Failed My Third Semester

Updated | Posted
by Lynker Lynker, LPN Member Nurse Student

Specializes in Family Primary Care, LTC, Rehab. Has 3 years experience.

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I just need to reach out right now. I failed my third semester out of four of RN school. I'm so devastated. I'm pretty sure I'll get to restart it in January, but I just feel like I wasted an entire semester on nothing. I have to redo clinicals and theory. I'm such a bad test taker. I failed literally every single test this semester, including the final. I feel like such a failure....

Nunya

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 771 Posts

If it's any consolation you'll do better next time.  Every time you take a test is good practice for that big one you have to take after you graduate.  Hang in there! 

TheMoonisMyLantern

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 922 Posts

Don't be discouraged, you were able to make it through LPN school and pass your boards, you already know how to be a nurse! The trick when going back is to not let what you've learned on the job influence how you answer questions on tests and to answer them as if you're in the "NCLEX hospital". Best of luck to you, I hope you can take some time to reflect on what went wrong and do some research on test taking strategies.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Does your program have a “retention” counselor? If so, you need to get with this instructor (if not already required by the administration) to dissect your reasons for failure and develop a plan of attack for the repeat. It also stands without saying you need to triple your efforts, maintain your effort on a day to day basis, not just before an exam, and you must utilize all resources even if it means every day. At the end of the day you will feel better about this if you have given it every effort. Best wishes and good luck.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,854 Posts

You have tutors available to you. They will help you discover why you fail at test taking. I am wondering if you study enough. I made note cards in order to pass anatomy and physiology. There are many study skills your tutor will help you use.

Best wishes... keep going.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 7 years experience. 3,488 Posts

12 hours ago, JabuJabule said:

I failed my third semester out of four of RN school.

I've done that. I've been an RN now for about 6 years, working for about 5, all of that time in the ED. You mentioned that you're a terrible test-taker. I'm an excellent one. Most likely it's not that I'm smarter than everyone else, it's just that I've learned how to take tests, including the "NCLEX-style" tests. This type of test is really difficult to take because they aren't a usual type of test, they test how well you can apply the material you've studied. They're written for the Ivory-tower perfect NCLEX hospital, not necessarily the "real world" but it's done that way so at least there is a standard to measure against. 

I'm not going to tell you how to dissect the NCLEX-style exams because I don't know what your "failure mode" on an exam is. Your school should have good resources available to help you learn test taking skills. Yes, it is a skill and it is something that can be learned. Once you know how to take tests, that helps with test anxiety which also is a huge problem with test taking. 

I also failed out of 3rd Semester at my program, I was able to roll back into it but because of a content change, I had to roll back to restart 2nd Semester, but in my case, I was effectively repeating most of 2nd Semester with some 3rd Semester stuff from my original class. When I got to the new 3rd Semester, it was mostly the "old" 3rd Semester stuff with some "old" 2nd Semester stuff moved there. In short, I'd seen all the material, just presented in different semesters by the time I was ready to get into 4th Semester. An interesting side benefit of doing this was that I went from having to learn the stuff from "new" to basically being an in-class peer tutor for my new classmates because I'd seen all the stuff before. Teaching can be a great way to solidify knowledge. If you get to restart, you won't be seeing this info new, it'll all be review for you. That alone will allow you to focus on picking up information you might have missed last time around. 

Restarts are doable and can be quite beneficial! Good luck!

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,174 Posts

Nothing that gives you experience and education is a waste of time. I'm sure it's disappointing that you failed, but you learned more than you realize and you will be better prepared for next time. You should definitely talk with someone about test taking strategies and even anxiety. Now that you've had trouble with tests, you're more likely to approach the next ones already anxious, which is going to make it harder to pass. Give yourself some time to be disappointed, that's okay, but then you're going to pick yourself and give yourself the best chance to be successful with your second chance. Good luck!

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 11 years experience. 836 Posts

I also flunked out of my program, by failing a mandatory medical math test.  It hurt, and I had every emotion possible including shame that my classmates would graduate ahead of me.  Spent a lot of time soul searching, and decided to swallow all my doubt and bad feelings and try again.

When the next semester came around I joined a new class, never mentioned why, got tutoring and pushed through to graduation. 

Get with your program, and check into tutoring to get ready for the next time. Best wishes!

myoglobin

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 14 years experience. 1,453 Posts

On 12/22/2020 at 9:58 AM, CharleeFoxtrot said:

I also flunked out of my program, by failing a mandatory medical math test.  It hurt, and I had every emotion possible including shame that my classmates would graduate ahead of me.  Spent a lot of time soul searching, and decided to swallow all my doubt and bad feelings and try again.

When the next semester came around I joined a new class, never mentioned why, got tutoring and pushed through to graduation. 

Get with your program, and check into tutoring to get ready for the next time. Best wishes!

You may also wish to be evaluated for ADHD given that if it is a factor successful treatment may greatly impact your ability to be successful in a positive manner.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 11 years experience. 836 Posts

4 hours ago, myoglobin said:

You may also wish to be evaluated for ADHD given that if it is a factor successful treatment may greatly impact your ability to be successful in a positive manner.

I don't have ADHD, what I had was a 24 hours shift as a paramedic before I took the test, and a bad case of hubris as I figured I couldn't fail.

Lynker, LPN

Specializes in Family Primary Care, LTC, Rehab. Has 3 years experience. 240 Posts

I want to thank everyone who commented on this. It looks like I'll be getting back in next month, and starting the semester with my best friend, who I will be studying with just about every day I hope.

I talked to my program director, and I will be getting in touch with their test taking tutor, who is completely focused on nursing school tutoring.

I will get there. I feel much better than I did before. Thank you everyone. I'll keep you updated ?

myoglobin

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 14 years experience. 1,453 Posts

On 12/23/2020 at 9:53 PM, JabuJabule said:

I want to thank everyone who commented on this. It looks like I'll be getting back in next month, and starting the semester with my best friend, who I will be studying with just about every day I hope.

I talked to my program director, and I will be getting in touch with their test taking tutor, who is completely focused on nursing school tutoring.

I will get there. I feel much better than I did before. Thank you everyone. I'll keep you updated ?

I also found Lecturio and Khanacademy.org quite helpful during nursing school.