Clinical Instructor Bullying

Nursing Students General Students


Had a pretty bad run-in with a clinical instructor bully. I was not even the first student in my clinical group to verbalize concern about the clinical instructor. I am an older student, and although I can't expect different treatment than any of my younger classmates, I certainly don't take kindly to person in this role who displays below bar professionalism with nursing students. We were asked if we were "babies", the instructor put students in compromising situations that they were not prepared to handle in front of hospital staff, causing them to cry in front of everyone. In general, the instructors demeanor was out of line--and it would have been obvious to any faculty at my school had their been any eyes on the instructor. Unfortunately for all of us, there were no eyes on the instructor and this person basically had inpunity to act and speak however they wanted. 

The concern that I have is that if the instructor was behaving this way, what was the reason she sought out the role of clinical instructor in the first place? The relationship between a nursing student and clinical instructor is one in which the clinical instructor holds 100% of the leverage, since they have a license and students do not; they decide if the student passes or fails. It is the type of environment that is known to attract ill-intentioned people--I'm talking about scenarios in which the power dynamic is so skewed that the it makes people susceptible to abuse, and draws the type of people that seek to abuse others. 

So then the questions: Should clinical instructors be vetted differently? Should there be methods that students have to hold clinical instructors accountable? My school said that if we are going to report an instructor that we would likely require more than one person to point out the concern. This is obviously flawed if only one person is being bullied and other students are fearful.

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