Case Study, Chapter 18, Academic Integrity in Nursing Education: Is it Declining?Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

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A group of nursing students are in the middle of an exam when two students witness another student pull out his phone and look up answers. Neither student informs the faculty member but after the exam they discuss what they witnessed.

1. Describe the most common forms of cheating in the classroom and in the clinical area.

2. What should the nursing students do in regard to what they witnessed during the exam? Why is it important for them to do anything?

Nursing schools emphasize lessons in academic integrity
Becoming a successful nurse entails more than just graduating from an accredited program and demonstrating good clinical skills. It also means being ethical, accountable and respectful.

Deborah Raines, PhD, EdS, RN, ANEF, an associate professor of nursing at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing in New York, said in addition to mastering college coursework, nursing students need to achieve and maintain academic integrity.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

“Employers want nurses who have a strong work ethic commitment, interpersonal and team work skills and the ability to solve complex problems,” Raines said.

Raines, who discussed the topic of academic integrity at the AACN Baccalaureate Conference, will speak on the subject Nov. 17 at the Sigma Theta Tau Convention in Las Vegas. She said academic integrity goes beyond cheating on an exam or plagiarizing a term paper. It also encompasses values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.

“As healthcare professionals integrity is foundational to the nurse’s role and responsibility,” Raines said. “It’s important for nursing schools to promote integrity instead of just focusing on catching and punishing the cheaters. A focus on academic integrity has an impact on learning, behavior and professionalism.“

Beyond cheating
While many colleges place a strong emphasis on preventing cheating, Raines said some institutions need to focus more on enforcing academic integrity.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

“When a term paper is due on a certain date and a nursing student offers multiple excuses on why it isn’t complete, or if they fail to turn in class homework on a regular basis, they need to be held accountable,” Raines said. “As nurses, these students need to realize their actions will affect the lives of many patients, and when you’re a nurse, showing up late for shifts, or neglecting to fulfill your job responsibilities won’t be tolerated.”

Raines said it’s important for nursing instructors to set the bar high for students and to communicate their expectations for students to uphold academic integrity, and to explain why it’s important. Rather than just focusing on negatives such as preventing cheating, instructors should focus on positives such as promoting academic and personal integrity.

One recent study showed students understood they weren’t supposed to plagiarize, but didn’t understand why. They avoided plagiarizing because they didn’t want to get in trouble with faculty, but they didn’t understand what it was or why it was a problem.

The International Center for Academic Integrity found that 22% of students admitted to cheating on a test or examination, but about twice as many (43%) engaged in “unauthorized collaboration” on homework which they didn’t view as being wrong.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

Raines encouraged nursing instructors to discuss personal integrity with their students and how cheating and dishonesty affect self-worth. If a student shows up for classes, but has a lackadaisical attitude about their coursework, how can they become a successful nurse?

“Teachers also need to be role models and exemplify high standards of academic integrity,” Raines said. “This means posted office hours are kept, e-mails are returned within a specific time period and tests and papers are returned to students when promised.”

Instructors should also have policies in place for when students breach policies, and to be clear about what the consequences are in the event students are late to class, fail to turn in assignments, etc.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

Promoting Academic Integrity Across Cultures
Robyn Nelson, PhD, RN, dean, College of Nursing at West Coast University in Ontario, Calif., said her nursing school is dedicated to “supporting a culture of integrity and personal accountability.” Nelson said that includes considerating cultural differences and expectations.

For example, the Western style of citing sources when writing term papers isn’t universal. Many Asian students come from educational systems where the norm is to repeat back a textbook verbatim without using a citation, as a sign of respect to the source of knowledge.

Language barriers can also prevent students from fully understanding codes of conduct. In these cases, it can be helpful to offer orientations specifically for international students on the concept of academic integrity and to discuss expectations.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

“We work to ensure that all students understand that academic dishonesty jeopardizes the quality of education provided and depreciates the achievements of others,” Nelson said. “Each of our testing forms also includes an acknowledgement form that students are required to sign showing that they understand our school’s code of honor and the consequences that can occur as the result of breaching our Academic Honesty and Integrity policy.

