What to Do if You Are Falling Behind in Your Classes

Nursing students should not give up!

If you are a student in nursing school, you know that the curriculum can be hard. You need to learn all about human anatomy and physiology, which requires a lot of memorization. You have to study medical terminology, which can be complicated and hard to understand. On top of that, learning your nursing procedures and protocols is also challenging, especially the first time you try something new.

But before you get discouraged, here are three important things to remember:

  • Don’t give up!
  • It will get easier!
  • Practice makes perfect!

Remember, getting through nursing school is within your reach, but it does require your effort. If you are falling behind in your grades, here are 5 tips that can get you back on track.

1. Talk to your instructors
The first step is to talk with your instructors. Explain that you are falling behind, but that you want to make a renewed effort to catch up. Ask them to help you devise a plan to catch up on missed work and learn any material that you didn’t understand the first time. See if your nursing school offers tutoring or after-school hours to get extra help.

2. Set up a study schedule
With the many distractions of everyday life, it’s hard to find a solid block of time to study. But studying is important! Block out 2 to 3 hours per day to study and do your homework. Mark it in your calendar like an appointment. You should treat your studying as seriously as you would treat a job. Try these study tips to improve the efficiency of your studying.

3. Attend every class
Never miss a class! Nursing classes are packed full with information, and missing just one class can set you back. If you have to miss a class, be sure to talk with your instructor about how you can get the notes or reschedule the clinical work.

4. Review what you got wrong
When you receive homework grades and test scores, don’t get discouraged by what you got wrong. Instead, learn from it! The point of a test is not to fail you out of school. The point of it is to show the instructor what you know and don’t know. And if you don’t know something, now is the time to learn it! Look at your wrong answers, research the right answers, and make sure you know what you did wrong. If you still don’t know what you did wrong, ask the instructor to explain that information again.

5. Don’t be afraid to try again
Learning the clinical skills you need to be a practical nurse or nursing assistant can be frustrating. Not everyone picks up on these skills quickly. But don’t give up. More practice will make you better and more confident. If you can’t seem to get it during class time, ask your instructor if you can practice in the lab either before or after class. Remember, your teacher wants you to succeed!

We hope that these tips help give you the stick-to-it-iveness you need to bring up your grades, pass your exams, and make your way through nursing school. It will be worth the effort, and we know you can do it!


The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health is located in Manchester, NH. Contact us online for more information about our programs.

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