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Is my nursing school making me dumber?

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BobDoe BobDoe (New) New

I'm livid. I got my first B (92) for in a nursing course (Pediatrics). But this is not why I'm angry. Sometimes we are tested on straight garbage, where test creators seem more concerned about tricking you than providing a valid question.

Seriously my professor laughed at me when I made my case for aynuria being more critical than a heart murmur in a 3 year-old with CHF. I was asking my self are you laughing because your sick in the head or just plain dumb.... Or that we should strap on a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads so a kid can kill himself crashing his bike into a tree as opposed to swimming (more logical) when he has hemophilia. Or at 3 months Vit D is more important than iron in an infant. I can go on and on about the horrible questions. But the point is that these test questions are becomming so petty.

And this is comming from a person who gets straight As. I freakin obliterated pharmacology with a 96 while 13 others failed out that semester. Why? Because I love science and like to focus on the real and actual rather trying to figure out whether the test creator means purple or violet. I will be the kind of nurse that will save your ass and show thoughtful care in the process. I got one more semester to go, and I plan finishing with a 3.8+.

To me grades don't matter, but they do to the people who will look over my grad school applications. This is the only reason I care. Once I make it in, knowledge and more knowledge will be my only benchmark. To all you guys frustrated in nursing school, I hear you. Don't get discouraged. Get ****** off and come back stronger.

Tryptophan

Specializes in Medical/Surgical.

Welcome to the plight of every nursing school student.

AgentBeast, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Yeah unfortunately nursing education at the pre-licensure level is filled with a lot of nonsense. Apparently the NCLEX-RN is the same way where you are to apply some faulty logic to a question and pick "the best" answer to said question. I wonder if it wouldn't be a better measure of clinical practice to have an exam that is like the Bar Exam. Where candidates are given a scenario and asked how they would respond to said scenario and make their case as to why their actions are the best and correct actions to take. The exact wording to these questions and how they would be "graded" I haven't given much thought to since nobody really gives a crap what I think anyways.:p

chicookie, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

Is my nursing school making me dumber?

Short answer...Yes. :D (Not really though! They just want you to feel that way. LOL)

I consider myself smart. I graduated a year early from high school and was top ten in that class. Mostly A sometimes B type student. Once I went to nursing school I swear I was dumber than the dumbest thing you could think of! I failed for the first time EVER in nursing school with a freaking 79.8. My first 70 something in a class to boot. Talk about having a crisis :D

Don't worry once you are out of nursing school you will look back at those days and smile! And you will be stronger for it!

I hope you have much MUCH success!

One of the problems with some nursing schools is that instructors often have no education background. They may have exceptional knowledge, experience, and clinical skills. Unfortunately, if they aren't naturally inclined to be a teacher and they lack educational training, they can be quite incompetent in instruction, and test writing skills. These folks know absolutely nothing about test reliability, test validity, or score distribution. The problem is compounded when these incompetent instructors are unpleasant, unkind, and arrogant. It's not good situation for students when nursing instructors have neither the heart of a nurse or the heart of a teacher.

sMoLsNurse

Specializes in Med-Surg, Ortho, Subacute, Homecare, LTC. Has 5 years experience.

Oh, this post is fiery. I like it!

There were quite a few of these situations I encountered in school. Just go with it for now and bust out those brain cells once you pass your nclex.

Also, anuria... but I'm guessing that was more of a keyboard mistake than spelling...

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

Does nursing school make you dumber? Maybe. More neurotic? Heck yes. Happened to me. And the tests are the reason why.

lilredrn

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 7 years experience.

They're prepping you for the NCLEX, which you will leave feeling like you didn't have ANY of the correct answers for by the way. If you think you're stumped now... just wait.

In my nursing school tests, there were at least two right answers for every test. One was "more right" within the context of what we were taught that quarter. Good times

Oh and for the record "B is the new A" in nursing school according to my instructors... I am so glad I am through with school!

