Nursing School No Longer Going by Their Own Policies


Ok, so here's my question/concern: What reason(s) would a nursing program have for no longer supporting their own policies contained within their nursing handbook? In the time that I have been in this program, I have seen a lot of changes.

1. Policy states that a student is allowed two appeals in the program and if not successful after second appeal, student would be dismissed from program. However, we currently have at least one student that's on his third appeal.

2. Policy states that a student is allowed two attempts on dosage calculations tests (one given at beginning of each semester) with a 90% requirement to pass. If a student is unsuccessful after second attempt, student is to be dismissed from program. We currently had at least 8 students that were not successful, yet they are still in the program.

In the past couple of years, our program has gone through some additional changes with losing/gaining of faculty and we are now on our third program director. I do not understand why it would be in a school's best interest to retain or inflate grades of students that are performing poorly, not to mention that they could be a danger to caring for patients. Our school is not currently in jeopardy of losing its program and has at least 90% NCLEX pass rates on first attempt. My instincts tell me something is not right, but I just cannot put my finger on it. The rules have gotten more lenient and seem to be non-existent.

Can someone please offer some potential insight as to why the school would be appearing to lower the standards by allowing students to continue in program despite not being successful according to specific policy, inflating grades for students that have technically failed, and how these decisions affect the program and myself as a current student? What's going on at my school? Should I be concerned??


14,633 Posts

Easy: $$$$.


13 Posts

Can't it still hurt the program?


14,633 Posts

Of course it can "hurt the program." It can hurt the larger nursing community to have lax standards in nursing programs. Is this by any chance a proprietary (private-for-profit) school?


13 Posts

No, it's a state school. So I am sure that the school is aware of the inherent danger in allowing this to happen. Why in the world would they take the chance? I would be worried about losing my job if I were an instructor. By this going on they are basically saying that grades do not matter!


1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

While I agree to some extent that these policies should be followed, I think you are looking way to deep into the grades and lives of other students, when you should be focusing on yourself.

Yes nursing schools should have strict standards, but you don't know the specifics behind why these exceptions were made. The person on their third attempt. Why do you care so much? Not everybody who would make a good nurse is good at NCLEX style questions. And not everyone who can ace NCLEX style tests to get through school will make a good nurse. Maybe the student had some personal struggles, or was really good at making a point for their appeal. It could have to do with money for the school, but you don't know that and really, the reason for the student being in on their 3rd appeal is none of your business and will not affect whether you pass or fail or whether you pass or fail NCLEX.

For the math test, that is a bit worrisome as med math is pretty simple in my opinion. It is scary to think that people could pass who can't calculate proper dosages on drugs for their patients. I would need more info on that to fully judge the situation though. There could be a back story that I don't know about and they could have gotten questions wrong that are likely never to be seen in the real world. Who knows. But this is another example of not your business and doesn't effect you so leave it alone.

If your school is maintaining an NCLEX pass rate above 90% then these practices must not be affecting them on that front. The education is still good enough to produce minimally competent nurses. That is what you should care about. If the NCELX pass rate suddenly drops, then it will be on the school to fix their mistake. But that will not effect YOUR passing or failing the NCLEX unless you are floated through on one of the exceptions you mentioned above.

There is so much to else to study for and worry about in nursing school. Stop focusing on exceptions made for other students and focus on your own studies.

Honey Clover

125 Posts

Admittance of a student into a program is an investment. If you start to drop students right off the bat, obviously that is detrimental to both the student and the school. That can lead to poor school reputation too in my eyes. Time is wasted, resources, money too. Also, a school that strictly follows policies and procedures without care for their students' successes is not a good school imo. I wouldn't want to attend a school that only follows the rules without consideration for anyone or anything. Of course, I get that you don't want unprepared students to pass and become less than able students but I think students can be trained to be good nurses. Just because you fail one test does not mean you're incapable completely and should stop pursuing nursing. There are many reasons why someone may not pass an initial exam or fail a math test too. My schools math test is pretty confusing. Not the actual math problem itself but the way the problem was worded that is the issue. Our instructors make pretty badly worded, unclear questions often but I assume that is part of training for the NCLEX. (Lol). But anyways, that and my friend went through one program and when she was supposed to be kicked out, the school gave her another chance. Reason why? She was depressed, was afraid of taking antidepressants and didn't have the courage to tell anyone and also was far away from her family/usual support group from home. She pulled through in the end with that second chance (while on meds) so that's all that matters.

I'm just wondering myself how you were able to know exactly who failed and who didn't and who had to appeal. That is theirs and the faculty's business, not yours. Just my opinion...

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,560 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

all that comes to mind is minding one's own business in certain situations....

Specializes in ICU.

I sometimes struggle with this too. I'm not going to go into anything and I don't snoop into other people's business, but things get around. In one instance I was thanking one of my instructors for something and she inadvertently let something slip. Then looking at my confused look, said I thought it was common knowledge which obviously to me, it wasn't. I was very upset because I bust my butt and spent hours on projects and things and found out it was meaningless.

I was venting to a friend when I realized I just need to not worry. I know I did my best and earned my A. Others did not which will catch up to them down the road. Not going the extra mile in school translates to not going the extra mile on the job. Fortunately, I highly doubt I will have to deal with any of them on the job down the road. I'm very close to securing my job after graduation and they won't be there.

Just worry about you. If they can't do simple calculations that will catch up with them on NCLEX. If they don't put the effort in on tests, that will show on the job. They won't get second and third chances in real life. Just continue to do your best.

I promise, I've been there. You will find it freeing to not worry about anybody else.

Has 13 years experience.

OP. I understand your frustration, however you should really focus on your own school woes, instead of others. You will find exceptions are made in school and at your future employers.

springchick1, ADN, RN

1 Article; 1,769 Posts

I'm not real sure how you know so much about other people's situations in school. I would worry more about you and passing your classes than worrying about what others are doing.

Emergent, RN

2 Articles; 4,109 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.
OP. I understand your frustration, however you should really focus on your own school woes, instead of others. You will find exceptions are made in school and at your future employers.

So true! My Dear Mom used to say "Life ain't fair" and she broke her sacred grammar rules to say it!