Earning a nursing degree and successively a career as a Registered Nurse takes immeasurable focus and dedication. And If you are enrolled in a quality nursing program or medical school, you're already ahead of the curve in the highly competitive field that is reportedly growing “faster than average.” One U.S. nursing school has already received nearly 400 applications in 2020, a 90% increase over 2019. So, your academic success is a great accomplishment.
Of course, the years of schooling and preceptorships required to pass the nursing licensure test are some of the most important years of your life. However, tackling rigorous medical school studies while trying to adjust to unexpected life changes—such as a divorce or a job change or even facing an unprecedented pandemic—may sometimes require extra help to stay on track during trying times. You may even find an empathetic nursing school advisor suggesting academic remediation to help you on your path to a successful education. Some of the reasons that may lead to a request for nursing school remediation include:
- Underestimating the intense level of required reading and studying, and the necessary time commitment for them.
- Struggling to adjust to sudden life changes, like the Covid crisis, and how they affect your education and required clinicals.
- Having difficulty with critical thinking and grasping key concepts that are vital to the overall nursing program.
Academic remediation can be an invaluable tool used to help students graduate on time. The aim is to keep students on par with their peers in the nursing program to ensure that they will pass the required tests. Effective remediation involves assessing the students' needs, providing intervention, and evaluating the outcome.
Benefits of Remediation
Remediation is sometimes necessary to ensure that every nursing student is fully prepared to enter the professional workforce upon graduation. Nursing program administrators expect that you'll demonstrate patient-centered skills and apply key concepts to show that you will practice safe and effective patient care.
While school policies vary, remediation may be immediately initiated following one or more concerns that are affecting a student's education. Required resolutions can range from having to retake a course to repeating an entire academic year. Despite any temporary setbacks, it is good to always remember that remediation seeks positive solutions for the student. Key benefits of nursing school remediation:
- Remediation aims to keep your academic progress uninterrupted. Although facing remediation can be stressful, it is important to always remember that the support is being initiated for the student's benefit and is intended to be in the best interests of their education.
- Academic discipline helps students identify and rectify problems. Remediation helps to point out areas in need of immediate improvement while offering guidance on how to reach personal academic goals to graduate.
- Early intervention prevents problems from becoming bigger interruptions. Getting at the foundation of the problem early saves the student time and reduces some of the situation's anxiety than if it was left unchallenged.
When facing any academic remediation, a sensible plan of action is to find a knowledgeable Attorney-Advisor that can answer all of your questions and fight to get you back on track to a rewarding education and career.
Know the Best Steps to Take for Successful Remediation
Responding to remediation may understandably seem intimidating because you are being required to resolve a sensitive issue with a nursing school that you are planning to graduate from with a degree that will launch a successful career. And while your school and its advisors have your best interests at heart, when it comes to remediation, the nursing school's primary concern is to protect its decision and reputation.
Reaching an amicable resolution is key. But there are a few avoidable mistakes that nursing students sometimes make when they are facing remediation. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:
- Don't let fear of potential consequences dissuade you from responding to the situation immediately. Valuable time can be lost as students struggle to understand some of the complex aspects of their remediation.
- Avoid attempting to resolve the remediation on your own. It is vital that you know every aspect of your legal rights to safeguard your education. With something so important at stake, it's critical to have a defense attorney by your side.
- Contact an attorney before, not after the fact. It's wiser to engage an attorney before an undesired outcome has done any damage.
While remediation may sound like a life preserver for a drowning student, having it on your record could make you less competitive for graduate nursing programs, and other professional opportunities, derailing your desired career track. When you apply for employment in your field, you may been seen as a less desirable candidate with a history of remedial education. The potential loss of life-long earnings is considerable.
Keep Your Nursing Education on Track
Remediation is becoming increasingly common at nursing schools, with many programs crediting its success in helping students access and resolve issues that are adversely affecting their classroom success. The process is used to support students with their academic progress while causing as little interruption as possible to their education. Academic support is generally enacted as soon as any concerns arise, with the aim being to quickly eradicate the problem at its root.
One U.S. nursing school used remediation after a group of students failed the HESI exam twice. The academic intervention aimed to help improve the students' test-taking abilities. After completing the remediation sessions, all of the students reportedly passed the exam.
Another college nursing program credited its retention and remediation program for effectively helping a large majority of its students to graduate.
Despite its intent, the often complex and confusing issue of remediation can be a potentially distracting action that program administrators may initiate quickly and unexpectedly. You must respond just as swiftly to ensure the issue does not grow to become difficult to resolve.
An experienced lawyer understands that making the right choices are imperative to academic success and can help to quell the intimidating uncertainty that comes with resolving conflict.
Safeguard Yourself from the Challenges of Remediation
With changing times comes a changing landscape in the nursing school experience. And students must learn to meet these challenges to be successful. One recent identifiable change in the nursing student body is a growing number of “non-traditional students,” which are new enrollees who are not coming directly from high school and who tend to be older than most new nursing students entering a program. A non-traditional student may also refer to students who are:
- members of a minority group
- speak English as a second language
- transitioning to a new career in nursing
Now, with a recent nursing industry report asserting that non-traditional students face additional academic challenges, and as nursing programs continually extend their outreach, it's important for all students to know their rights and how to increase their chances of success. A school's academic support services like remediation can help provide the additional support a student may need.
However, it is important to understand that although remediation strives for a positive outcome, not all final resolutions favor the student. A qualified attorney can help to get your voice heard despite any initial challenges.
In 2019, a nursing student in North Carolina was reportedly dismissed from a local nursing school a month before graduation after administrators claimed she exhibited unsafe nursing practices. Considering the importance of a nurse's responsibilities, this may sound like a sound judgment by the school. However, the student felt that the dismissal was initiated over personal reasons, and she decided to pursue a lawsuit to safeguard her rights as a nursing student.
A similar lawsuit was filed a few years earlier, when a New Hampshire nursing student was removed from a nursing program shortly before graduation. Following a poor mentorship review, school officials assumed that she would not pass the nursing licensure test. The student found the support she needed via legal counsel and filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement.
Understandably, the pressure of maintaining passing grades, coupled with a stressful setback can result in a lot of chaos. But you must make the right decisions now as they will greatly impact your future in the healthcare industry. An experienced attorney can help you confidentially make these important decisions and ensure that all bases are being covered in your favor.
Take Action Now
If you are a nursing student facing remediation, you should immediately get an experienced lawyer on your side to make any interruption in your education as minimal as possible and to avoid the potential negative ramifications when nursing schools attempt to have students remediate without just cause.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent many years passionately advocating for nursing students. Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped nursing students through complex legal issues and concerns, including resolving academic issues and remediation concerns, among other challenges unique to nursing students. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today for help.