Discouraged at Chamberlain

Students Chamberlain College



I am currently (was) attending the Chamberlain college of nursing in Texas, their new Dallas/Irving campus. I am in my mid 20's and have had a tough road getting here, but I was so thankful to have finally made it into a nursing program!

I am still determining how it works at other nursing schools, but at ours, you have to have an average of 76 on your tests (combined) before they factor in all of your other completed works (care plans, papers, case studies, etc.).

I am in Fundaments II, Patient Care. I have had an okay ride with the class, and I find myself rushing through the tests and making silly mistakes. We have had three trials and must take a HESI exam to complete the course.

On the first two tests, I made 73's. Mind you, 76+ is passing. On the third test, I made an 81. Each test was weighted differently, so after the 81, my average was 76.48. All I needed on my HESI was a 74 to keep my 76 test average.
On Wednesday, I scored 70 on my HESI, and my test average was 75.61. Thus, they failed me in the course, and now I am out of the program.

The very first class I failed was Fundamentals I, with a 74. I retook that and made an 87. The first time I had many personal things going on, and I couldn't grasp the concepts how I needed to.

Nonetheless, since this is my second time failing a course in the program, I am out. Overall for .39 points. I have never been so discouraged in all of my days. I studied my rear off for that HESI, but my nerves got the best of me, and I knew two questions for sure as soon as I clicked next, the correct answer dawned on me......Those could have been my lifeline.

I feel so discouraged and awful. Of course, I can apply to other programs and see if I can get in, but this sets me back soo much, and honestly, the only reason I went to Chamberlain was that I felt like I wouldn't get accepted without being waitlisted anywhere else. I have an Associates, and my science GPA is alright, but I feel hopeless. All my hard work after a year has just gone down the drain, and I am back to square one.

All I needed was a 74, and I walked into the exam feeling confident. I could almost flip the book's pages back and forth in my head; that's how much I went over the material.

The school is soo expensive that I need more financial aid. As much as I'd like to blame my mom for digging in my pockets so heavily or my coworkers for making work a living hell, all while I was in the program this past year, busting my bum and working full time -- I know that I am the only one who wasn't good enough at the end of the day.

How do I move forward from this? I have five schools I have decided to apply to for the Spring, but even that is expensive. ($60/application here in tx).

I feel lost and crappy. Life has been beating the living hell out of me for the past ten years. And my brain feels fried. I would appreciate any advice.

I have reached out to my academic advisor -- calls and emails. But she is unresponsive, which she has been since I began the program, so it is nothing new. I plan to go to the campus tomorrow and talk to someone physically.

nutella, MSN, RN

1 Article; 1,509 Posts

Nursing school is very competitive no matter where you go for your initial nursing degree, and they weed out the ones who can't keep up academically. At this point, I guess your options are to do something with your associate's degree (in its liberal arts?) while you apply again at different schools for nursing or think about a separate program (not nursing). Nursing is not easy - people often think that "caring" can't be "that hard," but there is a lot of science and academics behind caring and being a nurse.

Perhaps the school was not a good fit, and your situation was not optimal - I am sorry it did not work out for you. You write that your brain is fried - it would be good to work while you figure things out or consider something that is academically less straining.

Specializes in CEN.

You mention that the academic advisor is AWOL. What about reaching out to the Dean? I have done this on numerous occasions when the people I needed to speak with were unreachable. Even if you can't attend this school anymore, the Dean may be able to advise you on the next step you need to take. If need be, try knocking on the Dean's door. emails and phone calls are easy to forget about.

As for the grades...I don't know if you were doing this before but if you are still determined to persue nursing you may need to do it part time. if need be, take it one course at a time. You might also want to look into tutors. Colleges will usually offer on campus tutoring and are sometimes free (I took free tutoring at my college ).

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

I guess in your shoes, I would think long and hard about continuing to pursue nursing while going deeper & deeper into debt.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,242 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Moved to general nursing student forum

Make sure you talk to your advisor, or someone else in the office if she is not available. If you you weren't repeating NR226 you might not be dismissed although you will need to re-take it. According to the college catalog, you're dismissed if you fail 2 CLINICAL nursing classes but NR224 (Fundies I) is not a clinical class.

knowethzani said:

Nonetheless since this is my second time failing a course in the program I am out.

