ANYONE else having a HORRIBLE education experience???

  1. Hello,
    I have been a CNA for 8 years. I love patient care and I have finally started to further my education. I have attended a local Technical College for the past couple years for my pre-reqs and LPN program. I will be completing the LPN to RN bridge program this fall 2007.

    This program has been by far one of the worst learning experiences of my life. I started out so excited and enthused to become a nurse, but this has really changed my view on nursing. I feel that as nursing students we are really trapped into a program once we are finally accepted. It is difficult to transfer from a tech college if you are dissatisfied with your current program without sacrificing major money/time/energy.

    I could go on and just start my bachelors, but this would mean I would loose many credits and it would take twice as long. I feel that many of the instructors act more as an authority figure versus a teacher or mentor. Don't get me wrong there are some really excellent instructors, but I have really gotten unlucky with the ones I have encountered.

    There are so many dissatisfied students at my school. So many complaints and yet we have no where to go or anyone to turn to that we haven't already tried. Many students have gone from counselors to the dean of the program and even to the president with their concerns only to feel ignored, frustrated, and devastated by their services.

    Every survey I have taken for each instructor/course where I would be able to express my feelings, is given to me at the end of the course and is able to be viewed by the instructor prior to receiving my final grade. To my knowledge, there are no anonymous instructor/course surveys regarding student satisfaction and/or instructor abilities or behaviors. Some of the behavior is incredibly inappropriate. Who is regulating the behaviors and expectations of these instructors?? Who is making them liable to follow the expectations?

    For example, one student who was currently receiving an "A" in her clinical was failed due to having an asthma attack on the last day of clinical and missing that day. She has since fought and beat it, but this is just one example. This same girl, the first week of clinical was told that her first weeks work was thrown in the trash and she was given a "zero" because it smelled like cigarette smoke. She does not smoke! Another example, one of our theory classes that contains 5 exams...every exam average was below the passing scale of 80%, and 1/3 of the class were retaking the course to begin with. Doesn't this say something about the method and/or content of the instruction?

    I would like to challenge other students to speak up and express their opinions here. I am a hard worker, a tax payer, and an asset to the nursing field, but I really feel strongly that there is really a problem in the education system. Something needs to be done! Students have the right to be treated as adults, as learners, as human beings!

    Does anyone know how I can go about opening up this hidden problem? Who can be contacted to investigate a schools inner workings and why there are so many dissatisfied students who feel they have no one to turn to????? PLEASE HELP!!

    Nursing school is difficult enough with the content...the experience shouldn't be!

    ~A Nurse at Heart!~ Green bay, WI
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   KellieNurse06
    Lol...omg! Doesn't this type of thing make you want to do the stuff like on Dateline with the hidden camera??? I so often thought of this when I had my horrible experience at my 1st nursing school......oh..I'll bet someone does it someday , if they already haven't.........Wouldn't that be a hoot to be able to uncover the way some of these instructors teach...(the kind that demean & degrade people) and have them explain their actions after wards????? Mighty interesting to wonder how they'd explain themselves.......Too bad they couldn't set up someone to go to nursing school & have one of these type of instructors just to prove they are out there.......
    I can honestly say that I really lucked out with the place I just graduated from.....every single instructor I had went above & beyond..and really wanted to see us students succeed......I owe alot to them.........
  4. by   gemini81sg
    You are not even kidding! It would be such a relief to let people, who are otherwise oblivious, know the experience many nursing students endure. Especially with the nationwide shortage of nurses we current have and the growing shortage that is predicted. When you said, "demean & degrade"...you really hit it right on the head. I've never worked so hard for something, just to keep getting knocked down.

    I remember I approached an instructor in the lab, not my own, who actually took a moment to really try to explain something to me....she didn't rush me or criticize me or tell me to look it up myself. I was holding back tears as she talked because I had forgotten what it was like for an instructor to offer patience, compassion, and understanding and to really show true concern for my ability to comprehend and understand the information.

