Quitting Nursing School

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    So I am in my second semester junior year in my BSN program. This is my second degree, so I spent a year taking a few prerequisites part-time before getting accepted into this program. It's one of the top ranked programs in the nation and part of me feels terrible that I took a spot that some other person would have loved to have had. My first semester was challenging and terrifying but I wound up with a 3.5 and did pretty well. I got a student nursing position over the summer and it completely rocked my confidence. I didn't feel ready for 8 patients of my own after only having 4 clinical days my first semester. I wound up leaving the job about a month in because I was so unhappy. I went back this semester and my Adult Health Med/Surg class and clinical just has me wrecked. I have never hated my life so much. I have yet to find one redeeming thing about nursing. I'm waiting for that moment of awakening where I say this is why I did this. It has not come. I have no desire to study, I feel defeated. Most of all I don't feel like this is me. College my first time around was a challenge and annoying, but I never hated it to this level. I am crying every night (and I am not a person who cries...ever!). My heart rate is out of this world, I have an ulcer, and I can't function. I know I am depressed. I am just a wreck. The weirdest thing of all is that all this time I never really saw myself in the future being a nurse. I thought it would be nice, but as I planned my life in my head, I never saw myself being a nurse. I went into this hoping to make good enough money, help my family and have the skills to be able to care for my parents in home when they age. I didn't do it because I love nursing. I love animals and the outdoors. My goal is to move to North Carolina in May of 2014 with my sister at a brewery that is opening there. I have my CNA and now I am thinking of quitting school and working full time as a home care CNA. Make money instead of pour it all into school doing something I'm not even sure I will actually do in life and if I do I may hate it. I had a decent amount of aid through this semester, so I haven't broken the bank paying for school so far and don't have any debt. However, my grants end this semester so I will have to pay a lot more for my last two semesters (especially since I plan to move and cannot take advantage of the preceptorship programs since I have to committ time to the local hospital after graduation). I feel quitting is right for me, but I also have doubts. Have I wasted my time? So many people have supported me in this and I hate to let them down. Will I be able to support myself doing something else? I havenever quit anything in my life, but I've also never been so unhappy. Any advice?

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  2. 37 Comments...

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    I don't think I can tell you which move to make, but I can understand how hard it is. By the end of second semester I was having SOB and tachycardia, and many tears were shed. I am in the third semester and I can tell you I feel so much better this semester than second. Second semester was killer. Look at the big picture and do what you feel is best for you. I wish you the best.
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    I think many people are depressed, worried, nervous, and so on when they are in school. My mom is a nurse, and I am in my 1st semester of nursing school. When she started out, she had two kids to raise on her own and didnt have any other options but to go to nursing school, she did it out of necessity. After 16 yrs on the job, she says that she would never change it for the world. As I progress through my BSN program, I honestly can say that I dont know that nursing is right for me, but I know there is a reason I am here. I have a daughter, and I know that I not only need to do this for me, but for her too. After graduation there is no promise that I will love nursing, but I know that I have busted my butt thus far to get here, and Im not about to give up now. You never know, even though you are having mixed emotions now, maybe it will be all worth it in the end.

    Good Luck
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    There is also a world of different places to work at OP. If you are able to get through the program you can do something like school nursing or camp nursing which is not hospital bound. I could never have been a CNA...I wanted to quit after my first day of clinicals. I thought, omg I can't do this. There are so many different areas to work, and hey you can change your area all the time if you get tired or bored. I would feel that you are so close after all this preparation that you should finish. That way in the future if you need it you are able to work as a nurse. Have you shadowed at all? In many different areas? you might find something to spark your interest. I would hate for you to throw away all this schooling and then in the future wish you would have finished and then have to go thru the entire program again.

    Obviously it is your decision, I just want you to be at peace with it and not kicking yourself later down the road. Very good luck to you. Do you have outlets for your school stress and unhappiness? yoga, meditation, etc etc? I have a friend who was so stressed her doc put her on meds during school! Not that I am saying that's what you need, just making a point. School is torturous, and very different from the real working world.
    SageFemmeReveur likes this.
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    If you hate nursing, and I mean REALLY hate nursing, I think it best to change your plans.

    BUT.....If there's any chance that it's just because of situations, I would really try to think this through. You already have a degree and hated college through all of that. Do you think it could just be college you hate? You've spent so much time on this that I would hate to see you waste it, but why waste more time if it's not the right career for you? I just don't understand why you went back to school if you plan to work at a brewery with your sister? Is it possible that you are just searching for what's right for you (2 different degrees, brewery) and haven't matured into what you want yet?
    PinkCupcake likes this.
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    I would quit if I were you. No education is worth an ulcer and depression. IA with you; nursing/nursing school is not all it's cracked up to be. There's very little reward value for all that you end up giving of yourself. I wish you luck in whatever you do next.
    calivianya and Szasz_is_Right like this.
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    Regardless of your decision, learn from this experience that you are going through now and there shall have been no "wasted time.

    Know thy self, be true to your own intentions, and you will succeed.

    Good luck to you
  9. 2
    You sound depressed and overwhelmed. Mayhap in a few years you'll see it differently; nursing opens many, many doors that are completely invisible to the nursing student, and so you don't know what you could be doing that you might really love. Maybe you'll be better at delayed gratification later, more able to put up with school by keeping your eye on the prize. Lots of choices here.

    See your health department counselor for a little help with that depression, and then if (and only if) you have truly decided to quit, then go help your sister open the brewery.

    Good luck to you.
    nursel56 and PinkCupcake like this.
  10. 1
    welll if you reallydont see yourself as a nurse i dont think you should do it what gets me through school is being excited about being a nurse in 2 years, i dont think i could get through school any other way. PERIOD. its hard but if its not somehting you want to do dont do it, this is going to be something oyur doing 4-5 days a week 8 and 12 hour shifts you dont want to be miserable going to work for the rest of your life , do soemthing you want
    good luck hope i helped!
    motay68 likes this.
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    Hargrove86: I won't profess to know what you're going through, but, wow, your post fits my situation eight years ago to a T! Second degree, best BSN nursing school in the state, 4.0 GPA my first semester of nursing school, total emotional support from everyone, great relationship with teachers and administrators, tutored my classmates -- then BAM! Second semester came around with clinicals and I just could not do it. It was like I was playing the role of a nursing student, doing and saying all the right things, but feeling completely empty inside. I felt panic and dread, and wanted off the stage. It was a terrible feeling, but I realized that being a nurse was just not going to be a good fit. I dropped out, and felt such bone deep relief walking out the door for the last time that I laughed and cried all the way home. I held -- and hold -- the utmost love and respect for nursing as a profession and everyone in it, but I realized it just wasn't for me. That you CAN do something doesn't necessarily mean that should SHOULD. It was an expensive, eye-opening lesson.

    Be true to yourself. Always. This intense anxiety and dread you are feeling may very well be your way of telling yourself that something is wrong, that you're on the wrong path. Listen to it. You will find another path, one that will fill you with hope, not dread. There is no shame in realizing that what you're doing is not a good fit for you. The bigger tragedy would be to continue forcing yourself to complete something that is not what you want to be doing.
    wolfwing and token787 like this.

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