Nurse Educator Opinions

  1. Well, here I sit after having given two lectures on: Nursing Process and Cardiac plus one two hour review...I have given the test to the foundations class and the spread looks good. However, I can see a few trends:

    *some don't do their assignments
    *some ignore when I say you must know this because...
    *some don't read the chapters
    *some don't bother coming to the review
    *some don't get the material even when it is introduced in the chapter, stated several times in lecture and in review and EMPHASIZED
    *and even if I think I have given the lecture of a lifetime, it is not effective for some
    *even when I ensure my questions are at the knowledge level for the majority of test questions, some still don't get it

    So, this is how I see it, I can offer my time after class which I will do...but, some just do not have it in their hearts to become nurses and it looks like I just might be weeding some out this semester. I am accustomed to teaching at a higher level but had the higher level Med-Surg instructor review my exam and she agreed that we would be in trouble if they could not do well on it. Regardless, I still feel badly for them. Any suggestions to help me to become more effective? Yes, I realize some may not pass and should not too....

    Thanks for any input,
  2. Visit barb4575 profile page

    About barb4575

    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 179; Likes: 24


  3. by   indie
    I once walked into a Med/Surg II level class - I was the 'visiting expert' lecturer on liver disease - and asked each student to put a hand on his/her liver. Half the class placed a hand on the left side.

    Next I asked each student, without a book, to draw a rough sketch of the relations of the liver, stomach, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder. After several minutes only about 5 students out of 40 or so had an even half way accurate diagram.

    I told the students I would be ready to teach them when they were appropriately prepared, but this might mean a very late evening for them! I asked them to send a class rep to my office when they were ready.

    I then walked to the DON and told her what had happened. She was reasonably supportive, but an educator can't refuse to teach and you can't disrupt the day's schedule of classes for this sort of thing. (I knew all this in advance, but had just had enough - these students were supposed to have the prerequisites).

    I post the story because it may be the norm you have to learn to deal with. There was a lot of pressure in my school to keep students in the program whatever the issues.

    Over a few years I started to post my pre class expectations very clearly, but I did keep them very simple and even posted ways of doing something appropriate even if a student truly had no time. (I was cognizant that one student had a very sick diabetic two year old, etc etc.) Eventually most came with the basics, but it was very hard and took being consistent and insistent.

    Other faculty accused me to 'teaching to the test' - I'm not sure this matters too much - the students still have to have the knowledge and I toughed this out.

    But I have been thru all your frustrations and understand. Look at the other standards in your school and see what successful (defined as you please) educators are doing. I wish you some success.
  4. by   barb4575
    Before I began the lecture, I had given them a handout which told them my standard and what I expected them to know prior to my lecture and afterwards. Then, the next week when I began the Cardiac lecture, I had them take a piece of paper out and write the circulation of the heart out in longhand. It was not for a grade and I told them afterwards that it was an assessment tool for me to see where they were and if they had listened to me about the prep.............and I added, so if someone does fail the exam, I will remind you that you are an adult learner and you chose not to be prepared.

    There are a few who may not make it this semester and I do not believe that I should fix numbers just so they can be passed on when they are not ready. I have been the Med-Surg instructor who received such students in the past.

    Thanks for your reply,
  5. by   Mike RGN
    It seems that you have prepared and reinforced all your material, I have been reading your post and trying what I could say aroung motivating the unmotivated.

    You have done a much as I could think off, I love the second post about the liver what an idea (I may well try that, it might wake a few up)

    All I can say is you sound as your want to educate the students and are trying your best and are dedicated to you work
    Well Done
  6. by   barb4575

  7. by   BarbPick
    These days I am teaching Oncology to grown up nurses, but when I taught in the generic program, I resorted to blackmail.
    I learned at an early age, do not read cliff notes, it never failed, the teacher would ask questions that were missed in the cliff notes, never realizing the teacher owned her own copy of the cliffnotes.
    BLACKMAIL....I let it be known on day one that information will be given in class that you can't find in a book or on line, only in class. I would offer bonus points for showing up that could make a difference from pass and fail.
    The first exam would be a mother.......and the only way to pass was to hear my personal stories told in class. And no taping my lectures.
    They showed up for every lecture after that.
  8. by   Tim-GNP
    First of all, not all students will become a nurse. It is not meant for everyone. I look at myself as having a duty to society. I am saying, by passing the students to the next level that they meet the objectives of the level. I will not let society down by passing someone who is not able to master the skills or objectives of the level.

    I also have the study groups, etc., etc., etc., if no one comes and they do poorly in the test, I have no sympathy. I do feel bad that they wasted their money, but nothing more. Maybe old age is making me hard... who knows.

    One of my patients told me this once years ago.... "you can't save ALL of the whales."

  9. by   barb4575
    Tim! I will try to remember the whales this semester...:chuckle

  10. by   Tim-GNP
    I know it sounds like a dreadful analogy... but the more you think about it, the truer it sounds...
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I'm not an educator, just a plain old ER RN who did the nursing asst-LPN-RN and am now back in school for a combined BSN/MSN. However, I went to nursing school as an adult with two small children (one with severe asthma - ICU admits - the whole deal - several times), my husband was in the military and hardly ever home and I worked full-time. Where are these people's motivation??? It has to come from within. Otherwise you need to consider if you would these people caring for you or your family member?? You sound like a great teacher but sometimes being easy isn't easy. Take care.
  12. by   LadyT618
    Hi Barb,

    I agree with everyone who have commented thus far. I will be starting my 2nd semester of an ADN curriculum in January and I have to say that you can't get blood out of stone. If these students are not serious about learning then you just have to help the ones who WANT to learn. You've done all you can. Don't kill yourself for these people who think they are wasting your time, when all they are doing is wasting their own time.

    I had a couple students in my class this past semester. I think they got on my nerves more than the teacher's nerves. I mean they came to class, lab, clinical.....late all the time. I will be very upset to see them this coming semester....I don't care how well they did in their exams.

    Like traumaRUs said, the motivation has to come from within. You can't make bloom like a flower in Spring.

    Good Luck!!

  13. by   barb4575
    I appreciate all of the replies and I have decided that I will continue to teach next semester for those who do want to learn...but, I will continue to have my high standards which some will meet and some will not...I am far from easy and my history as a US Army Nurse Corps veteran assists me in the hard to solve cases....I could care less if they are intimidated. Initially, that bothered me, but I believe that it is my responsibility to control the learning environment and I will continue to do so. I just printed off emails that were sent to me thanking me for my educational style so I must be doing something right for the majority.

    Toni, I have seen some students react to these troublemaker-types and it takes all I have to keep from laughing...but, I do intervene and hopefully, before the students get so upset that they are calling each other "B&#^^@#*"....ROFLMAO.

    Happy New Year to Faculty and Students,

  14. by   vickynurse
    I also feel these frustrations. Most of my students are adults who have children with or without spouses and almost are working more than 24 hrs per week. When I put myself in their shoes, I don't know how they learn as much as they do.

    That said, they seem to study enough to pass the test, but do not recall the information down the road. I suppose this comes from cramming the huge volume of material. They are all deficient in A & P. We are looking at requiring a pathophysiology text and workbook next year.

    We try to include case studies with examples of patients who have more than one body system involved. This forces the students to think about previously learned material. We also have test questions from previous units on each exam just to keep them sharp.

    As for the ones who don't make it, I just don't feel guilty anymore after having taught for nine years. They had ample opportunity to see me during office hours, we helped them establish a study group, we referred them to other campus resources. Pass rates must be maintained and those who fail are usually the ones who clearly don't have what it takes.