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Failing Nursing Clinicals & getting bacl up

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I wanted to use this forum for as a way to encourage anyone ( including myself) who has been in my position. As a newly admitted UD BSN student in the summer program, I struggled to find my learning style. After finding out I was a visual learner, I began to change my studying habits and my grades vastly improved. From low B so A's. However my soon found success will soon be ruined. For my course, I had to take a 4 wk lab course to enter my hospital. I has to pass 2 things : the skills and the brief bediside assessment (BBA) ( kind of like a head to toe assess.). I passed the skills my first try and remediation BBA. On my second try to pass my BBA, I panicked.... my mind went blank and I ended up missing 3 critical areas. As I walked out, I knew something was wrong. I was then told my one of my clinical instructor that I did not pass the lab and would receive a 'U' for unsatisfactory.... I was humiliated, angry, mortified and hard on myself. The very thought that I couldn't pass something as easy as this was disheartening. How could I fail this class and somehow be getting good grades in Pharm and Patho? How am I supposed to face my peers again? I felt extremely broken and even contemplated whether this career was for me....But through this process I learned the importance of us not being so hard on ourselves and being positive. I know how much it hurts to fail. I know that it takes a lot to build yourself up ( esp) when you don't have a support base. BUT I realized I failed not because I did not know the content, but because I kept telling myself I would not remember ( my greatest problem is my memory). They say life and death lies in the tongue... and I continued to put negative words into existence.

So for any newly admitted nursing students, I would advise that your biggest fear is not your peers or students but YOU. I want all of you struggling to not be so hard on yourself and BELIEVE even if you don't. I know that God wanted me to be in this program. I have suffered a lot ( and I know many of you have in order to get into the program) to give up. I want to offer a hand and prayer for all those who have failed and / are still in the program. NEVER give up! I know I wont even with this setback!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

It's important to take ownership for your own performance. I'm sure that prayer is never wasted, but when it comes to skills, the secret of success is PRACTICE. You've heard that "practice makes perfect" - well, as an educator, I will tell you that only "PERFECT practice makes perfect"

So, occupy that skills lab whenever you can. Get another student to 'check you off' as you practice so you don't miss anything. Try to accomplish at least 3 'perfect' demonstrations before you have to do it for a grade. If you can't get into the skills lab, use your family members! I can't tell you how many times I subjected my family to assessments, dressing changes, etc. when I was a student. They were just as invested in my success as I was.... LOL.

We can learn far more from mistakes and failures than we do from success - but only by making the effort to learn and take corrective actions.

Absolutely, I never once blamed anyone for my mistake. I agree that if I had practiced the same way I did for skills, maybe remembering would not have been an issue. This was/ is a humbling experience. When I go back next semester, I will be more humble and practice more.