Doubting my ability to be a nurse

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    I never gave a thought to how hard being a nurse is. Like most, I think "a nurse is a nurse who helps people". But now that I've started nursing school, MAN it is hard! I've never been a quitter but I feel like this is not for me sometimes. I'm doubting my intelligence. In undergrad my grades were mostly B's in science and I got by with a 3.4. I've never been a sit down and study all day kind of girl. But now that's all that I do! Even then I'm barely passing tests with B's. I'm in an accelerated program of 15 months, but I know those who have done theirs in 1 year! I love the hospital and learning new things, but I do have a hard time retaining infos and concepts. Sometimes I think to myself while studying that I am not cut out for this. Has anyone else felt this? How did you cope?
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    I think you will be just fine. Always have a hobby or something to do to occupy your mind for a little and relax, but never give up! You were admitted into the program for a reason! I myself am waiting to hear back from schools I applied to for accelerated nursing programs and I hope I get the chance to get in! Good luck!!
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    It sounds like you enjoy nursing but you are having trouble learning the info. I think you should talk to an academic counselor. They can help you determine what is going on and how you can improve on it. You should talk to your instructors. They can determine if you are having trouble taking exams or understanding material. The nursing and medical world requires you to think in a different way. It's not like chem or bio where you memorize solutions or identify things. It's all about critical thinking, prioritizing, and interpretation. You should look into getting a tutor and study groups always help! It is a good thing that you sit down and study all day. Now, some people retain material better than others, but medicine is a massive entity that's always changing. The studying may seem endless, but you can can be steered toward studying in a more effective way. You have to really understand the "how" and the "why." There are some who make it through nursing school easily, but there are some have no life until graduation. Before you start doubting yourself, talk to someone who can assess the situation and give you the advise you need. Sometimes, that's all you need... Good Luck!
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    I agree with HodgieRN, Nursing is a way of thinking. We have access to someone in our program that helps with study strategies. Maybe your school does as well. I'm not sure how far you are in your program but I am coming to the end of my first semester/Fundamentals class. On our exams, I've noticed things like questions will have 4 options, 2 are correct, but one answer is better. It helps to understand why that particular one is better than the alternate answer. To understand that, it's best to really understand the material presented and APPLY it. Not necessarily memorize, like some of us did in our prerequisite classes, but really understand the logic. Does that make sense? I hope I haven't gone off on a tangent. If your school doesn't have someone to help with study strategies, maybe finding a book on nurse logic will help. Good luck!
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    Nursing school is not easy. There is a lot of work, pressure, stress and responsibility. I am in my last year in the LPN to BScN program and boy, there were times I wanted to throw in the towel, times I cried, times I felt that I was incompetent and stupid.

    You need to find ways to cope and deal with stress in a positive way. Also, time management is very crucial. It is important to manage school, homework and life. I find for myself, I used to become very stressed thinking about all the things I had due and how I would manage to complete all the assignments in time. I realized over the years its important to focus on one task at a time, this helps you not to feel so overwhelmed.

    Speaking with classmates too always helps as they are usually going through the same emotions as you are.

    Overall, it's a long hard 4 years, but it goes by quick and in the end is worth it. Stick to it and best of luck!!
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    Set up (or join) a study group - Nursing is a completely different way of thinking than I was used to and I felt completely lost, stupid and despondent on many occasion through nursing school. The tests are different than any you've experienced and you have to learn how to think 'perfect world' scenarios, you have to keep yourself from over thinking it and talking yourself out of the most right of 3 or 4 right answers. Working in groups helps you think it through and gives you the opportunity to quiz each other, teach each other and learn from each other.
    Don't doubt your intelligence. It's tough, but it's not impossible. Your grades were better than mine and I got through an accelerated program (less than a year) as a second career (which is code for "I'm old"). You can do it!! **Remember** Nursing school is preparation for the NCLEX. Nobody ever asked me what my grades were... Only if I passed the NCLEX and got the license. A's, B's or C's.... Just Survive!
    I highly recommend the Hurst Review before graduation. I wish I had listened to the lectures during school instead of just after to prep for the NCLEX. It's expensive, but it's worth it. If money is tight, find a friend (or a few) and you can share it. I put the lectures on my iPod and listened to them on the way to/from class/clinical. They really helped me understand some basic concepts that I had struggled with during nursing school.
    Get a massage, take a walk, give yourself a break when you need one. Cry when you need to (just don't do it in front of your instructors, if you can help it) and get rest every chance you get. Hang it there!!
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    I don't think your struggles mean you are not cut out to be a nurse. Getting Bs is still a good job, those are not grades to be embarrased about at all. Seriously, nursing school is hard in general but accelerated programs are EVEN HARDER, I think you are being too hard on yourself. Nursing school is just VERY in depth & time consuming period. Honestly, I think most can agree that once you start nursing school, it becomes all you live and breathe for 1-2 years. That's just the nature of the beast. Sure, it's hard, scary at times & challenging but worth it in the end

    I think you just need to reach out to your instructors for help/tips on grasping formulas and concepts that are not sticking in your brain. Hang in there you can do this! Just keep studying, ask for help in things your are stuggling with but don't give up the fight!

    HTH!


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