Nurse Educator’s Role in Student Evaluation

Significant physical, emotional, social, and financial investments are required to attend nursing school.  Failure is demoralizing for both students and educators. It is important that educators recognize the legal and ethical issues surrounding the evaluation of student performance. Read Chapter 3 in Teaching in Nursing and use it as a reference for this discussion. In addition, find an article on student academic performance.  Share a brief summary of the article. 


Initial post: In your initial post, please address the following:

  • What is the nurse educator’s responsibility in assisting the student who is is struggling academically or clinically?
  • How can the educator adhere to ethical and legal standards of evaluation and assure students receive due process?
  • In your career as a nursing student, what did you most value from your teachers with respect to feedback and evaluation? 


The Academic Performance of Students⁎

Legal and Ethical Issues

Linda S. Christensen, EdD, JD, RN

Nursing faculty have many considerations in performing their roles as academic nurse educators. Developing curriculum content, choosing teaching strategies, developing student evaluation plans, and dealing with current academic issues can be major areas of focus. However, in carrying out these functions, faculty must also consider the legal and ethical concepts that influence the process and product of nursing education.

Just as nurses in practice have legal and ethical guidelines, nurse educators also have legal and ethical guidelines. Nursing faculty are responsible for understanding the broad legal and ethical principles that apply in all circumstances and those that are specific to their own academic educator practice. Major problems can occur if faculty lack an understanding of these principles and are unable to apply them appropriately.

Many potential problems can be avoided if faculty take a proactive approach to anticipate student concerns. Faculty members who treat students with respect, provide honest and frequent communication about progress toward course goals and objectives, and are fair and considerate in evaluating performance are less likely to encounter student challenges. A learning environment that supports student growth and questioning is likely to reduce the incidence of problems, especially litigation. Nurse educators must have an awareness of the legal issues and regulations for their practice, and they must implement this knowledge within their role as an academic nurse educator. Suggestions for avoiding such problems are discussed later in this chapter.

The goal of the educational experience remains that students develop knowledge, skills, and values that will enable them to provide safe, effective nursing care. Nursing faculty who are able to apply general legal and ethical principles are much more likely to play their part in effectively meeting that goal.

This chapter provides an overview of the most common legal and ethical issues related to student academic performance that nurse educators face in the classroom and clinical setting. The chapter includes a discussion of the importance of student–faculty interactions and the legal and ethical issues related to academic performance, including the provision of due process, the student appeal process, assisting the failing student, academic dishonesty, and special issues affecting practice as an academic nurse educator.

Student–Faculty Interactions

The student–faculty relationship that is developed during the teaching and learning process is a very important one. Students have often identified student–faculty relationships as the relationships that most often affect learning. The

Revised 7/1/2022

Discussion Rubric

CRITERIA Excellent (20) Good (13-19) Fair (8-13) Poor (1-7) Not Demonstrated (0)


*Addresses discussion
question completely
understanding of course
content and synthesis of
concepts *Offers clear
point of view and details
support evidence

*Discussion question is
not completely
addressed but post
shows understanding
of course content
* Point of view is
somewhat unclear
*Detail is appropriate,
but limited

* Discussion question is
addressed but post
does not demonstrate
depth of
understanding of
course content *Point
of view is unclear
*Detail is
underdeveloped or not
appropriate for post

* Discussion question
is minimally addressed
*Detail supporting
evidence or point of
view is missing

* Both the initial
post and all peer
responses are


-Initial post

* Submits at least 2 peer
*Initial post is 2-3
paragraphs in length
*Extends discussion
thread by providing an
evaluation of viewpoints,
relating to other’s ideas
and/or offering new ideas
and supporting detail
*Uses scholarly reference
sources beyond course
materials. At least one
scholarly reference is
listed for the initial post

*Submits at least 2
peer responses *Initial
post is 2
paragraphs in length

One of the following
has occurred:

*Peer responses are
limited and do not
extend the discussion
*Only course material
used as reference

*One of the following
has occurred:

*Initial post is 1
paragraph in length
*Missing 1 peer
*Ideas offered in peer
responses lack depth
*No references are

*One of the following
has occurred:
*Missing the initial
*Missing 2 peer

* Both the initial
post and all peer
responses are



*Writing is coherent,
organized and easy to
*No spelling, APA or
grammatical errors
*Scholarly references
used from a wide range of
sources and are ≤ five
years old

*Writing is mostly easy
to follow with clear
* No more than 1
spelling, grammatical or
APA error

*Writing has some
parts that are unclear
*2-3 spelling or
grammatical errors
*2-3 APA errors
present * Only
course materials
used for scholarly

*Post is poorly
organized and hard to
read; does not flow
*≥ 3 spelling or
grammatical errors
*≥ 3 APA errors
*Some references not
cited OR all references
≥ 5 years old

* Both the initial
post and all peer