kicked out of nursing school!

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    So myself and several other students were kicked out of the LVN program at Grossmont Health Occupations center. It was very surreal. I myself am somewhat relieved. When I went to the orientation I had a bad feeling and felt like it wasn't for me, and almost withdrew from the program. But I didn't want to have wasted the entire year I spent down in Southern California waiting for it to start. A month into it, we finished A&P and I had a 71%. Was called into the directors office and told that I was being let go for not maintaining a 75%. The previous day we found out that the A&P final was not going to count toward our grade, so there was no way to bring it up. That was a big shock, and not written in the syllabus. I didn't even argue with it. I was relieved to be free. I have hated every moment I have spent down in SoCal and the app on my phone said 475 days til graduation, just made me want to cry every time I looked at it. On top of that, working two graveyard jobs, emotional stress from being in a near fatal car accident and hiding my injuries from the school, physical therapy twice a week, lack of motivation, etc. No excuses. Excuses are for losers. But I finally felt a big weight lifted. I got into the program thinking it was going to be a piece of cake, and boy was I wrong. Clinicals was great! I was absolutely amazing with the patients and right at home in the facility we went to, but lacked with pushing papers in the classroom. It's just not for me. I love patient care, and still very much want to be a part of it, but I'm not sure in what capacity anymore. Those of us who got booted, have the opportunity to come back with the next class, but I don't think I want to. If I'm going to put in a ton of effort to hit the books, then I may as well be studying for the GRE and go for my master's. I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology sitting around collecting dust. It may be high time to use it. Will I ever get back into nursing? Who knows.
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    Wow. Sorry to hear that. Yeah maybe nursing may not be it for you. My sister wants to be in the medical field, but not nursing. Nursing isn't the only thing out there I told her. So I think she may do the pharmacy tech. Or in Physical Therapy doing something. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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    thanks so much for the reply! I worked in mental health for 4 years while getting my bachelors in psych and I really wanted to use my nursing license to get into corrections, but there are other ways to do that, so it's just a matter of finding the right path to get to where I want to be.
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    There are always the exceptions, and I often talk about the exceptions of nursing school students who don't do well in classes and on exams but are great in the clinical settings. The problem for many current nursing students and new grads is there simply are not enough positions for the number of graduates. In the past, schools may have bent the rules a bit to encourage or enable students to continue, even if their grades weren't officially passing. There is no longer a reason to do this, and in fact it would be a great disservice to those with marginal or failing grades to stay in their program. First, the NCLEX is an unforgiving test and there is a very high correlation between doing well academically and passing the NCLEX. The worst outcome might be to spend 2 or 4 years in nursing school, and the money, and the loss of income while in school, only to sit for the NCLEX and fail. At that point, a student would (rightly) complain, "They took my tuition, allowed me to waste those years, knowing I had little chance of getting my license." The next problem would be actually finding a job with a transcript full of B's and C's (in most programs a 70% is failing--so you're right on the edge, worse if your school's requirement was a 75%).

    There is a huge difference between early clinical experiences (where you're basically interviewing patients) and the later clinicals like critical care where you need to know everything taught in the classroom. The didactic portion of the program isn't 'paper pushing' it's the cornerstone of the nursing education. One of the problems with nursing is that people who want to be nurses often have little idea of what the job actually entails. I can't count the number of student nurses who long to, 'sit and hold a dying patient's hand'; I know of no employed nurses who have ever had that opportunity--no matter how much they would like to offer such support. While words like 'caring' and 'supportive' are often associated with nurses, it would be more accurate to associate nurses with traits like 'intelligent', 'competent', and 'decisive'.

    It's wonderful to have hopes and dreams, but they should be tempered with the realities of life. Be thankful that you didn't waste the additional 475 days and the cost of tuition on a program that probably wouldn't have led to success. Maybe it just wasn't 'your time' to attend nursing school. It's tough to do this program without burdens of working two jobs, recuperating from an auto accident, and living far from home. Maybe you'd be successful if you were able to devote the time and energy without distraction. Think about ways to get to your goal: maybe a school closer to your home, maybe going part-time... You might be able to do this, but only if you humble yourself and not refer to the important classroom work as 'pushing papers' and thinking that nursing school is a 'piece of cake'.

    Don't give up on your dreams, but don't minimize what nurses do, how hard school is, or how hard it is to get to that dream. Best of luck to you!
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    I apologize if you feel as though I "minimalized" what nurses do, that was not my intent. However, I've been doing patient care for 10 years and when I see a hospital RN sitting in front of a computer charting for 8 hours of a 12 hour shift, or an LVN at a SNF working on careplans all night, yes, that to me is paper pushing. I love patient care, and just wanted to be able to do a little more clinically. I know plenty of what nursing entails and I have that real world experience which I believe should count a little more. I have held the hand of a dying patient as she took her last breaths, and performed the Heimlich maneuver (now known as abdominal thrusts) to a patient who was choking, and administered medications, and changed dressings, and flushed wounds, etcetera. All of that and more, in my own personal opinion means more to me, than the didactic portion of a program. Yes of course, knowing the books is crucial, I will not argue that. I just think that cramming A&P into someone in a month with 3-4 tests a week, and expecting them to absorb and retain it, is unrealistic. A&P normally takes a full semester. It really should have been a prerequisite. The reason why I thought it would be a "piece of cake" is because of all the experience I have and the fact that I am intelligent and competent. I graduated from a University, did well enough of the TEAS V to be 1 of 60 people accepted into the program out of over 500 applicants. Anyway, the what, why's and how's of me no longer attending nursing school are neither here nor there at this point. Forgive me if I come across as defensive. It just seemed as though there was some assumption that nursing is all new to me, or that I had unrealistic expectations or goals. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post. ~J


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