    I often find myself wondering why some of these instructors get into teaching to begin with. Thanks for replying. I'm glad you had a good experience. Let it be known that I will keep moving on despite my horrific experience. There's too many patients out there that need the understanding, patience, and compassion for nursing that I have in my heart for me to give up...though it was very tempting at times. Good luck to you as well!!
  5. by   KellieNurse06
    Hey no problem! Remember though...I had one of those teachers myself so I definetly know how it is......I almost didn't go back because of her.....But I ended up just going to a whole different school. I literally walked around on eggshells fearing I was going to be flipped out on by an instructor, even when I wasn't doing anything wrong......and it was such an exhilarating feeling not to be treated worse than the dog doo doo on the bottom of a shoe.......Kind of makes me think of operate conditioning you know? Lol! Traumatized.....whatever you want to call it.......Anyway my instructors at my new school were phenomenal......I heard there were a couple who were horror shows...I just lucked out I guess and never had one of them....but to actually be told " you're doing great" and " You did a great job today" and to be guided through something without being made to feel stupid but to be told right in front of your patient" Great Job" by the instructor....still to this day amazes me & I already finished school ........maybe I was traumatized unconsciously from the witch I originally had...rotflmao..I am seriously thinking about getting a job in the hospital and on the floor where she takes her clinical groups (where I was with her)..... just to see her expression everytime would be pay enough for me.... ....lol...
    Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Feb 6, '07
  6. by   lovelep34
    I can't believe this! As I started reading your post, I thought to myself, I bet she goes to the same school I do and sure enough, YOU DO! Thank you for putting out this post because you are 100% right about everything. I also have gone above the instructors and complained, filled out evaluations and mailed them directly to the head of the nursing program and complained to the dean of the ADN program. It got me NOWHERE. I am repeating my 3rd semester theory class and I am irate. I studies 3 hours EVERY NIGHT and ended up with a 79% after all exams were figured in. One huge issue I have is that we get the modeling professional behavior points to earn through the semester, but yet they are not figured in to our grade UNLESS we have 80% average of the 5 exams. That is ridiculous! I am tired of getting nowhere with this school and I am angry CONSTANTLY.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 20, '07 : Reason: see profile for contact info
  7. by   erin1205
    I tried to apply to your school, and missed the deadline. I was considering applying next year, but now I am not so sure! Thank you for your post, and your honesty. Good luck to you!
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    i think that this is the attitude that comes from the top
    the school that i went to had a absolutely horrid head of the school and most of the instructors followed her lead
    some things you just have to tough out..i hope that you find some good people in your next class..good luck
  9. by   Murseintraining78
    Oh my that is just crazy no one should have to deal with what you and your classmates are going through!!! Being a nursing student in this area makes me a little wary of how my experiences will be in the near future! Keep fighting though and don't either you or lovelep34 give up!!!!
  10. by   gemini81sg
    :caduceus: Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I am way too stubborn to give up and nursing is where my heart is. I am dreading my last semester, but trying to keep my head up. To erin1205, I truly encourage you to look elsewhere. I don't say this to insult the school, which was never my intention. I really say this to save you from what I went through.

    I consider myself a pretty strong person -emotionally, but these guys really got to me. I served in the U.S. Army when I was 17 years old, right out of high school and I can honestly say, I would rather go through basic training again, then start again in this program. I worked so hard - no going out, avoided my cell phone, did studies daily and for many, many hours - all to keep up and keep focused on my school work. I didn't mind giving up my personal life temporarily to achieve the ability to become a nurse.

