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I'm failing out of nursing school

BusyMan BusyMan (New) New

Hi all,

I am currently in my first year of nursing program at my local community college. I am a full time student, working one day a week as a CNA, and a father of one. Currently, I am failing both of my courses this semester (1 nursing course and pharmacology). I had the option of withdrawing but I really want to try and pass so that is what I am doing but struggling! Now the rule for my school's program is that if I fail two nursing courses (which now I currently am) I will be excused from the program. I am trying my best to pass but results indicated that odd are, I will not. Now I am facing possible failing out, dismissal from the nursing program and I am honestly not sure what to do with myself right now. I hear so many people tell me to "keep trying" "dont give up!" "You can do it" and I've also been told that there are LPN programs out there but honestly, I just want to go to school to be a RN. Any real tips, any real thoughts, please help me out. I really want to and am trying to pass.

ive spoken to advisors and gone to study sessions. They all kind of end in a fail because when the exams come, what I learned from the slides just don't correlate exactly to what material I am given or I am just plain given way too much material it's nearly impossible to remember everything, especially the things they test me on.

Edited by BusyMan


Specializes in Nursing Education RN to BSN; OR nurse. Has 33 years experience.

Is it too late to withdraw from at least one of the classes? I would really hate to see you dismissed from the program. Is it an accelerated program? Those are very intense. Pharmacology requires a great amount of study; and continued study. What are your instructors doing to help?

Have you talked to any of your classmates and asked how they're doing it? Not the brainiacs but the average student who has to work hard. Maybe they can tell you how they prioritize what they study?

If you were to pass one of the classes, you could continue? Perhaps you could abandon one of the courses, if you can't withdraw with a W (but I would withdraw if the school will allow it at this late date), and go for broke on the remaining class to pass. Otherwise, if this is a done deal, and nothing is a done deal until the fat lady sings, you are going to have to look at an LPN program or entry to another program. Entering another program is almost impossible. Ask if you can withdraw from one of the courses, then do everything to pass the remaining course. Save yourself if you can. Best wishes.


Specializes in Nursing Education RN to BSN; OR nurse. Has 33 years experience.

How many organizations are still hiring LPN's?


Has 1 years experience.

First I would like to congratulate u for being in the nursing program, its a very hard and competitive program. To me it sounds as if u are overwhelmed..and its okay at least u know what u can handle. But honestly I think u should drop one of the classes or just the ones u are failing. You mentioned that u can only fail one. You really dont want to lose everything. I know it may seem that way at this moment but ur not. Dropping a class is not bad. I have done it and came back with and A. I had to refocus, allow others to help, and find out the way I can retain information when I'm under a lot of pressure. Talk with ur advisor again and see what ur options are. Don't give up, u know what u want Now refocus and go for it.


Specializes in Early Intervention, Nsg. Education. Has 27 years experience.

I'm not sure how your school calendar works, but our students have a deadline for a "typical" withdrawal. After that point, any withdrawals are differentiated by WP or WF, depending on whether the student was passing or failing the course when they dropped it. A plain old "W" looks much better than a "WF" on a transcript.

Here's the thing--going forward do not let anyone convince you to take 2 really difficult things (like pharmacology and nursing 1) with a general ed array all at the same time. If the minimum is 3 classes a semester, take 3 classes a semester. I say this because sometimes, 3 classes are all you can take.

Also, if you had an IEP in high school, speak with your guidance counselor about this.

If your professors have office hours, take them up on them. Ask for help where you need it. Ask if there is some sort of extra credit you can do, as you are invested in success.

When you open the text book, look at the objectives of the chapter. You should meet all of the objectives. When I would make notes about a chapter, I would "answer" all of the objectives. And do the vocabulary. Index cards are the most awesome thing. On them can be your vocab words, your meds, all sorts of things--even the objectives and the answers. It is easier to review on a card as opposed to an entire chapter. Highlight the objective answers. Know them. Take notes in class. If you are sensing a theme of the objectives, highlight your notes.

When testing, stop second guessing yourself, and don't change answers. When you change answers is when you get it wrong most of the time. Unless you are sure that you mischecked, move on. Do not read into the question more than what it is asking at face value.

I find general themes in meds as well. If they make you blood pressure go down, one can get dizzy. If the make you pee, fluid loss, and changes in labs. If they help with pain, they could make one not poop, if it is an antibiotic, look for a reaction.

Remember ABC's--One needs to breathe, not lose blood and have a pulse that is appropriate for life.

It will click, but you need to be sure you set yourself up not to fail. Also, one on one tutoring can also help. Perhaps someone who works with you in your job as a CNA you admire, think is an awesome nurse.....they may be willing to tutor you. If not, when speaking to the guidance counselor, ask.

Best wishes!

