Do we have valid complaints?


Honestly I don't think my classmates are overreacting w/ our current situation but I could be wrong. I'm going to give you a little run down of our class tonight and let me know if this is seriously how other schools are ran or if we just got "lucky".

Backstory: We have 3 kinds of tests in our nursing class, med-term, math, and big exams. If you have a question about an exam question you have to fill out a challenge form blah blah blah, but if you have a question on med-term or math you were told to just speak to the prof that made up that test.

The last medterm tests every person that had test "c" had a word on it that was absolutely NOT in our book or any of the study information they gave us. This part of our class is 100% learn on your own so all we have is our book, the study guides they give us and what they tell us is going to be covered. So obviously we all complained. When you only have 20 questions and a 90% is a B every question counts. In addition to that several of us were marked wrong on a question and we had the solid proof in our hands to show her that our answer was actually right (as in it was right in the book).

So we take our most recent medterm test and there is same issue. People started to complain and she told them that she wasn't even discussing it right now. Okaaaay. We figure will go over it when we get our tests back.

Well tonight she walks in and informs us that we're getting our medterm and math tests back tomorrow and that we are not allowed to so much as ask any questions about the tests. She said the tests were graded "fairly" and that was the end of the story, grades are final, and she will not talk to anyone about anything on the test and aparently the professor that does the math tests said the same thing about the math one. Her EXACT words were "you drive us crazy w/ all your questions". This weekend someone tried to ask her about a question on the test, NOT about her grade, not arguing about the question, just simply wanting to know what the answer was since it wasn't in our book. Professor kept interrupting her to tell her that she was not discussing this test in any way. NICE. SO apparently we point out the mistakes on the test and now we're screwed because she got her panties in a twist over it and now we have no recourse if we think an answer is wrong.

So this is how she started off the class. Everyone obviously was not thrilled w/ that and was a bit disgruntled. Then she proceeded on to her "lecture". By lecture I mean that she takes the pre-printed power points from the books publisher and then proceeds to stand behind a podium and read the thing WORD FOR FLIPPING WORD. When someone asks for clarification her usual answer is "this is all in your book". So again, we're really agitated because we're spending close to two hours bored out of our minds listening to the monotony of her reading and learning NOTHING that we can't read right from the book ourselves BUT our attendance is reflected in our grade.

So tonight after the lovely speech about our tests and then her lovely lecture (which btw, we swear she doesn't even read those power points before class because she spends half of the lecture stopping and re-reading what she said trying to figure out what they mean), we were pretty irritated. THere was lots of whispering going around as people were making cracks and commenting on what a waste of time this was. She made a comment about people talking and it quieted down for all of five minutes and when the whispering started up again she told us she was done and class was over. Someone asked her if she was going to go over the worksheets so she starts rattling off the answers and when the entire class objected to one of the answers her response was "look, I print these off from the book's website, these are the answers they said were right. If you dont agree then fine as long as you are confident you have the right asnwer, then fine but i'm am not in the mood for this right now". Yup.

Other issues w/ this professor:

She has made some snotty and unprofessional comments to more than one student in the middle of their checkoff's (one of mine included).

She starts each clinical off with the comment that "don't believe everything you hear about me, i'm not as bad as they say" which in turn, makes me think that if you actually have to verbalize that over and over, there probably is some truth to what everyone is saying!!

People are actually afraid to ask her questions in class because her general method of "teaching" is to intimidate you or try and make you look like a giant butt infront of the class.

She has apparently made a comment on two different occasions infront of two different students that she doesn't think men should be nurses. I did not personally hear this, but I am in her clinical group and last weekend in our clinical a nurse asked for two students to help w/ a bedbath and she initially chose a girl and the only guy in our group but then said "oh wait, the patient is a women" and chose a 2nd girl to go instead of our guy. Now keep in mind this patient had NOT said one word about not wanting a male nursing student to bathe her and this same professor had no problem sending two girls in to do a bed bath on a male patient. Had the patient stated she didn't want a male bathing her that would have been one thing, but that was not the case here.

I'm really getting frustraited as are a lot of my classmates. We just don't feel that we really need to be treated like the children of the village idiots and that while we may know jack about nursing as of yet, we should still be treated w/ at least a little bit of respect and dignity if for no other reason than we are all adults here. Treating us like children and being demeaning is no way to teach us how to be nurses. If this is how nursing school is then no wonder nurses eat their young! By the time you get out of nursing school you're so sick of being treated like crap and degraded that you pass it on!

Now i'm not saying it was not rude and disrespectful for people to be whispering in class as it WAS rude. But i'm not sure what she really expects of us when she walks in w/ a big 'ole attitude problem like she does. I'm NOT looking forward to clinical next weekend because I am oh so lucky to have her as my clinical instructer as well as lecturer. I was NOT one of the people talking but I was sure sitting there cracking up over it which i'm certain she noticed. By that point I was just so irritated and in total disbelief that she and the school really finds this behavior acceptable that it was either laugh or say something that i'd probably regret later.

So obviously this is really long so kudos if you made it through, but honestly are we out of line here thinking that for what we pay in tution (private catholic school) that we should at least get something more out of lecture then a reading of the power point and an attitude problem? THe other GREAT news is that we get to keep this same instructor for our next THREE semesters! *sigh* This is the only accredited ADN program in the area so it's not like we can just hop on over to another school. Not only that but it's the only nights & weekends program in teh area as well. They seem to know this and expect us to take whatever they want to give because they know we're stuck there. *double sigh*


110 Posts

Look up your school's policy on grade grievance. In the program I graduated from you had to prove the answer you selected was right with 2 sources...If it was something that was not in the assigned reading past or present or in the presented materials by the instructor or guest speaker then that had to be presented to the instructor in writing. If your instructor is not in compliance with the school policy then you need to go to the head of the faculty and make a written complaint. Anyone who feels discriminated against needs to make a seperate complaint (males) You are an adult and you have a right to be treat with respect yes some nursing instructors are very hmmm what's the word... strict, but the school has policies in place to make sure things are done fairly and that everyone is treated in a proper manner.


