Should I appeal?

  1. A few weeks ago, I was informed that I would fail Med-Surg clinical. At the time the semester was still ongoing, although clinical had ended by then. At the time, I was also passing the theory section of that same course. However, since I failed the clinical, that failure counted towards the second failure for me in that program, and the program's policy is to typically dismiss someone after two failures.

    I have two main gripes with clinical. First, clinical ended two days before the withdrawal deadline, and while I had struggled early on, I did improve, and my clinical instructor acknowledged as much. Apparently, however, it wasn't enough to her liking, but what I don't get is why she couldn't have given me a heads-up about my pending failure before the deadline, if I was indeed to be failed. Secondly, I disagree with the reasons she gave for failing me. She used errors I had made through the semester as reasons, although I had gone to remediation for those errors. Also, I was out of school for five months prior due to needing to retake a course which wasn't offered in the Fall, so I was rusty in some regards to clinical skills, which contributed to the errors I made. In my time off, I tried and failed to find work, and I also contacted my school to see if I could come in for some sort of remediation so that I wouldn't forget things, but that went nowhere.

    Continuing with my clinical experience, there were situations in which there either wasn't an ideal solution obvious to me at the time or in which unforeseen circumstances led me to ultimately look bad in front of my instructor. Also, she claimed that I didn't talk to my nurse or my peers, and while I probably could have asked more questions or interacted more in retrospect, she wasn't following me around the whole shift for her to possibly know that. She claimed that I didn't ask for help, yet I once called a tech to help me turn a patient, so maybe I didn't ask for help as much as she thought I should have. In hindsight, I know the things that I could have improved on, and interacting more with others was probably a major one, but she drew the conclusion that I wouldn't be able to do well in the next semester because of the errors I made (which were all situational, brain farts, and/or addressed by remediation). At times, it was almost like I was penalized for learning, or as if the concept of learning from one's mistakes (AS A STUDENT) was foreign to her. All in all, I feel her evaluation was subjective, and based mainly on what she saw, and on her accentuating the negative.

    After failing clinical, as well as having my theory instructor (who also sat in on the evaluation) suggest that maybe being a nurse wasn't for me, despite her only ever seeing me in a classroom with sixty other people, there were about five days that followed in which I was so bummed out and conflicted that I didn't study or really do anything. It was the worst time for me to fall out of the groove that I had established throughout the semester. As a result, I did significantly worse on my third Med-Surg theory exam than on my first two, and while I still managed to pass Pharmacology (which I was retaking), and while I did a little better on the Med-Surg final than I did on the third exam, it still wasn't enough to help me pass the Med-Surg theory portion (I failed it by about a percentage point).

    My question is, do I have a case at all for appealing my grade? If I had passed the theory portion, I would have appealed the clinical grade without question, but my failing the theory portion obviously gives me less of a leg to stand on. However, while there was no ideal time to learn that I was going to fail clinical, it also didn't seem fair for my clinical instructor to spring that on me less than a week before an exam (if only for my transcript's sake). I would have rather have found that out either after my finals or before the drop deadline (which, again, is when the last clinical day was). As it turned out, the revelation of my clinical failure, and the uncertainty that came with it, took the wind out of me in the final weeks of the semester, which left me with lower grades on the last two exams than I had on the first two, and lower than what I believe I would have had on them otherwise.
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    About aaronadams92

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 3
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    18 Comments

  3. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from aaronadams92
    My question is, do I have a case at all for appealing my grade
    No you do not.
  4. by   saskrn
    IMHO, you don't have a case for appealing your grade.

    While reading your post, it seemed that your explanation of all this actually confirmed why you should have failed clinical, not passed.

    Re-evaluate and move on.

    Good luck!
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from aaronadams92
    A few weeks ago, I was informed that I would fail Med-Surg clinical. At the time the semester was still ongoing, although clinical had ended by then. At the time, I was also passing the theory section of that same course. However, since I failed the clinical, that failure counted towards the second failure for me in that program, and the program's policy is to typically dismiss someone after two failures.

    I have two main gripes with clinical. First, clinical ended two days before the withdrawal deadline, and while I had struggled early on, I did improve, and my clinical instructor acknowledged as much. Apparently, however, it wasn't enough to her liking, but what I don't get is why she couldn't have given me a heads-up about my pending failure before the deadline, if I was indeed to be failed. Secondly, I disagree with the reasons she gave for failing me. She used errors I had made through the semester as reasons, although I had gone to remediation for those errors. Also, I was out of school for five months prior due to needing to retake a course which wasn't offered in the Fall, so I was rusty in some regards to clinical skills, which contributed to the errors I made. In my time off, I tried and failed to find work, and I also contacted my school to see if I could come in for some sort of remediation so that I wouldn't forget things, but that went nowhere.