I have reached out to my academic advisor -- calls and emails. But she is unresponsive, which she has been since I began the program, so it is nothing new. I plan to physically go to the campus tomorrow and see if I can talk to someone.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

I'm sorry you are caught up in such a bad place. However, the grading scale & "rules" you describe are not unusual for any nursing program. The grading scale is always higher in nursing school, but students are clearly informed of all the requirements from the very beginning.

I hope your meeting with the program advisors goes well for you.


6 Posts

Oh wow. I never thought about it, funds I isn't a clinical course. I will mention that today. Thank you.

Just so it's not misunderstood, here are the conditions for dismissal at Chamberlain in the BSN program (according to the catalog and additional academic standards)

  • a grade of "F" in any two clinical NR courses
  • a grade of "F" in any three NR courses (whether lab, clinical, or lecture)
  • two or more unsuccessful attempts in a repeated nursing (NR) or science (BIOS, CHEM) course

You won't be dismissed if you have only failed NR224 (Fundies I, Skills) and NR226 (Fundies II, Patient Care). However, you are considered at risk because you will be dismissed if you receive any other F. Keep in close touch with your advisor for the rest of your program.    

The other posters are correct; the grading scale and policy at Chamberlain are very similar to what other nursing schools require, and it has to do with accreditation and the state board of nursing requirements.
Please keep us posted! And best of luck!

I feel bad that you are going through this situation. At the University I graduated from, we had to maintain an 80 average to remain in the program. In our nursing classes, we lost so many peers (we started with 40 students at the beginning of the program, and only 12 of us graduated) because of this grading scale. Almost all of those students tried to apply to other nursing schools in the state, but from what I was told, they were only accepted because they were excluded from our program due to grades.

As far as your financial aid running out, check to see if any programs provide financial assistance for nursing majors. In my city, a program called NCWorks (part of the WIA) helped several classmates (undergraduate and ABSN) who no longer had financial aid. The program also pays for NCLEX, and after you gain employment, they will buy several sets of scrubs, a stethoscope, and shoes for your first job. 

A close friend of mine made it to the last semester, earned a 78.9 in a med-surg course, and was told she would not be graduating with a BSN. She spoke to the instructor, the Assistant Dean, and the Dean, but I have not heard back. She even tried to complete a grade appeal, but because we were graduating within a few weeks, she needed more time to receive the results. Luckily she could graduate with a Liberal Arts degree but not a nursing degree. 

I said all of that to say this no matter the outcome, know you are not alone. Many people go through this and have struggles, and what separates us is our outlook on those things and our level of determination and perseverance. If you want to pursue nursing, you can always graduate with a degree in Psychology or Sociology and then apply to an accelerated program. Please don't give up on your dreams without struggling; we would not appreciate the times when there is no struggle.
Good Luck!


26 Posts

lizzybartlee said:
Make sure you talk to your advisor, or someone else in the office if she is not available. If you you weren't repeating NR226 you might not be dismissed although you will need to re-take it. According to the college catalog, you're dismissed if you fail 2 CLINICAL nursing classes but NR224 (Fundies I) is not a clinical class.

We were advised yesterday that they are changing the rules at Chamberlain, If you fail 2 classes regardless of the type - general, skills, nursing core, you're out. But she told us it hadn't started yet. I would definitely look to get more clarification. But also, I would look at your own study habits and see what you can do to not be struggling. I am not calling you out in an offensive way, but if you're barely hanging on to the 76 -- maybe there's something going on in your routine you can change, to better benefit yourself? Do you give yourself breaks during studying -- so that you can absorb the information? Have you met with a tutor to maybe help you work on your study habits?

As previous posters have said, all nursing schools (even the for profit ones -- gaspppp) have standards higher than those for regular courses. When a typical "C" is actually a failing grade, it makes it much more difficult.

Best of luck to you!


1 Article; 185 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, Women's Health, Education.

I am sorry you are going through this difficult time. However, you must keep in mind that nursing is not for everyone, and there are human lives at stake. If passing is 76, how would that translate in real life, taking care of actual people, if a person was to make mistakes 24% of the time. I am not saying this to be cruel. I had my own struggles in nursing school to overcome and had to do some soul searching on how I wanted to proceed.

Also, there is still the NCLEX to pass at the end of all this and then hospital orientation and all that goes with it. I work in the nursing ed department of a hospital and I see people not making it through orientation/preceptorship because they were on shaky ground to begin with, it's very sad to see them get let go from their first job that they had been so excited about getting just a few weeks prior.

I'm not saying one way or the other what is the right path for you, but I do think you need to really think about your strengths and weaknesses and how these can work for your future and that of your patients.

I wish you all the best.

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