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Unfair treatment

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I am a nursing student with an unusual (or not so unusual situation). I am in a class where the instructor nullifies 25% of each exam (giving persons who got the WRONG answer credit and not giving anything extra to reward those who studied). I have students names, examples, etc. and plan to do something about this at the end of the semester. I have one example where a student's grade was elevated from 67 percent (failing) to 97 percent because of nullified questions. The answers to most of the questions were in the textbook or notes. This is very disturbing that an instructor picks who she wants to give As, Bs, Cs and fail in advance and throws out questions if her A students get them wrong. I am doing as well as anyone in the class and just barely getting by. People who actually miss more questions than myself sometimes get As. Any suggestions on how to get through the rest of the semester? I can't do anything about this until the end of the term for fear that she might try to get rid of me. Thanks for your help.

rach_nc_03

Specializes in PICU, Nurse Educator, Clinical Research.

I am a nursing student with an unusual (or not so unusual situation). I am in a class where the instructor nullifies 25% of each exam (giving persons who got the WRONG answer credit and not giving anything extra to reward those who studied). I have students names, examples, etc. and plan to do something about this at the end of the semester. I have one example where a student's grade was elevated from 67 percent (failing) to 97 percent because of nullified questions. The answers to most of the questions were in the textbook or notes. This is very disturbing that an instructor picks who she wants to give As, Bs, Cs and fail in advance and throws out questions if her A students get them wrong. I am doing as well as anyone in the class and just barely getting by. People who actually miss more questions than myself sometimes get As. Any suggestions on how to get through the rest of the semester? I can't do anything about this until the end of the term for fear that she might try to get rid of me. Thanks for your help.

I have had similar issues with some of the instructors in my program. You have two allies in this situation: the school, and the Board of Nursing in your state, which dictates the requirements for nursing education courses. My school has certain policies regarding how grading must be done, etc.; these policies are set out in the student handbook for the nursing program. I think most programs have such policy handbooks, so check to see what yours says. Also, check with your state BON and see what they can do. In our program, for instance, the faculty would make you do a huge make-up homework assignment if you missed clinical, arguing that the papers, etc. were supposed to take the same time and effort as a clinical day. However, they gave you a clinical absence anyway- so basically, you were required to do the work, but not getting credit for it. When the BON came to reaccredit our program, they met with all students (without faculty) and I told them about the policy. The board told the school they couldn't require the makeup assignments if the absences counted against us.

In my opinion, sometimes instructors in nursing programs can take the power and authority they have a little too far. Certainly not all instructors do that, but the amount riding on you getting through the program is a little more than in other degree programs. I think, from what you've said, this instructor might be on a bit of a power trip. When unjust things happen in nursing programs, the responsibility to get them rectified often falls upon the students. You're paying for this education. You have a right to be treated fairly and equitably.

Good luck to you!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

One thing you have to watch, though, is by waiting to report it, the people you report it to are going to ask why you waited so long to come to them.

As an ex-Special Education teacher, I find this diplorable, especially at this level. While using a curve is one thing, or throwing out a question becuase it was improperly worded or the correct answer wasn't included, what this instructor is doing is unethical to say the least. I could see where you would want to wait until you're out of the class before doing anything about it; it's a tough place to be. Can't you discuss this with a school counselor for your department or class and see what recourse you have while you're still in the class?

As for what you should do...keep doing exactly what you are doing. Study, do the assignments, do the clinical, etc. The ones who are having the grades adjusted are going to be the ones hurt in the long run. She may have control over her class, but she doesn't have control over RN boards. Those student will probably be the ones not passing or getting removed from the program further down the line by other instructors.

Please don't snicker at my post, I know it will sound trivial ... but, I have just had a similar experience and it really was frustrating.

I just completed my CNA classes in a large city vocational school. My previous post high school experiences have always been at private colleges, universities, and I was shocked with the practice of the school/teachers, practice of elevating undeserved grades.

I studied very hard and attended all of my classes. We were given one written final exam and one written and one practical skills final exam.

(brag) :yelclap: I made 100% on my written final and 96% on the final practical skills exam, but my hard work and good grades were made to seem lesser because my instructor let the people who failed their exams, retake them. We had a minimum pass grade of 80% throughout the program.

There isn't much you can really do to diminish real scores of 100% and 96%, except that it doesn't mean as much if everyone gets to make at least 80% no matter what they do. :no:

I am a nursing student with an unusual (or not so unusual situation). I am in a class where the instructor nullifies 25% of each exam (giving persons who got the WRONG answer credit and not giving anything extra to reward those who studied). I have students names, examples, etc. and plan to do something about this at the end of the semester. I have one example where a student's grade was elevated from 67 percent (failing) to 97 percent because of nullified questions. The answers to most of the questions were in the textbook or notes. This is very disturbing that an instructor picks who she wants to give As, Bs, Cs and fail in advance and throws out questions if her A students get them wrong. I am doing as well as anyone in the class and just barely getting by. People who actually miss more questions than myself sometimes get As. Any suggestions on how to get through the rest of the semester? I can't do anything about this until the end of the term for fear that she might try to get rid of me. Thanks for your help.

