Let me start by saying I was an A and B nursing student. I worked hard sometimes, and not so hard at other times. I also have a husband, 3 kids, and a dog, plus a mortgage, bills, and a job.
I have ready most of these comments and the tone of many are the same, that if you did not earn straight A's in nursing school, you didn't work as hard or you struggled or whatever crap generalization you all have come up with.
I'm starting to think that the sweeping generalization that the OP asks about is not true in some regard based on the fact that folks with straight A's who have responded to this post seem to have an "I worked harder than you, therefore I must be better than you" attitude.
Perhaps its that type of attitude displayed by some floor nurses who have 4.0 GPAs coming out of nursing school that has created the generalization that they don't make good floor nurses.
Being a good nurse has less to do with the grades out of nursing school, and trust, you will see that all of that book smarts doesn't amount to a tremendous amount of much once you hit the floor, and more to do with your ability to be safe, compassionate, and teachable.
I have seen super-duper book smart folks get punked by the nclex and I've seen those who you think would never make it past nclex nail it. Straight A's is not a guarantee that you will do well outside of school. And why would floor nurses even know what type of grades one got in nursing school anyway? I have never had the conversation of what was your GPA in nursing school. Who does that and why would you do that. Likewise, floor nurses generally don't care how many attempts at nclex you had and how many questions you got. All of that is neither here nor there once you get to the floor.