Ya'll have gotten me confused

  1. I am interested in going to nursing school but I do not completely understand the system yet. I have been reading the post here and there and I am not sure what the first step is. What is up with all of these test and having to make a 90 or above and stuff and people dropping out like flies. Ya'll are making me nervous. I am taking my ACT next month and am preparing myself for that right now. What is the next step??
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   TeresaRN2b
    There is so much that varies from one program to another. Some schools are very competitive to get in requiring high GPAs and entrance exams. Other schools have waiting lists and some don't have either. You really need to check with the school (or schools) you are planning to go to before you start worrying yourself.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   llg
    First of all ... Don't get all worried about that stuff you are hearing -- and don't think it will all apply to the program you choose. Each nursing program is different -- with different requirements, procedures, etc. This discussion site includes people from all over the world and from all different types of educational programs. So, what you are reading is a hodge-podge comination of everything out there.

    As you go through the process of selecting a program, interviewing, etc. you will learn more about the particular programs you are considering. For example, some require that you take certain courses as prerequisites (such as anatomy and physiology, psychology, English, etc.) and THEN apply to enter the nursing program. Others accept students right out of high school and then include those courses as part of their program.

    One aspect of most nursing schools generates a lot of anxiety among students is the need for the profession to assure that its members can achieve a near-perfect performance in patient care while under pressure. For example, if a nurse is only giving 80% of her medications correctly, she is probably hurting a lot of his/her patients. Similarly, if a nurse fails to maintain asceptic technique while performing clean/sterile procedures, the patient can suffer serious harm. And nurses must be able to think clearly and perform well under pressure in real-life situations. Therefore, most nursing schools have various skills check-offs and tests built into the curriculum that students must pass with very high scores. Typically, they give the students 2 or 3 tries to pass the test, but there is usually some cut-off point at which the student has to face the "if you can't perform at this level by the end of this time or after the set number of tries," they fail the course.

    Similarly, nursing schools may have stricter rules about attendance and/or handing homework in on time, etc. that other academic disciplines insist upon. Again, this is because, even as students, future nurses are entrusted with the well-being of others. You can't take care of a patient properly if you haven't done the necessary homework. So, that values of always being prepared, fulfilling your committments to hand in your work on time, etc. are more emphasized in nursing programs than most other courses of study.

    Having to live up to these professional standards of performance and behavior is often stressful for students -- particularly for those who may be accustomed to an "80% is good enough" environment often found in other fields, high school, etc. It may also be the first time that student are graded, not just on how well they could recall information, but on how well they used information to make a decision,how well they performed a technical procedure, and/or how they interacted with someone.

    As some of their classmates fail to live up to the high expectations, it becomes even more stressful. They feel compassion for their "fallen" classmates and worry about whether or not they can meet the requirements. And also, there is the ocassional "mean" teacher or set of requirements with which the students disagree.

    This forum is one place where students can vent those anxieties, compare notes with students in other programs, and find emotional support and some practical advice for dealing with the stress of being a student. That's a good thing. ... but someone like you needs to understand that you are sometimes listening in on a "gripe session" that may not refect the reality of the situation that you will face in your your real life experiences.

    You need to learn to put it all in perspective. At the college level, some of your classmates will not pass a given course and move on to the next level. Most students don't have that experience in high school. Your friends may fail a test, get a "D" in a course, etc., but they continue on and pass to the next grade. In nursing school, if you fail certain tests, etc. you don't move on to the next level with a bad grade. You're out: or at least have to repeat the course.

    Good luck with your admission to nursing school. It can be a wonderful profession and you can have a great career and life as a nurse. Just don't expect it to always be easy.

    llg
  5. by   Lausana
    Break it down a bit. If you've already decided where you are going to school go through the acceptance process to the college and move on from there to meet with an advisor who can help you lay out what you'll need as far as courses. Or if you're not sure where you're going to go check out the school's website, most likely you can get a lot of details about the nursing program and what it requires of you to be accepted and while your going through it! (or of course you could meet with someone from the school-I'm just a web lover!)

    Don't be worried :kiss by the time the nursing courses come around you'll be prepared for the layout!

    Best of Luck!
    Last edit by Lausana on Feb 12, '03
  6. by   NurseWeasel
    And remember this site is a place where you'll see a lot of the "best of" or "worst of" comments since we come here to commiserate or celebrate. Much of the daily grind doesn't get mentioned. So while it seems like nursing is a bunch of extremes, it really isn't that bad in the real world.

    Welcome!
  7. by   Mkue
    Good comments from above.

    Good Luck to you !
  8. by   New CCU RN
    Just wanted to wish you luck. Your questions seemed to have already been answered...so I will not repeat
  9. by   essarge
    Very good suggestions listed. I would like to add that, if you have the opportunity, talk to students (past and present) of the programs that you are interested in. This will give you a great overview of the program from a students stand point. Don't forget that the staff's position will always be that their particular program is the best. Make your own decision from other opinions and observations.
  10. by   nursbee04
    For every person flunking out, there are several who are doing just fine, so don't get worried about those posts. I'd make an appointment with an advisor and try to talk to someone currently in the program if possible. I heard all kinds of horrible stories about my nursing school, and 95% of it turned out to be complete bull. And just like the above posts say, every school is different, and most of the comments are extremes, either really bad or really good.

    Good luck!!
  11. by   Hooligan
    Originally posted by NurseWeasel
    And remember this site is a place where you'll see a lot of the "best of" or "worst of" comments since we come here to commiserate or celebrate. Much of the daily grind doesn't get mentioned. So while it seems like nursing is a bunch of extremes, it really isn't that bad in the real world.

    Welcome!
    Ditto! I agree completely!

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