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failed out of nursing school and now changed my major to pre PA

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I got into a bsn program a semester early. I have always had good grades and the nursing school i got into is the best in my state. However, everything my first semester was online except labs and clinical and tests. I did great in all labs and clinicals however those don’t contribute to grades in anyway they are just pass or fail. All of the learning online was extremely difficult as I was basically teaching myself this information then had to take extremely difficult tests on them. these tests are the only things that make up your grade except maybe a quiz here and there. A 78 is passing and anything below that is failing. I made a 70 in one class and a 77 in another leading me to fail out of nursing school and i am now left with an F on my transcript. I decided to change my major to pre-pa. I know I can do it when things are back to normal. I’ve never had a problem in classes until things were online. I am hoping to be able to pull my gpa back up and I know I can do that. I am worried that when it becomes time for me to apply to PA school they will see i was previously in a nursing program and failed out and give me no chance. Does anyone know of anything I can do to improve my chances of getting in as my semester of nursing school has completely screwed everything up for me. Like i said my grades have always been straight As until that semester. Do you think I even have a chance? 

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Nothing is impossible. Understand however, that you have some hurdles to overcome. My program (and some of my friend’s programs) have really high standards to meet- a 79.6 is failing! They will absolutely question how you can succeed in their program particularly after failing out of a nursing program. Know also that PA school didactic is a ton of self learning- they don’t teach you everything in lectures. Our program was online for the majority of our didactic and the expectations did not change. Understand too that PA school is more condensed and difficult than a nursing program, so definitely don’t view it as a plan B to not succeeding in nursing school. Also, I’m curious as to why you now considering PA school as opposed to another nursing program such as at a community college? Best of luck to you!

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The accreditation organization (ARC-PA) requires that PA programs post the percentages of students who graduate and also those who pass their boards. This is one factor that makes PA programs less risk-adverse than an applicant might like, especially when it comes to taking on a student with question marks the program can’t get its hands around.

Different program have different standards but, in graduate school, anything less than a C minus is generally a failing grade. When a student fails out, besides damaging the program’s published statistics, it also leaves an empty seat for the rest of the didactic phase as well as the clinical phase. This cuts down on a program’s income without reducing its expenses very much at all. And somewhere there is another potential student with a dream who never got a chance to sit in that seat.

PA programs are looking for students who have a high likelihood of making it through the program and passing the boards. I’ve never been to nursing school so I can’t honestly compare the two however the complaints you have about your nursing school are likely still going to be there in a PA program. It’s all about lifelong learning and each of us has to be responsible for learning the subject matter, even if we often have to do a lot of that on our own.

Your dream is not impossible but I think you need to turn the table around a bit and look at who you could have done better, rather than all the things the nursing program didn’t do for you.

Good luck, no matter what you decide to do next.


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