Earning a nursing degree can be challenging, and sometimes students fail required courses or exams along the way. However, with determination and perseverance, it is often possible to find nursing programs that will give you a second chance.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Many nursing schools will consider applicants who have previously failed courses or licensing exams, especially if you can demonstrate that you have learned from the experience and made improvements.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover multiple nursing schools across the country that accept students who have failed in the past. We’ll discuss the application process, tips for explaining past failures, required documents, and more.

Nursing Programs That Allow Re-Entry After Failing

University of Texas, Arlington

The University of Texas, Arlington offers a re-entry program for nursing students who have previously failed. They understand that sometimes students face challenges and setbacks, but they believe in giving students a second chance to succeed in their nursing education.

The program provides additional support and resources to help students overcome their previous difficulties and excel in their studies. This commitment to student success sets the University of Texas, Arlington apart as a nursing school that values the growth and development of their students.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The University of Texas at Arlington (@utarlington)


Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University is another nursing school that offers re-entry options for students who have previously failed. They believe in the potential of every student and understand that failure does not define a person’s ability to become a successful nurse.

The university provides a supportive environment and personalized guidance to help students identify areas of improvement and develop strategies for success. With a focus on individualized learning, Samuel Merritt University ensures that students have the opportunity to overcome past challenges and thrive in their nursing education.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Samuel Merritt University (@samuelmerrittu)


Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University recognizes that failure is often a part of the learning process and offers re-entry options for nursing students who have faced setbacks. They provide resources and support services to help students address any academic or personal challenges they may have encountered.

Western Kentucky University is committed to helping students achieve their goals and become competent and compassionate nurses. Their re-entry program is designed to give students the tools they need to succeed and thrive in their nursing education.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Western Kentucky University (@wku)


Bradley University

Bradley University understands that everyone makes mistakes and believes in second chances. They offer a re-entry program for nursing students who have previously failed, providing them with the opportunity to continue their education and pursue their dreams of becoming a nurse.

With a focus on individualized support and mentorship, Bradley University helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies for improvement. By fostering a nurturing and inclusive learning environment, Bradley University empowers students to overcome past challenges and achieve success in their nursing studies.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bradley University (@bradleyuniversity)


Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center offers a re-entry program for nursing students who have faced academic challenges in the past. They believe in giving students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and grow both personally and academically.

The program provides additional support and resources to help students succeed in their nursing education. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center is dedicated to supporting students on their journey to becoming skilled and compassionate nurses, regardless of any previous setbacks they may have experienced.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by LSU Health New Orleans (@lsu_health_sciences_center)


Applying to Nursing School After Failing

Applying to nursing school after failing can be a daunting process, but it is not impossible. Many nursing schools understand that students may face setbacks and are willing to give them a second chance. Here are some tips to consider when applying to nursing school after failing:

Be honest about past failures

When applying to nursing school after failing, it is important to be honest about your past failures. Admissions committees understand that everyone makes mistakes and they appreciate honesty. Explain the circumstances that led to your failure and what you have learned from the experience.

Explain what you’ve learned and how you’ve improved

One way to stand out when applying to nursing school after failing is to explain what you have learned from your past failures and how you have improved as a student. Highlight any additional coursework, certifications, or experiences that have helped you grow and become a better candidate for nursing school.

Highlight academic strengths

While it is important to acknowledge your past failures, it is equally important to highlight your academic strengths. Focus on the courses or subjects in which you have excelled and provide evidence of your abilities.

This could be achieved through high grades, standardized test scores, or participation in academic organizations.

Consider retaking any failed courses

If you have failed any prerequisite courses for nursing school, consider retaking them to demonstrate your commitment to academic success. Retaking the courses and earning a higher grade can show admissions committees that you are determined and capable of overcoming obstacles.

Ask for letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation can play a crucial role in your application after failing. Reach out to professors, advisors, or healthcare professionals who can vouch for your skills, dedication, and potential as a nurse.

A strong letter of recommendation can help offset any concerns about your past failures.

Remember, applying to nursing school after failing is not the end of the road. Use your past failures as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow. With determination and a strong application, you can still pursue your dream of becoming a nurse.

