I'm starting to doubt myself already

  1. I've read about students who fail out of the nursing program simply because they don't realize what kind of time they're going to have to put into the course. Well, I'm afraid I might be one of those students.

    I have A&P this summer and I thought I was doing alright in there, until our first test today. I just know I failed it horribly. There were at least 200 questions on it, and that didn't include the many diagrams we had to label. I think it would have been easier if our professor had just asked us to take out some blank sheets of paper and quote the first 3 chapters. I'm feeling so discouraged right now. I've never failed a test. I have a 4.0 gpa on about 30 credit hours, so this is totally new for me. Also, this is my last pre-req class before starting the nursing courses this fall but if I don't pass this class, I lose my seat in the program. I can't tell if this teacher is just being ridiculous in her expectations, or if I just don't have the capacity to learn this stuff.

    I studied a good bit and felt ready for the test, but it was so much worse than what I expected. And the bottom line is that I'm not willing to give up ALL my time with my family. I have 2 young ones, (3 1/2 and 2) who are already suffering from mommy-withdrawal. They cry and beg me not to leave them when I drop them off at daycare - something they've never done before. My 2 yr old has also started crying whenever I walk out of the room to go to the bathroom. They're used to having a stay-at-home mom and now we barely get to spend any time together. When I am home, I have a ton of homework to do and don't get to play with the like I want to. I want to be a nurse, I really do. I'm willing to work hard and make some sacrifices. My kids, however, aren't one of them. I can't do this to them for another 2 years.

    I guess my question is, do I really have to choose? And should I have to choose? I can't believe anyone would ever become a nurse if they had to give up so much family time. If it's this hard already, maybe I just don't have the capacity to learn it in the first place...I don't know, I'm just frustrated and confused. Thanks for letting me whine about this. I know I should have expected it, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

    [ May 25, 2001: Message edited by: NurseStudentFall01 ]

    [ May 25, 2001: Message edited by: NurseStudentFall01 ]
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   GInurse
    Student,
    If you really feel that strongly that you want to be a nurse, do it. No matter what. I just finished going to school full time (15-19 hrs/semester) for 18 months, while working full time, and I have a husband who is also a nurse and two children as well. It CAN be done. (Oh yeah, we bought our first home and moved during this time too!)

    It will not be easy. Once the children learn to adjust, and they will, and your husband realizes that that he will have to learn how to make hamburger helper and do the laundry, (ha ha) things will calm down a bit.

    Take some of the pressure off of yourself by realizing that maintaining a 4.0 is not you primary focus at this point. It just isn't. I had to deal with the same thing. Instead, sit down by yourself in a quiet moment and prioritize EVERYTHING in your life. Assign everyone and everything a number, that means your spouse, children, laundry, dishes, lawn, school, relatives, friends, etc.... That is the only way I was able to maintain my sanity and not feel too guilty about saying no when others made demands of my time. If one day schoolwork is priority #1, and there is a family birthday party for your mother in law, you can simply look at your priority list and see what needs to be done. AND take time for what matters most, yourself and your family, at least a few un-interrupted hours every week. Make it a family "date" where you don't discuss school, bills, problems, etc..

    As far as the A&P class, It WILL get better. Chances are, with your GPA, not many (if any) in you class did very well. She can't fail all of you! Review your concerns with your professor, and examine how he/she tests. Learn to focus on the things that he/she deems important instead of trying to learn everything at once. It just can't be done. If everyone did poorly, chances are the professor will revamp the class presentation, or focus more on testable content.

    HANG IN THERE!
    I hope this helps.
  4. by   mustangsheba
    I have to say, I think your instructor seems a bit over zealous - 200 questions seems a lot. The fact is though that nursing school takes a lot of time. You will have to sacrifice some things. As GInurse says, sit down and prioritize. Is a 4.0 that important to you? Cooking dinner? Doing laundry? Cleaning the house? Sit down with your family and decide what is important. You really will not be able to do it all. I warned my family when I started nursing school that I would not be seeing them for two years. And I kept my word. I waited until my daughter graduated high school to start however. It's much harder with little ones. Whether or not you should have to choose is not relevant; the fact is that you do have to make a choice. I'm almost positive that things will go better after this first test. You get to whine for 15 minutes every day, so use all your allotted minutes right here and hang in there for a while longer. You know we're on your side.
  5. by   fiestynurse
    Something has to give! You can't expect straight A's and have the time to take care of two small children. I waited until my youngest child was in Kindergarten before I returned to school because I knew that I just could not do it when they were little babies. It's going to be tough, but I think you will find a balance and make it through the program. Just take care of yourself!!
  6. by   NurseStudentFall01
    I appreciate all this advice! And I don't expect to keep a 4.0 gpa forever. I only mentioned it to show that I'm not usually a poor student, that I am reasonably intelligent and a hard worker. At this point, I'd be thrilled with a C.

