Why do students voluntarily drop out of nursing school? - page 3

by pink0605 13,563 Views | 36 Comments

Okay so I have been very curious about this lately mostly because I am starting an accelerated BSN program in January. I know it will be HARD and it will be even harder for me because I have 4 kids BUT I CAN and WILL do this. I... Read More


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    Quote from pink0605
    I think it also depends on the school and instructors as well. I am going to a school that has a 100% NCLEX pass rate on the first attempt and also has retained all 35 accepted students each class for the accelerated program. Maybe I am wrong but I will not know fully how it is until I am in the thick of it, no one would. However, I do believe everyone's experience is different. I may have just as hard of a time but maybe not.

    I guess I half expected to get some words of encouragement from some of you on here but I guess I should not have. Most of you are in the middle of your programs, stressed, and busy. I just am very excited about having the opportunity to do this after all the hard work I have put in and really needed some positive words from family and friends- that is all. Maybe I am on a high right now but I believe that I have the right to be happy and excited. I really wish the best to all of you, I hope that you all finish your programs and do very well!
    I went to a paramedic program that had a 100% pass rate. Wanna know how my instructor maintained that? She didn't sign the final paperwork that allowed you to take your boards until she knew you were ready for it. Don't get me wrong, it was an outstanding program, but she worked hard to keep that 100%.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    GrnTea likes this.
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    You asked why people dropped and for the most part we answered. By the nature of the action you're inquiring about of course the answers are going to be down and dirty. Someone feeling the need or having to abandon their dream isn't going to be a fun and chipper topic. Forgive me but what are we supposed to say? People dropped out because of kittens?

    I haven't been on this website long but when you need a cheerleader there are plenty(I've already had to make a post for a spirit boost!) but I'm still not sure what you expected here.
    llg and nekozuki like this.
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    6. Remember the ratio: You are 100% responsible for your own education, and the school's responsibility is 0%. Don't rely on name or reputation to have any kind of impact on the work you have to do.
    ^^ Take note of that. Some people just get fed up and leave, because compared to the business and professional world, there are aspects of the nursing schools (and the workplace, too) that are downright disrespectful, abusive, screwy, and dysfunctional. You don't see that part until after you are in nursing school. Like "You are 100% responsible, and this schools is 0%." How arrogant is that, anyway! I don't know of any other training except the medical medical field where the schools are allowed to get away with not doing the job that they are getting paid to do. Then, when the students fail, the nursing schools brush it off as "They were not meant to be nurses," or "They didn't take personal responsibility" or "they didn't want it badly enough," not "Wow, we really did a poor job of teaching, to have lost that many students."

    The medical professions deliberately try to hold down the number of new entrants to the professions, because they want to protect jobs and salaries and prestige by creating scarcity. They also have a vested interest in not graduating more students than can be absorbed into the job market. Schools want to be able to say something like "70% of our grads had jobs lined up as of graduation, and 95% of them were employed within 6 months of graduating," not "We graduated a class of 65 and only 30 of them are employed now." They can reduce the ranks by flunking more and /or by dismissing others for "conducts" (misconducts, or ineptitude or mistakes on clinicals, or just about any behavior that they don't like and/or can trump up. Nursing school can be very unfair or covertly hostile or prejudiced and can get away with it, because it's an environment that doesn't tolerate personality conflicts well. It's also a women's world, and women tend to place a lot of importance on whether or not they like or dislike someone.

    As for the cr*p that nurses have to put up with on the job: They don't "have to" put up with anything. The problem is that nurses do put up with poor treatment, and they comply when management says "You have to put up with this poor treatment."
    Last edit by Streamline2010 on Oct 5, '12
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    We have lost 1. Why? He dropped out because, magically, after 5 weeks of school, he realized that he's old (his words, not mine), and the AN, BSN bridge idea didn't fit his timeline. So, he's going to attempt an accelerated BSN instead. I wish him luck, but since he isn't in the accelerated program yet, it'll probably take the same amount of time as it will take me.

    And, to the poster that said it's not possible to get a first time 100% NCLEX pass, my school did last year. We are assuming it will happen again this year, with the high caliber students the year ahead of me. The school strives in all areas to make us successful in this endeavor.
    Kandy83 likes this.
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    Quote from pink0605
    Okay so I have been very curious about this lately mostly because I am starting an accelerated BSN program in January. I know it will be HARD and it will be even harder for me because I have 4 kids BUT I CAN and WILL do this. I am a bit disappointed in most of my friends/family for their reactions to this decision I have made. Most say "I cannot believe you are going to do that...it is going to be too hard" or "what about your kids? you have been at home with them for so long, what about how they will feel?" and finally.."so many people drop out of nursing school and they are doing a traditional program...your taking on an accelerated...are you nuts?! It is going to be too much"

    So I have been thinking about why students drop out.
    The stress? okay yeah that makes sense that there is stress but you go into it knowing that it will be stressful...why waste so much time and energy just to drop out because of stress? I have 4 kids and have been going to school I know what stress is and I know how to deal with it and be constructive.
    The classes/schedule? Well again, you go into it knowing what schedule you are going to have for the most part..most school's let you know how many hours you will spend in class and clinical's per week and then you can (or should be able to) determine how much time you need to dedicate to studying per week and fit it in, period.