    Continuing with my clinical experience, there were situations in which there either wasn't an ideal solution obvious to me at the time or in which unforeseen circumstances led me to ultimately look bad in front of my instructor. Also, she claimed that I didn't talk to my nurse or my peers, and while I probably could have asked more questions or interacted more in retrospect, she wasn't following me around the whole shift for her to possibly know that. She claimed that I didn't ask for help, yet I once called a tech to help me turn a patient, so maybe I didn't ask for help as much as she thought I should have. In hindsight, I know the things that I could have improved on, and interacting more with others was probably a major one, but she drew the conclusion that I wouldn't be able to do well in the next semester because of the errors I made (which were all situational, brain farts, and/or addressed by remediation). At times, it was almost like I was penalized for learning, or as if the concept of learning from one's mistakes (AS A STUDENT) was foreign to her. All in all, I feel her evaluation was subjective, and based mainly on what she saw, and on her accentuating the negative.

    After failing clinical, as well as having my theory instructor (who also sat in on the evaluation) suggest that maybe being a nurse wasn't for me, despite her only ever seeing me in a classroom with sixty other people, there were about five days that followed in which I was so bummed out and conflicted that I didn't study or really do anything. It was the worst time for me to fall out of the groove that I had established throughout the semester. As a result, I did significantly worse on my third Med-Surg theory exam than on my first two, and while I still managed to pass Pharmacology (which I was retaking), and while I did a little better on the Med-Surg final than I did on the third exam, it still wasn't enough to help me pass the Med-Surg theory portion (I failed it by about a percentage point).

    My question is, do I have a case at all for appealing my grade? If I had passed the theory portion, I would have appealed the clinical grade without question, but my failing the theory portion obviously gives me less of a leg to stand on. However, while there was no ideal time to learn that I was going to fail clinical, it also didn't seem fair for my clinical instructor to spring that on me less than a week before an exam (if only for my transcript's sake). I would have rather have found that out either after my finals or before the drop deadline (which, again, is when the last clinical day was). As it turned out, the revelation of my clinical failure, and the uncertainty that came with it, took the wind out of me in the final weeks of the semester, which left me with lower grades on the last two exams than I had on the first two, and lower than what I believe I would have had on them otherwise.
    It seems you're trying to "justify" your mistakes and blame "unforeseen circumstances" and your instructors rather than taking accountability. That alone is a reason to fail you. I'm sorry, but I don't think you have grounds to appeal.
  6. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from aaronadams92
    A few weeks ago, I was informed that I would fail Med-Surg clinical. At the time the semester was still ongoing, although clinical had ended by then. At the time, I was also passing the theory section of that same course. However, since I failed the clinical, that failure counted towards the second failure for me in that program, and the program's policy is to typically dismiss someone after two failures.

    I have two main gripes with clinical. First, clinical ended two days before the withdrawal deadline, and while I had struggled early on, I did improve, and my clinical instructor acknowledged as much. Apparently, however, it wasn't enough to her liking, but what I don't get is why she couldn't have given me a heads-up about my pending failure before the deadline, if I was indeed to be failed. Secondly, I disagree with the reasons she gave for failing me. She used errors I had made through the semester as reasons, although I had gone to remediation for those errors. Also, I was out of school for five months prior due to needing to retake a course which wasn't offered in the Fall, so I was rusty in some regards to clinical skills, which contributed to the errors I made. In my time off, I tried and failed to find work, and I also contacted my school to see if I could come in for some sort of remediation so that I wouldn't forget things, but that went nowhere.

    Continuing with my clinical experience, there were situations in which there either wasn't an ideal solution obvious to me at the time or in which unforeseen circumstances led me to ultimately look bad in front of my instructor. Also, she claimed that I didn't talk to my nurse or my peers, and while I probably could have asked more questions or interacted more in retrospect, she wasn't following me around the whole shift for her to possibly know that. She claimed that I didn't ask for help, yet I once called a tech to help me turn a patient, so maybe I didn't ask for help as much as she thought I should have. In hindsight, I know the things that I could have improved on, and interacting more with others was probably a major one, but she drew the conclusion that I wouldn't be able to do well in the next semester because of the errors I made (which were all situational, brain farts, and/or addressed by remediation). At times, it was almost like I was penalized for learning, or as if the concept of learning from one's mistakes (AS A STUDENT) was foreign to her. All in all, I feel her evaluation was subjective, and based mainly on what she saw, and on her accentuating the negative.

    After failing clinical, as well as having my theory instructor (who also sat in on the evaluation) suggest that maybe being a nurse wasn't for me, despite her only ever seeing me in a classroom with sixty other people, there were about five days that followed in which I was so bummed out and conflicted that I didn't study or really do anything. It was the worst time for me to fall out of the groove that I had established throughout the semester. As a result, I did significantly worse on my third Med-Surg theory exam than on my first two, and while I still managed to pass Pharmacology (which I was retaking), and while I did a little better on the Med-Surg final than I did on the third exam, it still wasn't enough to help me pass the Med-Surg theory portion (I failed it by about a percentage point).

