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Received an "F" for a "B"!

Anjann Anjann, RN (Member)

Specializes in M/S/Ortho/Bari/ED.

If anyone out there can offer me some advice, I'd be so grateful. I am in an accelerated second degree AAS program at a University in VA which I will not name.

I and 3 other students are currently battling the nursing department over "F" grades we received despite the fact that no on got less than a C+ in a class that ended July 31st. The reason for this is because the 4 of us did not obtain a 90% or higher by the third attempt at a 10 question dosage calculations quiz. Mind you the calculation of dosages is not taught at our school, it is considered the students responsibility to learn it themselves.

I don't understand how my overall grade of 85% can be reflected on my transcript as a "F" because of one dosage calculations quiz, which I got an 80% on. The four of us tried reasoning with the nursing staff and they basically told us tough cookies and see you next semester at a private Catholic school that costs $600 per credit! Additionally, our school has a policy where you get kicked out if you have to repeat more than 8 nursing credits.

Am I wrong to believe that this action taken was harsh and unfair? Is this just the nature of the nursing beast, or do I have a legitimate right to fight this. I sent emails to the dean and the grievance committee, but no one has responded. It has been 3 weeks.

Please help. I am ready to break down and quit, as I can't cry anymore than I already have. The callousness and cold-hearted nastiness of these ladies is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Can anyone help?

That is usually the way it goes. Most schools, actually all that I know of have the rule that you must score a 90 or above on the drug cal test each year, otherwise you are out.

I am VERY sorry. I hope something will work out for you.

Sorry to hear about your situation. It is not uncommon for nursing programs to require students to pass a dosage calculation exam with a specific percentile grade in order to pass the course. Typically a student is allowed a predetermined number of retakes (between 2 and 3) before they fail the nursing course.

Nursing programs can have whatever policies they wish for promotion, retention, and graduation, but these policies must be published and made available to students before the course begins.

You always have the right to grieve, according to the published grievance policy. However, if the policy was clearly published and made available to you at the begining of the course it is unlikely you would win the grievance.

It is unfortunate that no one responded to your emails, but it may be that they only respond to inquires made via the steps of the published grievance policy.

I know this response may not be what you wanted to hear, but hopefully it answers some of your questions.

I'm sorry you're having such an upsetting experience. At both nursing schools I attended (one state school and one private women's college, both in upstate NY), the policies were identical to what you've described. It's disappointing though, that your school didn't offer or suggest a tutor for you (I worked for both schools as a peer tutor for students who needed to retake med exams).

Even if you had to pay for your own tutor, I think it would be a worth it- once it 'clicks', the concepts are cemented in your mind forever.

Also, every hospital I've worked in required a 90% or better on their own med exams before any newly hired RN could pass meds.

Don't give up, though- you WILL get it. Do practice questions until you see them in your sleep. Above all, have faith in yourself- you can do this.

Perhaps you should follow up your emails with written correspondence. Most schools require submission of written grievances (with with your signature). That could be why you've not received a reply.

At my school, they did teach dosage calculations. However, the dosage calculation test that we take is 10 questions and has to be passed with 100%. You have three trys and if you don't pass, you have to sit out a semester and retake the test when it is given at the end of the NEXT semester.

So I guess what I am saying is that it is kind of the nature of the nursing beast, like you asked.

Sorry, I know that is not the answer you were looking for.

when i was in nursing school, at the first day of our class, our instructor made it very clear about grading policy. she told us that the passing grade for drug calculaton is 90% and we have 3 attempt to score 90%. if we do not receive 90% on our third attempt, then we cannot go to our clinicals, therefore the grade for the class is failure. same with clinicals. clinical grade is based on pass/failure and even if we have 90% in lecture test, if a student receives failure grade in clinicals then the student have failed the entire class. and this policy was written in black and white in our course syllabus. did your instructor write this in your syllabus? did your instructor explain to you on the first day of class? if its not written in black and white in syllabus and if your instructor didnt explain it to you in the first day of class, then i dont think she has a right to fail students for it. so you might want to bring it up to the dean of nursing, or the nursing committes. best of luck to you....:icon_hug:

Sorry to say our school has a required passing of dosage calculations exams every semester passing = 90% or better, we get three attempts as well.

