Don’t Cheat Your Way To A Profession – We all cannot “have it our way”

Do students pursuing a degree, feel the need to cheat in order to obtain a degree or get ahead professionally? What about persons seeking a degree directly geared toward a profession, such as nursing, public health, social work, or medicine? In my experience, persons that subscribe to the “everybody does it” mentality, not only do they themselves an injustice by actively taking part in this practice, but this attitude is further compounded when they promote this practice to other well-grounded individuals. Examples of these cheating practices range from paying paper writing services or individuals to write papers, to borrowing credentials to access class and study platforms that are not designed to be shared, as well as the most common: cheating on an exam and manufacturing academic and professional career portfolios.

What we fail to realize is that this so called mentality is grossly overstated and can lead to mediocrity not only in academic pursuits, but in the very career we seek. Once we head down this road, it is very difficult to regain respect from others as well as our own self-respect. Anyone considering this option should instead invest the time to research resources (that many schools offer) that will empower, encourage, and motivate students that are struggling academically or personally especially in the area of time management.

Contrary to popular belief, we all cannot “have it our way”, whether in life or career until we put in the work needed to become our own boss. Those of us with a so-called entitlement attitude or gold spoon in mouth syndrome, are sorely mistaken because reality bites eventually. NEWS FLASH! Colleges and universities are taking note, because as they seek to leverage their academic brands, enhance endowments, source funding perpetuated on graduating students of competence and substance, students that prioritize cheating over studying will not make the cut.

No one wants to end up in the back of an ambulance or a hospital bed to be treated by a so-called practicing medical professional who cheated on their EMR/EMT, NCLEX or AOBFP or ABFM certification exams. For those of us pursuing a degree, especially a professional or terminal degree, we must understand the magnitude of these mediocre and lazy decisions. Alternatively, let us balance time effectively; discipline ourselves to spend less time on social media, and commit to the hard work needed to get the job done, literally.

Let us also not forget that during this journey, some degree of self-assessment and self-reflection is essential to determine if our degree pursuit is still relevant and career-applicable.  Consequently, if this dream is now dead, then we need not wallow in self-pity by spending too much time grieving the loss of the dream. Instead we must wake up, reflect, re-organize, and redirect other KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) into leveraging another career.