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

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... Read More

  1. Visit  gkash profile page
    0
    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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  3. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    2
    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.
  4. Visit  soxgirl2008 profile page
    0
    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.
  5. Visit  Enthused RN profile page
    1
    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.
  6. Visit  EmpRN profile page
    1
    In our 5th (out of 7 weeks) week of class after a break during lecture, our instructor stopped to take a minute to commend and applaud all of the students in our class. She said that by this time half the class would have dropped out. Only about 3 out of 40 students had dropped out at that time. She said that was unprecedented in her experience as an instructor at my school. In response to your post, I think many students have extenuating circumstances that force them to drop out. As for those who voluntarily drop out, maybe they worked hard just to get in the program and then come to realize how it is structured so differently from "regular" classes that they see that it is not the best career/ academic choice for them after all. There are other avenues that they may choose to pursue after they got their first taste of nursing school. As for me, I love it. I didn't know the students that dropped out so I don't know their reasons. All of my friends work hard to support each other and study together. Keep up your dedication and remember that your family will benefit from your knowledge! :-)
    angels32 likes this.
  7. Visit  Streamline2010 profile page
    2
    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 had to LOL at your comment (whoop with laughter, actually), GreenTea, because mother-baby-labor-delivery and having to learn all that child development was actually the last nail in the coffin for me. Hard science, pathology, curing disease, pharma, and math: All have great appeal to me. I'm a careerwoman who never felt called to be a mother, never spent any time around children, never even baby-sat kids, just don't have much interest in that anymore, and whenever I see that stuff, I just want to run away. I always strongly felt like such an imposter when I was doing clinicals at that rural and predominantly Catholic hospital, because I felt that everyone expected a female nurse to know everything there is to know about motherhood, children, and I know: Exactly zilch. Zip. Nada. If it wasn't in the textbook, sorry, I don't know, Folks. I wanted to immerse myself in med-surg, OR, and psych, and that school's program was all front-heavy with mother-baby. One of the inner conflicts that I had is that, as a female nurse, patients would always be judging me against that "mother hen" yardstick, and I am a scientist and technologist who cares, but definitely approaches the care analytically. I was pretty certain that the clients of that particular hospital were wanting a mother hen type, though. It always made me uncomfortable.
    GrnTea and tippytootagon like this.
  8. Visit  whipwreck82 profile page
    1
    Why do students voluntarily drop out? I'll share my 2 cents on why that is....

    You know, im amazed at how some students will say or claim that they never open the textbook...... that all they do is read powerpoints, and note sheets......I guess that for any student, the thing to note is, this is going to vary from school to school, every program is very different, and every student learns differently. Some programs are "care bare schools, some programs put less of the reading responsibility on the student and more on the teachers, and most others are completely self taught"

    I went to LPN School, and RT School. I choose RT school over RN School because of 2 reasons, first I learned more about the profession working as an LPN, and I know many veteran RN's who regret doing it and when I was working as a PN, I found out why..... and secondly, I hated the culture of nursing schools, the self taught aspect, and the Nursing Model. The Nursing model was a bigger part of it than you would think. Personally, I did much better with the medical model. Nursing truely is an art, and its own subject....its unique from other medical professions on that, your not just remembering whats normal and abnormal, and applying it to your patient and problem solving....what your doing is ultimately managing the patients response to illness and taking into account the entire holistic picture, the psychosocial and all, which is Nursing's most distinguishing feature a.k.a "the Nursing model".
    With nursing, you have to understand the true function of the job, and for some reason...I dont feel Nursing instructors in general do a good job of coveying this concept what so ever.

    LPN School was very frustrating because of the type of NCLEX-PN style questions that have more than 1 right answer, sometimes 2 or 3 right answers and this is where you are constantly using that Nursing Process ...that ADPIE, and your remembering your ABC's and Maslow or Orem, or whatever theroist your school abides by....and of the 2 or 3 right answers, you have to pick the better one. I always criticzed this method of questioning because truthfully, ...you'll never really know if a student was right or not because you'll never know the rationale on why the student arrived there. When I went to RT School, there was only one answer for a majority of the questions, and we were assessed from a totally different prospective,....we had NBRC style questions which are also critical thinking as all health care fields were, but instead we were assesed on treating and managing our patient and its more science based and straight forward. There was only 1 right answer, occasionaly 2 lol ....Personally I found the medical model much easier, and RT in general, mainly because I was better in the physical sciences, and RT is much more science orientated. Plus with Nursing, you have to know so much more such as, charting and documentation, and the psychosocial and family issues.

