The Biggest Reason Students Succeed (or Don't)

What is the biggest factor that makes a nursing student successful?

What is the key to success as a student?

I recently observed an online panel of educators discussing this very topic. A nursing instructor had posed the question, “What factors lead to students’ success in nursing school?” and a variety of answers were given.

This topic has been researched, of course. We know that there are all kinds of factors that potentially contribute to a students’ academic success, including demographic factors, socioeconomic factors, study habits, etc.

But at the end of the day, the element that I would argue is the most important to whether or not a student is successful is this: stubbornness.

It is the sheer grit and determination that students use to overcome obstacles that makes them successful. It is perseverance despite tough situations. It is refusing to quit.

This is the key to success as a student.

As an educator, mentor, and long-time student myself, I have encountered hundreds if not thousands of students from all types of backgrounds. Students who were the first in their family to pursue a degree. Students who are studying abroad on a student visa. Students who are juggling being a single parent and working full-time with studying.

Students with unbelievable obstacles that they have had to overcome.

Students whose academic counselors said that their goals aren’t possible (that happened to me). Students with unreasonable faculty. Students who have had minimal support from friends or family. Students who did not have the financial resources to obtain a degree, but they found a way.

What do these students have in common?

Parents who wrote a check for their education?


English as a first language?


Access to the most prestigious universities?



Probably not.

4.0 GPA?

Definitely not.

The common denominator is that these students simply didn’t quit. They were stubborn enough to find a way even when obstacles presented themselves.

That’s it. That’s the key to success as a student.

These students found a way to finish what they started, and you can too.


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Categories: Nurses Student Success