ETHICS ALERT – Should you buy exams online?


Finals are here, and that  means that STRESS and (often) DESPERATION have also arrived.  For some students, final exams represent a last ditch effort to pass their class, or even to continue their nursing program.  Stress and desperation can make us do crazy things that we wouldn’t even consider doing under normal circumstances, which means that as a future nurse you have to be on your guard!

Since I’ve been an online tutor, I’ve noticed a few websites that allow people to buy, sell, or trade the answer keys for standardized exams such as the HESI or TEAS.  Bad idea!

Character is defined by what you DO, not by what you think.

You would laugh at someone who said “Yeah, I’ve killed a few people, but overall I think I’m still a pretty good person.”

Yeah.  Right.

Same goes for cheating.  Especially as a nurse.  You have to have an even higher level of integrity, because you will be holding people’s lives in your hands someday.  You have to prove yourself trustworthy in the small things, like taking an exam, before you earn the privilege of the title “nurse.”

There are a million excuses why people try to cheat by buying answer keys online (or a myriad of other cheating methods).  Maybe you feel like the class was unfair, the teacher didn’t teach what they were supposed to, or they kept changing the criteria, so by “cheating” you’re really just evening the playing field.  So (in your mind) it’s not really cheating at all.

Except it is.

Or maybe you feel a lot of pressure from family and friends to finally finish nursing school.  You’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and money ($$$!), and now it’s all riding on a single exam.  You know you could make a great nurse if only you could jump through that final “pointless” hurdle.

Except it’s not pointless.

Your character is defined by what you do, especially when you are under stress and feeling desperate.  It’s easy to take the high road and do the right thing when you’re feeling relaxed and confident.

It’s when you’re under pressure that your true colors will shine through.

And when your true colors shine through…good or bad…your true character will be revealed.  I’d rather have a nurse who took twice as long to get through school honestly, even if she scraped by with a “C,” than a so-called nurse who got through school by cheating and buying/trading answer keys.  At least I can trust the honest nurse.

Well, that’s my little rant…any thoughts?

5 thoughts on “ETHICS ALERT – Should you buy exams online?”

  1. Jason

    Hi, I’m a first semester nursing school student. Well I was until yesterday. We had our finals and while i did decent, it wasn’t enough to pull me up to that magic number needed to move on. I will hopefully have the chance to go back during the fall, but nothing set in stone yet. I just want to say that even though I am usually an A student, nursing school tests are just different. They are different in such a way that if you fail one bad enough, you are scrapping at the dirt trying to reach back for the surface the rest of the time. The reason is because the tests are the real weight of your grade in nursing school. No other assignments move that grade even close to the way a good test grade will. Anyways, the thought of cheating to get by never even crossed my mind. If I can’t earn the title of RN on my own, I don’t want it. I’m also a Marine so its in my nature to feel that way. I will go back and I will be that much more knowledgeable when it counts later on in my career, more skillful and confident. Its actually a blessing, well except for the money thing of course. Good luck to all you students out there. Find out what type of learner you are. Organize yourself and your life, and find a way of studying that works for you and stick with it. You have to think conceptually. Its not like any other tests you have ever taking that ask you to remember facts and spit them back out. You will be asked to apply them and choose between 4 options. 2 that are obviously not it, and 2 that are sooooo close together that you will be pulling your hair out. Stay focused and do not let your guard down for one minute.

    1. Absolutely right, Jason. Sorry to hear about your first semester experience, but I’m so glad that you’re keeping a positive attitude. Many of the best nurses I’ve known have struggled with nursing school, but they took that experience and allowed it to make them more knowledgable and appreciative of their nursing license once they had it. That sounds like the path you are on too…good luck!

  2. Linda

    Hey, I didn’t choose the picture! I’m much more friendly and lovable looking……

    1. Lol! The pics are automatically generated…at least you got purple, that happens to be my favorite color! 🙂

      Thanks for your comments on the importance of not cheating…I totally agree! As nurses we have such a profound responsibility to our patients, and we really need to live up to that with our ethical standards.

  3. Linda

    It’s nice to read someone else’s opinion about what I always have thought– cheating was wrong. I am more proud than ever after reading your statement to say I never cheated in school.– any level of any school. No, not even grade school or high school. I’m no saint, but I have always wanted to know if I could get the questions correct just by using my own brain and memory. I don’t agree stress has a lot to do with one’s decision to cheat. I think cheating is like lying: We tell our brain what to say and do. The control, no matter how tuff it gets, is there. We just have to choose what we want to do.
    Nursing is sacred and it’s a promise we make to protect and safely help those who for whatever reason cannot help themselves. No matter how little or how big the help, we have promised to do so. Knowing you cheated your way into such extraordinary life or death situations is not going to get you brownie points with the man upstairs, nor is it going to make you feel good down the road. Study ladies and gentlemen. It is well worth the endurance. I promise.
    Blessings and to all our good health and to those we serve now and in the days to come. Happy Nurses week!!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *