Nurse = Critical Thinker......

  1. 0
    If I am struggling (borderline failing) with "Art Appreciation" (online course) will I struggle with Nursing School??

    I e-mailed my Art instructor to let her know that I wasn't grasping the concepts of the course material and that I was having difficulty referencing the test questions back to the assigned text.....

    This is the email reply from my instructor:

    "The course is a course that stresses critical thinking as opposed to "fact-based" courses. For that reason students who are in curricula that is heavy in the fact-based study - math, science, business etc. usually struggle with the idea that answers come through a reasoning ability. Unfortunately, education in the lower grades stress facts not thinking these days. This is why I think you struggle.

    In order to study the arts it is necessary to approach it in this manner for you are learning about creative ideas and the creative process. You are also learning about the relationship of the arts with all that goes on in a society. You can' teach these ideas with facts only.

    So I propose you don't read and study your book for test information, but rather for giving you a foundation from which you can learn to "REASON" your answers."


    I really didn't want to take "Art Appreciation" as my elective to satisfy my degree plan; I wanted to take "Ethics" but it wasn't being offered this semester and I really wanted to complete all of my non-nursing courses prior to beginning the RN program this fall.

    So far, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA (A&P I and II, Microbiology, Psychology, Human Lifespan, Nutrition, Intermediate and College Algebra) It is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that I will achieve an "A" in Art.... best possible scenario- I'll get a "B" if I complete all of the extra credit assignments.

    Should I just say "screw it." and drop the course now? I can take the Ethics class sometime within the next 2 years during the program.... I don't want to give up but at the same time I don't want an unnecessary drop in GPA.

    My long term goal is to be a CRNA or to attend med school and become a Pediatrician. I need to maintain my 4.0 right??

    Any input would be appreciated!!

    (Oh, please don't get me wrong- I like art, I like to look at it etc... but I find this class useless)

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights: Student Edition newsletter.

  2. Poll: Should I "drop" ART

  3. 14 Comments...

  4. 1
    What kind of test questions are they? If there is no way to reference the correct answers to the book, and your instructor is providing no lecture notes to supplement, it's horribly unfair for her to expect her students to read her mind and know what she's looking for on exams.

    I guess I could be stupid, but I don't see how Art Appreciation is an intense critical thinking course. It was considered one of the easier electives at my college, along with Music Appreciation. Nor do I really understand how math, science, or business do NOT require critical thinking. Your instructor's entire reply seemed a little...off...to me. Defensive, condescending, and unhelpful.

    Ironically, since you say you want to take Ethics, I encountered a similar attitude in my professor for my Philosophy - Ethics and Morality course. After the first essay exam where he failed half the class, gave only 1 A out of 70 students, I took the W and dropped the course, even though I got a B. I also sent him an email and let him know how condescending he was and that it played a huge part in my dropping the course. Completely unnecessary, but it made me feel better and there's always that 1% change that it changed things for the other students.

    As far as nursing school goes - yes, you will have to use critical thinking skills and your test questions, if written in NCLEX-style, will require more than memorization and fact recall. They will require you to not only know information about pathophysiology and pharmacology, but know how to use that information to get to the best or most important action, how to effectively assess a patient's response to teaching, or note unsafe situations. However, there is rationale behind what you learn: Maslow's Hierarchy (like a blocked airway is more important than low self-esteem), the nursing process (you're going to assess before you implement), and procedures and polices for delegation of tasks. This will not come naturally to everyone, and most people struggle with figuring out how to answer the questions at first, but it's not an unreasonable task. You'll learn to "think like a nurse" when you're in school and a good program will provide helpful guidance for how you go about doing that.

    I would drop the class if you don't need it and it's going to bring down your GPA. There's no need for that over an elective.
    RED1984 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from decembergrad2011
    What kind of test questions are they? If there is no way to reference the correct answers to the book, and your instructor is providing no lecture notes to supplement, it's horribly unfair for her to expect her students to read her mind and know what she's looking for on exams.
    The test questions are from "left field." To the point that I don't know what is being asked...and all of the "key words" in the question(s) are not mentioned in the textbook AT ALL. I feel that she is being unfair by testing what ISN'T taught, by not giving me any pointers or suggestions on how to improve on my weak areas, and for being downright unhelpful.... but such is life~unfair.

