Published Jun 26, 2004
I'm curious, what are your thoughts on this ? Do you think instructors can fail you from a class because of personality conflicts and nothing else?
I honestly do not believe this happens. I think the "out to get me" mentality is kind of an excuse...students use it so they don't have to take responsibility for some of their actions. JMHO.
I believe that some instructors are harder than others, but they are not out to get you. They are going to get paid whether you pass or not. Only the student can control their own outcome. I believe some instructors are harder because they want to push you to succeed. Some of my best instructors have been the hardest ones. They are like a mama bird saying ok it's time to fly or fall...now spread your wings and fly.
I've seen this happen with 2 of my friends. They had a very outspoken personality, and my school just did not dig this.
Both went on to get their BSN (instead of the diploma they were initially after) and became very good nurses.
I think nursing programs tend to have the same problem nursing in general has -- it's tough, there's not enough support from "higher ups", and there is too much of the blame game. Instructors don't seem willing to "work with" people; any sign of trouble and pwittttt! out the door! In nursing it's the opposite re troublesome employees, the facilities keep them on til the employee dies, or a patient NEARLY does.
The instructor thing I've observed from the other end too. I was a staff nurse on a busy respiratory unit, and they had probably 6 students to one instructor. Not bad, if the instructor was THERE for them, I don't know why the school even BOTHERED to have the instructor there. The students were sink or swim. Us nurses tried very hard to help the students but basically our assignments were next to impossible WITHOUT them. So WITH them, we also had to take time out to teach, explain, answer questions --- SO unfair to the students, and difficult for the nurses. They probably come away thinking all nurses are b*tchy and don't care about each other. In real life, that is often what it looks like; we're so busy and strained with our OWN assignments, EVERYone drowns!
It has been 15 years but I know for a fact that instructors can and will fail students based on personality differences. It happened to me, I was failed by a clinical instructor, filed an apeal with the nursing dept board and was granted readmission the next quarted within the same week.
The instructors reason for failing me was that I was "mentally unstable" her reason: I was in a crappy relationship and rather than taking her advice and becoming a "patient" in her co-dependancy councelling (private) practice, I married the guy. That was it, no clinical, behavioral or skills problems, just that she "diagnosed" me as co-dependant. She was not invited back the following year (I was only a drop in the bucket as far as problems with the instructor).
Certainly this can happen, but I think for the most part it happens for a good reason.
For example, instructors talk amongst themselves, and I believe they already have an idea who the committed students are and those that are just 'sliding by' in class *and* have a work ethic that may not be up-to-par. I have seen these students get drilled more than others during clinicals, without a doubt. One student was known for having a quick temper as well as skipping class all the time. When clinicals rolled around, the student was watched like a hawk by the preceptor, with good reason. This person managed to ultimately pass clinicals, but later failed out of another nursing course.
I'm sure that there can be personality clashes from time to time as well, we are human and we can't be expected to agree with everyone's teaching and learning style. It's not right but it happens. However, if someone has problems taking direction now, it's just going to be a lot worse when they finish their program and begin working. JMHO.
I am not sure about nursing school only because my program hasn't started yet, but I have seen it happen and they are people like everyone else. Situations like that happen in work places, colleges, high schools...people can be judgemental and cruel.
I have ABSOLUTELY seen instructors take a disliking to particular students in clinicals and make their lives miserable, one student to the point of withdrawing when told passing was unlikely (and this student would have made a fine nurse; I felt just awful that the student withdrew).
As in any profession, there are folks in power who have integrity, and there are folks who use that power at their whim.
I have ABSOLUTELY seen instructors take a disliking to particular students in clinicals and make their lives miserable, one student to the point of withdrawing when told passing was unlikely (and this student would have made a fine nurse; I felt just awful that the student withdrew). As in any profession, there are folks in power who have integrity, and there are folks who use that power at their whim.
angel337, MSN, RN
when i was in school i noticed that certain instructors showed favortism toward certain students and treated others rather harshly. some instructors don't think that certain people are cut out for nursing and they have no problem either telling the student that or treating them in a way that makes them think they should consider another career. one of my instructors had it out for a girl that was chronically late to school every day due to her child care issues. the instructor told her that she would never make it as a nurse because she was not an "A" student and that she had too many "personal" issues. to this day that girl never did finish nursing and now she is pursuing another degree, but i felt bad for her because i just think all she really needed was encouragement. the other nursing students was very supportive of her and we did what we could, but sometimes circumstances can make it difficult for people to succeed. i was always neutral with my instructors, i didn't try to get on their good side and i didn't behave in any way that would make them question my ability to complete the program. i participated in class but was generally pretty quiet. i find that when students try to challenge nursing instructors, they lose every time. of course there are exceptions to every rule, i am only drawing from my own experience. every time a student tried to challenge an instructor they always ended up crying in the restroom. the best may IMO to deal with difficult instructors is to talk to them one on one and approach them respectfully and diplomatically. they will respect you for being professional and acknowledging them as a superior.
I worked a few yrs back ago for a prof who I adored! He was a hard teacher that someone could really learn a lot from. He wasn't a NUR prof. He was tough, and insisted that students followed the syllabus to the letter (pls don't ask any particulars). He had one student that he struggled w/throughout the semester. When grading time came around, he told me "this guy is not gonna pass...he has pushed WAY too many of my buttons." I said "okay," and went about grading. I guess I wondered if he was going to really back up what he was saying. Because I figured out the grades, and this kid was less then 2 pts away from a "C", so I fudged a little bit and his final grade was a C. (I guess I felt bad for him). So, the prof looks @ the grades and he says "this one isn't right. The guy DID NOT pass." But, yet there was another guy in the class that rarely showed, handed in only 1/2 his assignments, and HE PASSED HIM!!!! GO FIGURE!!!
It makes the instructors look good to have a good pass rate, so no I don't think so. I am sure they are tougher on some students than others and some instructors will just be tougher in generally but I don't think they would fail someone just because they didn't like them.
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