Do Nursing School Grades Matter?

Since many nurses work three days a week, it is quite possible to work and go to school all while accelerating your career. While nursing school grades have a strong correlation with passing the NCLEX, what role do they play in your career? The simple yet convoluted answer is – it depends.

It depends on your career aspirations. Are you trying to stay put as a registered nurse? Do you want to go back to school and become a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)? Most recognized professional schools will use your grades to filter you out from other candidates. If your grades are bad, all is not lost. Since not many nurses actually end up going to graduate school, most schools are possible to get into besides CRNA school with the proper clinical experience. CRNA programs are really competitive to get into however many less populated states have programs that are easier to get into.

Truth be told, it is probably more important to be better in the clinical setting than be book smart. Because grades are not uniform in difficulty, it is impossible to set a bar for each student. However, some schools have started to require the GRE examination. Therefore, experience is key to your admission. All experience is not held equal – intensive care and emergency care units probably hold more value than mental health unit, that is of course if you do not want to become a mental health nurse.

As a nursing student, you should strive for the best grades thereby increasing your opportunities for success however it is not always so easy to do. Nurses should attempt to land positions in a clinical settings that suit their needs and career aspirations.