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Sunday, November 23, 2014  

Nurses say cheating students treated too leniently - Majority of readers believe students should be expelledPublished 6/9/2008

Dear Editor,

The students should have been permanently dismissed from the program. Some students have a legitimate need to carry a cell phone; they should not be punished because of the unethical behavior of their classmates. Cheating is now rampant in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Until the consequences become life altering/career limiting, I think we can expect the trend to continue.

There is an understandable reluctance to apply stringent remedies due to the fear of litigation; however, once legal precedent is well established, I think the challenges will decrease. We owe it to the public to weed out students who demonstrate unethical behavior. It is reasonable to assume that students who cheat are at increased risk of falsifying clinical data and/or concealing mistakes.


Sharon Coon, PhD, RN, AOCN,

Associate Professor, OU College of

Nursing Director - Nursing Research

OUMC, Oklahoma City, Okla.


Dear Editor,

I feel cell phones should be banned from final exams. I feel the punishment was too harsh for the use of the phone when the presence of cells should possibly have been identified as an issue by instructors/those administering the exam. Although this is not an acceptable behavior, I feel there are other alternative consequences that could have been administered, including some remedial class on ethical behavior.


Rita M. Brumfield, MSN, Chief

Nursing Officer

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial

Hospital, Ste. Genevieve, Mo.


Dear Editor,

I think the nursing students should be suspended because they are not trustworthy.


Mia Sweetman

Pioneer Technology Center

Ponca City, Okla.


Dear Editor,

Students who cheat should not be allowed back into the program, or any program, no matter how many ethics courses they take! Integrity and trust are two of the keystones of the nursing profession. When these students cheated on this exam, they demonstrated that they certainly lack integrity and can not be trusted when they cheated on the exam.

The bigger question to ask is, "If they are willing to cheat on a school exam, what else will they be willing to cheat on when they are practicing nurses?" Cheating on medication administration, cheating on treatments, or cheating on charting can all lead to serious injury or death of patients.

Cell phones should always be turned off when students are in class, taking exams or in skills labs. Weíve had that policy here at ECU for seven years.


Joseph T. Catalano, Ph.D, RN,

Professor of Nursing

East Central University, Ada, Okla.


Dear Editor,

The punishment was appropriate. We do not prohibit cell phones in classrooms at this time, but would have no hesitation doing so if there appeared to be a problem regarding testing. Students are currently asked to turn phones off during class.


Carol Dorough, EdD, RN, CNE,

Chair-School of Nursing, Southern

Nazarene University

Bethany, Okla.


Dear Editor,

Catching a student cheating is always disappointing and as an instructor, I have the responsibility to facilitate the learning of each student, thus, allowing them to be successful on exams and in the clinical setting.

Nursing faculty have the responsibility to prepare the student to excel in the art and science of nursing, therefore, protecting the public from nursing students or new graduates nurses who lack of preparation to accept the enormous responsibility of safely caring for patients.

Perhaps redesigning the nursing curricula to encompass multiple teaching and learning strategies would facilitate student success, thus reducing the desire to cheat. However, when a student is caught cheating, numerous factors come into play that prevent many students from devoting the necessary time to nursing school and adequate study time. Unfortunately, many nursing students work full time while attempting to progress through the nursing program in a timely fashion.

Secondly, many nursing students are supporting children. Allocating additional funds and scholarships could allow student nurses to focus on becoming competent, safe practitioners. Infusing additional funds into the preparation of student nurses has the potential to affect the health of our state as well as the nation - we are all health care consumers and trust that the nurse providing care is well educated, competent, and a safe practitioner.

I donít support cheating, however, nursing faculty has the responsibility to ensure the temptation and the opportunity to cheat is removed.

In regards to the students caught cheating in Texas, I view the use of cell phones during an exam as a temptation to great for some students to resist.

This incidence could have been avoided if only all cell phone usage had been banned during the exam. Since most schools of nursing have a strict expulsion clause for students caught cheating, allowing students to retake the test and adding a nursing ethics course to the degree plan, is a fair and lenient requirement.

Most students are honest and will seek advice from the faculty when they are having difficulty in school; however, some students look for other ways to pass exams.

The faculty will never be able to prevent a few students from cheating, however, we can work to ensure that they donít have the desire to cheat to achieve success.


Karen Wood, Nursing Instructor

Northeastern State University

Tahlequah, Okla.


Dear Editor,

No, the punishment was not too harsh. The students should be expelled from the program and not allowed to repeat.


Nancy L. Chu, University of

Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Oklahoma City, Okla.


Dear Editor,

I feel the punishment was not harsh enough. Being a nurse with a BSN of eight years, I would like to think this profession has higher standards. Do we really want these kinds of people taking care of patients? Where are their morals? Who is to say they would not cheat a patient?

I think they should not be allowed to enter the nursing profession at all. What message are we sending if we allow this kind of behavior to enter a trusted and well established profession. It is very sad to think a person who is suppose to serve people is cheating.

Please donít lower nursing standards to this kind of behavior. Cell phones should be banned from all kinds of class rooms.


Lynn Saner, Education Coordinator

Great Plain Regional Medical Center

North Platte, Neb.


Dear Editor,

I think that all cell phones or electronic devices should be banned from classes and especially tests. I also believe that the students involved should have to take all of the nursing courses over. Apparently they missed the part about nurses having a code of ethics and standards that make us credible. Reports of things like this make nurses look like we have no scruples.


Kim Giles, RN, Commanche County

Memorial Hospital

Lawton, Okla.


Editorís Note: Any thoughts and/or responses should be sent to news@okcnursinigtimes.com.

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