    It also doesn't help that you just get a percentage when the test is completed. No review of what you missed- no corrections. I absolutely HATE that (I know that the NCLEX is like that guys and that I won't be given the correct answers if I fail etc.) But, in prior classes I have been able to reason my answer to the instructor and sometimes, not always, but sometimes they would accept/agree with me and change my grade. Other times, quite often actually, I have found errors in the computerized testing (grading) system and have been thanked by the instructor because it doesn't just change my test grade- it changes everyone's that got the question "wrong." The student's grade reflects on the teacher as well~ if 1/2 the class is failing you have no choice but to look at who's teaching them too.

    I have done 4 assignments so far, that required my "interpretation" of certain pieces of art, and i scored 100% on all 4. It is the multiple choice open book/resource tests that are killing me.

    I have already begun reading through my 1st semester nursing textbooks (NCLEX review too) and I "get it" ~ definitely have not mastered the material, but I understand the questions, how to reason them and how to eliminate answers.

    I hate to just "give up" on a course like this though- so I am going to keep trying until it's do/die time and make a logical decision then; whether to stick with it or take the W.

    ~~~Thanks again to everyone here for your insight!!
    Last edit by RED1984 on Jun 20, '12 : Reason: adding one more point :)
  6. 0
    Around 9:00pm EST June 20th, we had a database issue and lost over 21 hours worth of posts, threads, and new registered members.
    If you registered after 4:00am today, you will have to register again. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    ^^^ that was taken from the AllNurses Header... this thread had over 22 comments and I hadn't got a chance to read them all
  7. 1
    I had said some instructors who are very esoteric and have such a unique angle on their subject matter it can be almost impossible to figure out what they expect unless you're like-minded or have a lot of extra time and energy. I've had instructors say, "don't read the textbook" but they had other printed material to replace it with. I had a sociology prof who did that. If it's going to be a constant stress and struggle, it isn't worth it.

    I really enjoyed Art History and Art Appreciation. My instructors would never have written an e-mail like that. Best wishes!
    RED1984 likes this.
  8. 0
    Oh- and may I add...

    " For that reason students who are in curricula that is heavy in the fact-based study - math, science, business etc."

    The degree I will graduate with is an AAS-RN ::: that's Associates of Applied SCIENCE.

    Ugh. I didn't even respond to her email~ Why bother?
  9. 1
    My A&P I AND II and Micro professors told me the same of critical thinking. I don't think struggling with art means you'll struggle in nursing school. Art is ambiguous. You might look at a red dot (yeah, that's "art" too) and just see a red dot...others might think of Japan or some artistic mumbo jumbo.

    The sciences are a mix of facts and critical thinking. If you see inflammation occurring, the stuff you learned from the book (facts) will tell you what inflammation is and how to notice it. Critical thinking would be finding out what led to it.

    I made the same grades as you did in the sciences, same GPA. I also was struggling with art online. I ended the class with barely an A; the way I did it was an essay (worth a big part of the grade) and looking at it a bit differently. Trying to reason with a piece of art that could be looked at a million ways didn't work...so I did the opposite: what did the creator mean when forming the art? In your art book, look at the captions that talk about an artist and their art...it'll usually give you a story. From that info, you can kinda gain that critical thinking you might need. Just gotta think outside the box (and comfort zone).

    Don't drop the class! Keep it up, I believe that you'll do fine!!!!!! Keep your head up, Red. Everyone has their dislikes in academics (I absolutely hated art with a passion, and state government was agonizing); but I disagree with your professor. Art won't help you unless you are a Picasso. You did well in the sciences, and that's what matters. In the end, that is what you'll need to know and based on that you'll succeed. I believe in you!!!!!!!!!
    RED1984 likes this.
  10. 1
    THANKS TIM!!! I think we will be BFF's by the time we are finished this program- thanks for the motivation!!!
    timmedico likes this.
  11. 1
    You're very welcome! I think so too. Kick art's butt (appreciatively).
    Last edit by timmedico on Jun 20, '12
    RED1984 likes this.
  12. 1
    I'm pretty sure Art Appreciation "critical thinking" is completely different than nursing school critical thinking. If you have to take Patho & Pharm before you enter the program...that is more along the lines of the critical thinking that will be going on in the nursing program. You will be fine! Do not worry....If you have maintained a 4.0 in the scienes..your doing just fine.
    timmedico likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top