I was unable to pass the nursing school’s exit exam and obtain an associate degree. Is there any way I can still take the state board exam?

By | 2022-02-23T14:56:07-05:00 June 24th, 2013|19 Comments


Dear Nancy,

I went to school to pursue an RN degree. According to the school’s syllabus, in order to receive an associate degree you have to pass their exit exam with at least a score of 69.3. I did this on the third try, but the director of nursing decided to change it to 70. The teacher who gave the test was not aware of the change. I am left with no degree and a student loan to pay off. Is there any way I still can take the state boards?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Michelle,

You need to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who practices in the area of education law and represents students. It will be important for you to take with you any documents concerning this exit exam, your student handbook, the syllabus, the notice you received concerning the change and the fact that you would not receive your degree, and the facts surrounding the change for the pass rate.

Since possessing an associate degree is a prerequisite for sitting for the boards, you will need to legally challenge the decision to change the pass rate. The attorney will advise you if that is possible and what the next step in that process is.



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  1. Avatar
    Rayshaud Brooks November 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Is it possible to sit for LPN boards if you passed all classes , attended graduation but can’t pass school exit even after successfully passing 6 extra months of remediation classes and meet all hours?

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    Laura November 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I would like to know this too. I passed all my classes, but did not pass exit exam after 4 tries. The state board is obviously what you need to move on, I don’t understand why the exit exam holds you back when you have passed all required classes to sit for your boards.

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      tina June 30, 2019 at 3:41 am - Reply

      did you find out any info on this? I’m curious

  3. Avatar
    Trina Cruz November 28, 2018 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    We all are in the same boat. Failing the exit exam a number of times dragged my confidence level down. Especially after taking mine the 3rd time when I scored 69.3% when the school is requiring you a 70% passing grade to be able to sit for boards. I took it again the 4th time and boy oh boy! my score went down to 66.7%. What I think was also unfair for me was when the batch of students who took the exit before I took it the third time passed the exit exam because the DON lowered the required passing grade to 67%or 68%. All of them who took and and got a 67/68 passing grade took the NCLEX and are all licensed nurses now. I kept thinking why this has to be the reason why I can’t take the boards yet when I feel like I’m more than ready to pass the NCLEX just like those who scored lower than me on the exit exam.

  4. Avatar
    Gisele Da Costa December 1, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

    I did not pass my exit test, what can I do? But I passed all my classes. What can I do? Somebody knows?

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    Jessica December 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I am trying to gain medical experience . I finished my LVN program not passing the exit exam. That means I am a challenger. i passed all the classes. where can i go to gain work experience ?

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    shauntel September 2, 2020 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I have completed all electives, and nursing classes for Associates RN degree. The college I attend created a Med surg 3, which they call a review class, when other schools only require med surg 1 and med surg 2, and we use the same med surg 1 and 2 text book. I have completed Capstone and Hesi exit for Capstone, and passed everything except med surg 3 which they made very very hard to pass. I am currently doing med surg 3 again and not looking good for me, but school continues to hold you back, even though Capstone class, and Hesi for capstone is the exit, and again I passed that with a good score. Is there anyway I can sit for Nclex without completing Med surg 3 since it is a made up class by my College, that they call a review course. I dont see why a review course is a graded class that can fail you. They keep holding students back in their final semester because they are a for profit school. Please help if you can, appreciate it.

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    Sabrina e February 3, 2021 at 3:07 am - Reply

    As a former jersey college student, I had passed all my classes and requirements to complete the LPN program, failed 4 times and they told me there’s nothing they can do and withdrew me. I need answers or recommendations on how what to do next

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      T Mills February 15, 2021 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Any update? I go to Jersey as well and I’m on my 3rd try and was looking just incase things don’t go right this time around.

    • Avatar
      Demetria styles May 13, 2021 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Hello Sabrina my name is Demetria and I attended Jersey college and going through the same thing . Have you found out any information on this . Can you help me with this as well

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      Jersey Girl94 June 16, 2021 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Hi, we are in the same boat…..I don’t know what to do next … I’m still looking for answers. I’d hate to repeat an entire program all over again. The exit exam is not even required by the state and schools are PROHIBITED from using exit exams to hold people back from graduation. I’m assuming that because Jersey College is privately owned, they are able to get away with it. Something needs to be done.

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        Fawn12 April 9, 2022 at 7:00 pm - Reply

        Hi, former student as well! Have you found a solution yet?

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      Kimberly D Mayze August 10, 2021 at 7:12 am - Reply

      Did you every get any information on what you should do ? We can contact the nursing boards.

    • Avatar
      Kassie January 9, 2022 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      Same boat I attend Jersey College,took my 4th RN exit and they withdrew me! It’s unfair I’m looking into legal actions! One test should NEVER be the only criteria of a student’s accomplishments they are assessing us by ONE test score it’s unethical!

  8. Avatar
    Alex August 11, 2021 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I Went to essential school of nursing in Florida and passed all my classes but did not pass the exit exam. Anybody know what I can do?

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    Lovett August 31, 2021 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I need help please, I passed all my classes but failed the exit exam, which I was only allowed to take twice. I need advice on what to do. It’s very frustrating paying all that money for school and at the end it’s like a waste of money and time.

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      THoman November 16, 2021 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      Can’t you challenge the school? I have a friend that hired an attorney and he was allowed to take NCLEX and he passed.

  10. Avatar
    Debra November 7, 2021 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I notice there are no answers on the other questions on this blog so I will give my own experience in regards to failing the HESI/EXIT. Like everyone I need some answers too. I failed my exit exam and so did my entire class except one person in my class passed in California. We were told we can still take the NCLEX and that we can complete the online license application. On the online application I simply checked ‘challenging the board” dur to failing theEXIT exam. I took the NCLEX a couple months later and passed it becoming a licensed LPN. My only issue is that I can not get an endorsement or license in other states because I failed my HESI/EXIT exam. I am sure there is a way because I’d like to move out of California. I will get a lawyer and dispute it. We, nurses have to stand up to the nursing schools and board, because a whole degree/courses passed successfully should not be negated by one EXIT exam.

  11. Avatar
    Kenston A November 8, 2021 at 8:46 am - Reply

    You are not alone. Am supposed to graduate 11 months ago. But I couldn’t pass my eexam, exam. The school is holding a lot of students down because graduating students have to score 75% on Hesi to pass exit exam. It is only very few students that are passing it and the school refuses to bring down the cut off score. I passed all my Nursing classes and clinicals. Is there anyway I can apply to Florida state board of nursing for my NCLEX? The school is in Florida. Please I need help. There’s school loan waiting for me to pay.

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