Anyone (or someone you know) fail clinical?

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1,483 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

We had one dismissed from our clincal group last semester. It only happened once, but she just didn't show up for clinical. No call to the instructor, another student, the floor - nothing. She just didn't "feel" like going that day. Since she was assigned 2 patients, they were given to 2 other students, who then had to juggle 3 pts. each.

The woman was told to not bother coming again. At $20K a year for this school, I can bet her parents were a little bit peeved!

Specializes in Inpatient Acute Rehab.

I graduated last year. In our class the one incident that stuck out the most was we were 4 days from graduation, and all but one clinical group had received their clinical evaluations.It was also the day we were getting our portraits done and things like that. Most of us had our clinical evaluations the day before. This one woman had not had hers yet. After all the festivities of the pictures, etc... they pulled this woman aside and told her that she did not pass clinical therefore she could not graduate. The clinical instructor she had would not even face her! The dean and another instructor did. She was flunked over several IV mistakes. Of course she was devastated. I think the way it was handled was very wrong.

klone, MSN, RN

14,745 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.
As a clinical instructor myself, I find it difficult to believe that all of the students mentioned in previous posts were failed for the reasons mentioned. I have failed three students in clinical, but it was after several counselling sessions, suggestions for help, opportunity to improve etc, which is known as "due process". The students concerned had major problems with various aspects of clinical - attitude, lack of knowledge and skills, etc, and they clearly failed to meet the required outcomes. Failing someone is not done lightly, and in the end it comes down to them being unsafe practitioners after having ample opportunity to improve themselves and meet required outcomes. A common difference between the students that failed and the ones who passed was that the ones who failed did not take ownership of their problem, felt victimised, and blamed everyone and anyone but themselves for their situation. I can't help but think that the students mentioned in previous posts had other difficulties that they did not share with anyone and therefore it seemed to them (and the people that wrote about them) that they were failed over one incident. This seems highly unlikely to me.

Oh, believe me - in the situation I described, the student was a complete ****-off, and everyone knew it and discussed it openly (including him). What caused him to finally be booted was just the straw. But then again, they're pretty strict about clinical absences.


55 Posts

I had a girl in my first year, first quarter clinicals fail. She practically screamed down the hall at another student nurse that her patient was a fruit loop!! Needless to say, the clinical instructor failed her! lol


- Just wondering if you or anyone you know has failed clinicals. If so, could you share the circumstances with the group.


John Coxey

Syracuse, NY.


136 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Cardiac, Med-Surg.

In our program, you fail the clinical portion (and thus the whole course) if you have 3 clinical "U"s but you have the opportunity to make up the first 2 and you receive counseling and advice on how to fix things if you having problems. Even so, we've had a few fail clinical so far (first year of two).

During first semester, one girl decided lie down on a patient bed during clinical because she didn't feel well. This was after she had already earned 2 clinical "U"s-one for being unprepared and one for not bothering to come one time (her ride actually waited for her and was late subsequently). This person is trying to get back in the program and feels she was unfairly singled out. Of course. :uhoh3:

Another person failed the maternity clinical experience because she 1)did not show and did not call until after 11 am (for a 6:30 am start) on the first clinical day 2)gave a med without checking the patient's ID band 3)failed the maternity nursing care plan. Even so, this person was allowed to do another care plan and make up an additional clinical day because she complained that "the instructor had it in for her from day one." Then she failed on the exams, so she wouldn't have passed anyway.

In both of these cases, the students were given chances to correct their behavior and really didn't take enough responsibility for their own actions. We have lost some potentially great nurses through the exams though and hopefully they will repeat the semester they failed and march onward!


3 Articles; 10,428 Posts


- Just wondering if you or anyone you know has failed clinicals. If so, could you share the circumstances with the group.


John Coxey

Syracuse, NY.

We're not allowed to miss any clinical days. Any. In the first semester, if there was an extenuating circumstance you would be allowed to make up the day with another group. But it got abused, and the privilege was revoked from then on. If the instructor doesn't have adequate time to assess your skills, etc, she won't pass you. I'm sure if you were doing well and something really major happened that absolutely precluded you from attending a clinical (and you notified her in advance), an exception would be made. Be a lesser student and forget it.

People have failed my program's clinicals by needing to be reminded too much of the basics (ie, checking the MAR enough times). They've failed for doing a procedure without having supervision (weren't cleared to do a dressing change on their own, for example). They've failed for just not having skills "up to par" by the time the module ended. And, my personal favorite, was a student who failed because she spent the entire clinical day caring for the wrong patient--in the other bed! So much for checking ID's, huh?


221 Posts


And, my personal favorite, was a student who failed because she spent the entire clinical day caring for the wrong patient--in the other bed! So much for checking ID's, huh?
That is so sad but so funny also!!:rotfl:

So far I know a student who was failed the third week of a 11 week clinical in mental health for not having her paperwork (IPR's) up to par. This to me was pretty sad b/c the Mental health clinical was challenging b/c this instructor believed every conversation should be therapeutic even though it was difficult for some students.


29 Posts

seriously, we lose a lot of students in clinical....and after the first semester, there is not one that I believe was appropriate. I know, I know....I was listenting to what they said, but really you got to trust me on this.

I don't think clinical instructors realize this. When they dismiss the student, the student is DONE. No nursing program will take them on after that. All that work is down the drain.

We have a clinical instructor whom removes 30 percent of her clinical class as a general rule. Each semester I have been here, I've seen that.


20 Posts

Actually I was kicked out of a nursing program for missing a clinical for my CNA class. What happened is I was accepted in to the local CC nursing program at the very last minute before the start of the beginning of the semester. However, in order to begin I needed to complete the CNA class.

Unfortunately, this also was during the same time that I had final exams at the university, and I was working 30 hours a week as well. And the clinical times were always on different days of the week and different times as well.

So what ended up happening is that I wrote the wrong date for a clinical and showed up the following day for it instead. When I was told that I missed a clinical; I could not believe it! I have spent 1 ½ years of my life working on just getting accepted into a nursing program.

Then after I was told that I was not qualified to become a nurse because I missed a clinical, I showed the instructor for my CNA my date book and explained all that I had going on, and this was a very honest mistake. Well, to make a long story short: I am on another waiting list at a different CC college.

Even the Dean of the nursing program at the university nursing program that I was attempting to get into told me "you do not deserve to be kicked out for this. Everybody makes mistakes."

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

One girl told me that the private school she attended would start "weeding out" after the add/drop date, and they'd wind up with about 1/3 of the students they started with.

The instructors would have more manageable clinical class sizes and the students had already forfeited their money for the course, so the college got the money for nothing.

I saw this so often that it's made me a tad cynical about nursing programs.

Two of my fellow students failed their final clinical semester. They had made some errors and made a final one, which resulted in failing the clinical aspect. They both returned, the following spring, and successfully passed and graduate. Of course, this happen in 1971.

Grannynurse :balloons:

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