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Failed my third semester, should I do anything about it?

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by Sillycat Sillycat, LPN (New) New Nurse Student

Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

366 Profile Views; 13 Posts

 Ugh, I failed out of nursing school this semester. It was horrible. I have a documented disability with an accommodation plan through the school. In my plan it states that if I have some sort of disability crisis before or during an exam that I can meet with the instructor and disability services about it. I had this crisis before our Endocrine exam. I have anxiety issues. We was supposed to take our exam at one campus and the software for the exam wasn't installed on the new computers which made us have to move campuses, I was not prepared for this. It threw my anxiety into a tailspin. Prior to taking the exam I went to the instructor crying and told her that I didn't think I could take the exam, I was told to breathe, breathe and breathe some more, I eyeballed her during the exam and she kept trying to reassure me that it would be ok, but it wasn't. My focus was gone. My regular instructor came into the classroom and I was almost the last person to leave the room. I, of course, failed the exam badly. I've never failed an exam like this. When I went to my instructor after the exam she suggested that I see a therapist, I told her I already do, not that was any of her business. She then suggested I see another one?

So as you can imagine after this one test that totally blew my confidence in test taking. The test that I bombed was Endocrine and that is not an easy subject but I had felt pretty good about it prior to having the issues with the computers and such. I suck at test taking as it is.

After failing it and speaking to my instructor and then crying in another instructors office for an hour I decided to go home and debate about letting disability services know since I didn't want to get on their bad side (our Dean), I thought about it for a week and when we was at another campus (our class as a whole) I went to one of the instructors to ask about it, they basically told me tough luck. I've already seen the exam and that's that. I wasn't sure what to do after that. I just kept hoping for the best and flying under the radar (we had some problems with the accommodation problem and then Dean in the Spring). I kept on going to class and kept on failing test, not failing horribly but nonetheless failing it, the one test that made the most difference was that Endocrine test, the test that I tried to get help with, the test where I went to the instructor. Again, my confidence and worry just kept getting in the way of the test, I knew the material. Our policy for testing is you must have a 78%, it's always been that. If you don't make a 78% you fail. After our final was taken there was several people who failed, who literally failed the class, it was posted as a final grade. Then they decided to throw  out another couple of questions to push some people over to the passing side after the first final grade was posted. We was always told if it's 77.9% it doesn't matter, we will not give it to you.

In our clinical setting it's either pass or fail, if you don't go and don't attend and don't complete care plans and such then you fail. It's all or none. You have to attend. If you don't they do a makeup case study, which is not the same as clinical experience. However this is how they do things. I have attended all of my clinicals. I have done great with all of my work. I have had nothing but good and positive feedback in my clinical settings.

I have a classmate who had to obtain a lawyer because of our Dean trying to remove her from the program and she wasn't even interviewed about the incidence that happened at school, she was just written up and was fixing to be kicked out of the program. I had spoke to her about everything and she suggested that I do something about all of this, file a complaint against the nursing department. I just don't know what to do. I have to apply for readmission and the last thing I want to do is upset them and make it so that I can't get back into the program. But there is no guarantee that they will let me back in anyways.

I am just trying to figure out what to do? Bite my tongue about what happened with the Endocrine test? Hope that they just let me back in when the fall semester starts? My current professor is horrible. She would say mean and snarky things to me, not to all of the class but to me. I don't ever want to be in her class again.

I just don't know what to do. Any thoughts? Even if it's just to tell me to get over it then I will at least see what other people think about it. I have another classmate telling me to do something about it as well. I just don't know if I should hold my tongue or have the disability services file a complaint?

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Appeal it you have nothing to lose. If it was a clinical problem, it is easier to win because a lot of it is subjective. But you have failed 3 different courses. Even if you passed with the accommodation, you would have barely passed. Most schools that I know only give you 2 chances to fail and then you are kicked out. At my school, if you are kicked out, you can't re-apply ever.

 

You said you kept failing tests but the Endocrine test was the worst failed test. SOunds like you need to re-evaluate your study habits and make a major change. I understand you have test anxiety but still, that isn't any excuse to be failing multiple times. Your school is trying to prepare you for NCLEX.

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Rionoir is a ADN, RN and specializes in Neuro ICU.

