I am reaching out for opinions and advice as I feel so lost and confused about my journey with nursing and my career path.
I am 24 years old and a first year nursing student. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 4 years old and have spent my whole life in admiration of the nursing profession. Everything I've done has been based on my ultimate life goal of becoming an RN. I have never worked in the healthcare field but have a strong love and compassion for all people and am fascinated by the medical field which made me feel like nursing was my true calling.
I have finished all but 1 pre-req which I have been completing since 2009 and got accepted into a great local school of nursing. I had been so excited to embark on this journey and had such high hopes; feeling like this was the beginning of my destiny. I've completed only one semester and passed NUR 101, but had a horrible few months. (Brief background info: I have generalized anxiety disorder and have suffered with anxiety my whole life).
As soon as clinical started, the excitement and joy I felt quickly turned into fear and dread. I was very nervous about attending clinical and felt as though I was unprepared for direct pt. care. I expected the first few months to be rocky because I was a first timer in this industry and felt that that was normal and just kept positive, but even after months of the same experiences and chances to practice the same procedures repeatedly, I still feel absolute horror at clinical. Both at the quiet and calm resident home, and the busy hospital wing I was on with my group I just felt completely out of place.
My anxiety in the nursing line of duty is an all time high for me. Going to clinical was a night mare and starting to become a battle. I would legitimately have anxiety attacks every night and morning before each clinical for hours straight crying hysterically and hyperventilating not knowing how I would find the strength to walk into the hospital building the next morning. I was systemically ill from the stress and anxiety from nursing school
. I experienced severe acne over my face and body that I've never had before, G.I problems, constant diarrhea, migraine headaches, body rashes, weight loss, hair loss, and nightmares.
I really don't 100% understand why I feel this way when I am there, but for some reason I do and I really can't see myself living like that for 2 years. The stress was just unmanageable for me. I am a good student but book work is certainly the ONLY part of nursing school I could tolerate and succeed in. It was difficult, but I urged myself to finish out the semester and not quit in the middle to be able to have a month off for Christmas break and evaluate my situation. I am also getting married in 5 months and want to enjoy this special time in our lives and enjoy planning my wedding and living life.
I don't want to feel the fear and anxiety I felt daily in school and have that also effect my fiance', friends, and family members with concern for my mental and physical health and well being like it did last semester. This past month out of school all of my health problems I had described basically disappeared, and I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel like I am in mourning at the thought of quitting nursing school, especially after only 1 semester and know that I will feel like a failure and disappointed in myself but I don't know what else to do. I know that nursing school is supposed to be incredibly difficult, but if I feel like it's torture and experience what I do than that is certainly not normal, correct? I so desperately want a career where I can help people- and treat them with genuine love and kindness.
I know I have heard many people say "nursing is not for everyone" so is is safe to say that regretfully, nursing is not for me?