Just because you are doing well does not mean the school or program is run well. There are nursing schools that may still have tyrannical instructors and an administration that is only concerned with University politics. I am in a class that has several (meaning more than 5) students who have scored in the top 2% of the nation on their HESI exams, but are struggling to pass the course for which they took the HESI. This generates the feeling that maybe things are not fair. Their class scores are not representative of how they study or what they know. I have a class (JR II level) which last semester failed 30 of 55 students in a course. I honestly have no idea if this is the norm, or if that is a high number. As someone who has come from the business world, that ratio would not be acceptable without an explanation. In another class the average of each course exam was an 82 throughout the semester, but the final had an average of 60. Am I to assume that all the students studied during the semester but at the end decided they didn't need to for the final? And that they are just whiny when they complain about it? Or maybe, just maybe some students have a valid critique. It is easy to identify the whiners, but I will tell you that in my class there are very few of those. I am very proud of my classmates. I see them in the library and off campus in study groups. I hear of the time they put in, and I know the vast majority take this very seriously. Because of this, it is very frustrating when a previously straight A student prepares 20-25 hours the weekend before an exam studying (on top of the countless hours during the weeks prior), and they do not see that effort reflected in their score.
Nursing school should be hard. This is not a game. We are dealing with people's lives, and errors can cause the loss of life. I have no problem with making a curriculum challenging, and it does no good to get a degree if you cannot pass the boards. In my opinion (and that along with $1.65 will get you a tall coffee at Starbucks) Nursing school (because of NCLEX) is not a place where you go to accumulate as much knowledge as possible that can be applied in caring for patients, but it has become institutions who teach you how to test well (If I hear the phrase "critical thinking" one more time stated as if nurses, and nurses alone, invented the concept and are the only ones who use it, I just might have duct tape my head to keep it from exploding). If you are a person who tests well no matter how much you study, good for you, you chose the right career path. For those who may not test quite as well as you, but just want to be good nurses, you might have a little more compassion. I have been told the number one thing employers are looking for is Nurses who can work in a team environment (I have been told this by instructors, I have no idea if that is correct or not). If that is the case, I would think learning to get along with classmates would be a good start at developing those skills.