Tips for Passing Nursing School the Second Time

While failing nursing school can be disheartening, it is important to remember that many nursing schools do accept students who have previously failed. With the right approach and mindset, it is possible to succeed the second time around.

Here are some tips to help you pass nursing school and achieve your dream of becoming a nurse.

Seeking tutoring or other academic support

If you struggled with certain subjects or concepts during your first attempt at nursing school, don’t hesitate to seek out tutoring or academic support. Many nursing schools offer resources such as tutoring programs, study groups, or academic counseling.

Taking advantage of these resources can provide you with the extra help and guidance you need to succeed.

Improving study habits and time management

One of the keys to success in nursing school is developing effective study habits and time management skills. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t work for you during your first attempt and make necessary adjustments.

Consider creating a study schedule, breaking down your coursework into manageable chunks, and finding a study environment that allows you to focus and concentrate.

Working with professors

Building a positive relationship with your professors can be beneficial when it comes to passing nursing school. Take the time to communicate with your professors, ask questions, and seek their guidance.

They can offer valuable insights, clarify concepts, and provide additional resources to help you succeed.

Joining study groups

Joining a study group can be a great way to reinforce your understanding of nursing concepts and collaborate with your peers. By discussing and explaining topics to each other, you can deepen your knowledge and gain new perspectives.

Additionally, study groups can provide a support system and motivation during challenging times.

Managing test anxiety

Test anxiety is a common challenge for many students. If you find that test anxiety negatively impacts your performance, it’s important to develop strategies to manage it. Consider practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, before exams.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with test-taking strategies and practice mock exams to build your confidence.

Remember, failing nursing school does not define your abilities or your potential as a nurse. With determination, perseverance, and a willingness to seek support and make necessary adjustments, you can pass nursing school the second time around.

Stay focused, believe in yourself, and never give up on your dream. You’ve got this!

Alternatives Like LPN and LVN Programs

LPN and LVN programs overview

For students who have previously failed to get into a nursing school, there are alternative options available such as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) programs. LPN and LVN programs provide an opportunity for these students to pursue a career in nursing and gain valuable experience in the healthcare field.

LPN and LVN programs typically offer a shorter duration compared to traditional nursing programs, making them a viable option for those who are looking to enter the workforce sooner. These programs focus on providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide basic patient care under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians.

While LPN and LVN programs may not offer the same level of training as registered nurse programs, they still provide a solid foundation in nursing principles and can serve as a stepping stone for further advancement in the field.

Requirements and coursework

The specific requirements and coursework for LPN and LVN programs may vary depending on the institution and state regulations. However, in general, applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and may need to pass a background check and drug screening.

The coursework in LPN and LVN programs typically covers subjects such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, and geriatric nursing. Students also receive hands-on training through clinical rotations in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings.

Licensing exam information

Upon completion of an LPN or LVN program, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed as LPNs or LVNs. The exam assesses the knowledge and competency required to perform safely and effectively as an entry-level practical/vocational nurse.

It is important for students to thoroughly prepare for the licensing exam, as successful completion is required to practice as an LPN or LVN. There are various resources available, including study guides, practice exams, and review courses, to help students succeed in this important step of their nursing journey.

Job prospects for LPNs/LVNs

LPNs and LVNs play a crucial role in the healthcare system, providing essential care to patients in various settings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of LPNs and LVNs is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

With the aging population and increased demand for healthcare services, LPNs and LVNs are expected to be in high demand. They can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and home healthcare agencies.

Additionally, some LPNs and LVNs choose to further their education and become registered nurses, opening up even more career opportunities.

While failing to get into a traditional nursing school can be disheartening, aspiring nurses should consider the alternative options available, such as LPN and LVN programs. These programs provide a pathway into the nursing profession and offer valuable experience and opportunities for growth.

Remember, success in nursing is not solely determined by the path taken, but rather the dedication and passion one brings to the field.


Failing a nursing program or licensing exam is disappointing, but it doesn’t have to end your nursing career. Many schools will give you a second chance if you can reflect on the experience and demonstrate your dedication.

With hard work and commitment, you can re-apply to RN, LPN or LVN programs and go on to have a rewarding nursing career. Don’t get discouraged – focus on making improvements and find the nursing program that will help you succeed.

Similar Posts