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How do I respond to a poorly written request to be a nursing student?

Nurses   (11,235 Views 68 Comments)
by BrentRN BrentRN (Member)

BrentRN has 31 years experience .

1 Like; 1,912 Visitors; 22 Posts

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You are reading page 3 of How do I respond to a poorly written request to be a nursing student?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

3,077 Visitors; 51 Posts

This could be a foreign student who has worked their ass off to try and perfect our language, which let me tell you makes little sense in the grammar department. She may have just as well obtained her bachelor degree in SOMETHING, maybe it was online, maybe it wasn't..whatever the case may be I find it a bit disgusting that you jump to such conclusions that this person is illiterate/not a good candidate. While I agree that this is a poorly written email, and she may need a class or two on the English Language; this email shouldn't be grounds for not considering her, she is reaching out to someone who thinks can help her. And you come on a public forum and post it up and people are making fun of it. Maybe I am being overly sensitive but this just doesn't sit well with me. It just irks me that someone on faculty can act this way. How very unprofessional of you.

I was born here and english is my first language. But I sure as hell believe that if I were to go to another country and study there, & in their language, I would probably make many, MANY more mistakes than this person did.

Or maybe this person should go to med school...ha ha ha

Have you ever met a Dr with poor penmanship (my GOD, what has happened to our educational system, how did this man/woman not learn proper penmanship in kindergarten).... or met a Dr with crappy english?

I have.....

Edited by TeleMeMore

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ThePrincessBride has 3 years experience.

35 Likes; 55,295 Visitors; 2,212 Posts

I am a faculty member who monitors a web page for additional information or comments. I usually just have to point someone to web page or answer a simple question. Today I got the following question from someone trying to get into our second degree program. I have pasted the message just as it came. The nursing school name has been deleted for their protection:

I PREVIOSLY ATTEDED NURSING SCHOOL AT **************, HOWEVER, DO TO PERSONAL PROBLEMS I WITHDREW AND SWITCHED TO PSYCHOLOGY. HOEVER MY PASSION TO BECOME A NURSE HAS PLUMETED OVER THE LAST YEAR. I CURRENTLY WORK AS A CNA AND LOVE WHAT I DO... WOULD MY PRIOR ATTENDACE TO NURSING SCHOOL AND SWITCHING TO PSYCHOLOGY EFFECT MY CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED TO YOUR ABSN PROGRAM? i AM HIGLY MOTIVATED MORE THAN I EVER TO BECOME A NURSE.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at such a poorly written e-mail. I would like to know if she ever had to write anything in English at her previous program.

My question is: I would never want someone who is this illiterate to even enter my program. I could just tell her she isn't qualified (and from her description she doesn't have a bachelors degree yet and would be ineligible). Should I comment on her lack of professional writing skills, just comment on her qualifications, or both?

I am not claiming to have perfect grammar, but that is atrocious. The state of the English language is deplorable. I would never send something out like that to a faculty member or teacher, nor would I mention a decline in interest in becoming a Nurse.

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1,035 Visitors; 21 Posts

I have to agree with IIg. Yeah it's painfully obvious that there are grammatical, syntax, and spelling errors in the question sent to you. However, it would be incorrect to tell the applicant that he/she is not qualified to enter the program, because this individual has not even applied. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the decision of acceptance and denial fall into the hands of some sort of admissions committee, and not based on an e-mail submitted via a school website?

Commenting on the person's grammar kind of misses the entire jist of her question (and would honestly discourage potential applicants once they found out how much they may be judged based on their inquiries). Moreover, it is going to be hard to judge this person based on one message. There are tons of factors that play into this, maybe the applicant is international, is typing on a smartphone (personally, I think this is likely), or the individual just may be flat out stupid; the point being, you can't literally tell the individual that they are not qualified based on this e-mail, because it's not like their file/transcripts/test scores/etc. are going in front of the admissions committee.

I would send back a professional response directing them to the appropriate website/brochure with information about your program. If you want to have fun with it, print it out and put it up on the hall of shame bulletin board :lol2:.

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ThePrincessBride has 3 years experience.

35 Likes; 55,295 Visitors; 2,212 Posts

I have to agree with IIg. Yeah it's painfully obvious that there are grammatical, syntax, and spelling errors in the question sent to you. However, it would be incorrect to tell the applicant that he/she is not qualified to enter the program, because this individual has not even applied. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the decision of acceptance and denial fall into the hands of some sort of admissions committee, and not based on an e-mail submitted via a school website?

Commenting on the person's grammar kind of misses the entire jist of her question (and would honestly discourage potential applicants once they found out how much they may be judged based on their inquiries). Moreover, it is going to be hard to judge this person based on one message. There are tons of factors that play into this, maybe the applicant is international, is typing on a smartphone (personally, I think this is likely), or the individual just may be flat out stupid; the point being, you can't literally tell the individual that they are not qualified based on this e-mail, because it's not like their file/transcripts/test scores/etc. are going in front of the admissions committee.

I would send back a professional response directing them to the appropriate website/brochure with information about your program. If you want to have fun with it, print it out and put it up on the hall of shame bulletin board :lol2:.

I kind of have to disagree with this. This message not only reflects poor grammar, it reflects poor judgment (just look at some of the content of the message). If the person is a native English speaker, shame on them. If the person is foreign, I would question why he/she didn't have someone proof-read the e-mail before hand, but that's just my opinion.

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PraiseMariahCarey works as a CCP.