Academic integrity (AI) has been defined as the commitment to the values of
honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility with courage in all academic endeavours. The
senior years of nursing studies provide an intersection for students to transition to professional
roles through student clinical practice. It is essential to understand what predicts senior nursing
students’ intention to behave with AI so that efforts can be directed to initiatives focused on
strengthening their commitment to behaving with AI.
Research Questions: To what extent do students differ on Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)
variables? What predicts intention to behave with academic integrity among senior nursing
students in clinical practice across three different Canadian Schools of Nursing?Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay
Method: The TPB framework, an elicitation (n=30) and two pilot studies (n=59, n=29) resulted
in the development of a 38 question (41-item) self-report survey (Miron Academic Integrity
Nursing Survey—MAINS: α>0.70) that was administered to Year 3 and 4 students (N=339).
Three predictor variables (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control) were
measured with students’ intention to behave with AI in clinical. Age, sex, year of study, program
stream, students’ understanding of AI policies, and locations where students accessed AI
information were also measured.
Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that background, site, and TPB
variables explained 32.6% of the variance in intention to behave with academic integrity. The
TPB variables explained 26.8% of the variance in intention after controlling for background and
site variables. In the final model, only the TPB predictor variables were statistically significant
with Attitude having the highest beta value (beta=0.35, p<0.001), followed by Subjective Norm
(beta=0.21, p<0.001) and Perceived Behavioural Control (beta=0.12, p<0.02).

Conclusion: Student attitude is the strongest predictor to intention to behave with AI in clinical
practice and efforts to positively influence students’ attitudes need to be a focus for schools,
curricula, and clinical educators. Opportunities for future research should include replicating the
current study with students enrolled in other professional programs and intervention studies that
examine the effectiveness of specific endeavours to promote AI in practice.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay
My doctoral studies have been incredible. I appreciate the people who made a difference
for me throughout my journey by offering expertise, care, and unwavering support and love. My
doctoral supervisor Dr. Kim Sears has been generous in both her time and experience and
provided me the opportunity to learn and grow in a respectful relationship. Dr. Rosemary
Wilson and Dr. John Freeman have been invaluable in offering me their knowledge, advice, and
support throughout my work. I am eternally grateful to all of you for holding me to the highest
standards with my research and writing. I am better for it.
To Dr. Bryn Greer-Wooten my sincere thanks for your commitment to my learning, your
extensive knowledge, and patience. I am blessed to have crossed paths with you.
To Mr. Jason Powell and my colleagues at Humber College Institute for Technology and
Advanced Learning thank you for your collegial and scholarly support and kindness. I am lucky
to work with all of you.
To Jackie, Don, and Maria DiRocco who provided me with safe haven in Kingston
throughout my studies. I am eternally thankful. Your company and kindness will never be
To my dearest brothers and sisters, Peggy, John, Jocelyn, and Brien I thank you for your
unwavering interest and excitement. Your enthusiasm was so encouraging and kept me focused.Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay
I am also forever grateful to my parents Joy and Lloyd who instilled core values and a work ethic
that have carried me through these studies and other life successes. Completing my doctoral
work is bitter sweet since I cannot celebrate it with my parents as dementia has affected my
mother and cancer has taken my father. I miss their sage wisdom. Their gifts of unwavering love
and commitment throughout my life stay with me. Family is everything.
And finally, to my husband Todd and children Kathleen and Quinn. I remember our first
conversation about me going back to school. You were all so excited and supportive. Your
selflessness about my travel to Kingston, absolute resolute in my successful completion of my
studies, and steadfast unconditional love throughout my work, carried me through. My success
is your success. Words cannot express my love adequately, I am so thankful to have all of you in
my life and love you all so much. You are why I look forward to my future.
Table of Contents
Abstract i
Acknowledgements iii
Table of Contents v
List of Tables xi
List of Figures xiv
Chapter 1–Introduction 1
Overall Study Purpose 2
Theoretical Framework—The Theory of Planned Behaviour ( Academic Integrity In Nursing Education Essay

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