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Withdraw then audit?


Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I was speaking with a nurse's aide where I work part time and he told me that he is not doing too well in his nursing 1 class and was thinking about withdrawing. He said that he wanted to still attend the lectures only to still get the info and better prepare himself for the class when he takes it again. He would obviously no longer attend labs or exams, simply wanted to be present to hear the lectures. We discussed for a few minutes and he had a good point that he did already pay for the class... wouldn't be getting any money back or a discount on taking it again in the future. It would simply be to get the material to continue to study to get a leg up when retaking the class, but also not risking having the failing grade now.

I hoped we could start a dialogue on the ethical implications - i don't know whether or not he was planning on talking to the professor to see if he could audit the remainder of the class. It sounded like he was afraid they'd say no and be watching for him. He came to me for a bit of guidance and I see his point and feel like he should probably ask permission to audit the ramainder of the class, but also see his point in asking forgiveness vs. asking permission.

He needs to speak to his advisor at the nursing school and to the instructor. He might withdraw and find himself out for good. Best to prevent that possibility by dealing with the consequences of withdrawing up front.

Hospice Nurse LPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice. Has 15 years experience.

He really does need to speak with his advisor.

Ditto the above two. From a strictly practical point of view, I have rarely seen a student stick through with auditing a class. I believe they start out with the best of intentions, but since they are already "out" it is a lot easier to skip a class or not pay as much attention when there, etc, etc. I guess what I am trying to say is, he needs to talk to someone with the authority to say yes or no, but even if the answer is yes, it might well be a moot point.

Reno1978, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 6 years experience.

Yeah, they're going to be notified anyhow. He may as well be upfront. When I went to nursing school, a grade below a C in any of the courses, meant you got to do that course and clinicals over.

seeing all of this years exams will help him know whats on the tests next year.

knowing whats on the test never hurt anyone.

tell him to stick around and milk every penny.


Specializes in ER/Ortho.

I just graduated in 09, and we couldn't drop a course in our nursing program. If you failed a nursing course, or dropped it you were OUT of the whole program.

BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 26 years experience.

seeing all of this years exams will help him know whats on the tests next year.

knowing whats on the test never hurt anyone.

tell him to stick around and milk every penny.

Yes, in theory this sounds like the best way to go. But, his school/program may not permit this. He needs to check his student handbook to see under what conditions audits are permitted. And he needs to see what a withdrawal means on his record, and how it affects his chances of getting back into the class. Where I teach, the student who withdraws needs to fill out an "intention to repeat" form, basically explaining themselves. I have been told that the students who withdraw have priority (regarding seats) over students who failed.

With regards to failing, if he stays in and fails, his GPA will drop, and the original grade (the failing grade) may stay on his transcripts even after he fails. A W, on the other hands, is much more subjective. People withdraw for many reasons, and no one ever really knows the truth.