    I'm hoping that our professor will see that maybe she's expecting a little too much out of us. There were about 6 or 7 students who dropped the class the day before the test and I'm willing to bet another handful drop after the test. This is our professor's first time teaching a college course and I think she has unrealistic expectations. On the other hand, I know the nursing classes will be even more difficult. I guess I need to take all the advice here and start prioritizing. I really want to do this, I'm just afraid of what I'll have to sacrifice to get it done.
  7. by   shyviolet78
    Don't get too discouraged about your test. I have found from past experience that there are professors out there who make the first test, or even first few tests, exceptionally hard to "weed out" those who aren't really serious about the class. If you are having trouble in the class, you are probably not alone. Talk to some of your fellow classmates about what they thought about the test. If there are students that did really well on the test, ask them what their study strategy was; what really helped them to retain the information.

    Also, talk to your professor, let her know your concerns, ask her what she would recommend as a study strategy in the future. I have never encountered a professor that wouldn't help someone who was making a genuine effort; but if you don't talk with her about it, she has no way of knowing whether you put in 30 minutes or 30 hours of study time.

    As far as family concerns, I can't really offer any advice because I don't have children. You will need to decide what things are most important (family time, study time) and what things can be put off or delegated (cooking, cleaning). You do have the capacity to learn, your 4.0 is evidence of that.

    Try not to let it get you down. You can do this, everyone runs into these kind of problems now and then. Good luck!
  8. by   Nursz-R-Awsm
    nsgstudent...
    Please don't give up. In some of those prereq's, I often felt like they were weeding out in the beginning. It is difficult, but if you have a great support system...and like others have said, prioritize, make some family time, take care of yourself, you can do it. Would it be better to begin now or wait until your kids are in school? (only you can answer) It will be tough for them to adjust you going from stay@ home mom to student. I do not have children, but went to school with students who did (some single mom's, one single dad) and we just graduated. Those kids came up to pin their mom or dad and it was very special (none of them held a grudge). It takes some sacrificing, but that's one of those tough parent choices I don't have to make just yet. Some of them studied after the kids went to bed, one mom set aside a day on the weekend for the family all day...and scheduled reading/studying every other day and stuck to it. I hope this is helpful. Take care.
  9. by   dgh1973
    I agree with the other posters that keeping a 4.0 isn't first priority, especially when you have a family. Remember, C is passing and an RN with a C is the same as an RN with an A. One thing that may help in your prioritizing is getting a calendar to put on your refrigerator. One of those magnetized kinds with the erasable markers. This way you can write in everything for family in one color, everything for school in a different color and mark things off as you go. I say put it on your refrigerator because that is usually the most visited place in the house, besides the bathroom! It will be visible to you and your husband and if he's willing to help you a little it will make him aware when he needs to help pick up the slack in certain areas and times. I think it's also important for those people with families or other obligations to complete all their support courses before nursing school begins. If you're able to just focus on the nursing curriculum it will be to your benefit. I started my first year of nursing school in 99 and went a whole year. I decided to take off this last year and reenter when my daughter starts kindergarten. This was the best decision for me and my family. This year has flown by and I can honestly say I don't regret taking this year off. Now, my daughter will be starting kindergarten this Fall and I will be starting my 2nd year a few weeks after her. Good luck in your future endeavors!

    Dee
  10. by   delirium
    Student:
    Don't give up, if nursing is what you truly want to do. Only you know that. I can tell you than A&P is very difficult, with a lot of information in a very short time... in a regular, 12 week semester. In the summer, the semesters are only 8 weeks (or they are here, maybe your school is different), which makes it even more difficult. Its going to be tough, but if you want to do it, you will do it.
    There's a mean catty thing I do sometimes.... thought I'd share it with you. I work in a hospital alongside a lot of nurses. Every time I start to doubt myself I think about some of the RNs there who definitely aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer if you know what I mean. I think to myself: hell, if they can get through nursing school, I know I can.
    I'm really petty sometimes... whatever makes me feel better.
    You've gotten some good advice here already. Prioritize. Allow time for your family to adapt. Identify what your goals are, short term as well as long term.
    We're on your side
    Take care,
    Rebecca
  11. by   NurseStudentFall01
    Well, I got my test back today and would you believe I got a B??? I am just thrilled with the grade because I thought for sure I'd failed. Half the class did fail and who can blame them, there were 235 questions on the test. That's a LOT in my opinion.

    Anyway, though I didn't fail this test, it certainly was a wake-up call. I'm going to take the advice here and do some re-prioritizing. My kids will still come first, but things like house work and laundry can definitely wait. If I find that I can't keep up with the nursing classes, then I'll have to come back to it when my babies are older. I have so much respect for parents who are able to go to school full-time and keep up with their young ones! I can't even imagine having a job outside the home to deal with as well, but I know people do it. Maybe I'll learn to juggle like that one day, but I'm just getting started and it's going to take me a while.

    Thanks again for all the great advice! I'm sure I'll be back to whine again after the next test! LOL

    [ May 29, 2001: Message edited by: NurseStudentFall01 ]
  12. by   shyviolet78
    Congrats on your B! Way to go!!
  13. by   essarge
  14. by   karenelizabeth
    well done


    remember that R & R is just as important as working hard. as mature students and nurses we tend to forget this.

    Karen

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