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Alabama Nursing Schools Students Nervous about Snowy Road Conditions

January 14th, 2011


As icy road conditions persist in the Tennessee Valley area of Alabama, many schools have remained closed to keep students off the dangerous roads. However, some nursing students have reported feeling pressure by their instructor to make it to an orientation class or else miss out on future mandatory nursing clinicals, according to WHNT News 19.

The University of Alabama at Huntsville opened for classes Wednesday, even as other schools remained closed through Thursday, the article indicated. Nursing students who lived in rural areas e-mailed their local news station to complain that they felt pressured to come to a nursing clinical orientation Wednesday morning. They said they were scared to drive in the dangerous conditions but equally scared of missing the orientation, lest they be blocked from attending future clinicals that they must complete in order to become nurses.

The major issue was due to authorities closing off certain roads that students in rural areas must use to get to class. One student even wrote to her professor, who glibly emailed back that she could not proceed with her clinical training until she had attended orientation, and that she may be able to do the orientation at another school, the article explained.

The response made the nursing student feel like she had gotten the cold shoulder and that no one cared if she was risking life and limb to make it to class, the article indicated. A call to the college by the news station clarified the situation, however. Nursing students who couldn't make it to the clinical orientation would receive alternative arrangements, according to the dean of nursing at UA Huntsville in the article. The dean emphasized that no nursing student would be excluded from clinical training because dangerous road or weather conditions prevented her or him from making it to orientation on a specific day, the article revealed.

The story shines a light on the pressures that many nursing students face when trying to keep up with what can be a rigorous course load when events happen that are out of their control. This isn't limited only to snowstorms and dangerous road conditions. Nursing students also must balance work and family responsibilities while attending school, and even a small setback can put them behind in their nursing coursework and clinical training.

rientation on a specific day, the article revealed.