I am in my senior year of a bachelor's program in nursing (supposed to take you four years to complete this program). However, there are associate degree programs which I believe take approximately 2-3 years to complete. There are 3 girls in my nursing class who started college directly out of high school and will graduate with me in May- it can be done! Yes, I will be honest, it's a tough program. This past semester it seems that the instructors were out to test my endurance, but I've succeeded in finishing the semester and doing it quite well.
It is generally fairly competitive to get into the nursing program. You can strengthen your chances by doing well in your pre-requisite classes. I know at my school they look primarily at who is finished with their pre-requisites and then look at GPA's. I got in on the first try (and that's with raising a son, being married, working fulltime, etc) so it can definitely be done [img]/bb/smile.gif[/img] As far as failing goes, the only experience I know of in my school like that was when a student last year failed clinicals. He was forced to wait until the following year to re-apply to the program. He got in again and is doing quite well.
I would suggest getting in touch with a counselor at a local college to see what classes they offer in January (assuming you want to start then). You will need to take some general requirements first, regardless of the degree you choose, such as English and Math. The nursing program is pretty tough, but it is attainable, and I think that like the saying goes "whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right" is very applicable here. Please be sure to follow up and let us know how everything is going. I am sure you will do great!!!
"The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin