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academic dishonesty issue


Okay so I am in my second year of college and I just got accepted in to the school of nursing. Two weeks ago for my art history class i was assigned to write a paper which entailed a visit to a museum in new york ( i live in ct). Long story short, i didnt have time to make it to the museum so i went online to the gallery's website and wrote my paper on objects that i looked at online. Come to find out that one of the objects i wrote about was not on display at the museum, only online. I got an email from my teacher two weeks later telling me that i did not visit the museum and have therefore committed academic dishonesty. She gave me a zero for the assignment which is ten percent of my grade and i now have a permanent record in my file. I met with someone from the school of nursing and she emphasized that this was a big concern for the school of nursing etc etc. I was just wondering is this going to affect my progress in nursing school or even job opportunities in the future ? I understand i should have went to the museum to look at the objects but it seems to me a bit much to call it academic dishonesty ... its not like i copied someones work or used someone else's paper... they were all my original ideas. only difference is i looked at the objects at home instead of the museum. i meant no harm by this i simply did not have time to make it to the museum:uhoh3: if anything i feel like the professor should have given me a zero but not report it as academic dishonesty. i feel like i will now be labeled as a cheater/plagiarizer .. which is not what i am! please help .. has anyone had any similar situations??

A zero on the project would have been sufficient.

Boog'sCRRN246, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 9 years experience.

Did you try to pass the paper off as though you had visited the museum? It kind of sounds as though that is what you did when you say "come to find out one the objects I wrote about was not on display in the museum, only online..." If the professor had to call you out on not visiting the museum, it means you were not forthcoming about your methods for writing the paper and that can be considered academic dishonesty.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I think the professor did the right thing -- assuming that it was clear in the assignment that you were supposed to actually go to the musuem. You should have communicated your "alternative activity" to the professor so as not to suggest you completed the assignment as it was supposed to be done.

You were guilty of an infraction: you got got: you have to pay a penalty. Will it hurt your chances? Probably a bit ... but you can probably compensate for it by showing that you take responsibility for your poor judgment and have learned valuable lessons from the experience. I think most people would be reasonably forgiving when reviewing your academic record if you do those things.

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

You got what you deserved. Willing to cut corners in one area shows the capacity to do so later on down the road.

I disagree .. but anyways no one really answered my question .. is this going to affect my progress in nursing school or job opportunities in the future ?


Specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

I understand your frustration but it is really hard to say if this is going to affect your progression in the nursing program and future job prospects. I'm not saying this to be harsh, but it doesn't look real good if the folks from your nursing program are concerned about this. It could mean that they will keep a careful watch on you in the future---and if they do give you a second chance, make sure to adhere strongly to the standards of academic honesty and not cut corners in the future. It could also mean that they might not let you into the program, even if you have already been accepted.

In your situation, I am not sure the punishment fits the crime. I think your professor was correct in giving you a zero for the assignment, especially if it was made clear that you were supposed to visit the museum in person rather than look at the objects from an exhibition online. There was a purpose for that assignment and, unless there were previous arrangements made to allow someone to look at the exhibit online, you did not meet the requirement for that assignment. It sounds to me, though, that this was a one-time-only mistake that you made and if that's the case, I would hope that it would not impact your future negatively.

FWIW, I have sat on a school of nursing admission and progression committee and while I take a very dim view of academic dishonesty, I also understand that students do make mistakes. I would probably give a student in your situation a second chance but if that student did something similar again---in a nursing class, in non-nursing prerequisite, or in a non-nursing elective---I would recommend that the student be dropped from the nursing program.

It's possible that it could reflect negatively on your application to the nursing school and be the factor that denies your acceptance. But if that's not the case and you DO get accepted to the nursing school, then I wouldn't worry about it. There is no way a future employer could ever find out (or care) that you looked at art online and wrote about it instead of going to the museum to see it in person.

It sounds to me like you got unlucky with this Art History Class, even if you're in souther CT it is unreasonable to ask students to schlep all the way into Manhattan for 10% of their grade and spend all that time and money on Metro North just to write about some art. There must be a small local museum closer that is convenient for the students. Yes, you should have asked the teacher first if it was okay to look at it online but like others said, this sounds more like a zero on an assignment that was silly anyway than real "academic dishonesty." Good luck with the nursing application and the rest of this overly-picky art history class.

Will you have the opportunity to explain the situation? I agree with the zero but I don't feel this really falls squarely into the category of academic dishonesty. Perhaps laziness to some degree but not out and out cheating. Do your best, make good grades, join an academic club....all these things will help your case.

Edited by aem31

OB-nurse2013, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 3 years experience.

