Changing point systems

  1. Maybe I'm just pondering "aloud" and I've no goal (except to gain a better understanding) but I'm going to post and get other's opinions/answers on this.
    Why do you think nursing schools change the point system (how many points are credited to a student) from one semester to the next.
    For example:
    Last year's students
    9 exams worth 70% each
    Exams counted down from 104
    Clinical projects (care plans, IPRs, etc) for 5 points
    ATI proctored worth 5 points

    This year's students
    9 exams worth 75% each
    Exams counted down from 100
    Clinical projects (care plans, IPRs, etc) for 2 points
    ATI proctored worth 2 points.


    This is for third semesters for 2003 and 2004.
    I'm pondering why it would have changed and not only changed but changed so drastically. I find myself thinking "If I'd had what last year's students had, I would have passed." I failed by one point. (Am I unhappy? Well, yes, but I want to be a nurse so will move forward.....I suppose you do what you have to do) The instructor's response is,"Would you want someone to 'give' you that point when you are didn't earn it?"....and I sit there thinking, "No, I want to earn what I get but why am I so much less deserving than last year's students?"
    One student is fighting to gain back what she says is hers. She failed by 1/100th of a point, says it is hers and she won't back down until she gets it. (Three others besides myself didn't make it). The instructor's told her no, not even that 1/100th of a point would they reward to her to bring her 79.4 something to a passing grade. She's going again today to fight for it again....she was there a long time yesterday challenging three different instructors...two on campus and the head of the program.
    But about point systems? Why are nursing schools allowed to change point systems like that....why make it even harder than it is? Why do they help one semester of students and not another, not even in the teeniest bit? There are about 12 students who graduated in May of 2004 who only did so because their exams were counted down from 104, they received more credit points for those other assignments. Yet.....us....
    I don't think I rationalize the reasoning behind it. Is the nursing student who barely passed with a passing grade of 80 going to be a better nurse than I who failed by that one point...final grade: 79.

    Mind you, anyone reading this....I'm not bitter.....I'm still disappointed; would be lying if I didn't admit to that. I know what I want to do...have always wanted to do....I refuse to believe these three semesters were for nothing and intend to use what I've learned to help me in the future.
    Sorry for being so wordy. Like I said, I'm just pondering aloud and it's questions we're not able to ask the instructors without the possibility of them "going off" on us so I suppose I'm just fishing for other's opinions. Surely I can't be the only one who has wondered this and I wonder also if this is the norm everywhere.
    Oh, I've also learned that, where the school used to round off if a student was close....like 79.5 was rounded to an 80...next year, they won't round anything. If you get a grade of 79.9, you have a grade of 79.9.
    Reallllly makes me wonder what the deal is.
  2. Visit Catma63 profile page

    About Catma63

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 312; Likes: 4
    Part-time waitress until I finish school. Full-time mom

    7 Comments

  3. by   allthingsbright
    i think it may have something to do with NCLEX pass rates which are reevaluated every year. schools raise their standards in accordance with how well their students do on the nclex. since it made such a difference to you, you should find out exactly why your school changed its grading standards.

    sorry to hear things didnt turn out well for you this semester! hope things get better!
  4. by   Catma63
    Quote from allthingsbright
    i think it may have something to do with NCLEX pass rates which are reevaluated every year. schools raise their standards in accordance with how well their students do on the nclex. since it made such a difference to you, you should find out exactly why your school changed its grading standards.