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

How many organizations are still hiring LPN's?

LTCs and LTACs, hospice orgs, home care agencies, rehabs, assisted living, doctor offices and clinics, schools in some states, private duty nursing companies, heck there have been LPNs posting here that where they live, hospitals are still even hiring them. Don't let anyone tell you there aren't jobs for LPNs

Be warned though, that LPN education can be challenging too. I'm currently in a "fast track" 2 semester LPN program and while I'm doing well so far, the sheer volume of knowledge they are trying to cram in our heads can be overwhelming at times. But I'm doing it, while working full time and being a wife and mom, so maybe you could too.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Does your community college have a resource center? I had a friend in Nursing school who while very bright was having a lot of trouble with tests. She went to the resource center and they did testing and evaluations and helped her develop a plan to help he succeed. She did in fact succeed.


AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

You already payed your money, don't give up, keep trying. Maybe seek out tutoring!


Yes, it is too late to withdraw. My thought at the time was, it would be great if I can pass 1 class and fail the other. That way I only have to repeat 1 and somewhat save time. But now, I'm just trying to keep myself sane!



Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Hi, I moved to allnurses General Nursing Student forum for member advice and support.

Check the previous threads here along with FAQ section at top of forum page for ideas.

Here are my suggestions for you to pass. These suggestions are coldly practical, and are not for everyone.

You need to honestly assess whether it is possible to pass at this point. Calculate your averages and what points you must have on tests to meet the minimum passing requirement.

If you can't pass, then you need to quit school and try again elsewhere.

If you can pass, stop trying in one class, whichever has the lower grade, and put all your energy into the other one.

Figure out WHY you are failing. There is always a reason. Are you not studious enough? Do you have a learning disability? Do you need to change your study habits? Are you spending too much time with friends and family? Have you not taken your studies seriously? Are you smart enough to understand the material?

Reevaluate your desire to be a nurse. Is this really what you want to do? If it is, you need to become temporarily obsessed with school.

If you are a single dad, find some way to have your child cared for nearly 24/7 so you can prioritize your studies right now. This will only be temporary and it will lead to better things for your family in the long run.

Utilize different learning modalities. Search YouTube for videos, record your lectures and listen, make compare-and-contrast charts, even make models if you have to.

Use your school resources to the fullest extent.

Hire a private tutor or try to get a peer to tutor you.

Do a few searches here on AN about what you don't understand. There are all kinds of help on the student boards.

Use the Fundamentals For Success book that you can get on Amazon. It has helped tons of people on here.

Best of luck to you.

canigraduate, RN advice to you is spot on. If you can pass one class and fail the other without being kicked out of the program, I would do that. For Pharm, I youtube almost everything, and I use other books for my classes. Doing practice questions from Nclex books (Saunders) or using PrepU while you are studying has helped me tremendously. Need to do at least 100 questions on the subject at hand in a week has helped me. I wish you the best

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

The problem I am seeing is you. Are studying, but you are finding out that nursing tests are not prereq tests. You are not just memorizing here. You need to be able to apply what you are studying. So you are shocked that you think this info is not what you studied when it is, you just aren't regurgitating knowledge anymore.

You need to learn how to prioritize. What is most important at that moment? What are the patients telling you? Who can wait 5 minutes, who is possibly dying at that moment? Look at Maslows Heirarchy of needs. Physiologic, then safety. Commit that pyramid to memory. Know how to use it. Know your lab values. Who's airway is possibly compromised. What does your assessment of the patient tell you? What are their vital signs, what do their lungs sound like? You have to be able to paint a picture if each patient. That is nursing.

you need to change the way you look at these tests. Maybe that can help you get through the end of the semester.

Yes, it is too late to withdraw. My thought at the time was, it would be great if I can pass 1 class and fail the other. That way I only have to repeat 1 and somewhat save time. But now, I'm just trying to keep myself sane!


Why would you think that it's better to fail than withdraw? .

Msmedic68w, ASN, MSN, RN

Specializes in psychiatric. Has 6 years experience.

I start 4th semester in a couple weeks. In order for anyone to help you answer this question you need to be more specific, what exactly are you struggling with? Is it nursing priorities, the pathophysiology, managing care or what?

Either way, I would say the biggest thing is understanding the patho, if you understand what's going on in the body then you can plan your care and figure out what drugs to use. Think about hypoxia for example, first what does that even mean? what is happening at the cellular level first, then consider the tissues, then the organ systems. Look at the question again, under what circumstances is this person hypoxic? Is it because of asthma, or COPD ect? Go back to the patho of said disease and work from the cellular level up. What needs to happen to fix this? What is the mechanism of action of that drug that is going to reverse this, if one of the answers is not a drug....then what intervention is needed?

patho, patho, patho!!