The passing grade for nursing courses and some science courses required for nursing students was raised from a 73 to a 77 for all students.
That change went into effect this summer, according to Phyllis Hansell, dean of the College of Nursing. The GPA requirement for nursing students to be considered in good standing was changed to 2.75 beginning with the Class of 2012, Hansell said She said that students enrolled prior to Fall 2012 do not fall under the 2.75 GPA requirement.
Hansell said in an email, “The GPA and the passing grade requirement was raised to be consistent with standards that are common in nursing programs. Students who earn low grades are not successful as nurses.”
Senior Jennifer O’Donnell said the higher GPA requirements add unnecessary stress to her and her classmates.
“I feel like I’ve done nothing this semester but stress out over these classes,” O’Donnell said. “I’m a senior, I should be almost home free. It’s like you’re running a marathon and you see the finish line, but it’s still out of reach because they decided to move the finish line without forewarning.”
She added nursing is a hard major and “there’s people out there who say, ‘Well, if you’re going to be taking care of patients in real life, shouldn’t you be getting good grades and not barely passing?’ But, I feel like they really don’t understand unless they’ve been in our shoes.”
Senior Ashley Nguyen said she knows students who have failed classes who normally would not have had there been no GPA change.
Senior Anthony Baysah said he is struggling with the new requirements in one of his classes.
“The thought of failing that one class and derailing me off from graduating on time is mind-boggling,” Baysah said. “I strongly feel that the College of Nursing should have grandfathered the current sophomores-senior nursing students into the 73-passing grade and make the 77-passing grade for the new coming freshmen.”
All students interviewed said the college did not inform them when they raised the requirement. However, Hansell said that that the information is available on Blackboard, in each course syllabus and in the student handbook for the College of Nursing. In addition, she said email notification was sent to students.
Baysah and Nguyen both said they first heard of this through the rumor mill.
“I did not hear about this sudden change until I spoke to a few of my fellow classmates; I didn’t think it was true until I got the syllabus for my nursing classes,” Baysah said.
Senior Jessica Fleischman said she also officially found out when she received the syllabus for the year.
Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the Nov. 21 edition of the Setonian and was updated on Nov. 21 at 1:11 p.m.