    sorry to hear things didnt turn out well for you this semester! hope things get better!
    Yes, I'd pondered that as well...the NCLEX pass rates. Truthfully I can understand the necessity of changing point systems because of it but question why it was done so drastically. If I'd had even half of what last year's students had, I would have passed. (You know how we think those "if only's")
    When I went yesterday to talk to my instructors about what my options were and to get their guidance on helping me successive next time I thought about asking them why they went so easy on last year's and socked it to us so hard. Decided not to...knew it would make no difference. As far as I know, they don't have to answer me and I can imagine questioning them would only have made them angry. It seems the nursing instructors in my school are akin to God-like figures....handlers in the lives of others, the supreme decision-makers of who gets and who doesn't. I can't honestly say that my instructors disliked me....I think thinking along those lines is not only immature but counterproductive so I won't even entertain it as a classmate has. I also have lived long enough to know that, no, life isn't fair.....but there should be justice I feel when other's futures are at stake.
    Thanks for your reply and your support.....Like I said, I'm still quite unhappy (afer all, this is only Day#3 of swallowing it and trying to accept it) but it's not over til' it's over and I will try again.
  5. by   Altra
    Quote from Catma63
    .....Like I said, I'm still quite unhappy (afer all, this is only Day#3 of swallowing it and trying to accept it) but it's not over til' it's over and I will try again.
    I don't really have much to add, but I just wanted to wish you well. Some may sprint to the top, but may not have gained much of a foothold. You'll reach your goals the more tenacious way and be rewarded in the end.

    (sorry if this is obtuse)

    Peace.
  6. by   llg
    Schools change their curricula, their textbooks, their grading systems, their philosphy, their clinical sites, their teaching methods, etc. on a regular basis all the time. If they didn't respond to changing conditions and continue to develop, they would stagnate and soon fall behind the times and the national standards. Schools get feedback from a variety of sources ... NCLEX pass rates, student evaluations, accrediting agencies, etc. and combine all of that to continually refine their programs. That's how progress is made and things have a chance of improving over time.

    I am sorry that you feel that some of the recent developments in your program have worked to your disadvantage ... but you really wouldn't want the program to stagnate and to be lifeless.

    llg
  7. by   Catma63
    Quote from llg
    I am sorry that you feel that some of the recent developments in your program have worked to your disadvantage ... but you really wouldn't want the program to stagnate and to be lifeless.

    llg

    Oh noooo, of course not and I'm confident that I did not imply that in my post.
  8. by   llg
    Quote from Catma63
    Oh noooo, of course not and I'm confident that I did not imply that in my post.
    I don't think you did, either. I hope you didn't take offense at my previous post. None was intended.

    llg
  9. by   Catma63
    Quote from llg
    I don't think you did, either. I hope you didn't take offense at my previous post. None was intended.

    llg
    No no, none at all. I just wanted to clarify.
    You know, when I first "sat down to analyze" this whole thing of having failed I had all of these thoughts..."I'm angry....I'm disappointed....I'm hurt....Am I supposed to feel this way?.....Is this stereotypical of a student that has failed?....." and then "Okay, what now?"
    I recall the first year instructor telling the class last year how it was funny how most students that pass loved her to death (naturally, no way to know if these students truly did or if this was an assumption or what but...) but the students who fail always blame her and hate her. Her saying that was replaying itself in my head over and over again as I pondered this, struggling in my first day to cope. After having lived for 41 years I know that we, as humans, sometimes have irrational feelings when things don't go as we hoped or planned yet I also truly feel we are justified to have those feelings. I think a lot of it comes to ethics....Often moreso that what the standards of the Board of Nursing and the NCLEX come to. If it were not so, other schools would be operating the exact same way and they don't! A nursing school two hours from me (and no, I don't have the option of going there because besides my two grown sons I also have two little boys and am lacking in childcare to be able to perform such a feat) works with the student, and gives reviews consistent with upcoming exams (which we oftentimes didn't have). I've heard the instructors are kind and welcoming to those students who seek their help....we in turn were often waved off with an "Not now! I'm busy!" whenever we showed up at our instructor's office door. This instructor has been teaching for two years....I think ours is actually her second. I mean, my goodness, the school is only entering it's sixth semester itself.....so far, only one graduating class.
    I just felt that, yes, maybe they did have to take some of those extra points away that last year's students had.....but as much as they did? Why give them so much and stomp us into the ground?

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