I've Been Arbitrarily Dismissed By My Instructor From The Nursing Program...

  1. I am a fourth semester student set to graduate in May (2007). Just today, my instructor dismissed me from the program for what she claims was "unsatisfactory" performance in clinicals. I've had her for clinicals all semester. She has never reprimanded me during clinicals. She has never ordered me off the floor from clinicals. She has never ordered that I go to the "lab" to clarifiy my technique. She waited til the day before our final exam to tell me that I "will not be completing the course" and that I "don't have to take the test tomorrow."

    I have never had an "unsatisfactory" clinical evaluation. Even on the "ONE" day she claims I was performing "unsatisfactorily", the nurse I worked with gave me a good, clean evaluation.

    Are instructors allowed to do this? Please advise! I'm a very good student. I'm Vice-President of the class. I truly feel she is "picking on me". I know of incidences that have occurred with other students that have jeopardized a patient's life- and they have been allowed to continue with the program. I have never put a patient's life at risk. I have followed the rules and regulations. What should I do?? Please advise!!!
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    About adoremi125

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 6

    47 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    Ouch! Sounds way unfair to me. I'd go visit your dean.
  4. by   SummerGarden
    Based on your post, you sound very confused! People whom have been dismissed from my program know why and can cite incidents! Thus, I believe that there is a breakdown in communication somewhere and it may not be your fault (I do not know).

    The first thing I would do is contact my clinical instructor and say exactly what you have posted here. Do not bring up other students or cases because that will get you nowhere (besides, he/she cannot discuss the situation of others). Talk about the fact that you had no idea you were performing poorly because you were never informed through evaluations or discussion during clinicals with the exception of one incident.

    If that one incident caused your clinical grade to go down to the point where your other clinical grades did not bring it up, then that might be the reason for the failure! If this is not the case and your clinical instructor does not wish to resolve the situation in a manner that is fair (by the nursing student handbook), then go to the Director of the program.

    By the way, it is my understanding that if a student performs poorly in clinicals, some instructors will wait to see if he/she will fail other areas (lecture, lab, etc.) before failing him/her in clinicals. Is this fair? NO! I think he/she is a coward and his/her behavior should not be tolerated. On the other hand, if he/she is justified in failing you, then it may not matter when he/she informed you of the situation. Good luck. Let us know what happens!
  5. by   Charity
    I would be in the deans office. Your instructor must provide documentation of your unsatisfactory performance before dismissing you. You have the right to see it. When I was a student, and when I taught, students could "challenge" a clinical with another instructor. One or two days on the floor, winner take all. I mean one-on-one evaluation.
  6. by   Freedom42
    I would go straight to the dean's office. I would not talk to the instructor again before doing so. If she realizes that you're challenging her decision, you don't want to give her time to put together any documents before getting administration involved. Let the dean ask her for those documents. If they don't exist, it will bolster your case.
  7. by   Annabelle57
    At my school, we always do mid- and final evaluations with each clinical rotation and instructor (sometimes we have 3 rotations per semester). Did your instructor do a mid-clinical eval with you? (I suspect no...)

    I agree with the others: go straight to the dean's office and explain your situation. If you were clinically "unsafe", unprofessional, whatever, it should be documented with the dean before someone tells you anything like your instructor did. Challenge it to the end!

    Best wishes to you - sorry this is happening.
  8. by   llg
    Do you have a student handbook or some such things that outlines the procedure for appealing a grade? If you do, then follow it to the letter. Go through the proper channels using the established procedures. Many years ago, I served on a school's "Appeals Committee." We were usually willing to give a student a second chance (e.g. having another faculty member review the work) if the student presented an even semi-reasonable case.

    If there is no established procedure, then go straight to the course coordinator or program director and ask her to reveiw the situation.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from llg
    Do you have a student handbook or some such things that outlines the procedure for appealing a grade? If you do, then follow it to the letter. Go through the proper channels using the established procedures. Many years ago, I served on a school's "Appeals Committee." We were usually willing to give a student a second chance (e.g. having another faculty member review the work) if the student presented an even semi-reasonable case.

    If there is no established procedure, then go straight to the course coordinator or program director and ask her to reveiw the situation.
    Yes, this is the way to handle it. Calmly. Professionally.

    Good luck.

    steph
  10. by   adoremi125
    Thanks for the replies! This particular instructor seems to have a history of this. What she has done to me is NOT unprecedented. I've gone to the Director of nursing. She won't even look into it. I have to do something. I just don't know what. Is anyone familiar with educational codes or an instructor? How is being arbitrary about this type of situation right? What types of questions should I be asking? PLEASE ADVISE!!
  11. by   srg4784
    Your dean won't talk to you about it? At my school we have someone that is over our dean if our dean cant satisfy the needs of the students (forgot the name of the position). Do you know of any such position at your school?
  12. by   CTstudent
    You need to talk to who ever is the boss of everyone, not the nursing director. They might be friends. Go straight to the director of the school. Good luck.
  13. by   moongirl
    Quote from adoremi125
    Thanks for the replies! This particular instructor seems to have a history of this. What she has done to me is NOT unprecedented. I've gone to the Director of nursing. She won't even look into it. I have to do something. I just don't know what. Is anyone familiar with educational codes or an instructor? How is being arbitrary about this type of situation right? What types of questions should I be asking? PLEASE ADVISE!!
    the types of questions you should be asking? "Please show me documentation of where I failed to meet standards" " what are your grounds for dismissal" " I would start there. Why wont the director of the prgram talk to you? I find it hard to believe that they could toss you this close to gradaution without a valid reason.

    you must always follow the chain of command. You did go to the program director, now the next step is the Dean, and they should have to set you up with a meeting of the appeals committee, which will include the Director of your program being in attendance.
  14. by   suzy253
    If your handbook says you're entitled to an appeal, then request one in writing right away and save a copy for yourself. If the Director won't listen to your case, take it a step further---who is the Director's boss? Make an appt to see him/her ASAP and request documentation of what they are basing this dismissal on.

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