    Lastly, Survival of Nursing school is not the last step......after you graduate, you have to survive the profession....and thats why I choose not to go get my RN . If you wonder why some instructors and Nurses are so mean, and tough sometime, its for a reason...believe me I know. But I also feel like some things are just not necessary.

    What is the point of testing students on things they never learned? What is the point of many instructors providing little or no guidance to students, and trying to run Nursing School like military school....or the Hunger Games? Why do Nursing Schools think its okay to admit a certain number of students and only graduate less than half and make tons of students think they have a chance in your program when they really dont because of work and life issues? With my school in particular....we never got rationales for questions, or any kind of a 1 on 1 sit down with our instructor to find out what went wrong on exams like some schools do.....and why is that necessary?

    The LPN program I was in, let me tell you something....I never imagined in a million years that it was gonna be that hard, and not just the program, but the career it self and if I would have known what I know now, I never would have done it....I would have went to school for something else.....Truthfully for many students, there is no way anyone can anticipate anything to be like that, despite all the research one does. Personally, Nursing Ed. needs to change, but I guess because many instructors who make it through themselves, I guess they feel nothing needs to change.
    WorkingStudent2011 likes this.
  9. Visit  AZQuik profile page
    1
    Quote from whipwreck82
    Why do students voluntarily drop out? I'll share my 2 cents on why that is....

    You know, im amazed at how some students will say or claim that they never open the textbook...... that all they do is read powerpoints, and note sheets......I guess that for any student, the thing to note is, this is going to vary from school to school, every program is very different, and every student learns differently. Some programs are "care bare schools, some programs put less of the reading responsibility on the student and more on the teachers, and most others are completely self taught"

    I went to LPN School, and RT School. I choose RT school over RN School because of 2 reasons, first I learned more about the profession working as an LPN, and I know many veteran RN's who regret doing it and when I was working as a PN, I found out why..... and secondly, I hated the culture of nursing schools, the self taught aspect, and the Nursing Model. The Nursing model was a bigger part of it than you would think. Personally, I did much better with the medical model. Nursing truely is an art, and its own subject....its unique from other medical professions on that, your not just remembering whats normal and abnormal, and applying it to your patient and problem solving....what your doing is ultimately managing the patients response to illness and taking into account the entire holistic picture, the psychosocial and all, which is Nursing's most distinguishing feature a.k.a "the Nursing model".
    With nursing, you have to understand the true function of the job, and for some reason...I dont feel Nursing instructors in general do a good job of coveying this concept what so ever.

    LPN School was very frustrating because of the type of NCLEX-PN style questions that have more than 1 right answer, sometimes 2 or 3 right answers and this is where you are constantly using that Nursing Process ...that ADPIE, and your remembering your ABC's and Maslow or Orem, or whatever theroist your school abides by....and of the 2 or 3 right answers, you have to pick the better one. I always criticzed this method of questioning because truthfully, ...you'll never really know if a student was right or not because you'll never know the rationale on why the student arrived there. When I went to RT School, there was only one answer for a majority of the questions, and we were assessed from a totally different prospective,....we had NBRC style questions which are also critical thinking as all health care fields were, but instead we were assesed on treating and managing our patient and its more science based and straight forward. There was only 1 right answer, occasionaly 2 lol ....Personally I found the medical model much easier, and RT in general, mainly because I was better in the physical sciences, and RT is much more science orientated. Plus with Nursing, you have to know so much more such as, charting and documentation, and the psychosocial and family issues.

    Lastly, Survival of Nursing school is not the last step......after you graduate, you have to survive the profession....and thats why I choose not to go get my RN . If you wonder why some instructors and Nurses are so mean, and tough sometime, its for a reason...believe me I know. But I also feel like some things are just not necessary.