I think what you did you know is obviously wrong..But I do think the punishment seems a bit harsh and maybe you could try to talk with the professor, see if maybe you could work something out so its not on your record. If teh school of nursing still will accept you then I couldn't see any further problems as long as you didn't do anything like that again. I cannot see a future employer looking into your college records or even being able to.

Maybe you could offer to do some other assignment for no points. Just a thought.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Oh hon, it WAS cheating. You deliberately broke the rules that were set up for the assignment in hopes that you wouldn't get caught. How is this any different than plagiarism or copying from someone else's test answers? I am sure that the other students - who did follow the rules - also feel that you cheated. This is a reflection on your personal integrity.

Integrity may seem like an old fashioned idea in today's world, but it is still a very big deal in nursing. The job is hard, and the temptation to cut corners is always there. We do the right thing because it IS the right thing, not because someone is watching or we're afraid of getting caught.

You've certainly taken your lumps on this one, but if you have realized that moral character cannot vary according to the situation - it was a worthwhile experience.

You should appeal it. Even if you are fairly sure you won't win, you should do it because you have the right to do so. You never know, it might have just been a few people looking at it...or nobody, heck, they might have just signed it and passed it on because that's *sometimes* what happens at colleges. Shocking. ;) Let somebody higher up take a look. That's why colleges have higher ups, because sometimes things at the professor level get a little bit skewed and they start thinking that personally disrespecting them by not drooling over a bunch of old statues like they do = academic misconduct.

I don't think it will impact your nursing education. IF you were to have another issue come up in this area, this will be seen. But otherwise, most schools don't allow teachers to just go digging around in your file and see all of your stuff.

Good luck to you, don't do any other stupid things. ;) We all make mistakes, this one sucked for you but you'll be fine. Chin up and nose clean. :)

And for everybody who thinks this is misconduct...it doesn't seem any different to me than writing a paper when you haven't read all of the assigned material.

Should I link the thread where everybody admitted they don't *actually* read their nursing text books?

Yeesh. Some around here are pretty rough. I can't judge about how harsh the punishment was because I do know the full story and every detail of it. If I were you I talk to someone who knows much about academic dishonesty and student rights. Try not to make it a big deal but see if you were punished too harshly.

You are already doing a good job about being honest towards the school that you intend to go to and honesty is what is going to get you out of this. I can not say not to worry about it but do not let it interfere with any of your studies and continue to push harder.

Some people on here like to get up on their high horse with all that moral integrity BS. I think you have a couple of options. You can appeal it and fight for it. It depends on the wording of the assignment. If the assignment was to write about the art you saw then I say you have a pretty good argument. You could also go ahead and go to the museum, do the assignment and turn it in and beg for forgiveness from the professor. Explain the situation and hope they show some humanity. I for one, don't believe it is cheating. I don't even necessarily think it was wrong either. You saw the work you wrote about it. You are not allowed to touch the stuff at the museum just look so what really is the difference. Hell, this makes you seem more efficient to me lol! I don't think you not taking the time out of your personal life and your own money to drive to see art is representative of your moral character and your propensity to cut corners. If asked about it you could hold your ground and say the only mistake you made was that you should have notified the teacher you would be viewing it online and that it was unreasonable for him/her to require you to go there and not provide an alternative. As far as jobs go they aren't going to care about your academic dishonesty if you graduate. They can't get into your school file without your permission anyway. I imagine nursing school admin might keep an eye on you for awhile but as long as you do what you are supposed to and don't make any more mistakes you should be good. Definitely own the issue and don't wait for them to approach it.


Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 5 years experience.

This is a reflection on your personal integrity.

Integrity may seem like an old fashioned idea in today's world, but it is still a very big deal in nursing. The job is hard, and the temptation to cut corners is always there. We do the right thing because it IS the right thing, not because someone is watching or we're afraid of getting caught.

This hits the nail on the head. In NS they look at you in a different way than a normal student. You are held to a higher standard and you are expected to make decisions for your patients that don't have a clear right or wrong answer. On exams they will test you on this by asking questions about therapeutic communication. In clinical they will watch how you respond to criticism. In lecture they will note who is going to Facebook on their laptop.

Luckily they also seem to give respect to people that admit mistakes and are genuine, so if it comes up for your admission to NS, I would definitely be honest about it, talk about how you learned from it, grew as a person, etc. No employer will ever find out, so don't worry about that. Just take it as a lesson to be learned and you'll be fine.

You got what you deserved. Willing to cut corners in one area shows the capacity to do so later on down the road.

Ease off the accelerator there a little Turbo

Edited by KeepnItReal

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