In over my head - PLEASE HELP!

  1. To all of you student nurses out there who are going down the same path and have wisdom to spread on to newbies like me... I could really use some support and hugs.

    I was just accepted into an RN program for the Spring of '08. I am only 20 years old and have zero experience in the medical field. I do not have my CNA or LPN, ZERO experience. However, I have always had a 4.0 GPA and am a quick learner and have confidence in my abilities...

    Looking around this website and talking to other people is really breaking my spirits. I was so happy to be accepted into the program but now I feel like having no experience is a really big disadvantage. I feel like - WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?! Clinicals start in a few months and I have no idea what I'm doing. I look around and feel like everyone before me got at least their CNA before becoming an RN. Am I the only one who had no experience beforehand?!

    Does anyone have any words to settle my stomach about not having any experience in the medical field? I know everyone has to start somewhere but the nursing profession seems so overwhelming to me right now. I am scared of falling on my face.

    I could really use some help. Thanks you guys.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   teensmom
    Hi,

    I am in an accelerated nursing program right now. I had no experience at all prior to being accepted. I have been in clinicals for over 10 weeks now, it has been great! You don't need to worry, most of my classmates have not had any experience and the ones that do have experience have actually gotten into trouble because they try to do things we're not supposed to do yet. We had 5 weeks of clinical skills lab before seeing real patients and it really helped. Don't worry, it works out.

  4. by   jla623
    No, you aren't the only one. Most of the people that I know going to nursing school didn't have any experience. Many of them get some kind of CNA job or internship toward the end of nursing school.

    I don't have any experience like that either, but I am not the least bit worried. The reason you are going to nursing school is so they can teach you this stuff. Of course, you would be at an advantage by having some experience beforehand, but it certainly isn't going to drag you down if you are dedicated to learning.

    It will be okay I promise! I am in the same boat as you! :smilecoffeecup:
  5. by   09RN
    At my school those that have experience are the ones that are having the hardest time. They have to redo their learning! as my teacher tells the class stop thinking like a nurse and think like a nursing student.

    You'll be just fine! I have no experience except and Im doing GREAT !!
  6. by   catlynLPN
    Hon, you are not the only one who ever entered nursing school with no experience.
    My best friend's granddaughter is well into her RN program and she had no experience whatsoever at nursing or doing CNA work. She's a very smart young lady, like you, high GPA, and she's doing well.
    You can do it, too.
    You will be fine. And just having CNA experience is not necessary.
    What you get with that is mostly bathing, lifting, turning, ability to see some signs/symptoms to report to the nurses, some CNA's advanced on to giving some medications, drawing blood, inserting foley catheters, etc. But you are going to learn all of that in your program.

    My advice is just settle down, take a deep breath, because you're going to be okay. Take it one day at a time.

    Congratulations on being mature enough to select a good career at such a young age and going for it.
    I was about 20 when I entered LPN school, and have not regretted one day of it.
    I did have a small amount of CNA experience, but that just meant I knew how to give a bed bath and make a bed.
    You'll do fine!!!
    Last edit by catlynLPN on Sep 30, '07
  7. by   GeauxNursing
    you'll be fine. nursing school operates under the assumption that its students have no experience. my best friend had no prior, went through nursing school, passed her boards, got her license, and got agreat job right out of school! You will be great! do not get discouraged. us ppl with experience in the medical field are the ones that should worry; we already "know" stuff, but it might not be the stuff we should know, or we do things wrong, or we go on assumptions based on our prior.
  8. by   MB37
    I didn't have any medical experience going into NS, and neither did over half of my class. The ones that did are finding Fundamentals a little easier as far as skills and clinicals go, but from what I've read that advantage dissipates once you're past this semester. Remember that people use this website to vent - how often do you come home, after having had a very normal day, went to school, everyone was nice to you,you did fine on your exam - and do you then go immediately to a website to talk to complete strangers about it? Probably not. A few of us post great experiences every so often, but not a lot of people post average or OK ones - not because they don't happen to a lot of nursing students every day, but because people don't feel the need to sign on and write about them.