    My question is, do I have a case at all for appealing my grade? If I had passed the theory portion, I would have appealed the clinical grade without question, but my failing the theory portion obviously gives me less of a leg to stand on. However, while there was no ideal time to learn that I was going to fail clinical, it also didn't seem fair for my clinical instructor to spring that on me less than a week before an exam (if only for my transcript's sake). I would have rather have found that out either after my finals or before the drop deadline (which, again, is when the last clinical day was). As it turned out, the revelation of my clinical failure, and the uncertainty that came with it, took the wind out of me in the final weeks of the semester, which left me with lower grades on the last two exams than I had on the first two, and lower than what I believe I would have had on them otherwise.
    It sounds like you've been struggling throughout the program. I don't see your appeal going anywhere, but if it did, it seems unlikely that you'd make it through the rest of the program while skating on such thin ice.
    I had one clinical instructor that didn't care for me much, so I can relate to the "unfair" perception. But you're also having other issues that are not based on any one person's opinion.
    I won't say that you're not capable of being a nurse, but maybe it's time to reevaluate your path or your goals, entirely.
  7. by   Ruas61
    You have a big basket of problems, poorly addressed and a lot of excuses. You need to do some hard looking at how this all played out with giving yourself so many 'passes'.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    You could appeal: you do have that right. However, I wouldn't pin any hopes on it. Based on what you wrote, you definitely were responsible for your failing grade.

    You need to realize that in nursing, mistakes can be harmful, even fatal. They are not to be taken lightly. Yes, mistakes happen and one should learn from their mistakes...but if the "I'll learn from my mistakes" is the attitude that you approach nursing school and clincials with, IMO that's going to make you a dangerous nurse. You can't play that loose with your nursing practice because you'll end up hurting someone, derailing your career and/or losing your license.

    Also, while it would have been nice for your instructor to tell you about your grades before the withdrawal deadline, she was under no obligation to do that. It was YOUR responsibility to approach her before the deadline to find out exactly where you stood grade-wise, so YOU could make the decision as to whether to withdraw yourself. It's also not your instructor's fault that you didn't study for the exams when you needed to. It was also your responsibility to ask for help, to make those improvements that you knew you could have improved on, to be proactive in your education before it got to the point of failure

    As far as the comment of nursing not being for you...well, I can't answer that one. Only you can. If you decide nursing isn't for you, that's OK. Sometimes it takes moments like this for one to realize what is--or isn't--best for them. If you decide that you do want to continue to pursue nursing, then you're going to have to get yourself into another program as well as make some very necessary changes in your performance and your mindset. Keep in mind that trying to pave your way with excuses and failing to take responsibility for your actions is going to end your nursing care shortly after it starts...that is, even if it starts. As you've just seen, doing things this way got you dismissed from the program. Do you think another nursing program is going to let it fly?

    Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear. Best of luck whatever you decide.
  9. by   ponymom
    I agree with all the previous replies. Nursing school is after all, the easiest part of this whole nursing thing...
  10. by   That Guy
    Ah I remember that phase after I failed my class. Its everyones fault but my own. The teachers were out to get me, the tests were unfair, I didn't study enough because I just failed clinical. Except the problem is it really is no one else fault but your own. Once you can realize that and start correcting your short comings, you will fail again.
  11. by   NurseCard
    I'm with everyone else. You can appeal, but it just sounds like you've had
    a rough ride and things haven't gone well for you. Probably best to just
    accept that you made mistakes in your time as a student and that this
    is the consequence. Doesn't make you a bad person.
  12. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    It's a no from me.
  13. by   emmjayy
    You can definitely appeal. In my program, they let some dude come back in after he failed four times because he just kept appealing and filing grievances and such. He was very persistent. Normally, you fail twice and you are OUT. I didn't think this guy had much of a leg to stand on during any of his appeals (based on what he told me about them), yet he was given many chances to continue and did ultimately graduate from the program. I also don't think you have much of a leg to stand on but if you want to go through the effort, I can't say it would hurt to try based on what I've seen in my school regarding this issue. Just make sure you address all of your weaknesses, come up with an airtight plan for improvement to present to the appeals committee, and follow through with it if your appeal is successful.
  14. by   aaronadams92
    emmjayy, did he file grievances pertaining to the grades he received? Or how did he go about it? Unlike what some of the other commenters seem to think, I already know where I personally came up short, and I'm already taking the steps I need towards rectifying those things. However, while I was planning on trying to find a job as a tech to gain experience in the event of my dismissal (which I should have done before Nursing school), if I can somehow remain in school, I'd probably prefer that. So any details about how he went about staying in school would be appreciated.

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