594 Posts; 3,348 Profile Views

I've dealt with anxiety.. I've even had a full blown panic attack during a test.. I still passed.  Reasonable accommodations don't include being able to retake a test because of anxiety.  As a nurse, you are going to have to learn to work under that type of stress on a regular basis.  Anxiety sucks and tons of students are dealing with it in nursing school - but you need to redirect your frustration at yourself not at your school.  I believe you were struggling with your emotions, but I'd also be willing to bet you weren't fully prepared for those tests.  Looking for someone to blame isn't going to help you.

Anyway - have you tried propranolol?  It's pretty good for test anxiety - I take a half a tab a half hour before my tests and I'm good to go. 

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Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

13 Posts; 366 Profile Views

28 minutes ago, Rionoir said:

I've dealt with anxiety.. I've even had a full blown panic attack during a test.. I still passed.  Reasonable accommodations don't include being able to retake a test because of anxiety.  As a nurse, you are going to have to learn to work under that type of stress on a regular basis.  Anxiety sucks and tons of students are dealing with it in nursing school - but you need to redirect your frustration at yourself not at your school.  I believe you were struggling with your emotions, but I'd also be willing to bet you weren't fully prepared for those tests.  Looking for someone to blame isn't going to help you.

Anyway - have you tried propranolol?  It's pretty good for test anxiety - I take a half a tab a half hour before my tests and I'm good to go. 

My therapist actually suggested this! I failed Med Surg 2. I didn't fail any of my specialty classes. I've passed mental health and peds, I've also passed fundamental, and med surg 1.

 

47 minutes ago, carti said:

Appeal it you have nothing to lose. If it was a clinical problem, it is easier to win because a lot of it is subjective. But you have failed 3 different courses. Even if you passed with the accommodation, you would have barely passed. Most schools that I know only give you 2 chances to fail and then you are kicked out. At my school, if you are kicked out, you can't re-apply ever.

 

You said you kept failing tests but the Endocrine test was the worst failed test. SOunds like you need to re-evaluate your study habits and make a major change. I understand you have test anxiety but still, that isn't any excuse to be failing multiple times. Your school is trying to prepare you for NCLEX.

Oh no, I only failed Med Surg, I didn't fail any of my specialty classes.  We are only allowed two attempts and then that's it. So I worked through my whole semester and ended up failing by two points. It just stinks, I wasn't sure what to do other than suck it up and hope that they let me back in next fall. Most of our classmates was on the line also, a few failed out and then grades was readjusted. I do need to re-evaluate how I do things.

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Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

13 Posts; 366 Profile Views

53 minutes ago, carti said:

Appeal it you have nothing to lose. If it was a clinical problem, it is easier to win because a lot of it is subjective. But you have failed 3 different courses. Even if you passed with the accommodation, you would have barely passed. Most schools that I know only give you 2 chances to fail and then you are kicked out. At my school, if you are kicked out, you can't re-apply ever.

 

You said you kept failing tests but the Endocrine test was the worst failed test. SOunds like you need to re-evaluate your study habits and make a major change. I understand you have test anxiety but still, that isn't any excuse to be failing multiple times. Your school is trying to prepare you for NCLEX.

The whole problem about trying to prepare us for the NCLEX was I could answer all kinds of NCLEX  questions on my apps on my phone, I've had no problem but when I get into their test and everything they preach, I can't seem to find the answer that they want. They are all good answers but they need the best answer which I understand. But they teach it one way, and then ask it another way, we was all confused. I don't want to seem like I'm looking for someone to blame. I'm just stumped. I don't want to upset them. I just want to finish my RN. The anxiety that I deal with is all around test taking. I think I need to look at test taking skills again.

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I just skimmed the previous posts but wanted to ask if your program has a retention coordinator and if so, have you seen this person?  My program had a nursing counselor, (one of the instructors), whose second duty was to ride herd on the students who were having problems.  She was very good at what she did.  If she could not help a person, no one could.  If your program does not have such a faculty member, then can you talk to a trusted instructor?  I agree that you don't want to upset them, but going to an attorney at this point would certainly do just that and most likely be counterproductive.  JMHO.

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

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It sounds like there are separate issues here.

There was a problem with the accommodations for your endocrine exam. That's an issue that needs to be addressed with your school disability office, in the moment. As it stands now, that ship has sailed.

The second issue is your own test-taking skills and study habits. You kept going to class and kept failing. That's on you.

A single exam shouldn't be a make-or-break moment.

Instead of trying to figure out if you can do anything about what happened, figure out how you can make changes in the future. Does your school offer tutoring? You said in a later post that "But they teach it one way, and then ask it another way." You might have some issues with application of content.

