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academic failure, academic progression, attrition, nursing students, retention



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


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.