Nurse Ratched, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Ultimately, your fellow students will need to pass the same NCLEX as you, without the generous curve being afforded by this instructor.

I am a nursing student with an unusual (or not so unusual situation). I am in a class where the instructor nullifies 25% of each exam (giving persons who got the WRONG answer credit and not giving anything extra to reward those who studied). I have students names, examples, etc. and plan to do something about this at the end of the semester. I have one example where a student's grade was elevated from 67 percent (failing) to 97 percent because of nullified questions. The answers to most of the questions were in the textbook or notes. This is very disturbing that an instructor picks who she wants to give As, Bs, Cs and fail in advance and throws out questions if her A students get them wrong. I am doing as well as anyone in the class and just barely getting by. People who actually miss more questions than myself sometimes get As. Any suggestions on how to get through the rest of the semester? I can't do anything about this until the end of the term for fear that she might try to get rid of me. Thanks for your help.

I've had instructors "throw questions out" -- usually by giving the number of points of the questions involved to everyone. That way, the people who got the question right are not penalized, as they would be if only the people who got them wrong were to be given credit.

NurseFirst

When I was in college, doing a program other than nursing, we had a sort of similar beef with a professor. You can go to the ombudsman for the school and discuss this situation with him or her, that way it isn't with the dean of the college if you are worried about repercussions. The ombudsman is supposed to be an impartial party to problems like this. Needless to say, after a few classmates and I went and complained about our problem.....the problem was fixed. Besides, she is required to give you a syllabus at the beginning of the semester/quarter/whatever that spells out how he/she will be grading. If she doesn't go by the syllabus....then she is in "breach of contract" so to speak.

snowfreeze, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

Maybe if the colleges paid instructors with a BSN or MSN more than an LPN on a med/surg unit we wouldnt have these issues.

I have this problem at my school too, only to a lesser degree.

It really ticks me off when questions that I get right are thrown out simply because many people missed it. I think that when this happens, one of the questions that I got wrong should be thrown out too! But, do you think this happens? Nooooo. :angryfire

We've actually had several ENTIRE tests/quizzes thrown out b/c much of the class didn't do well on it. Within the past 2 weeks, I have had 2 100% quizzes thrown out. The thing is, I really needed those points! Earlier in the year, we had a fundamentals exam that everyone did terrible on, and they were all given the opportunity to retake it. My grade was good so I opted not to - I was the only one. The instructor was going to force me to retake it until speaking with our program director.

I figured out early in the year that having students flunk out was a bad reflection on the school, and they will do just about anything to keep from booting anyone out, even though the "policy" in the student handbook sounds tough.

RN4NICU, LPN, LVN

Has 15 years experience.

Ultimately, your fellow students will need to pass the same NCLEX as you, without the generous curve being afforded by this instructor.

Yes, but some states let candidates retake boards as many times as it takes them to pass (no remediation requirement or anything). Bad policy, if you ask me.

One thing you have to watch, though, is by waiting to report it, the people you report it to are going to ask why you waited so long to come to them.

I understand what you are saying, but someone has already reported this to her chairman who said "There is nothing I can do." So waiting until I get out of the class is the best option at this point.

One thing you have to watch, though, is by waiting to report it, the people you report it to are going to ask why you waited so long to come to them.

I understand what you are saying, but this has already been reported to her chariman who said "There is nothing I can do." So waiting is the best option at this point.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Sometimes instructors get rid of questions that the majority missed. This is fair because it probably was a bad question. Is this what they are doing? Or are they picking certain students and elevating their grades, nullifying questions for them and not for others?

I hope that you're understanding this correctly because I find it hard that professional insturctors would pick and choose who they elevate and ignore others.

Our insturctors occasionally would get rid of questions that almost everyone missed, and it always seemed those were the one's I got right.

I'm all for throwing out bad questions, but not for favortism.

Good luck.

Maybe if the colleges paid instructors with a BSN or MSN more than an LPN on a med/surg unit we wouldnt have these issues.

For whatever reason would that make a difference with such an incompetent instructor?

Jim Huffman, RN

Sometimes instructors get rid of questions that the majority missed. This is fair because it probably was a bad question. Is this what they are doing? Or are they picking certain students and elevating their grades, nullifying questions for them and not for others?

I hope that you're understanding this correctly because I find it hard that professional insturctors would pick and choose who they elevate and ignore others.

Our insturctors occasionally would get rid of questions that almost everyone missed, and it always seemed those were the one's I got right.

I'm all for throwing out bad questions, but not for favortism.

Good luck.

I totally agree with you on this. I think throwing out a bad question or two is reasonable.

I try and concentrate on my own learning and not worry about the other stuff. People may pass one class without earning the grade, but they won't likely have that luck more than once.

Maybe if the colleges paid instructors with a BSN or MSN more than an LPN on a med/surg unit we wouldnt have these issues.

What does this comment have to do with this discussion at all? This is totally unnecessary and inappropriate.

You are a customer and are paying to get a proper education. If no one in the nursing school can do anything, go on up to their boss, the president of the university.

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