Published Nov 25, 2004
Sorry this is long - I'm just very disgusted. We were told on day one - if you are caught cheating - you'll be out of the Program. Although I'm 40, I'm obviously very naive, because I couldn't imagine anyone in Nursing School risking everything by cheating - considering what we all had to do to get in.
Our class has lectures in a very small cramped classroom - so when we have to take tests, we go into a large conference room and sit 3 or 4 around big tables. Even though we are a little bit spaced out, it's very distracting to be sitting at a table with people nervously shaking their legs (which shakes the entire table), sighing heavily, moaning in disgust, tapping their pencils, coughing non-stop, (the list goes on). Personally, I wish we could each have a little cubbie to sit at (the type they have in libraries for privacy) - Nursing Exams require a lot of concentration and it's very hard to do that with so much going on around you. Our school doesn't have those type desks, so we make due in this large room.
Last week after a test a fellow student told me she wasn't going to cheat off me again because she only made a 64. I thought she was kidding and told her she must not be good at cheating because I got a high "B". She said - well, the ones I was able to get off your paper were the only ones I got right. Although she's much younger than me, we're in a couple of classes together, talk a lot between classes, have lunch once in a while - so I was totally disgusted with her for not only cheating off my paper, but also putting me in jeopardy. I don't cover my paper (like I said, didn't think anyone would be cheating) - so if an Instructor had seen her looking at my test, to them, it might have looked like I was helping her out.
For our test today I sat at a different table with just one guy. I didn't name names, but mentioned I switched seats because I found out someone was cheating off my paper. He said I should report it to the Instructor. Told him this particular student had a "D" average and might not make it anyways, but I'd think about it after the test.
To make a long story (longer I guess) - After the test today, the Head of the Nursing Dept. came in and said she had quite a few complaints about a few students cheating. She said she'd be talking to the students accused of cheating, but they couldn't kick someone out if an Instructor doesn't see it happening first hand. The student that turned one of the cheating students in today - told me who it was and I was totally shocked. It's an 18 year old who is constantly bragging about her high 90's grades. She's the one who always asks "what did you get, what did you get - the test was so easy, I got a 95". Let's just say - "she's not the sharpest tack in the box", spends most of her time in lecture "doodling" instead of taking notes, claims she never studies much, so most of us had no idea how she was pulling in such great marks.
Apparently, she's been sitting next to the brightest student in class during the tests and copying off her paper - lots of people have seen this happening during the last few tests, got mad and several turned her in today. I try my best to stay focused during tests and never take my eyes off my paper - so I was totally clueless to what was going on. For those of us who spend many, many hours reading, studying, etc. and get B's and C's - it's sickening to think a couple of our classmates have cheated their way to the top of the class. I'm a very trusting person and honestly, it breaks my heart to know some of my classmates would take advantage of those of us who are taking Nursing School and our future career as Nurses deadly serious.
Has this happened in any of your schools and how do you and your Instructors handle it? Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.. Sue
It may be some consolation to know that though they may cheat and do well in school, they aren't going to be able to pass their licensing exam in the end.
UM Review RN, ASN, RN
Hafta agree with that. I have to wonder what these folks are thinking when the consequences of not learning the basics can be fatal.
Tweety, BSN, RN
Cheating is as old as universities are, so yeah you're a little naive. Nurses aren't angels and some bad seeds get through.
I saw a woman cheating in my class, and fortunately I think the instructor saw it too and said "keep your eyes on your own paper, you may not be cheating when your eyes stray, but you might be accused of it". I guess she didn't think she could prove cheating. If anyone cheated in our class they got away with it because that was the one and only time I heard anything remotely close.
People are going to cheat.
Cheating is very wrong. Done regularly it becomes a habit. Who knows when that cheater is already working as a nurse. Patient care will be compromise.
I just want to share a story of what happen in my class.
We all sit like peas in a pod, during testing. And I never noticed (not that I'm looking around) anyone doing anything out of the ordinary. Well some one must have been caught. At the next test they seperated all of us into diffrent rooms, started yelling at us, place all your things in this corner, nothing on your desks, and then paced around us during the test. It made taking the test so difficult, i.e. being distracted by them looking at our paper and walking around us. It was awful, the next day I asked one of my instructor "what the deal was?" She said it is hard to prove cheating, but they know someone was, and until they can prove it, that's how the testing will be. I told them, thats an awful enviornment for us non-cheaters, besides I agree, it doesn't do anything for them when they have to take the NCLEX. But she just stated, nonetheless, since we can't prove it right now, we have to prevent it. Everyone will be seperated and stared down during the exam.
I posted about an incident with my last psychology test. a group of students were talking aloud and literally passing a test around. we got the tests back last night, and they all scored 80% or higher. I am so angry that the professor didnt do anything. he saw them cheating and several of us informed him after the test as well. I feel that I should tell the program director or someone else. I was so distracted by the cheating that I scored low on the test. its unfair!
anyway, cheating sucks!
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
One of the cheaters in my class managed to graduate, barely. He's flunked boards, and got fired from a job because of med errors (this is the same doofus who said "it's so stupid that we have to learn how to calculate the rate of IVs, they're all on pumps anyway, the pump computer tells you what it is." Funny he said that, because 99% of the IV drugs and solutions we get in the OR are gravity.).
Three other cheaters flunked out of school.
My school had a cheating "scandal" a few terms ago. Now all students take the same test at the same time outside of normal class time. They split us into two groups & put us in large rooms. All personal belongings must be left outside the room or placed in front by the professor (and you are not allowed to retreive any belongings until everyone has completed their exam). There are 2 professors who walk around the room & watch our every move. If you are caught you get kicked out immediately.
It's a pretty intimidating enviornment. We are all pretty scared so we make sure to never even appear as if we are looking at someone elses paper.
It's a shame that they have to do any of this. Who are these cheaters gonna cheat off of when on the job caing for a patient? I want all the knowledge I can get so I can be a good nurse when I graduate.
I posted about an incident with my last psychology test. a group of students were talking aloud and literally passing a test around. we got the tests back last night, and they all scored 80% or higher. I am so angry that the professor didnt do anything. he saw them cheating and several of us informed him after the test as well. I feel that I should tell the program director or someone else. I was so distracted by the cheating that I scored low on the test. its unfair!anyway, cheating sucks!
In our program, if we are aware that cheating is occurring and we do not report it, WE can be dropped from the program too. It's facilitation in its own way. Why not report it? Be a gatekeeper for your future profession and act on your ethics.
Why don't more programs make use of cover sheets? We all used them & I'm sure this helped tremendously--no sense in looking around for answers when there is no way to see through the cover sheet.
Thanks, but I'll rely on my own knowledge rather than someone else's. Personally, I think these people cheating are just taking other's lives into their own hands. What if they make a fatal error at clinicals or manage to squeeze through boards and actually become a nurse? Scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaary!
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