Pick Your Battles Wisely

I know that my words might not be what all people want to hear; however, I strongly feel that I must bring some issues into people's awareness. Nursing school is not always fair, but you will need to pick your battles very carefully if you actually want to walk across that stage and graduate.


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Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 28 years experience.
The clinical hours were being cut short on a regular basis by this one particular instructor. Since this was a second job to earn some extra money, he did not really put his entire heart and soul into the task of teaching.

This is a widespread problem, the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. I was a clinical coordinator for a short time, and I would hear officially (but mostly non-officially) that certain CIs always let their students out early. Part of my job was to evaluate the CIs, as well as the facility (was the unit the right fit for the level, etc). There were ones that I purposely went to later in the shift, after being tipped off. And sure enough, there were a couple of times where the group was MIA. Either never showed up, left early, or no one has seen the group in weeks. When my boss approached the CIs, there was always an excuse (Oh, I took them to a specialty unit this week, they stayed late last week, so I let them out early, or a bunch of other nonsense that could not be confirmed or denied). The bottom line was this: The CI was not reprimanded because a) no student would rat her out, either for fear of repercussion (which I totally understand, from their perspective), or b) the students were HAPPY to be getting out early, or c) we were so desperate for CIs. Sad, but true.

Choice B (as stated above) was a real, legitimate thing in this setting. I was so embarrassed to be a part of an institution that would accept this type of mentality, much less having colleagues that would enable it. One of the full timers there adjuncted at another institution, where students complained about her because she never let them out early. Are you kidding me!! How on earth do you go to a higher up with a complaint like that??

I am at a different institution now, and it's not all roses there either. But I keep my mouth shut when I hear of other groups who have the 'day off', or alternate arrangements have been made. I am not a coordinator, so it really isn't my business. So I stay out of it. There are times where my group has had alternate arrangements made, all on the up-and-up. I don't have to answer to anyone except my coordinator, my chair, and my conscience :)

I am wondering if the student mentioned in the OPs scenario was one who was not part of that mentality, therefore it was maybe her word against the rest of the group?

I hate to hear about all the underhanded things that go on in out profession. But, it happens in every aspect of life.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
This is a widespread problem, the pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. I was a clinical coordinator for a short time, and I would hear officially (but mostly non-officially) that certain CIs always let their students out early.
Thank your very much for providing your perspective as a nurse educator and a formal clinical coordinator on this sticky issue. I think we really needed to hear from someone who works in higher education.
Specializes in Medical Telemetry, SICU. Has 5 years experience.

And secondly, is there not any type of 'whistleblower' protection against retaliatory actions available??? After all, we are talking about institutions that may be Civil Service, and/or those who are probably receiving some federal-type funding, be they grants, scholarships, work programs, student loans, etc.

I believe that kind of protection is only valid towards an employer.

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 7 years experience.

I completely agree with this article wholeheartedly. Nursing school is a microcosm (sp?) of the real world and nursing environments in general. Bottom line, I am entering my senior year of my 2 year ABSN program and to be quite honest myself and all my classmates have come into contact with some of the worse professors you can imagine. What makes it so bad is they have been receiving failing grades, reviews, and comments from people for several years but yet continue to keep their job because they are in good standing with the Dean of the Nursing program.

To make matters worse is we are taught the material from the book, learn it from the slides, then the professor turns around and contradicts the book even though she/he is clearly wrong. It really does affect the student because these professors make me second guess recommending this program (which I would never do), coming back here to pursue my Master's Degree (if I decide to take that route), and donating to the program.

This is why I have such a hard time undertanding students who want to be the teacher's pet and dont' realize the same way you are sucking up that can easily get you caught up. I had to learn the hard way how students snitch, teachers play favorites, and in the end we all get got in some way

Sometimes it is just best not to rock the boat, suck it up, and move on with life. I got less than 8 months to go until graduation. I can make it

I wonder why the failed student didn't get staff on the ward where the students were leaving early to verify their departure time. I also wonder about the Dean to whom this illegal behavior was reported. What did the Dean do, Commuter?

It's definitely true that we have to be careful who we take on as opponents. Pitiful state of fallen Man. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and right all wrongs.