I don't know about dumber, but it definitely makes you think you are. As for instructors, I concur, there are just some people that have no business teaching (I have had an instructor who refuses to fail anyone, regardless of what they have done [i.e., cheating on the final]) and some, not all, that will prove that "nurses do eat their young". But, then you have that one instructor who is truly a mentor, who is invested in her students, the one who makes you stretch your mind beyond what you thought were your limits and you love every minute of it.

One of the most valuable things any of my instructors ever told me was that the NCLEX-RN, test on Utopia hospital. In other words, you have everything you need to take care of your patient (i.e., every doctors order, every piece of equipment, etc.). The school that I am attending tends to test us on the same type of material. Sadly, it seems that no matter what you feel is the right answer, it is always something different and no matter how hard you argue your point, you cannot convince the instructor to see it, and they argue you in circles.

You can make to the end, you almost there, just grit your teeth and don't let them see you sweat.

Good Luck

bsnanat2

Specializes in ..

I feel your pain. I encountered the problems you speak of when I had faculty that insisted on writing their own questions. They were the worst and would not consider any other arguments even when it became clear that the question or the answer choices were flawed in some way. There are so many educational services that provide true NCLEX style questions. I wish more instructors would use them. That being said, the NCLEX is anything but logical. That test is a beast. I took the GRE and MAT during my last semester and neither was as bad as the NCLEX. Play the game for now and always remember this. After grad school you may tire of bedside nursing or NP and want to teach.

Yeah unfortunately nursing education at the pre-licensure level is filled with a lot of nonsense. Apparently the NCLEX-RN is the same way where you are to apply some faulty logic to a question and pick "the best" answer to said question. I wonder if it wouldn't be a better measure of clinical practice to have an exam that is like the Bar Exam. Where candidates are given a scenario and asked how they would respond to said scenario and make their case as to why their actions are the best and correct actions to take. The exact wording to these questions and how they would be "graded" I haven't given much thought to since nobody really gives a crap what I think anyways.:p

A similar test existed as part of the three exams required for RRT licensing. Unfortunately, the human element led to issues of people not grading objectively. At least with a computer based exam, you do not have people making decisions based on your clothing, personality and so on. Unfortunately, that means we have to take a monster of an an exam on the computer, a five hour exercise in pain called the clinical simulation examination.

Any educational programme has two components that must be successfully negotiated by it's students. The first is preparing the entry level student for "real world" practice as a clinician. This is more of a pragmatic exercise of theory, lab and extensive clinical experience. The other component is preparation for the board examination/s. This is often an exercise in pure didactic theory. Unfortunately, the material required to master these concepts/components often are not fundamentally compatible.

As an instructor, I go to great lengths to explain the importance and rationale of teaching students both ways. I also define what is a "test" concept versus "reality." Students need to recognise, understand and differentiate the differences. While I do not like it, a person can not go on to become a great provider if they cannot pass the board exam/s first. Therefore, much of this "fluff" material must be covered in order for the student to have a chance at passing the board exam/s.

I am just as pretentious as the next student with dreams of straight A's and linear, easy to understand tests. However, the reality is much different and hopefully easier to accept and digest when explained. I find many students feel much better when you take a little time to explain why we test them in certain ways. I often hated both my nursing and respiratory instructors. However, that quickly ended when I found my self staring at a screen full of ambiguous and often obscure test questions that needed to be answered in a very specific way before I could hold a license in my hand.

Gah!!!! I'm about to start my school's Generic Entry RN program this fall and this thread has seriously terrified me! lol :uhoh3:

a 92 is a B at your school?

Anyways welcome to pediatrics, I guess all peds classes are similar in testing strategies. In my class we were all confused when it came test time. The material was really not difficult for me at all but the material did not correlate with the tests. I, like you, could justify my answers with references from the text and still we would not recieve credit.