    My experience: I have none in the medical field, but a ton in the service industry - I know how to get along with people. I also have a lot of college experience behind me, so I know how to study and I have good test-taking skills. My unique experiences have prepared me for nursing school in their own way, and I happen to be getting all As so far. That may change, I still have 3.5 semesters to go out of 5, but you don't need MEDICAL experience to do well. If you get discouraged before you ever start, you're setting yourself up for failure - I went in, studied my rear end off, and strove for an A on every exam. So far I've met that goal, but even if that doesn't continue each semester it's what I know I'll go for each time.
  9. by   GingerSue
    with your motivation, you don't need experience to begin your nursing program

    you will be fine
  10. by   Daytonite
    i went into nursing school at the age of 24 having no experience in nursing whatsoever. i was a bookkeeper. was i scared? yes. i have found over the years that probably half of the people who go into nursing had no prior experience in nursing, so you and i are not in a minority here. the fact is that after the first semester of nursing school all you students are up to speed and at the same level of learned nursing skills. from then on, you are all in the same boat when it comes to all the new information you have to learn. rn nursing is a great deal more than what a cna and lpn has already learned. there is more of a focus on problem solving. as you proceed through your nursing program you will see any cnas and lpns in your class struggling to learn the information that will be as new to them just as much as it is to you. and those who profess that it isn't are pulling your leg or deliberately deceiving others to make themselves to appear in a better light. i promise.

    facing fear is something we all deal with throughout our lives and not just when it comes to performing our jobs. i think that with nursing we feel more acutely aware that we are dealing with other human beings and a mistake could have serious consequences for the patient. that thinking will help you make safer judgments. don't fret over this. your instructors are going to help you understand what is important to know when you start working with patients. discuss it with your instructors and see what wisdom they have to give you about it. and, you always have your common sense to back you up. we all make mistakes from time to time and, hopefully, learn from them and from the mistakes of others. stop reading the negative posts if they are affecting you this way. there is something dysfunctional about someone boasting about their mistakes. i don't know why people insist on doing that. what they should post about is what they learned from their mistake in order to help others not to make the same boo-boos.
  11. by   fmrnicumom
    I agree with what everyone else has said. With your determination, you will do fine. Being afraid can help you make sure you are making the right choices when taking care of patients, rather than being overconfident and missing something subtle but important. You mention being confident in your abilities, and that is a great thing to have! I'm hoping to start clinicals in January and I don't have a CNA background either. I'm nervous, too, but I also know that I can accomplish a lot when I apply myself. You can do this! We'll cheer you on the whole way!

    Tiffany
  12. by   deeDawntee
    You will do just fine with no healthcare experience! As others have said, sometimes experience even gets in the way... as in some hospitals who prefer to hire new grads, it allows them to mold their new hires with no prior bad habits to break, so too, are you like that fresh lump of clay that can be molded into that great new nurse, with no old imperfections that need to be beaten out of you first... so to speak...

    not a very good metaphor, but you get the idea!!
  13. by   caliotter3
    As others have said, having no experience will not keep you from succeeding. You are scared and frightened. Let me clue you in, even your fellow classmates with all the experience in the world are scared and frightened too. So just develop a positive attitude and take it to school with you everyday. If you want to, before school starts, find and complete a CNA course along with HHA. It will make you feel better. If you can, obtain a part time job as a CNA or HHA. That will go a long ways toward making you know that you are taking positive steps to deal with your anxiety. You can work as a CNA or HHA while you are in school. Just arrange your schedule. And if the job interferes with school, you can quit, and the reason you give is to devote your efforts toward nursing school. Nobody will fault you for this. Good luck and congratulations on getting into nursing school! That alone is a great accomplishment!
  14. by   APBT mom
    You have nothing to worry about. When you get past your first semester you will be right there with everyone that has medical experience. Having experience in nursing school is a double edge sword. It's good because you have had your feet wet in some areas (bed baths, feedings, transfers) but at the same time you have to "forget it" because it may not be by the book and in school real world doesn't count 90% of the time.

    One of my friends that's in the program is an older woman, never went to college, and the only medical experience she has is going to the doctor. She is one of the top ten in class and has no problems doing procedures or understanding the material. Most of the CNA's that were in our class are gone because they were struggling with the real world vs. school.

    As for being nervous everyone is nervous, it's a good thing. It just means that you want to do a good job. Don't worry you'll be fine.

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