Difficult instructor (venting...sorry)


I am a returning nursing student, 2nd year of my ADN program. I have set things up so that I will succeed...or so I thought. I passed the first half of my rotation, med-surg (happy dance)! However, I have now entered OB with problems. I bombed my first exam and contribute this to not having enough study time. My current OB instructor and I had words (not in a good way) my first time around. I was stuck taking her again this year (not by choice). Regardless, I entered the rotation ready to succeed; planned to go in and keep my head down. To my surprise I was given an extensive presentation topic that included TEN sub-topics. In addition, I had a 12-hour clinical the day before my exam. My first clinical day was exhausting but, awesome (love the babies)! Sadly, this combination was a recipe for disaster. I would say that I just had bad luck, except for the fact that I am the only person who had 10 topics. Even by my nursing tutor's standards this was a lot of information to cover. I am considering filing a complaint again my instructor due to past negative history. In addition, I feel I was set up to fail as that presentation took almost all of my study time. Also, these presentations are not graded and were not directly related to the exam. We as students basically lecture to one another as my instructor chimes in from the sidelines. She may use portion of a topic that is presented but you won't know that until review time. The class does not have a syllabus, but a learning contract. I could go on. Please note, I had this rotation (same instructor) and passed with a regular topic presentation first time around (ATI was my demise, but that's another story). I know this is more of a venting post; I now have to haul butt to pass this rotation.

I am just simply out done. Also, I know how to multi-task (so that is not the problem); I did well in my summer nursing course and this recent med-surg rotation while I helped to take care of an ill loved one, in addition to working 2-4 days a month. #annoyed #endrant


267 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I feel your pain. I am currently in a situation where I took a class over the summer failed it by 3 pts and retook it again this semester. I am still failing the class but so is everyone else. I have tried seeing the tutor, which was a big help because they went over all of the main topics that would be covered on the test, but when the test came it had nothing to do with what I went over with the tutor. Also the instructors manager has gotten involved because they have never seen an entire class failing this class ever! It frusturating when you attempt to talk to the instructor and ask for help, but when doing so, they are not available or when they are available all they say is study everything....ummm that is not helping me.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

sounds like you may have waited till the last miniute to be sully prepared. By that time you should just be going over the material, not preparing it.

Are you kidding me? That's the entire point. I was working on that freaking presentation. I studied some, after class. But not as much as I would have liked. I didn't have the time due to the presentation. We had one week three "lectures" before the exam.


1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

I honestly dont think you have a leg to stand on with a complaint and may actually paint a red target on your back in doing so. Our clinical days are set up before the semester starts and the instructors dont decide which student gets which clinical. So we have students who has clinical on Sundays and we have 2 exams on Tuesdays and 3 exams on Mondays. It was just luck of the draw I guess. It is probably the same for you. Also consider that your past negative experience may actually be the problem not the instructor. It could be that you are relating a poor experience in the past with how you are being treated when that is not the case. It could very well be the instructor remembers and gave you the harder topic just as likely as it could have been that someone gets that topic or similar every year by random and this year is happened to be you.

Basically, dont let your past with this professor dictate your current situation and how you feel. Let it go. I am in block 2 and half of last semesters block 2 failed. Most of them returned to repeat this semester. Quite a few of the repeating students state one of the two instructors is terrible, that her test questions make no sense, and essentially blame her for failing (i understand this is not what you are doing). They also state that only the people who did well in block one passed block 2. They again are not doing well this semester because of it and complain about the instructor all the time. In my experience, the instructor is actually fantastic and her questions are very straight forward. All test questions come straight from what we were lectured on, they are just a higher application level then last semester and require a bit more thinking to answer correctly. I am doing well in the class even though I was warned how terrible it would be. My point it, that bringing your negative history with this instructor with you to class, may be what is causing you so much trouble. If it is actually the instructor picking on you, then Im sorry and that sucks. Use it as a drive to prove to them that they are wrong and you can do. Dont wait until before a test to prepare for it. Study for the next exam the day after the previous exam. Then, all you have to do for the next exam is reveiw what you already know. GL

That is what I was trying not to let happen; Bring the past forward. I truly dislike the school, but i must finish. I will just prepare and move forward best I can.

