High standards aren’t bad, silence is

Published 11:55 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Only few professions require little room for error on the first try.

Nursing is one of them.

From the perspective of the wreck victim on the emergency room table, every nurse must be the best nurse.

It is necessary that our nursing schools set forth intensive courses of study, difficult tests and crucial exit exams. We want high standards.

That’s why it is difficult to figure out why the administrators at Alcorn State University aren’t stepping up and speaking out.

According to information provided by a large number of Alcorn nursing students, only 8 of 31 students passed last week’s exit exam.

The students say the required test score was raised midway through their time at Alcorn. Students also point out that other nursing schools, including University Medical Center in Jackson, accept slightly lower scores as passing grades.

The students want to be told their scores are good enough and they want to walk at graduation ceremonies this week.

Alcorn has told them “no” and “no.”

But what Alcorn hasn’t done is publicly explain why they set the required score at a high level or why the mark was changed in the middle of the students’ coursework.

Do administrators demand a higher level of excellence from Alcorn students because they feel the medical field, future patients and the students themselves deserve such expectations?

Does the faculty feel it has well prepared its students to pass this test?

Chances are, the community of future patients, would gladly welcome a local university that simply demanded the best of its students.

But Alcorn isn’t talking, and the students are making good points.

The errors have been made. Will Alcorn succeed on its second try?