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The Struggle Is Real: Investigating the Challenge of Assigning a Failing Clinical Grade

Couper, Jeannie

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000295

AIM The aim of the study was to explore the relationships between role strain, faculty stress, and perceived organizational support for nurse faculty who faced the decision to assign a failing clinical grade.

BACKGROUND Although faculty are responsible for assigning a grade reflecting students' competence and ability to practice safely, faculty find it troublesome and stressful to assign a failing clinical grade.

METHOD A national sample consisting of 390 nursing faculty completed an online four-part questionnaire with an open-ended question. Data were analyzed using parametric statistical testing and conventional content analysis.

RESULTS Statistically significant relationships were found between role strain, faculty stress, and perceived organizational support. Ten issues related to system breakdown were identified. Most (82.6 percent) reported assigning the failing grade; many reported changes in teaching practices following the deliberation to assign a failing grade.

CONCLUSION The decision to assign a failing clinical grade remains a significant issue for undergraduate and graduate clinical nurse faculty.

About the Author Jeannie Couper, PhD, RN-BC, CNE, is an assistant professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health, Teaneck, New Jersey. The author is grateful for the guidance and support of Dr. Jane Cerruti Dellert of Seton Hall University College of Nursing. For more information, contact Dr. Couper at;

The author has declared no conflict of interest.

© 2018 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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