    The hardest part was keeping the instructors I had happy. It never seemed to be enough. I spent so many nights in tears and I REALLY hate to admit that! That is not me at all. But you get my point...Horrible experience...and it shouldn't be that way. Learning should be positive, encouraging, and compassionate, not fearful, with constant criticism and rudeness. By the way, my general eds at this school were fine, I only experienced this negative learning experience in the nursing program. I'm really not sure why that is, but it certainly is. Good luck to you all and thanks for the feedback!! :caduceus:
  11. by   gemini81sg
    By the way...LOVELEP34, I have another post in the GEOGRAPHICAL section under WISCONSIN NURSES in an attempt to unite students from my school....check it out and invite your fellow classmates. It is easy to invite many if you use the BLACKBOARD and use the multiple email feature. I will IM you at Yahoo when I get a chance....talk to you then!!
  12. by   NE_WI
    This is for you ladies who are having the time of your lives in the community college nursing program down there in Green Bay. :-( It's exactly the same story up north here at Nicolet community college in Rhinelander. I was on their waiting list for almost two years, during which time I completed A & P, Chemistry, etc. I have been placed on the Dean's List there in two out of three semesters. Like all of you, I have been the epitome of enthusiasm, diligence, and self-sacrifice in pursuing my degree. Upon entering third semester, it was immediately evident that we were dealing with a different breed of instructor. The semester began with 26 students, including 6 returning LPNs working for their RN degree. Within six weeks the class size was down to NINE STUDENTS and ALL of the returning LPNs were gone, too. (one of whom had 6-7 years experience!) Even though I made all of those cuts, here's what happened to me.....82 year old mom in Colorado having lumbar fusion. Asked for, and received, approval to return to school one week late to assist in her care and adjustment at home following surgery. The only thing I missed was IV start. I failed the competency the first time around because I contaminated the end of the tubing, EVEN THOUGH I SAID IN A REAL SITUATION I WOULD HAVE RETRIEVED NEW, STERILE TUBING IN ORDER TO PROCEED. (This is the way we were instructed to conduct ourselves during 1st and 2nd semester due to non-availability of new/shortness of used supplies) Well, I was given a week in which to study, practice, and re-test. Upon embarking on the second skill test, the instructor (same one who whittled the incoming class of 26 down to 9) informed me that if I HAD to talk the thing through I needed to hurry it up because she had a class to teach at 8:30. (Like I didn't know, I was IN the class) At that point I SHOULD haveput everything down and insisted on a different appointment time, I didn't. I SHOULD have gone to a different instructor, I didn't. Sooo, here I am, out of third semester. Took my LPN exam in Madison, passed on 85 questions, the minimum. Am I stupid? No. Am I a moron incapable of learning? No. Am I naive? YES. Have I learned some hard lessons about nursing programs and human nature? YES. Will all of this stop me from gaining my RN degree? NO!!! Will I be reapplying to this (supposed) institution of higher learning? Not if I can help it, but there may be no choice due to logistics. It is the only institution within commuting distance (an hour drive each way). Ladies, we did the same things you all did. Got together, studied harder, persevered more diligently. After being dismissed we began to wonder whether or not the Dean was interested in, or concerned about, the attrition rate within his nursing program. He was not. When we spoke with him, after receiving no satisfaction through the chain of command (3 of us, one still IN the program at that time), the only questions he had for us was how many classes we had failed, had trouble in, what our cummulative GPAs were, etc. In retrospect, I should have expected nothing more. I believe, truly, at this point in time that this program at this college has a hidden agenda for third semester nursing students. (1) Third semester students numbers are down-sized as much as possible to make it easier for the clinical instructor and (2) I believe that there is a push to crank out LPNs for use in nursing homes. If I am wrong in these things, I ask to be forgiven, I just can't think of any other reason(s) why this would be allowed to go on with impunity. ESPECIALLY when it ONLY involves ONE INSTRUCTOR. I also want to apoligize for all the yelling, even at this late date, I am still angry at not being able to effect a change, for myself and for those who will follow me. I thank you for sharing your thoughts here and hope mine have not proven to be too long-winded. Your messages hit a familiar note with me and once I got going I couldn't stop.
  13. by   Quickbeam
    The only way I know of to survive nursing school is to keep your head down, off the radar, passing from their ranks after graduation. Once you graduate they can never bother you again. Almost everyone in my class had an ulcer by the end and then poof! those people who were so hard to deal with and mean spirited were gone forever from my life.

    I went to a world class BSN program but many things were similar to your experience. Most nursing schools freak out when anyone asks for any time off or schedule deviation. I got pneumonia from a patient and was told I'd be dropped from the program unless I came in every day. Masked up, I was there.
  14. by   frez
    just remember to follow your heart if this is something you want to do I have found you can almost put up with everything even going thru the hoops that they make you go thru to get to where you want to be. Good luck and keep on going
    Frez

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