Is there an instructor that you got along well with? If you get re-admitted, try making an appointment to meet with them to see if they have any advice.

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Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

13 Posts; 366 Profile Views

8 minutes ago, WhaleTails said:

It sounds like there are separate issues here.

There was a problem with the accommodations for your endocrine exam. That's an issue that needs to be addressed with your school disability office, in the moment. As it stands now, that ship has sailed.

The second issue is your own test-taking skills and study habits. You kept going to class and kept failing. That's on you.

A single exam shouldn't be a make-or-break moment.

Instead of trying to figure out if you can do anything about what happened, figure out how you can make changes in the future. Does your school offer tutoring? You said in a later post that "But they teach it one way, and then ask it another way." You might have some issues with application of content.

Is there an instructor that you got along well with? If you get re-admitted, try making an appointment to meet with them to see if they have any advice.

Yes there is an instructor that teaches well. I am going to try to go to her campus next Fall, There was a ton of people that failed many exams but barely managed to pass the semester, I'm not sure if it's there teaching because our instructor at our campus was just terrible. We (as a whole class) would rather watch paint dry. But we had access to a Youtube channel of one of the other instructors so a lot of us would watch that as well. Our class at our campus is small (there was 21 of us at that campus and 5 of us failed out) There are 3 campuses, I am going to try to go to the one that's 30 miles away from my house because I think she's the best instructor.

I did try to address the issue after the endocrine exam with the instructors but I did not get my accommodation support person involved because I was afraid of retaliation, this school is so warped. When I say retaliation, there are always points that are given back after exams, sometimes people would get points (more so than others) There has been up to 10 points given back, when it happens I usually only get 2-4 so I am afraid that if I go and try to do something then I won't even get those back.

It's such a icky situation, I was just wanting to see what you guys think. I have a classmate who is pushing hard for me to do something and I think I am just going to let it be.

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Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

13 Posts; 366 Profile Views

14 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

I just skimmed the previous posts but wanted to ask if your program has a retention coordinator and if so, have you seen this person?  My program had a nursing counselor, (one of the instructors), whose second duty was to ride herd on the students who were having problems.  She was very good at what she did.  If she could not help a person, no one could.  If your program does not have such a faculty member, then can you talk to a trusted instructor?  I agree that you don't want to upset them, but going to an attorney at this point would certainly do just that and most likely be counterproductive.  JMHO.

Oh I wasn't going to get an attorney, I just had a classmate who had to do that. In the end, she was found innocent and she explained how corrupt our program was, and I am truly happy that she was able to fight it but it was 7 weeks of hell for her. My classmate is the one who suggested that but I wouldn't go that route, like I said, I don't want to upset them. We don't have a nursing coordinator.

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

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4 minutes ago, Sillycat said:

Our class at our campus is small (there was 21 of us at that campus and 5 of us failed out) There are 3 campuses, I am going to try to go to the one that's 30 miles away from my house because I think she's the best instructor.

Is this a private/for-profit technical school? Just curious because the multiple campuses makes it sound that way.

Are there any other schools in your area that offer the LPN-to-RN bridge, in the event that this doesn't pan out?

 

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Sillycat is a LPN and specializes in Oncology.

13 Posts; 366 Profile Views

8 minutes ago, WhaleTails said:

Is this a private/for-profit technical school? Just curious because the multiple campuses makes it sound that way.

Are there any other schools in your area that offer the LPN-to-RN bridge, in the event that this doesn't pan out?

 

No this is a community college. I'm not sure why they offer multiple campuses because you would think that it would be easier to have us all at one campus because we did that when one instructor was teaching cardiac. It's probably also for clinical simulation and the space that's needed there. We (our class) just couldn't understand why they would let a instructor teach a class when she really didn't know what she was talking about. That's when we would go home and watch the Youtube channel. We also could listen to this instructors lecture because someone in the class would record it and then share it. So we had to go to our regular campus and spend 5 hours with an instructor who really didn't know things (she would shut down people when they had questions and she didn't know the answers)  and then we would listen to the instructors lecture that was recorded who we all think would have been the best instructor for the program. A lot of us voiced our opinions about said teacher and not learning from her but our complaints was ignored.

Edited by Sillycat

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

229 Posts; 1,701 Profile Views

@Sillycat Woof, that whole thing sounds like a disaster.

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