274 Posts

We have a similar set up for challenging questions as stated right in the handbook and she has flat out said she is not following it for this last set of tests. We are all wavering back on forth on whether we really want to say anything or not. Apparently there were issues w/ last years class as well with this instructor and the people that spoke up ended up being completely railroaded by administration and this professor. The ones that didn't say screw you i'll find another program are repeating this semester. It doesn't sound like there is very much support in the admin building for students unfortunately. A few of us have thought about sending "anonymous" comments but we pretty much know those kind of things aren't really taken seriously

BUT on the other hand are we really going to learn anything from this women in the next three semsters? We dont want to end up in our second year totally clueless because this woman is more interested in showing us what a brass set she has then teaching the material.

So I guess we're just stuck lol. I think we're all trying to figure out just how bad it has to be before we all throw in the towel. We were just wondering if all instructors or honestly this way and it's just how nursing school is and part of the "weeding out" (which our school swears it doesn't do *rolls eyes*) or if this woman is just over the top.


110 Posts

No way are all instructors like this! I had some really great ones but yes some are they hold on to the old bit of weeding out the weak but in reality even something weak can become strong when nurtured properly and a lot of instructors are taking on this more positive attitude now. Good luck in whatever you decide to do just dont waste your money in a situation that dosnt benefit you.


42 Posts

Specializes in UR, oncology, L&D, IVTherapy. Has 37 years experience.



1 Article; 2,188 Posts

Specializes in Home Care.

Yes you do have valid complaints.

I can't help but wonder about the quality of the nursing program you are in.

What is the NCLEX pass rate for this program?


274 Posts

The NCLEX pass rate is actually the best out of the area schools, ADN & BSN,...but according to the recent grads that spoke to us at graduation they started out w/ 45 people and ended up w/ 18. Although they were quick to point out that not all of those people failed, some just quit and others decided to go to a slower track. Now I kind of wonder just how many of the people that quit, quit to go to a different program.

Well at least I know that were not just being overly critical and crabby.


657 Posts

Specializes in Professional Development Specialist.

My school is the exact same way. It's horrible, I'm in my last semester and half of us feel like we need counseling for PTSD. I don't say that lightly or to be funny. We tried just about everything, after the 2nd exam of 4 this semester 78% of the class was failing. Complaints were filed with the board of education, and multiple attempts were made to discuss the situation but in the end nothing was done and nothing is likely going to change. Just this semester we lost 6 students of 31, and lost at least that many the previous 3. The school is overly proud of their 100% NCLEX pass rate but the cost of that pass rate is very high for the students. Anyone they feel isn't going to pass the first time is weeded out.

I bought extra books and used the internet to teach myself and found that was the only way to succeed. I spent about 30 hrs a week studying, and did every NCLEX style question I could find, all the questions in our book and every Saunders test question related to the test subject.

I'm sorry your program is like this, but unfortunately your situation is not unique. Personally I feel you can make good nurses without traumatizing people. Good luck!!

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

i would notify the accrediting agency in your state.....

Specializes in IMCU. Has 12 years experience.

Well our instructor does let us ask questions when we "go over" the test -- and it takes FOREVER. Sometimes 2 hours to go over a 50 question test. A monumental waste of time that eats into our lab time.

In my A & P II class the instructor did this formal challenge document for his tests as well and did not explain any of the answers that were a bit dodgy. It made me crazy but I got through it.

As far as the professor...she does sound bad. Equally, it does sound like you had her judged from the beginning and now she can do nothing right.

As for their drop/fail rate. Ultimately this will impact their bottom line and that is what will get things changed. Accrediting agencies aren't going to be able to do much if the people actually graduating are qualified.

When I have encountered problems at school (or work for that matter) I have a good vent, as you did, and then after a while I have to expend my energy elsewhere. Sometimes this takes days -- when I am am "in the right" it can take weeks.

I think it sucks when NS is made harder than it need be with personalities, prejudices and just plain crappy teaching. Good luck!


274 Posts

Well our instructor does let us ask questions when we "go over" the test -- and it takes FOREVER. Sometimes 2 hours to go over a 50 question test. A monumental waste of time that eats into our lab time.

Oh good heavens! Yeah that would annoy me too. I don't mind that they don't want to take class time to go over the tests, I totally understand that. What irritates me is that they are refusing to discuss the test AT ALL even if you come and see them one on one during their office hours.

I think last night we were all so darn ticked off that there were a lot of tempers flaring. I'm sure today we'll all walk in gritting our teeth and nodding our heads depsite the fact that her attitude is total crap because like it or not, she is our instructor for our next three semesters.

I only wish that their drop out rate and the issue they have w/ instructors would hurt their bottom line. THEN something might get done. BUT both the day and evening ADN programs and the BSN program have wait lists a mile long so I don't see them suffering financially anytime soon.


38,333 Posts

Well, from what I saw at my school, there is a good chance that there is at least one of these types at most schools. The sad thing is what could happen to the students that are stuck with this instructor. It could mean the difference between success and failure. I ran into the school bad apple and suffered for it as did several former students that I met around the area. Everyone agreed that there was something major wrong with the instructor but none of us could fathom why the school kept her around. Our misfortune. Best I can tell you is to put up with her while you and your classmates decide what steps you are going to collectively take to deal with the situation.