Jump to content

How are nursing classes structured?

by AspiringRN27 AspiringRN27 (Member)

more specifically, what are the most common assessments they give to measure your success in the classes? Is it more tests and quizzes based (if so, are they mostly fill in the blank, multiple choice, etc.) or is it more essays, research papers and projects?


Has 1 years experience.

I went to a community college for an associates degree in nursing, graduated in 2012. We were evaluated mainly by multiple choice/select all that apply tests, typically 4 or 5 per semester and weekly quizzes. Our classes had a lab and clinical component. During the lab component we had quizzes and hands on skills which were pass/fail. The clinical component was hands on in the hospital and also pass/fail. We usually had 2 written assignments per semester which were short papers, either research or about an experience. We also had to do several care plans which was as time consuming as a research paper. Everything but the tests and quizzes was pass/fail. If you failed, you got to try again once or twice. Failing a skill or project on the 3rd try meant you failed the course, regardless of your test grades. But you could have poor test grades and awesome skills and research projects and still fail since these didn't affect your grade.

Now I'm in an online RN to BSN program and there are no tests, only discussion forums and research papers/projects.

During my 4 semesters at a community college (2 year program) the big indicator of progress was tests. The dosage exam at the beginning of each semester was Pass/Fail (if you failed you couldn't complete the semester) We usually had anywhere from 4-6 major tests plus the HESI standardized test that all counted toward our grade. On top of that we had several projects, papers, mandatory seminars, Care Plans, etc that were also pass/ fail. This included our Skills Check offs (1 each semester.) You had to practice a certain number of hours in the lab (on your own time) prior to check off day.

All tests, except for HESI and Dosage exams, were multiple choice/ some SATA. HESI strives to be like NCLEX so you got a variety (audio, fill-in-the-blank, SATA, etc.) and dosage was fill-in-the-blank


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Really depends on the instructor and the course. Some of mine were all about exams, some all about papers, some weighed clinicals heavier than others. Some had online forums we had to respond to that were a significant portion of our grades. Some had write ups about our patients.

What are SATA questions on an exam?

Future RN

What are SATA questions on an exam?

Future RN

Select All That Apply. Multiple choice on steroids ;)