Academic Policies and Practices to Deter Cheating

Saturday, 16 November 2013: 3:15 PM

Pamela Willson, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP
Graduate Studies, Prairie View A&M University, College of Nursing, Houston, TX
Karen Stonecypher, MSN, RN
Parkinson's Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX

Learning Objective 1: Describe current educational evidence based strategies to deter student cheating.

Learning Objective 2: Apply educational and administrative methods to build a culture of integrity for nursing programs.

Introduction:Cheating in colleges and universities is prevalent, a reported 40% to 90% of college students in all majors cheat and unfortunately nursing educational programs are not immune to the problem. Some nursing programs have communicated desired honor codes in university/college catalogs and program handbooks other schools have discussed ethical behavior in faculty and student orientation programs or prior to each testing experience. While the importance of faculty’s roles and responsibilities are clearly understood, no comprehensive summary of successful faculty practices to prevent cheating was found in the literature to base educational practice. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the evidence available in healthcare literature to facilitate nursing faculty in policy development and implementation of strategies to deter cheating.

Methods: The databases of Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, PubMed, PsychInfo, ERIC, Ovid, Medline, and Scopus were searched for the years between 1996 and June 2012. Each set of terms: nursing and policy; nursing and student misconduct; nursing and cheating; and nursing and integrity was entered for each database and identified 19,131 articles. Inclusion criteria of English language, United States educational system, and health care discipline was applied. Articles were excluded if they described bioethical issues, research misconduct, admission policy, workforce, or leadership delegation policy.

Results: Fifty-four articles were retained for full review. Strategies to deter cheating were categorized by academic policy, classroom examinations, on-line examinations, and plagiarism. Specific implementation strategies will be described for each of the categories.

Conclusion: Test security by faculty is the primary method to reduce the students’ opportunity for cheating. Consistent administrative enforcement of policy supports a culture of integrity that nursing students can translate to their future nursing practice.