Specializes in Hospitalist Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Your instructor having students teach the material to each other is actually a good thing. Evidence shows that if you teach a subject to another person, your ability to retain the information vastly increases. I would view part of it as a positive thing.

I understand that you feel your instructor has it out for you. However, it could be that since you've already taken the course, she might feel that you are better able to handle a more in-depth presentation than the others. After all, you've already been exposed to the material and this is nothing new to you. If the only thing that did you in was ATI, then you should be breezing through the course material.

As far as the schedule, unfortunately, that's the way it sometimes goes in nursing school. Most instructors don't have a choice where & when students are placed in clinicals. Some classmates have Sat/Sun clinicals, some Tue/Wed, some Thu/Fri. This means that exams will occur with little time between clinical shift and class time. That's when we, as nurses, need to use our organizational skills and plan accordingly. If you know you don't as much time the night before an exam to study, then it needs to be done earlier. If a project isn't receiving a grade, don't devote all your time to it and ignore studying for the exam. Do the bare minimum required for the pass/fail presentation requirements and put the effort into preparing for the exam.

I'm sorry, but the onus is on you to take on the challenge you've got and get yourself through it. I don't see that you're being persecuted here. It sounds like it's a time management issue, more than anything else.

ComeTogether, LPN

1 Article; 2,167 Posts

Specializes in Keeping my head above water. Has 8 years experience.

Do you think one of the things they're trying to teach you is how to prioritize? (I'm being sincere, I'm not in the program yet).

You said you had an exam and a project that had 10 sub-topics, but wasn't graded. So, what would have happened if you half-assed the project and spent the majority of your time on material for the exam?

Do you think it's possible that they wanted to see you choose the thing that was most important over the thing that wasn't? I'm just thinking, that's how it works in the "real world". (Nurses often have several tasks due at one time, they have to choose the most important ones over the ones that can wait....)

I'm sorry you're going through this, I guess my advice would be to study what you've learned every day that you're in class, read ahead when you can etc. This way when the test comes around, you'll be prepared because you've been studying as you go.

Kind of sounds like nursing school doesn't leave time for studying. Sounds like they expect you to pay attention in class, retain what you're learning and move on. Do you think that could be it, also?

I wouldn't file a complaint, as much as you want to it just won't help YOU, at all. You just have to suck it up and please her. Maybe you could schedule a meeting with her to find out what you could be doing differently. (Even if you don't agree, just go with it). I always try to deal with things head on, if I have problems with one of my professors (and I often do, I am outspoken and direct), I usually just go to them after class or email them to try to smooth things over.

Anyways, best of luck to you!


78 Posts

I've had my share of crappy instructors, some with great credentials who just weren't engaging, or just possibly burnt out! At the end of the day, nursing school is very demanding and you have to be up to the task regardless of the workload. You really have to suck it up and give it your best. Some instructors do not give a crap if you pass or fail, but most do! It's really up to you to pay attention in class, study, ask questions, engage your instructor regardless of your perceived notion that they have it in for you, and use your classmates to help you grasp a particular topic.

There were classes I felt that I was completely on my own, but you are provided all the materials you need to pass your exams. Stay positive, stay focused, and create a time management plan that allows you enough time to study, go to clinical, and complete your assignments. This may mean no social life for awhile, but remember it's all about delayed gratification: suffer now, prosper later! Good luck

The learning contract requires assignments due. So sure, I could just not do them, but then she could attempt not to give me a grade until the assignment was complete. I'm tempted to do this for the last two weeks of the course to ensure I pass the exam. Then fight later if she makes stink about it. And to those who think I waited too late to study, just didn't prioritize, or should know the material since I passed before. I think I can use some prioritizing improvements. Not passing ati landed me an F in the course regardless of my coursework. Maybe, I was too comfortable thinking I knew the material due to repeating. Who knows. I will just suck up the BS and move forward. #negative and judgmental comments can take a flying leap.