:(

Tracy

CarVsTree

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU.

Sorry, but that is nursing school... The math for dosage calculations is very simple math (elementary algebra). If you are having difficulty with the math, than you need to get a math tutor. I have to agree with the school. You need to be 100% correct at giving meds so you don't make a med error that could possibly harm or even kill your patient.

At my school it is one or two (can't remember it was first semester) attempts to get 100%.

I must ask, after you failed the first time, did you get a math tutor? If not, than you have yourself to blame. Sorry to sound harsh, but this is the reality of nursing. We are responsible to give good competent care. Giving meds is the most dangerous part of our jobs in terms of possibly harming the patient.

westcoastgirl

Has 10 years experience.

Got to agree with the others here. I'm at a west coast school and if you fail the Drug Calc test (

Sorry, but that is nursing school... The math for dosage calculations is very simple math (elementary algebra). If you are having difficulty with the math, than you need to get a math tutor. I have to agree with the school. You need to be 100% correct at giving meds so you don't make a med error that could possibly harm or even kill your patient.

At my school it is one or two (can't remember it was first semester) attempts to get 100%.

I must ask, after you failed the first time, did you get a math tutor? If not, than you have yourself to blame. Sorry to sound harsh, but this is the reality of nursing. We are responsible to give good competent care. Giving meds is the most dangerous part of our jobs in terms of possibly harming the patient.

i don't understand why dosage are not being taught . i know that in our class we were explained in detail how to determine dosage.. i don't know of anyone who was booted out of class d/t that aspect and they kicked a lot of people out...

however this is something that you should know...don't depend on pharmacy or other nurses to determine what med you should give..advise about practice, practice, practice is a very good one

meownsmile, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

Im afraid that is how it is going at most schools. We had weekly dosage calc tests that were basically 4-6 questions and it left little to no wiggle room for errors. Had to pass all of them or there were consequences. They incorperated that grade with our clinical so if you screwed up your math quizzes you screwed up your clinical grade.

Sorry you have to deal with it, but yes i think for the most part we all have.

We didnt have any actual teaching on the dosage calcs, we had the book we had to study for our quizzes and if we needed help it was up to us to go to the instructors and ask outside of clinical time. But, we all had to have math as a pre-req so it was up to us to deal with.

Hoozdo, ADN

Has 15 years experience. Specializes in ICU, Research, Corrections.

At my school it is one or two (can't remember it was first semester) attempts to get 100%.

My school is also 100% and you take it every semester before clinicals. If you fail 3 attempts you need to repeat the WHOLE previous semester. I just took the test today - thank God I got 100%

Lu Ann

When I was in nursing school, we were given nursing calculation exams every quarter. We were allowed two attempts to pass the exam at 100%--if you did not pass the nursing calculation exam, you did not proceed with the nursing program.....and my instructors were not kidding around.. i know of at least two people that did not finish in my program due to not passing the nursing calculation exam at 100%.

Gotta side with the school on this one. At my school we get 2 chances to get a 90% or higher or you redo the class. I think that is VERY lenient since other places you must score 100%. I sure wouldn't want a nurse taking care of my kids if they can't pass a dosage test. I really really dont say that to be mean but its that important. Please get some math help instead of "rocking the boat" as you say so hopefully you can continue with your nursing education.

mysticalwaters1

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor.

Did the teachers explain the calculations at least? That would be unfair if they didn't. We didn't have a whole class on it but the first semester in my schooling took several hours to go over calculations then practice problems. I think that would be fair to teach students than no direction at all. Then if one needs further study get a math tutor. My school also did the 3x 90% or greater each semester before going to clinicals. Yes it is very important but the teachers should give a little feedback. Sometimes I noticed if someone needed help it was not offered. I had a classmate main lanuguage spanish. She spoke english very well but had issues with the wording on test questions. She went to the chair of nursing enforcing she needed help. All she got from the professor was "oh don't worry I'm sure you will do fine." Well, she got lower than a c in class and had to take an extra year to finally graduate and pass boards but she did it. Of course she needs to be totally fluent in english but my point is I did see instances where I feel the professors failed to provide help to students. Even if the teacher couldn't do it herself she could have investigated into it to see if there was any service to her even if she had to pay for it. Some may say it's the student's responsibility but teachers are there to guide and teach you so they should comply.

