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has anyone failed their hospital's pharm exam twice?

mquinox mquinox (New) New

Hi there,

Has anyone failed their hospital's pharm exam twice? A friend of mine told me that she failed her exam twice and then they fired her! Can they do that? She spoke to HR and they said that it's not grounds for termination, but now they won't even get back to her. Im worried because I failed mine twice too, but all my manager said was that they would schedule another one, and that they would help me through it all.

edmia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

Well, that's going to be based on your particular employer's policy. Is this a new hire test? Or, is it a yearly test or something like that? (I'm just curious).

All the hospitals I've worked for had a pharmacology exam during the hiring process, but never afterwards. If you didn't pass it, you didn't get the job.

Good luck.

Hi edmia,

This was a new hire test. Its taken 2 weeks into orientation. Fail once then there is a retest. But, im wondering if its in the discretion of the manager because when my friend failed they let her go. I failed but my manager had a different reaction. Im just wondering if anyone else knows their hospitals policy concerning that. My fellow new hires and i never got around to asking what happens after strike 2. Our educator never disclosed the information either.


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

Its likely that your friend had other circumstances playing against her. If they said failing the pharm exam is not a terminable offense, then she likely also was doing poorly, or made a mistake, or not catching on quick enough, or something. Whatever that something is, combined with her double failure, is what got her fired. Or maybe she failed so bad that they are concerned about her ability to safely pass meds, and maybe you are barely failing so they are not as concerned. Try not to worry about it right now. If she was failed right after failing and you were just told they would work with you, then it sounds like you are safe for now.

Medication safety is huge. If you can not figure out how to dose medications, if you don't know the most common types of medication generally speaking--and given a second test and still haven't any idea--that is a potential safety issue.

With all of the emphasis on medication "index cards" during clinical rotations in school--keep them, look at them. Remember and write down your formulas for converting meds. Continue to refresh your memory.

You now know that you need to review. Your friend now knows that a pulling out of her pharmacology notes is a good thing moving forward.

Best wishes

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

"Has anyone failed their hospital's pharm exam twice? A friend of mine told me that she failed her exam twice and then they fired her! Can they do that?"

Of course they can do that. Isn't Orientation considered a trial employment period?

Plus, if your state is an at will state, anyone can can be fired for any reason, no reason or an unfair reason, as long as it's not an illegal reason.


Has 3 years experience.

As said above, the medication exam is central to ensuring that you can provide basic and safe care with respect to administering medications. I'm sorry you didn't pass it, and I don't mean this to be disrespectful in any way, but that test is very basic and fundamental. If you're having difficulty with it, I would sit down and really assess why you are having difficulty with it. Maybe it's just the wording of the questions? Maybe it's the content? Whatever it is, speak with someone who can sit down with you and help you understand what you're doing wrong and what you can do to be successful.