There is a lot at stake when it comes to nursing school grades. Most nursing schools allow students to retake just one course. After that, a failing grade may mean dismissal from the program. So how can you appeal a grade that you know isn’t fair? Follow these simple steps when considering appealing your note.
When to consider appealing your grade
In most cases, it is difficult to appeal ratings based on personal difficulties. Life changes like divorce or a family member’s illness are heartbreaking. Yet they cannot excuse poor performance or failure to meet nursing school requirements.
To earn a grade appeal, students must prove that:
- There has been discrimination or harassment (based on race, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability). For example, if all students over 40 passed while all under 40 failed a course, this would be grounds for appeal.
- The grades did not comply with nursing school policies and procedures. Or, an instructor assigned a grade based on factors other than course performance. For example, if a professor fails a student because he doesn’t like the comments he made, that would be grounds for appeal.
- The instructor’s behavior was unethical, unprofessional, or violated students’ rights. For example, if an instructor sold an answer key to half the class, students could appeal their test scores.
- The grade is inaccurate because the teacher graded the items incorrectly. For example, a clerical or calculation error.
Former teacher John Hare warns: “It’s hard enough to prove that the teacher graded you to standards that weren’t in the syllabus. It is more difficult to demonstrate that the professor graded you more severely than the other students. If you don’t have concrete, specific evidence on any of these points, your appeal will go nowhere.
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When students have concerns about course content, teaching methods or exam requirements, it is important to speak to the professor as soon as possible. By respectfully expressing concerns, it may be possible to prevent problems later.
Chain of Command for Nursing School Appeals
The first step to appealing a nursing school grade is to examine your basis for the appeal. If you disagree with a rating, be honest with yourself. Then answer the question “why should you receive a different rating?” » If your feelings are subjective (for example, “I work hard and I deserve it”), it will be difficult to prove your case in the appeal process. You will need objective evidence that your score is wrong.
Next, consult your school’s appeals process, as you must follow it through. You must follow all instructions outlined in your nursing school’s handbook. Deviating from the procedure could harm your case.
Also, keep a diary of who you spoke to and when so that if the situation escalates, you’ll have a timeline of events to back up your case. Some nursing school textbooks provide a form for students to use to challenge a grade. Keep copies of any forms or documents you submit to create a paper trail.
At many colleges, there is also an informal grade appeal process to follow before starting a formal grade appeal.
Although each school is unique, each college’s nursing department has a chain of command. If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your teacher or instructor, you will plead your case at the top of the ladder until the matter is settled. Most schools have a structure similar to this.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute with your professor, you will meet with the head of department. Suppose the head of department agrees with your professor. In this case, you may have the opportunity to appeal your grade to a panel of professors. Ultimately, the principal of your nursing school makes the final decision.
The Procedure for Appealing Grades in Nursing School
Here is an example of a grade appeal process at a nursing school.
- Schedule a meeting with the instructor or faculty to attempt to resolve the dispute within three business days of receiving the grade.
- If a resolution is not reached, meet with the nursing course director to attempt to resolve the dispute within three business days of the instructor meeting.
- If resolution is not reached, the student may formally request a hearing with a panel of nursing faculty within three business days. The instructor or faculty will be notified and given ten working days to respond. At the hearing, the nursing student can provide supporting evidence and discuss the basis for appealing their grade.
- The hearing committee will make a decision and provide it in writing to the student no later than three working days after the meeting.
- If a resolution is still not reached, students may appeal the decision of the faculty of nursing committee in writing to the nursing program.
- director within three working days of receipt. The Director will review all documents and meet with the student and relevant parties to decide on the appeal. The decision of the Nursing Program Director is final.
Advantages and disadvantages of appealing your grades
Disputing a grade can benefit you, but it’s not the easiest solution. Here are some pros and cons.
Appealing your grade may:
- Increase your GPA if the call is successful
- Correct errors in your school record
- Prevent you from failing a course or degree program
- Enable you to progress through the nursing program
The note call process can:
- Take time and attention to other responsibilities (like studying for other classes) as calls take time
- Increase your stress level and cause more worries
- Result in a lower grade, if it reveals other things that the faculty misgraded correctly
Appealing your grade in nursing school may not be the best course of action. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before going ahead with a formal appeal.
Alternatives to Appealing Your Grade in Nursing School
Nursing students who are concerned about their grades should always contact their instructors. Keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to avoid grade disputes.
If you receive a grade that you think is unfair, talk to the instructor about what you can do to pass next time. Being proactive during class by asking for corrections, taking advantage of extra credit opportunities, and scheduling meetings with your professors for feedback will likely yield better results than attractive grades after the fact.
You have a choice when you receive an unfair grade or fail nursing school. You can make excuses or take action. If you choose to appeal your nursing school’s grade, follow these tips.
- Contact your teacher or instructor first and do it quickly.
- Follow your school’s grade appeals policy, including deadlines.
- Show strong evidence to support your appeal.
Although appeals are hard to win, your nursing program may alter your grade due to errors, inconsistencies, or biases.