Help: I failed out of nursing school - page 3

I began nursing school fresh out of high school. I believed nursing would allow me to do what I have always wanted, and that was to help as many people as possible. Fast forward three years later,... Read More

  1. by   Amethya
    Not a nurse, but a CMA. I had to take the certification exam and I had 3 months to study. What I did is every day, I would read the book for 2 hours and write notes. I would do this and after I would finish the book up, I would do the practice exam. My goal was to get passing grades, 3 times without fail. Once I was able to do it like that, I did my exam and passed it. I have test anxiety too, but I over came it by figuring out my learning and testing patterns and what works for me and as well going to a psychiatrist.

    You may need to over come your test anxiety before you can go on. I would get that fixed out before going to back to school. Give yourself a little break, it may help.
  2. by   Ada_Rose
    Hello Maria,

    I also started a nursing program right out of high school. My university had very competitive GPA, math and science requirements, and I had an undiagnosed math disability. After lots of struggle I dropped my nursing major. I graduated with a BA in Spanish, but my heart has always been in health care. I spent a few years working in home care and nursing homes. Eventually, personal growth, encouragement from co-workers, and an employer scholarship motivated me to go back to nursing school. I’m so glad I did and wish I had the maturity and confidence to do this earlier. I’m currently in an LPN program. I’ll be graduating in the fall, and plan to work as an LPN and immediately begin work on a BSN.

    Choosing an LPN program has been really helpful. I had an 84 on the TEAS, but for me, LPN is a better first step. Sometimes it’s good to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. There is less pressure. I’m able to tutor my classmates and this really builds confidence, I’ll be carrying over a lot of nursing knowledge into the BSN program. Financially, an LPN job and employer scholarships will help me pay for my continued education (I have a fair amount of student loans from my Spanish degree.)

    Counseling has been extremely helpful to work through my anxiety and self-esteem struggles. I highly recommend a counselor who is a competent mental health professional and can offer techniques to manage test anxiety, in addition to helping explore treatment options and evaluate options for continuing school. It’s important to find someone you can trust who is a good match for you. Personally, it makes a big difference to have an experienced academic tutor (mine has an MA in education) who can teach test taking strategies. Having disability testing can also help. You may be eligible for accommodations, such as extra time to take exams.

    Nursing school is often a physical and psychological battle. Getting good nutrition and a full night of sleep before exams helps decrease anxiety for me, as does having extra time to study and as solid understanding of the material as possible. For me, that required dropping my work schedule to 15 hours a week. Reading your post, it sounds like you have a vocation for nursing. I hope you will persist and find the right situation for success in school. It is so worth it!

    Best of luck,
    Ada
  3. by   newmail445
    You need to take your shots in life. If nursing is what you want then become a nurse.

    As for the anxiety and depression, get therapy. Practice cognitive behavioral therapy. It works wonders.
  4. by   Nzrnsoontobe
    I feel like I'm in the same boat as you. I'm in my last year of my bsn, and it totally freaked me out. Suddenly became so anxious and lost all my confidence. And it's been bad. Almost failed my first paper, luckily I got threw. The second paper I now have to resit. tests I'm ok with, but essays I just can't do.

    Feeling like you you are now, I think taking time off is a bad idea. The longer you wait the harder it's going to seem.

    I'm on clinicals right now and loving it. Always builds my confidence. So I'm just focusing on that. When I get back into class I'm going to arrange a meeting to discuss my failed paper and make plans. And I have hired a new grad from my school to help me with assignments and improve my academic writing. I want to graduate this year and I don't care what it takes. I'm scared sh*tless. But I'm determined.

    Just go in there and do whatever it takes to become a RN. Talk to lecturers. Hire a tutor. Get support from class mates. See a counsellor. Don't give up. We are young, we have time, we will get threw. And in 10 years time when we have this awesome career and have achieved so much we will look back and be like what the hell were we thinking?? That paper was easy.
  5. by   jtboy29
    I just finished my LVN program and I too have test taking anxiety. Understanding the content and practicing NCLEX-style questions is one thing however; if you don't know how to approach test questions it's slightly different. I would suggest talking to your professor or instructor on tips on how to address your anxiety when it comes to taking tests. Don't give up on pursuing nursing just because you are having test anxiety there are ways to overcome that. You can choose the LPN route and go back to finish RN then BSN or wait a year to reapply to the program and start over. I know it's not ideal having to start over because you feel like it will be a waste of time but it's not. Trust me, I dreaded thinking about doing another three months in my LVN program because I failed the Exit HESI by one point which is sucks and will ruin one's motivation to becoming a nurse however; I told myself that I've invested so much time into the program I can't just throw it all away so I decided within a few days to repeat the term again which evidently meant I would have to take the Exit HESI once again.
  6. by   studentbear
    Quote from Maria3248
    I did a ton of practice questions, I even bought an NCLEX app that was really helpful. I apply content in clinical all the time and answer questions correctly when asked by the instructor. I studied for hours and hours, and then when they sat that final in front of me it was like everything went out the door. Its like I can't calm down enough to even read these questions. Its to the point I'm wondering if in addition to seeking help with the anxiety, that maybe being testing for a learning disability might be something to look into. Ive always really struggled with staying focused and find myself being distracted easily. But when Im on the floor, its like I'm a different person. I spoke with my professor actually and she recommended the schools counseling services, so I guess that will be my starting point?
    Your school's counseling services would be an excellent place to start and they could guide you to local resources. I have ADD and anxiety myself, so I understand where you're coming from when you say that you feel like you can't calm down enough during an exam and that you have difficulty focusing. Therapy helped me with coping skills, but I also went for neurocognitive testing last fall and found that invaluable in a different way. They were able to show me which areas I have strengths and weaknesses in when it comes to learning information.
  7. by   AngelKissed857
    If you have such severe test anxiety, you need to get it documented by your doctor and then apply for your school's disability program. Test anxiety is no joke, know several people in my program who have found they can be successful by using disability services. It's tailored to your needs. You will probably be given extra testing time, and take the tests in a private room. And no, it isn't a reflection of how you cope in stressful situations, it's just about tests. Get help, study your butt off over there next year and reapply.
  8. by   Maria3248
    I'm really thankful for all the people who commented and telling me not to give up-I just wanted to say that real quick. I'm a little surprised actually that everyone I have talked to and explained what I'm going through has been incredibly supportive and they are encouraging me to go back. I want to be a nurse, but only if I am "safe" for my patients. If I go back, if I'm successful...thats going to be my biggest fear. I'll always have to keep working through it and cope. What if my "weaknesses" make me unsafe? Do other nurses go through this?
  9. by   Nzrnsoontobe
    Quote from Maria3248
    I'm really thankful for all the people who commented and telling me not to give up-I just wanted to say that real quick. I'm a little surprised actually that everyone I have talked to and explained what I'm going through has been incredibly supportive and they are encouraging me to go back. I want to be a nurse, but only if I am "safe" for my patients. If I go back, if I'm successful...thats going to be my biggest fear. I'll always have to keep working through it and cope. What if my "weaknesses" make me unsafe? Do other nurses go through this?
    You have just failed. It's normal to think that you can't do this. Once you start passing papers and spending time on clinicals doing real nursing you will build your confidence. It's hard, but you will get through. Just keep trying, and give it your best.

    Maybe doing the lpn course first might help you build you confidence and help motivate you. Or even working as a cna. We all have weakness, but working through them and improving is all a part of nursing. Knowing you need work on something is half the battle.

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