It’s an unfortunate truth that cheating plagues colleges, and nursing school is not immune. Obviously, the most severe consequence of cheating is the threat of being permanently expelled from your program. This, however, does not deter some students, who believe they can be sneaky or secretive enough to avoid detection. Sometimes, they are. However, cheating has long-term consequences even if you escape the immediate ramifications of your actions.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Everything in nursing school leads up to the NCLEX, the examination you must pass to receive licensure. If you cheat on tests, you are cheating yourself of actually understanding and retaining the material. Beyond the NCLEX, you will become responsible for the care of patients as an RN. If you failed to actually comprehend concepts taught in school, if you merely looked up answers or memorized test questions through a test bank, you will not have acquired the knowledge necessary to care for patients as a new RN.
If, however, you maintain academic integrity throughout your schooling, you will be well aware of where you need to focus on improvement. You won’t be relying on a test bank to memorize questions and answers ahead of time, or a cheat-sheet to refer to when you get stuck, but instead your own knowledge base and critical thinking skills. When you graduate, you will be properly prepared to pass the NCLEX and competently care for patients as a new nurse.
Not to mention, as a patient, I would hope that my nurse is one who not only ensured they comprehended information that would be used in my care, but that they would rather take accountability for a bad grade and study harder in the future to expand their knowledge and understanding than falsify their way to a higher score.