    What is the point of testing students on things they never learned? What is the point of many instructors providing little or no guidance to students, and trying to run Nursing School like military school....or the Hunger Games? Why do Nursing Schools think its okay to admit a certain number of students and only graduate less than half and make tons of students think they have a chance in your program when they really dont because of work and life issues? With my school in particular....we never got rationales for questions, or any kind of a 1 on 1 sit down with our instructor to find out what went wrong on exams like some schools do.....and why is that necessary?

    The LPN program I was in, let me tell you something....I never imagined in a million years that it was gonna be that hard, and not just the program, but the career it self and if I would have known what I know now, I never would have done it....I would have went to school for something else.....Truthfully for many students, there is no way anyone can anticipate anything to be like that, despite all the research one does. Personally, Nursing Ed. needs to change, but I guess because many instructors who make it through themselves, I guess they feel nothing needs to change.
    I'm 8 weeks into an ABSN program. I agree 100% the education needs to change. You can make it extremely difficult without playing favorites or trying to trick students.

    We started with 32 and still have 32. I know a few will drop and a few will fail soon.

    The droppers either have outside the classroom events bogging them down or were totally unprepared for how difficult nursing school can be for some people.
    WorkingStudent2011 likes this.
  10. Visit  ProfRN4 profile page
    1
    I'm probably reiterating what many have already said here, but here goes:

    -Some people find that nursing is not all they imagined it to be.

    -Some people are drawn to nursing school for the wrong reasons:
    -salary, (which makes me laugh)
    -family history- either they want to do it because mom/dad/sister/aunt did it. OR, it
    is suggested to them, because they have no
    other desires/options, and nursing sounds like a good, stable career.

    - they don't want to go through the time/expense/rigor of medical school, so this is
    a close 2nd
    - benefits, flexibility in schedules.

    I firmly believe the one I highlighted is a big one (regardless of there being a family member in the business). I also believe the ones who voluntarily drop out feel that maybe it's not worth it (the struggle of school). I give a ton of credit to the ones who do willingly drop out. They are not fooling themselves, or anyone else. The ones who do stay in, that do not have the passion, or are unwilling to give it the commitment, or just the ability to succeed, are often the ones who end up failing.

    While it is only my 2cents, it does come from some experience.

    As for the OP, it sounds to me that you are just looking for some reassurance. Or maybe for someone to share a similar story, like maybe their friends/family were not supportive of their choice to enter nursing school, which is why they dropped out. Sound at all right?
    angels32 likes this.
  11. Visit  WorkingStudent2011 profile page
    1
    Late reply but I totally agree that nursing education needs to change. The amount of reading, assignments and skills that need to be mastered within the allotted time frame is excessive. I have no doubt that many talented, (academically honest) nursing students are denied the opportunity to become great nurses because of the crazy curricula.

    They talk (and test) a lot on critical thinking, but do they teach it? Do they spend time analyzing case studies or waste it teaching theory straight from the textbook that we can learn ourselves?

    Geniuses do not necessarily make good nurses and that seems to be the only kind of students they want. Furthermore, there is cheating and unhealthy competition. There are too many unscrupulous people pursuing nursing like vultures only for the money. It's a shame...
    NuGuyNurse2b likes this.
  12. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    2
    The OP has not posted in 16 months.

    One can only wonder if things went well for her....
    LadyFree28 and BusyBSN2B like this.
  13. Visit  ®Nurse profile page
    3
    My husband was two quarters away from graduating with his RN. He has a previous bachelors in another area, and was in an ADN program at a college that also has a BSN program.

    He got permission to leave clinicals early one week after getting urgent news of a newly diagnosed terminally ill close family member who wound up passing ON the day of his clinicals the following week. The week following that was the end of the quarter.

    We all pretty much know what happens when you miss two clinicals right before the quarter ends.

    He met with his instructors and advisors, who let him withdrawal from the program in good standing. He is welcome to return and finish if he so desires.

    That was about five years ago.

    He absolutely has NO intention upon returning. He has zero, zilch, nada desire to become a nurse. The whole scenario surrounding death and dying was just a little too much for my husband, and it still a little too much close to home as far as he is concerned.

    People drop out of nursing school for probably as many different reasons as people sign up for nursing school.
    angels32, caliotter3, and GrnTea like this.


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