My school's policy was 100% pass on the drug calculation, and I must say I agree with the policy. The math is very basic, and meds dosage is so important. If you want a book suggestion, get:

Calculate with Confidence - by Gray Morris

KristinWW

Has 13 years experience.

If anyone out there can offer me some advice, I'd be so grateful. I am in an accelerated second degree AAS program at a University in VA which I will not name.

I and 3 other students are currently battling the nursing department over "F" grades we received in Health Assessment Lab and Lecture, despite the fact that no on got less than a C+ in a class that ended July 31st. The reason for this is because the 4 of us did not obtain a 90% or higher by the third attempt at a 10 question dosage calculations quiz. Mind you the calculation of dosages is not taught at our school, it is considered the students responsibility to learn it themselves.

I don't understand how my overall grade of 85% can be reflected on my transcript as a "F" because of one dosage calculations quiz, which I got an 80% on. The four of us tried reasoning with the nursing staff and they basically told us tough cookies and see you next semester at a private Catholic school that costs $600 per credit! Additionally, our school has a policy where you get kicked out if you have to repeat more than 8 nursing credits.

Am I wrong to believe that this action taken was harsh and unfair? Is this just the nature of the nursing beast, or do I have a legitimate right to fight this. I sent emails to the dean and the grievance committee, but no one has responded. It has been 3 weeks. I am afraid to rock the boat TOO much, as these ladies are pretty pompous and power obsessed, and not the kind of people you want to get on the bad side of.

Please help. I am ready to break down and quit, as I can't cry anymore than I already have. The callousness and cold-hearted nastiness of these ladies is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Can anyone help?

This is one in a long line of "unfairs" that you will encounter in nursing school. We had to take a calc test before each semester began and receive 90%, on 2 tries. We were also on our own to learn drug calcs. This is the norm at probably every school. However, our clinical advisors were more than willing to review anything, at any time. Best of luck to you.....

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

If anyone out there can offer me some advice, I'd be so grateful. I am in an accelerated second degree AAS program at a University in VA which I will not name.

I and 3 other students are currently battling the nursing department over "F" grades we received in Health Assessment Lab and Lecture, despite the fact that no on got less than a C+ in a class that ended July 31st. The reason for this is because the 4 of us did not obtain a 90% or higher by the third attempt at a 10 question dosage calculations quiz. Mind you the calculation of dosages is not taught at our school, it is considered the students responsibility to learn it themselves.

Am I wrong to believe that this action taken was harsh and unfair? Is this just the nature of the nursing beast, or do I have a legitimate right to fight this. I sent emails to the dean and the grievance committee, but no one has responded. It has been 3 weeks. I am afraid to rock the boat TOO much, as these ladies are pretty pompous and power obsessed, and not the kind of people you want to get on the bad side of.

Please help. I am ready to break down and quit, as I can't cry anymore than I already have. The callousness and cold-hearted nastiness of these ladies is absolutely mind-boggling

I know that you do not want to hear this but...

That policy is actually much more liberal than the policies in place at many schools of nursing. Most require 95-100%. And we would have only been able to repeat one nursing course and only once or we would have been booted.

In most nursing schools, each major course has several components: clinical, practical exams and course work. It does not matter how high your overall average is, you must pass each separate section with a C or higher (85% or higher) or you will receive an F for the whole course.

In nursing, you may hold life in the balance, so you must prove to be pretty accurate at all times.

It does not matter that you were not taught the calculations...most nursing math is very basic and you knew that you were expected to know them. You are also in an accelerated degree program...and with that comes the expectation that you will have to work harder and faster. Otherwise, you should have taken the standard course.

And please do not refer to your instructors as "callous", "pompous", "power obsessed", or "coldhearted nasty", just because you are not happy with their holding you to routine nursing school standards. Use of those terms demeans you, not them.

KristinWW

Has 13 years experience.

I wanted to add that I was in an accelerated program as well, and there is a lot that you'll be learning on your own. I hope this isn't harsh - that's the lay of the land. Complaining up the ladder won't do any good, as there likely is a line of students ready to take your place. Wish you well!

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