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this probably isn't the first time you've read this, in my student nurse panic.


so, everyone knows what the passing is for you nursnig school. 70? 75? 80? even down to the decimal, 74.5 ( I HOPE THEY ROUND UP). i've never heard of a nursing school where all the students were passing. usually they start the program with 60 and dwindle down to a graduating class of maybe 30 or 20. honestly, it's like a reality show, semester by semester people are dropping like flies. students are running out of offices with tears in their eyes, or all the color drained from their face when they realized that failure is on the brink. - ok and with good reason, we're taking care of the sick, i understand that, and the standards for which they test us i don't have a problem with. BUT, if nursings school realize that the passing rate is low and that there's obviously a connection missing with critical thinking then why is that they never emphasize that in class. i mean from my own personal experience in school, i feel like my teachers are just reading off the power points, we do like 1 or 2 case studies and that's it.

then in clinical world, me and my fellow classmates are doing our best, we're doing semi-fowlers, we're putting the bed in the lowest position, we're making our patients as happy as possible, addressing priority diagnosis and it's never clinical in which the problem lies, but while you're in clinical feeling as if you've made a difference in some person's life then as your mind recedes into the dark cloud of the last lecture exam you've either 1. failed it horribly or 2. teetering on the brink of failure. and no matter how hard you've studied, no matter how many hours you've put into reading the chapter a million times over, there is no evidence of having learned anything.

so now you're thinking, well it doesn't matter if you've read the chapter a thousand times, you're obviously not making a connection in reading the patho, knowing the signs and symptoms and prioritizing your nursing responsibilities miss prudent nurse....then fine, i will take that responsibility as a student and as a future healthcare worker, i will take that as a responsibility in maybe one day having someone's life in my hands that i have not made the connection, BUT why is this student system so cold to the student? if you realize that the passing turn over in your school is low, then why don't they emphasize vehement classes in critical thinking? when we go over exams (at least at my school and as i've heard from other schools) we're not allowed to get a copy of the exam questions. why, cheating? really? because i would love to take those questions home and dissect exactly why i'd gotten that question wrong, where were my mistakes in critical thinking and what do i need to look for so i can IMPROVE and maybe actually be a better student/nurse/person. then maybe on the next exam i won't make the same mistakes i'm making over and over.

maybe i sound like i'm complaining, like i think there's a defect in the whole nursing school system, but as the semesters pass i see my friends drop like flies, and honestly once you've done clinical and shared the same anxiety with a fellow nursing student and done all that hard work the entire semester, to see them not pass is heart breaking. when you're in a patients room and you've moving them and wiping poop and seeing and smelling all kinds of odors you've probably never smelled you're entire life is a real bonding experience, with you're patient and your fellow nursing student. i mean you come out of that room like, "wow that was intense". but you understand the compassion that we both held for that person too.

believe or not some of us want to become nurses because we actually want to help people, not because of the salary, not because of the job availability (which in nyc any way is becoming scarce) and when i see my friend who was great with her patient care get dropped because she couldn't bridge the gap between knowing your facts (path, s/s, nursing interventions) and critical thinking and some cold heartless *you know what* pass the course because it's bridging the gap is easy for her then it's disheartening to have any faith in the future of this profession.

i know life isn't fair but i also know that there are probably a lot of great people that go into nursing that could be amazing nurses and have been left in the dust and a lot of people that passed nursing that probably have no compassion for their future patients (and believe me i've seen it).

if nursing school is about: knowing the normal physiological process of the body, then knowing how diseases cause a deviation, then knowing the signs and symptoms of this deviation, then addressing those deviations with in the realm of your own responsibility as a nurse (not as a doctor or therapist) and bridging the gap to articulating your critical thinking skills, then please make an emphasis on it bridging that gap cause honestly the healthcare field will be missing a lot of great nurses.

ok i'm done ranting, but this is how i feel.

thanks for your time.


Specializes in Home Care.

Some schools and instructors are better than others at teaching critical thinking. Some people are just not capable of the critical thinking required in nursing.