learn specific skills, my wife would have elected to attend another institution.
    Don't think I am slamming the instructors. They are admired.I think they are knowledgeable and professional. However, the level of their skills can not replace outdated or lack of equipment. Nor can it replace valuable hands on experience gained from a facility that actually has patients to hone their skills on.
    As it is, the students attending the satellite schools give little hands on experience with real patients.
    I would like to thank those that have responded to my thread.
    lindarn likes this.
  12. 1
    To LinfieldNursingGuy
    Not meant as sarcasm. It is all based on fact.
    How do Know intimidation occurs?
    The facility is so small, any question, remark reflecting on what is being taught, how, and what that is questionable in any manner, the author of any suggestion or deviation would be immediately known.
    Originally I put in specifics, but, I would not like anyone to identify the student for fear of retaliation.
    Take my word, when considerations were asked for; delaying a test for (excuse good in any work-place) the student was docked 10%. Medical emergency cost her 10%.
    Some of the instructors will bend over backward to make the learning experience a fond memory to look back on, while others leave a bad taste in your mouth because most interactions feel like rejection.
    The student was having difficulty in the program and was told to utilize specific programs and to go into practice room to practice skills. 1st, there is no practice room in the satellite school and the program instructed to take advantage of does not exist in the satellite program.
    I appreciate your responses. It has given my wife hope to keep going on.
    Thank YOU
    lindarn likes this.


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