I'm in a kinda sticky situation and need some advice from anyone who can help. I'm 32, and went back to school 4 years ago to get a BSN after working too many dead end customer service/retail type jobs.
Now, the first two years of school went great, I was dean's list every quarter, loved the school work, etc. Then about a year and a half ago my personal life went down the drains. My 70-something mom was diagnosed with cancer, my dad also had some major health issues, 3 friends died within a 6 month period of time, and I was also dealing with my own health problems and my doctor's mismanagement of my meds (my med wasn't working, my doc wouldn't listen to me about wanting to change and I couldn't go off the meds on my own, and the student health center made things difficult to switch docs). Needless to say, my grades went downhill. After mom's diagnosis, I almost took time off from school to help, but was afraid that I'd never go back so I decided to stick it out. The rest of the yucky stuff was spread out over the rest of the year, so just when I thought I was getting things under control something else would come up and everything just snowballed. I flunked 3 academic courses, just BSN courses, not clinical related. I kept my clinicals up and my GPA was above the minimum required for the program - barely. My profs all knew about my personal issues and helped me a lot so I could keep up and stay on track in classes. Until the second week of the winter quarter a couple months ago (I was slated to graduate in June). I was enrolled in classes, things were smoothing out in my personal life and I went to my first full week of class, arranged my clinicals and preceptors, and had also enrolled to retake two of the 3 courses I had flunked, planning on taking the 3rd during spring. Then I get called in to one of the advisors offices and was told that I'd been dismissed from the program. The dean said that the school was not aware of any reason for the drop in grades (?!) , that if I had had problems I should have spoken with three different staff members that I had never heard of, and if I wanted the board to reconsider I had to present irrefutable proof to them that all of this had happened and then "maybe" they'd reconsider.
I had a problem opening my parents' medical histories to a group of people who really have no business knowing the exact details of their health problems and surgeries over the past year. I had no idea how to prove that I had been friends with the 3 people who had passed away, I could submit obits, but I knew they wouldn't believe them because it wasn't proof that I had known them. And I'm not the type to save programs and stuff from funerals and wakes. I told the dean that I had kept my profs informed, but that wasn't good enough. And those profs never referred me to ANYONE else in the school to talk to. I have also tried to go to a branch of the college I was in to see if I could get an associates RN degree and get my BSN later through someone else, but even though I am only 1 academic nursing ELECTIVE away from graduating with an associates and none of the classes I flunked is required by their program, they said they'd only graduate me if I retook ALL my clinicals over and they have a 2 yr wait list for clinicals.
Am I totally screwed? I have no problem retaking some of my classes over again in addition to the ones I flunked, but I balk at having to redo it all. I truthfully can't afford to. Do any of you have ideas for any options I may have? I just don't know what to do. I still want to be a nurse - I LOVED my clinicals, but I don't know if it's still an option. All I know is that jobwise, I feel like I'm back where I started 4 years ago, but $40 grand farther in debt. Yikes.
If you made it through all this, thanks. BTW, my personal life is on the way up - my parents are doing pretty well, and knock on wood, things seem to be going good everywhere else in my life.