1,684 Visitors; 41 Posts

All you guys are claiming that she is possibly a foreign exchange student, but even a foreign exchange student should be able to tell that using all caps is unprofessional and you capitalize the first letter of every sentence. This is a technological society and virtually every country has access to a computer, not to mention she is a CNA so I know she's not dumb! To me it seems like this person just was being sloppy and did not care to even proof read her passage.

I am a faculty member who monitors a web page for additional information or comments. I usually just have to point someone to web page or answer a simple question. Today I got the following question from someone trying to get into our second degree program. I have pasted the message just as it came. The nursing school name has been deleted for their protection:

I PREVIOSLY ATTEDED NURSING SCHOOL AT **************, HOWEVER, DO TO PERSONAL PROBLEMS I WITHDREW AND SWITCHED TO PSYCHOLOGY. HOEVER MY PASSION TO BECOME A NURSE HAS PLUMETED OVER THE LAST YEAR. I CURRENTLY WORK AS A CNA AND LOVE WHAT I DO... WOULD MY PRIOR ATTENDACE TO NURSING SCHOOL AND SWITCHING TO PSYCHOLOGY EFFECT MY CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED TO YOUR ABSN PROGRAM? i AM HIGLY MOTIVATED MORE THAN I EVER TO BECOME A NURSE.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at such a poorly written e-mail. I would like to know if she ever had to write anything in English at her previous program.

My question is: I would never want someone who is this illiterate to even enter my program. I could just tell her she isn't qualified (and from her description she doesn't have a bachelors degree yet and would be ineligible). Should I comment on her lack of professional writing skills, just comment on her qualifications, or both?

Edited by PraiseMariahCarey

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hiddencatRN works as a Registered Nurse.

28,986 Visitors; 3,408 Posts

Well, what does your application process involve? Essay, transcripts, recommendations? Is it highly competetive? I might just stress how selective admission is and avoid dealing directly with her chances.

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BrentRN has 31 years experience.

1 Like; 1,912 Visitors; 22 Posts

Thanks for all your comments. I posted this because I think I needed to cool down before responding in a way I may regret. To clarify, this person is not an applicant, just someone asking if she can get into our second degree program. I responded by just telling her the facts and I avoided the grammar/spelling/vocabulary/ALL CAPS issue entirely. I also told her the truth that our program is highly competitive and that only those with high academic achievement are accepted (we accept about 40 out of 500 application to the second degree program).

Many of you wanted me to correct her spelling or give other advice. I decided against that because it was pointed out that I should not judge her based on one nonofficial communication. She is probably unqualified but I don't have enough information. If she chooses to apply then her application will have to stand on its own merits.

I hope this episode points out how important it is to use professional communication at all times when you are a nursing student or registered nurse. You ARE being judged. I require my students to use proper spelling and grammar in e-mail and clinical writing, not just term papers.

I do not believe that you can be a good nurse if you cannot communicate. No nurse works independently. We must communicate clearly with patients, families, and colleagues.

Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions.

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713 Visitors; 12 Posts

I would highly suggest doing BOTH. Writing is important in any arena. Most computers have spell check now as do cell phones. In my experience international students make MORE of an effort to do better at grammar and punctuation. It appears they wrote this in a hurry or didn't care very much. If you are writing a RESUME for a job and this was how you wrote, the H R hiring manager would look at this for five seconds and throw it in the trash. Misspelling due, highly and however are on the fourth grade reading level. They wouldn't be able to dispense meds. I'd be curious to see what her/his CNA teachers have to say. This is just very sad to me as a professional member of the medical community.

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mama_d has 10 years experience and works as a tele/oncology.

12,173 Visitors; 1,187 Posts

Somewhat off topic....

My former manager about had kittens when I pointed out to her that I found it the height of humorous irony that her binder for follow up on nursing screw ups was "Learning Opportunitys". Ditto that our unit meetings were called "Unit Counsel"...and although the end result might have been some talk therapy, that was not the intent. I also used to correct the grammar and spelling errors on her memos and slide them under her door.

I'm not perfect by any means, but I tend to be a bit of a grammar nerd. Official communications with multitudes of errors are like fingernails on the chalkboard to me.

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LadyinScrubs works as a Nurse.

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My question is: I would never want someone who is this illiterate to even enter my program. I could just tell her she isn't qualified (and from her description she doesn't have a bachelors degree yet and would be ineligible). Should I comment on her lack of professional writing skills, just comment on her qualifications, or both?

I could be in error, but isn't the student's admission based on GPA, tests, work experience, interest, etc. It is unfortunate that this potential applicant is a poor proofreader. Treat this potential student as you would treat all other students, i.e., the admission or declination is based on merit not assumption or prejudice.

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4,122 Visitors; 146 Posts

I'm glad that you decided to answer her questions about the nursing program versus critiquing her english & grammar. Once her application is in, then base your decision on materials submitted and possible interview.

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Whispera works as a working in a free clinic.

1 Like; 27,773 Visitors; 3,458 Posts

I'm also glad you didn't critique her use of the English language. There was no need to critique it if she couldn't get into the program she seeks, anyway.

It would be a bit like going to the grocer and asking if you could buy steak for next week, even though you don't have a refrigerator or money. First, you couldn't buy the steak anyway, due to having no money. Second, you couldn't nurture your skill of steak-buying...

I was wondering if she has a degree in psychology or is just in that program. Maybe she could be a candidate for your program in the future. Maybe if she is working on a psychology degree, her writing skills will improve. Maybe if she gets into your program, her writing skills could be improved then. Isn't a writing course required? We take 'em from where they are to where they need to be...or try anyway. We offer them salt, pepper, or steak sauce, as- or if-needed.

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