As for the grades ordeal, you are just going to have to resign to the fact that you just might not get straight A's, I know for a fact that there was not one person in my entire graduating class that got straight A's, and sometimes its just not fair.

My advise would be to stop letting it give you so much grief, if I would have worried less about grades I would have had a much happier and less stressful time in school. You dont sound like you have any reason to think you wont pass, so you are probably far ahead of most in your class because peds is not an easy subject and many struggle with it.

a 92 is a B at your school?

In my school's nursing program, a 92 would be considered a B as well. It's something like 100-95 A, 94-85 B, 84-75 C...Anything less is auto-fail out. I assumed most programs were like this...Also, they don't round up so a 94.99999 is still a 94 and still a B. BUT, my school does have like a 90% NCLEX pass rate so...yeah...It pays off I guess. At least for the school:yeah:

It's harsh and suckish, but we will eventually have pts lives literally resting in our hands so they would want to weed out anyone who's not the absolute best.

Just my :twocents:

It's not all about books smarts and memorization. You are suppose to apply your knowledge so you can critically think like a real nurse in a supposedly real situation you can't just assume there is a straight answer right in your face because you memorized it in the book nursing is tricky in real life. There are critical thinking books out there that will help with your GPA if having a 4.0 in nursing school is very important.

JRP1120, RN

Has 1 years experience.

One of the problems with some nursing schools is that instructors often have no education background. They may have exceptional knowledge, experience, and clinical skills. Unfortunately, if they aren't naturally inclined to be a teacher and they lack educational training, they can be quite incompetent in instruction, and test writing skills. These folks know absolutely nothing about test reliability, test validity, or score distribution. The problem is compounded when these incompetent instructors are unpleasant, unkind, and arrogant. It's not good situation for students when nursing instructors have neither the heart of a nurse or the heart of a teacher.

Good golly, sounds just like my nursing school instructors!

Annaiya, NP

Specializes in PICU. Has 5 years experience.

Yeah unfortunately nursing education at the pre-licensure level is filled with a lot of nonsense. Apparently the NCLEX-RN is the same way where you are to apply some faulty logic to a question and pick "the best" answer to said question. I wonder if it wouldn't be a better measure of clinical practice to have an exam that is like the Bar Exam. Where candidates are given a scenario and asked how they would respond to said scenario and make their case as to why their actions are the best and correct actions to take. The exact wording to these questions and how they would be "graded" I haven't given much thought to since nobody really gives a crap what I think anyways.:p

I don't think anyone would like NCLEX to change to a bar exam style. There was no being able to argue your point on my bar exam. It was 8 hours of multiple choice questions and then the next day was 8 hours of essay, but none of the essays were arguing a point. It was straight IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion). Grading is not very subjective because there are a finite number of issues and either you mentioned them all or you didn't.

However, with that said, I was much more nervous about NCLEX than I was the bar exam and although it was only a few hours, it was really high stress. I had a 3.9 in my BSN program (with the 95-100 as an A system) and I left NCLEX feeling like I didn't know anything and thought for sure I failed. I didn't, but it really is the most frustrating exam ever. For those of us that don't like ambiguity NCLEX is torture. So I agree with what has been said about the nursing school exams being frustrating, but they really will help you when you sit for boards. However, I do agree with the instructor on the one question. You can live perfectly fine without kidneys, but you can't live without a heart. Keep in mind there is an extreme nursing faculty shortage in this country, so yeah, maybe not all of the teachers are great, but cut them some slack and be thankful they are willing to teach you. Without them, you couldn't be a nurse. Maybe some day you can teach a peds class and try to make the experience for your students better than what you are experiencing.

ICU, RN, BSN, B.S.

Specializes in Medical/Telemetry. Now ICU.

Personally, I feel like almost every nursing instructor is out to get student nurses and want them to fail, except when it comes to taking the boards....then they want you to pass bc they want a high passing rate. It's not just me that feels this way. I know a ton of other people who made it through different nursing schools and felt the same way. The teachers are horrible!