Nursing School Competition


During my clinical rotation, two girls were whispering to each other in the locker room and I asked them what was going on. One of them walked away and the other told me that they were discussing hints about what would be on an upcoming test, but the first girl didn't want to tell anyone else.

I find this kind of stuff ridiculous - hoarding helpful information, not replying to emails from students who have missed classes and are looking for notes on what they missed. How does not helping out your fellow students get you any further in school? Nursing school is hard enough as it is, I don't see how it hurts you not to help other students out, so that we can all succeed together. I am always ready to email my notes to students who have missed classes. I have their back, and I hope they have mine. I'm blessed to have made good friends with a couple reasonable classmates, but they're hard to come by.

I understand people feel like if others don't do the work, they shouldn't get the marks. But some of it is just unreasonable and selfish. We all have things going on in our lives that make it hard to be on the ball 100% of the time.

I just wish there were more of a feeling of unity amongst nursing students. We're all in this together. Lend a helping hand.:redbeathe

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 12 years experience.

"the first girl didn't want to tell anyone else"

I'd be really wary of where she got her information from then. If it's innocent, and just things that she made note of along the way in class, fine. But if that's the case, why would she need to be so secretive?

I'm pretty much a loner in my program. I have one classmate I'm comfortable with. As far as helping out and sharing things, I stay as far away from it as I can. If I have problems, I go to my instructors. Once students start sharing things with each other, you have to be careful. You never know where their information is coming from. This may sound paranoid, but three time this semester alone, people in my class have had to go in front of the director to defend their actions, which were, for the most part, innocent. I feel bad for these students because they were just setting out to help others and they got screwed and turned in by the same students they were trying to help. Not sure if any of this makes sense, but it's just one reason why some students are wary of helping.


21 Posts

What do you mean, what kind of actions were they defending? Plagiarism, or...?

I can't see there being a plagiarism issue when it's just class notes, is there?


408 Posts

lol, the odd part is -- most students would rather seek the help of other fellow students, rather than go to their instructors. I agree there is competition in nursing school, sure... but the norm is to talk/ask for help from other students rather than to, approach the instructors (especially the clinical instructors). Lecture instructors seem to have the same image as well, as their CI counterparts. Only a few number of students actually talk to them (compared to the total number of students they have). It's just the way it is.

Nursing instructors have the image of the 'weeding monsters,' I guess. It doesn't mean they are (or they could already be), it's just the general vibe they give out for the most part.

For instance, when I was at my clinical site last year -- my CI talked about what she expects for the upcoming weeks, etc. just a general idea. So, a week has happened, and my clinical class and I, were at the lobby talking. This was before clinical officially starts (pre-conference even), so we all had time to talk. Anyway, a few people in my class had questions about what my CI instructor had said a week before. We all ended up "trying" to remember what she had said. I noticed though, during the post-conference later that day; no one bothered to mention, what we were all talking about just that morning (pre-conference). Eventually, we did get the answers ... when our CI brought up stuff that were related to our previous questions. It's a good thing our CI gave us a list of things she expects us to do for each clinical day. The lists help a lot.

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 12 years experience.

It's a long weird story. In short, a woman in my class got access to an old test bank. A test bank that wasn't still being used by my instructors, but a test bank, nonetheless. She was sharing this information with other students. Two of the other students reported her to the instructors. One instructor wanted to label it as cheating, the other said she didn't care because it wasn't a test bank she was currently using. That's just one example. Apparently, she also creates study guides (not really sure where she gets her information from b/c it's always different than what is presented in class) and sends those out. Two other students reported her for that. I don't know if it's like this everywhere or if my program just has a disproportionate amount of snarky students, but it's definitely turned me off to helping other students.

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 12 years experience.

"but the norm is to talk/ask for help from other students rather than to, approach the instructors "

I guess I have been blessed with approachable instructors (both lecture and clinical). Also, in my classes, there is so much misinformation among students. The same material is presented to everyone, but it's interpreted 10 different (mostly wrong) ways.


21 Posts

:eek: Test banks?! Alright, that is just unethical and academically dishonest. I don't think that was the case with these students whispering to each other. We get a lot of information at my school which trickles down from second year students as for hints to what we should concentrate on for a test, I imagine it was something like that.

We also get study guides from second year students (who have been designated by the program to help first year students) which answer course objectives, offer diagrams, stuff like that. I attend a different 2nd year group and receive different (and often more detailed) handouts than most of the kids in my class, and I send those out to students in our section. It's stuff like that, I don't see why people don't share.

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 12 years experience.

"Test banks?! Alright, that is just unethical and academically dishonest"

You're right, it is.


408 Posts

Hmm... test banks? lol. . . what are those? :rolleyes:

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

I'm don't start my actual program for a couple months, but my A&P class is full of nursing/pre-nursing students. We often help each other, thankfully.

I am torn on the test banks thing...if it isn't anything the teacher is currently using, it probably isn't even all that useful. I'd regard it as another resource for studying and nothing more. I find, on the internet, test banks for subjects I am taking and study from them, but it is questionable if they will help me on my particular test. Is the problem here that the teacher at that particular facility once used it? If the students thought it was current, then yes, that would be bad, but if they knew it was old, then not so much. BTW, where on earth would one get something like that? I've never taken a college test where we were given the test back. Not ever.


825 Posts

I am all for helping fellow students understand information but I've been in a couple scenarios where I've reeled it back in and I'm very careful with the information that I will help with now (and the students I will help). It mostly involved some non-ethical things being asked of me, which I won't consider because it's not worth being kicked out of school for. It did some damage to a couple of relationships because I don't really want to be associated with people like that, nor do I really want to help them anymore. I'm not saying that's your situation but wouldn't you rather get there through your own hard work?


727 Posts

I just don't get into the whole competition deal. I'm at school to learn how to care for patients. Period. I'm not there to impress other people with my fantastic grades (I don't tell my scores to anyone when they ask), I'm not there to look down on anyone else (I don't ask their grades after tests), and I'm not there to make friends...I have plenty of those back at home. I do my work, I do it well, I answer questions for other people when I am confident that I know the answer and otherwise I refer them to the instructor.

Using a test bank -- even if it's old or from another school althogether -- is probably against the honor code of the school. Using a NCLEX review book and concentrating on the sections you've covered in class would probably be more helpful anyway and is completely ethical.