10 Ways to Tick Off your Nursing School Instructors

While in nursing school, you quickly learn it is survival of the fittest, and you enter the mad race to be the best nursing student possible. You also learn that everyone is not destined to be a nurse. If you decide early on in the program that you have made the wrong choice of majors, you essentially have a couple of options to the bailout.

“Option 1” is to bow out gracefully on your own (after speaking to your student advisor about the ramifications of your actions) or “Option 2” which is to get cut from the program.

10 Ways to Tick Off your Instructors

Since “Option 1” is self-explanatory, I will detail the overall strategy of “Option 2”. The ultimate goal of Option 2 is to “tick off your nursing instructors” so that you will fail out of nursing school. Here are 10 great ways to tick off your nursing instructors and possibly fail:

#1 You show up to your student clinical distracted due to life or personal issues.

This essentially includes anything that distracts you from making your patient the first priority. Distractions can endanger your patient’s safety, and places you, your instructor, and the school on the line.

#2 You do not complete your assigned pre-clinical work.

Many programs assign pre-clinical work the night before going to clinical. (Hopefully, the workload is reasonable so that you can show up to clinical well rested and not sleep deprived. Let me tell you that sleep deprivation goes back to #1 ).

#3 You ask questions about the guidelines of papers or projects when you already have the answer to those questions in your syllabus and project outlines.

There is a reason that instructors develop project directions, guidelines, and grading rubrics. You are expected not only to read them but to follow them to the letter.

#4 You don’t read the assigned chapters of the text or extra reading such as journal articles.

Instructors cannot cover all of the need to know topics during a lecture.  As an adult student, you are expected to do what it takes to learn the material. Classroom time should really be devoted to activities and the synthesis of the information from the assigned reading.

#5 You become a student nurse bully.

In a profession that strives to eliminate nurse bullying in the workplace, incivility toward your fellow students and instructors is not tolerated. Please don’t argue with, or contradict your instructor. There is a reason that you are a student.

#6 You contest your grade without doing your “homework”.

You complain about your grades without reading the teacher’s grading comments, directions, and grading rubrics. Never question a grade without re-reading and evaluating your project guidelines, directions, grading comments, and grading rubrics. With these documents in front of you, objectively consider how you would have graded your paper.

#7 You tell your instructor that they are WRONG without being sure that you are RIGHT.

If you are going to “go there” with your instructor, please make darn sure you are correct. If you are not…. you will not like the sinking feeling of being wrong. Avoid this situation.

#8 You don’t pay attention in class and then blame the instructor for not being clear when they lecture.

Do you really think that you can sit in the lecture, not make notes, and play on your phone the whole time and learn the content that is being covered? Learning does not happen by osmosis.

#9 You repeatedly ask for deadline extensions on papers, projects, and tests; then expect to receive them.

Extensions? More often than not you won’t get them. Plan for the unexpected. Do not wait until the last minute to complete projects. Schedule your time carefully so that you can finish work well before the due date. Do you find it hard to do this? I know- that is why it is called nursing school. It is somewhat a test of endurance. Not everyone successfully finishes.

#10 You do not take the rules listed in your nursing program handbook seriously.

There is a reason that the program has established rules and expectations of their students. Not following those rules could get you into trouble fast.

Are you a nurse educator? If so, leave a comment below and tell us which nursing student behaviors really “light a fire under you”.