The Lived Experience of a Nursing Course Failure




Loftin, Collette
Devkota, Shravan
Friemel, Alee
Jeffreys, Holly

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Abstract Background: Nursing remains one of the fastest growing occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022). Factors contributing to the ongoing nursing shortage including too few nursing faculty, limited clinical space, and sluggish growth in nursing program enrollment/capacity (AACN, 2020). Although most nursing programs are under pressure to accept as many qualified applicants as possible, as recently as 2019, U.S. nursing programs reported turning away over 80,000 qualified applicants due to insufficient space (AACN). Because each spot in the program is valuable - the ability to help all students from admission through to graduation is critical. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the lived experience of students who had failed a nursing course. The information gathered from this group of students will enable nursing faculty to develop methods to help prevent this with future students. Methods: This qualitative descriptive study utilized a phenomenological framework to determine the lived experience of baccalaureate nursing students who failed a nursing course. Semi-structured interviews were conducted during the summer and fall of 2021. Results: There are much literature that report the challenges of nursing school and maintaining a balance between life and studies - however, our findings show that students still need help with this. The findings of this study revealed four themes. These included: academic challenges faced by the students, life issues encountered while in the program, issues with testing, and finally, having to handle the aftermath and consequences of a course failure. Conclusion: Early identification of students at-risk of a nursing course failure and implementation of success strategies may decrease the event of nursing course failure.


The data collection methodology was qualitative interviews.


2023 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, Department of Nursing, Poster, Nursing, Nursing shortage, Nursing program


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