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International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship

Editor-in-Chief: Andrusyszyn, Mary-Anne

Ed. by Goldenberg, Dolly / Cragg, Betty / Maltby, Hendrika J. / McWilliam, Carol / Babenko-Mould, Yolanda

1 Issue per year

CiteScore 2017: 1.13

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Exploring the Issue of Failure to Fail in a Nursing Program

Sylvie Larocque / Florence Loyce Luhanga
Published Online: 2013-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijnes-2012-0037


A study using a qualitative descriptive design was undertaken to explore the issue of “failure to fail” in a nursing program. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with nursing university faculty members, preceptors, and faculty advisors (n=13). Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results indicate that: (a) failing a student is a difficult process; (b) both academic and emotional support are required for students and preceptors and faculty advisors; (c) there are consequences for programs, faculty, and students when a student has failed a placement; (d) at times, personal, professional, and structural reasons exist for failing to fail a student; and (e) the reputation of the professional program can be diminished as a result of failing to fail a student. Recommendations for improving assessment, evaluation, and intervention with a failing student include documentation, communication, and support. These findings have implications for improving the quality of clinical experiences.

Keywords: preceptorship; “failure to fail”; unsafe students; nursing programs


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About the article

Published Online: 2013-06-08

Citation Information: International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 115–122, ISSN (Online) 1548-923X, ISSN (Print) 2194-5772, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijnes-2012-0037.

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