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Nursing Students Who Fail and Repeat Courses

A Scoping Review

Lewis, Lisa S., EdD, MSN, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000667
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background Nursing students who fail and are required to repeat courses experience personal consequences and have an impact on the academic institution and nursing profession because of delayed graduation or even attrition.

Purpose The purpose was to summarize the literature on nursing students who fail and repeat courses and identify gaps in knowledge about this population.

Methods This was a scoping review.

Results Academic failure and course repetition have emotional, social, and financial consequences and impact the student, institution, and nursing profession. Nursing student repeaters are at increased risk for poor academic outcomes, but supportive interventions can be beneficial.

Conclusions The literature lacks a comprehensive description of nursing school progression policies, the incidence of nursing student repeaters, the financial implications of course repetition, and effective interventions to support the academic success of nursing students who repeat courses.

Author Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Lewis, Duke University School of Nursing, DUMC 3322, Durham, NC 27710 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Accepted for publication: January 17, 2019

Published ahead of print: March 7, 2019

Cite this article as: Lewis LS. Nursing students who fail and repeat courses: a scoping review. Nurse Educ. 2019; doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000667. [Epub ahead of print].

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