    I guess the only thing I could figure out (and I hope I am not offending anyone) but it is because nursing was never a true passion for those that drop out. OR they have a tragedy/extenuating circumstances that are out of their control.
    I certainly know I will not drop out because of the passion part...I know what it is like to be passionate about something, and when you are you will stop at almost nothing to pursue the goal/thing you are passionate about. I know for me my life revolves around caring for others and making a positive impact in other's lives that it consumes me daily...with my kids, service projects, and church related activities that enrich the lives of others. So I guess I don't get why my family/friends would think to themselves that I am crazy...I know I can do it and I guess that is all I need. I know there will be sacrifices ..some that are not going to be easy for anyone involved but I am doing this for my family and myself (it is who I am). My husband is such a good support system for me (well the only one thus far). I think that they all are just concerned and I get it but please save the negativity for someone else because I don't need it in my life, thank you. I would love it if they would congratulate me and be happy for me but no such thing has happened. Oh well- I guess the proof will be in the deed so to speak- I think that is how you say it, lol ;-) Thanks for listening to my rant ladies & gentlemen.
    Far better to withdraw with grace and in good standing from a nursing program than wait for the "axe to fall", that is failing one or more classes, being put on warning and or dismissed.

    If one withdraws some programs will allow one to return and or others will allow you to transfer/start again even if it means coming in as a new student. However it is nearly universal that once a nursing student has been removed for cause from a program he or she will find it difficult to impossible in many areas of the country to be taken on by another.

    Let's say you're going through some personal problems and or just aren't cutting the GPA required for your program, and you fail one required class. If the program allows up to two repeats you are now in a bind as everything is on *you*. If you cannot get your act together and or the aforementioned drama in your life cannot be sorted, it might be best to take a break until ready.
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    I know someone who was getting As in nursing school and dropped out...
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    Hi pink 0605,I totally get what you were trying to say. I was just talking to my husband about this. Originally, my family and I were going to have to relocate (4hrs away) because of my husbands job. So I applied to a BSN program in the area. Well, my husbands job fell through, however, I was accepted into the program. We had to make a decision at that time. Even though I have never been away from my 5 children (not even daycare-I waited tables at night to be with them during the day) the best thing for our family would be for me to live there during the week, and commute home on the weekends. Also, my children would not have to be uprooted from their home and school. I would start feb 2013 and the term ends in May. I would have summers home with my family, have spring breaks/holiday weeks off, and there is a 7 week break from dec-feb. I will graduate in dec 2014. The reason why I am explaining all this is because with all that I am sacrificing I would never DREAM of voluntarily dropping out (of course I am not naive to extenuating circumstances). Not to mention the debt that accrues.I know it will be extremely challenging, and I do believe that being up there during the week will help me focus all my energy into school. So, once again, I do understand what you were trying to say as I thought the same thing. Good luck to you and your family on this crazy, amazing journey you are about to start!
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    When I taught in an ASN program we routinely admitted about 25% more students than we needed because we knew in about three weeks our offices were going to be full of weeping students who were voluntarily leaving the program without flunking first. They all said something like, "I always wanted to be a nurse like my mom/auntie/cousin/Cherry Ames," and had no idea what they would do c their lives after they dropped that dream.

    The major reasons were they didn't know how hard it was going to be, they thought it was all fluffing pillows and "following doctor's orders," they didn't realize nursing has rigorous demands for autonomy and critical thinking, they just found out they couldn't bear the thought of touching a naked body (especially the elderly), because they discovered that they couldn't handle seeing/smelling feces/urine/vomitus, they didn't realize how much hard science and math nurses needed to learn, or they were going to have to do adult health as well as "mother-baby" in school.

    I think that may answer your original question, because I don't see anything like it in this thread so far.
    gkash and jamieekins like this.
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    Some people just decide it isn't for them. Some people don't have realistic expectations of what nursing is all about. I've heard of people dropping out because they didn't think they'd have to do any "dirty" work in nursing. Some people seriously go into nursing thinking its just how it is on tv. Some people have their heart set on just ONE speciality, and don't like the reality that they might not get to work in that speciality. Some people decide they want to do something else. There's all different reasons.

    However, most people I know who have dropped out of nursing school were forced out because of grades. Around here passing is an 80% and they don't care if you have a 79.999 they won't pass you. Not everyone can quit work and focus solely on school, and for a lot of people (not all) it's very tough to find the balance between school and work.
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    OP - I think I understand where you are coming from. You worked for years to get into a program and now that it happened for you, you question why anyone would want to give that up. You think that way because it means so much to you. If it means this much to you, it must mean a lot to other students so how can they just give it up?

    Like other posts have said, they usually do not do it voluntarily. In my cohort, we have only lost a handful of students which is surprising given how rigorous the program is. I am also in an ABSN program, it takes 22 months. For some of the students, I am not entirely sure what their GPA was but I know they also had extenuating family circumstances such as a deployed spouse, long commuting time from their family's house, etc.

    A word of note - sometimes AN posts are not all pink and rosy. I think you were sincerely looking for reasons on why students voluntarily leave their nursing programs, but sometimes people will read more into your posts especially when you include information about yourself. When that happens, you get harsh posts and criticisms sometimes mixed in with the answers you were looking for. As you will find in nursing school, you will need to develop thick skin and take everything with a grain of salt.

    Enjoy the precious time you have with your family now and good luck with nursing school! It will get crazy.
    gkash likes this.


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