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Finished my first semester of nursing school, but failed pharmacology :( Help?

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by bonjournurse2b bonjournurse2b (New Member) New Member

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I failed pharmacology (by 0.45% ... :arghh:), and my advisor won't let me enroll in any clinical courses because of it. Pharm is not listed as a prereq for the next clinical courses (as listed on the school website, course catalog, and orientation papers). I did pass the other courses that ARE listed as a prereq. One of them was a foundations course, which DID have a clinical portion. The others were just nutrition and health assessment. My advisor pretty much shoved me out the door when I tried to discuss this with her.

I don't mind retaking pharm. If I have to, then I have to. It's just that I'm very concerned about a few things:

- I won't be able to practice any clinical skills for a whole semester. I feel like once I DO start the clinical courses, I'll have forgotten everything I learned from the fundamentals class.

- I will only be enrolled part-time next semester because my advisor will only let me take pharm and nursing research. My scholarships require me to be full time and the classes HAVE to be within my major.

- I only failed by such a close margin (75% is passing for all our classes), so IMO it isn't like I don't have ANY basic knowledge of the material. Our class average came out to around 80% for the overall grade.

- I am hoping to get into NP school. I'm really hoping that this failure isn't going to take away any chance of that happening. :(

I'm not sure how else I can build up on these 'arguments.' I think I will talk to the dean about this, too. I was enrolled to take Med/Surg 1, Family, and Mental for next semester before I failed pharm. I don't see why I can't just take Med/Surg, pharm, and research. I just want at least 1 clinical class next semester. :grumpy:

Edited by bonjournurse2b

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Skips works as a Registered Nurse.

11,853 Visitors; 469 Posts

Yeah, it's tough.

However, even though you failed by less than one percent, it's still not passing. I know it's hard, but this is nursing school. If you received special treatment by rounding up your grade to passing, then everybody else will expect that, too. It wouldn't be fair. You will need to retake it. I'm sorry you have scholarships involved and whatnot.

Passing pharm is pretty important to move on. It is exactly like that in my nursing school, too. Even though somebody did well and passed fundamentals, but failed pharm...they wouldn't be able to move on. :/ Frustrating? Absolutely. Such is the way of nursing school.

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lifelearningrn has 4 years experience and works as a Mom, wife, nurse.

24,393 Visitors; 2,262 Posts

I'm sorry you're going through this. Fundamentals focuses on the fundamentals, and you're being closely watched, especially when it comes to drugs. That is why that class is a co-requisite to pharmacology. Med surge and mental health, you will be giving a lot more medications with a lot less supervision. You need to have the foundations of pharmacology. I don't know of any school that pharm isn't a prereq for all advancing clinical classes.

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7,140 Visitors; 475 Posts

Its the same way at our school. If you fail a non-nursing class while in the program, then you are out of the program. It sucks but just be glad that you can retake it and then get back into the program:) Our program does not require pharm either, they say that it is built into the cirriculum, so we do not have a pharm class.

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kpossible works as a Student.

1,453 Visitors; 22 Posts

I'm not sure on your situation, but if you're worried about lack of clinical experience, you could try getting some of the same aspect by working as a CNA? Try talking to your advisor again because it will show that you are really committed to nursing and talk to your pharmacology professor to go over your final exam to see your mistakes and how you can improve next semester. You will want to study a ton over winter break to prepare on pharmacology! For example, if you have a smartphone, you could make digital flashcards to test yourself on the go.

It must be really frustrating but you need to pass the class that goes over the basics. This might be one of your lowest moments right now, but I hope you will persevere and reassess on how you plan on achieving your goals.

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BostonFNP works as a Primary Care NP.

1 Follower; 3 Articles; 54,245 Visitors; 5,223 Posts

I agree about getting a CNA job to help you with practical experience; it will help you through school and give you an edge for a job when you graduate.

Most (decent) schools have a hard cap for passing and don't really negotiate on it as it figures into the NCLEX pass rate. If you have to repeat you have to repeat. Ask if you can audit the didactic part of he class that you any officially take next semester.

As far as NP school, one failed class likely wont kill you. I would worry more about the academic demand of NP school, especially in pharmacology, and whether you think you can handle it. I thought undergrad pharm was tough; two semesters of prescriber advanced pharm made it look like a cake walk, and in grad school we needed an 83 to pass.

Best of luck!

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4,461 Visitors; 126 Posts

That really stinks and I'm sorry. There probably isn't anything you can do to reverse the ruling on it. I just finished my first semester of my LPN program and we have a woman in our class that failed med surg last year because her final test average (they look at ONLY your test average, not your final class grade) was a tenth of a point under the 76% requirement to pass. They even let her go all the way through winter break and halfway through the January 2nd through 16th "J-Term" period when they teach mental health and IV cert before they called to tell her she was out of the program.

It's a rough go but we are held to a higher standard than other students.

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1,555 Visitors; 27 Posts

Not to sound mean but if you can't pass a 75% you need to look at how you are studying and change some things. Pharm was hard but there is harder classes in the nursing program. Getting a CNA job at a hospital would help you alot!!!

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553 Visitors; 3 Posts

I need help with pharm, I've only passed one exam and ever since then have gotten a 70 and a 54. I was riding a 75 before the exam where I scored a 54. Got two more exams left and a hesi and a final. Idk what to do help! I am a third semester student. Can I do this?!

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