Nursing School Anxiety

  1. 0
    This is a long post...

    I have been a liberal arts student for the last 2.5 years. I made the decision that I would like to be a nurse and took many of the requirements for that path. However, as a teen, I had a terrible experience with math. I couldn't see the overhead projector (which the teacher used all the time) and struggled in my algebra class. I ended up being homeschooled so I took consumer math versus geometry. My mother couldn't have taught me geometry or anything like that. But I digress, so I had a lot of anxiety about algebra. The first time I took the accuplacer, I scored exceptionally high on everything but the algebra. I didn't know it was on the test and guessed my way through it. Due to feeling anxious about the algebra, I let it become a stumbling block in path. I couldn't get on the school's nursing wait list without it.

    I finally built up the confidence to do everything I could to get it right. I used the school's online accuplacer prep help and worked through the algebra. I did this in about a month while I was still taking my full time course load which included 400 level psychology work. I scheduled the re-take and passed algebra with flying colors; getting into a math class higher than the one I wanted. I was ecstatic! I could finally get on the list! Well, lo and behold, they had eliminated the wait list at my school. Good? No, not exactly since they were depleting their current list and not adding any new names. This would take 3-5 years. I wasn't cool with that and already had attended an information session on the nursing program through another school, just to have my ducks in a row since I thought I might have a 2 year wait at my current school.

    Over winter break (Christmas time), I got the HESI study guide and spent every moment studying it like mad. I took the entrance exam for the community college and crossed my fingers. I scored overall 91%. Great but there were some problems during the testing process that lowered one of my scores. But I wasn't taking it again. I work and am a mom, and school had just started back up. I didn't think I would get into the school. They accept 8 applicants out of ...? There were at least 30 people testing the day I went and I knew of others. But I did get in. I was shocked but elated.

    Yesterday was the orientation. Now I'm nervous as ever! Everyone says it is going to be the rollercoaster ride of your life. I don't know how I feel about that. They say, "we teach you to think like a nurse, not memorize." Well, what do you know? I'm not great at memorization and have always been about application. I can memorize but I don't like to. But a rollercoaster ride? Not being able to work...? But what's that? You're only giving me 10 credits so I won't be full time? Reduced financial aid? But you don't think I can work...? See, now I've got red flags going off in my mind. A few of the students that talked have jobs, most are parents, one had six children...

    I think I will be okay financially if I don't work but I also wonder, is it worth it? Is it as bad as they say and why is it as bad? They kept talking about critical thinking. I took a class in generalized critical thinking and liked it. I got an A. I took debate and that was all about critical thinking. How is nursing critical thinking different than plain ol' critical thinking? How is nursing school different than anything else you have to work hard at? I remember when I was pregnant, I was 17 years old and scared as heck about "the ring of fire" that they talked about in the birthing book the hospital gave me. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was anxious about giving birth but when the time came to give birth, I actually had an easy birth. It wasn't that bad at all. I was lucky. My point is, is all this hoopala kind of like how they tell you how bad it is to give birth (because a lot of people DO have problems) but it MAY not be as bad for you or if it is bad, maybe it is worth it? If you're in nursing school now, what do you think? Did they make you feel like your life was going to be horrible during nursing school? Is it horrible? Do you wish you chose something different? Did you work? Or if you didn't, how did you pay for school and support yourself?
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  4. 2
    second answer. i mean, the one about it may not be as bad as all that for you. :d sounds like you have an excellent head on your shoulders, with broad education and some life experience. learning to think like a nurse is, in fact, the biggest stumbling block for aspiring nurses, largely because they have no exposure to anything but traditional academic subjects and not too much practice in independently pulling concepts out of their memories and applying them to present assessment data, then making a judgment about priorities. it sounds to me as if you will do pretty well with that.

    i worked sorta hard at my undergraduate program, but not as hard as i ought to have because at the time my personal life came first. i worked harder to learn new things-- bought a lot of books, took coursework and ces -- while i was a staff nurse, because i wanted to learn so much more about my field. i worked reasonably hard in graduate school, seven years later, because it interested the heck out of me, but not as hard as i would have liked because i had a newborn by then. even from my advanced old age (ok, not that advanced...) i can look back and say i'd do it all again in a heartbeat (exception: not the first husband, nope, not that part), because of the nifty opportunities nursing has given me.

    childbirth may, in fact, be the perfect analogy for nursing school. for most people, it sounds scary and really hard, and by george, it wasn't that bad, when it's over you are exhausted and proud, you forget the pain, and think to yourself, "i think i'll even have another one later." and you go to work, and it's different than you imagined, but you still do it.

    hell, if it were all that horrible there wouldn't be over half a million members in an. or that many babies, either.

    welcome to the profession. stay in touch!
    grpman and ericaej like this.
  5. 0
    Thank you for your words of encouragement. They were much needed!
  6. 0
    All normal concerns, I have had them all, and continue to have them now in school! Take one day at a time, one exam at a time. You will get through it. You will be okay!
    PS......I also had a SUPER tough time with every type of math!
  7. 2
    10 hours part time in nursing school doens't equate to 10 hours in most other majors. Get everything in order to give yourself the best oppurtunity to pass.

    Nursing school being hard is relative. Brilliant people need diligence to pass. Diligent people need to study more to pass. We all lack something and nursing school has a way of pointing it out. Just get ready to make adjustments and you should be fine.


    Congratulations.
    maccheese and Band like this.
  8. 0
    I agree. Nursing school is a whole 'nother ball game. I don't know if I would say it's a continuation of college. It's really like going to a totally different school. I agree with teh quoted below. 10 hours nursing school is FULL TIME work. It requires endurance and running this race like its a very long marathon, not a sprint.

    Quote from grpman
    10 hours part time in nursing school doens't equate to 10 hours in most other majors. Get everything in order to give yourself the best oppurtunity to pass.

    Nursing school being hard is relative. Brilliant people need diligence to pass. Diligent people need to study more to pass. We all lack something and nursing school has a way of pointing it out. Just get ready to make adjustments and you should be fine.


    Congratulations.


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