They make me feel like a failure

  1. Hi everyone... This thread is totally non-practical, just to vent and get some moral support...
    The story is this. I am graduating from a very good college (not Ivy, but still very good), with BA in chemistry and minor in biology. I am most likely going to Columbia's BSN/MSN track. I personally am very excited and happy about my choice. Here is the problem, however...
    Most kids in my class are going to med schools, dental schools, law schools, MBA programs, or simply get $5000 a month jobs at top firms right after graduation. And me... well, I am going to NURSING school. Even though it may be an ivy school, still - nursing. Yeah, and don't forget the fact that few people actually know who NPs are. Every day someone in my school asks me - so why don't you go to med school? :angryfire And when I tell them that may be I DON'T WANT TO GO TO MED SCHOOL, they look at me in such a way... One girl, who's teaching a lab in my school and doing a PhD in Chemistry actually said to me - May be you don't want to be challenged...
    Just today I talked to a girl who graduated couple of years ago, we took some classes together - and now she is a dentistry student. When she learned I have a little kid, she said - so that's why you don't go to med school... Again, as an obvious implication - you got yourself tied down, now you have to settle for whatever...
    I would really appreciate some advice on how to handle this kind of questions and statements about me... They really bring my enthusiasm down, and make me think - may be I wasted my time and will not make my best... Eh, ok, I'm getting confused. Any moral support will be much appreciated!
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I realize that it puts you on the defensive time and time again. But please realize that no one can make you feel anything. Don't allow them to change how you feel about yourself.

    You're among friends here. We know what an honorable and difficult undertaking nursing is. Here is where you'll find friends, understanding and support.

    Just smile and answer honestly that you are choosing nursing and you're perfectly content with your decision. If someone is being rude, say something like "did you mean to sound so demeaning and arrogant?" Otherewise choose your battles and be proud of yourself. No one can make you feel like a failure. You might stand alone there and that's o.k. We're with you! Good luck and hang in there.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 6, '07
  4. by   muffie
    you are following your life path

    to heck with the others

    hold that pretty head up high, be proud of your accomplishments AND family and good luck on getting to your goals

    btw, columbia ? i'm impressed !
  5. by   Asherah
    I'm with Tweety on this one...his concise answer pretty much sums up how I feel about your situation. If those around you are questioning your decision and implying that it is a situation you are settling for, it is the perfect time for you to highlight the positive reasons you are choosing nursing. Not only will it educate them about the value of nurses (and NPs), which they clearly don't know enough about, it will also help reinforce the choice you are making to yourself.

    I would totally agree that if they keep harboring this attitude towards your choice that it is time to step up and let them know they are being utterly rude. Good luck, keep your chin up for all of us!

    One more thing...anyone who has the drive to get a BS in Chem with a minor in Bio is NOT a failure. I wish I had that kind of motivation when I was in undergrad
    Last edit by Asherah on Mar 6, '07
  6. by   BerkeleyMom
    .....
    Last edit by BerkeleyMom on Sep 6, '07 : Reason: .....
  7. by   May_baby
    You are not second best.

    You rock (hard).

    You are a trailblazer.


    Write that on your bathroom mirror!
  8. by   cozzy66
    Iriska,

    I agree with the above statements to just ignore them. I also get the same thing from my BF(he's in med school) - he asks me "Why don't you just go to med school? You like competition.." etc etc
    I just take that as a compliment that I'm good enough to become an MD, but I'd prefer to be closer to the patient as an NP. We have a lot of discussions about what MDs and RNs do all day - he says RNs just sit at the nurse's station and I say what do the MDs do? They're never around after their 6am rounds! I guess we'll figure it out when we get into our respective professions
    One other thing that may help you to reaffirm why you want to go into nursing is to find a good nursing blog - there are a few.
    Btw, I'll hopefully be seeing you at Columbia, so good luck in getting everything together before then!
  9. by   BAtoCNM
    Right on, Asherah! Iriska, every time I get the "but why don't you just go to med school" speech, I take it as an excellent opportunity to be an advocate for my chosen field. That way, I educate the many people utterly ignorant of what NPs do and the focus of their training-more public health, more preventive med, etc, etc. Also, the training philosophy is different, and I for one DO NOT want to suffer as a lowly med student and then a lowly resident working 60 hours a week for pennies just to "prove" I have what it takes to put MD after my name. Some people are willing to do that, but I'm not, and that's one big reason I chose to go the NP rather than MD route, and I often explain this as well.
  10. by   Debra ACRN
    I am getting so tired of nurses feeling the need to make excuses for our choices (not any of you dear folks, just in general). I say, I am totally happy there are physicians in this world, we all need a job, but I would feel so claustraphobic in the medical model........problem, fix problem, move on. Nurses are holistic, we come from strong theories of caring where people are seen as individuals and our role is more of deep connection and assistance in coping with change. Our role is different. Maybe it's because I haven't been in a hospital for 20 years and run a nurse run clinic, but good land, we have so much to be proud of........we have such amazing leaders, we are often afforded the priviledge of being with a patient in their most vulnerable time and we rock at finding their dignity. I think we made a wonderful choice to be nurses. I would want nothing less.
  11. by   hunnybaby24
    Well, I think it really comes down to what you want to do with your life. If you want to go into this career and have a burning passion to take care of patients, who cares what your classmates say?

    You know in your heart what you need to do and no one else does. Maybe a little soul searching would help?

    And, also with any career, there are always going to be pros and cons in it....No matter what you choose. Someone could say for doctors, for instance, "Oh you want to be a doctor? Well you are never are going to have time for your kids/wife/social life" and the like.
  12. by   jjjoy
    How much have you researched what nursing school and nursing entails? Practicing nursing IS different than practicing medicine, but you say you want to be an NP - whose role IS more similar to that of a physician. Have you considered physician assistant school? The PA program is more direct to that role whereas for NP, you have to get your RN first and most NP programs require working on a hospital unit. NP training tends to build on experience as an RN. Just some food for thought. It's next to impossible to really know what any job is until you are actually doing it and we all just have to make a leap sometimes.

    However, your sensitivity to the negative comments of your classmates might be telling you to get more information for YOURSELF in regard to your choices.

    And keep in mind the advice we give others is often advice we'd give ourselves if we could go back in time. I chose nursing school after majoring in biology. If one didn't go to med school, the job market was vague, whereas with a nursing degree, it seemed I'd have clear skills and clear job opportunities. I didn't want to invest 6 years in medical school and residency to discover I didn't like patient care, and nursing would give me exposure to the realities of medical care without such an investment, while also giving me marketable skills.

    Well, nursing school and nursing did teach me that I didn't want to be a doctor. I'm glad I didn't follow the entrenched path of my college classmates to automatically apply to med school. However, I also learned that I didn't really want to be a nurse, either! I enjoy research more. I enjoy working with information more. I enjoy my current desk job just fine. But there's really no way I could've known that about myself back when I had to make the decisions! Life is truly an adventure!

    Good luck with whatever path you follow!
  13. by   BerkeleyMom
    Quote from jjjoy
    How much have you researched what nursing school and nursing entails? Practicing nursing IS different than practicing medicine, but you say you want to be an NP - whose role IS more similar to that of a physician. Have you considered physician assistant school? The PA program is more direct to that role whereas for NP, you have to get your RN first and most NP programs require working on a hospital unit. NP training tends to build on experience as an RN. Just some food for thought. It's next to impossible to really know what any job is until you are actually doing it and we all just have to make a leap sometimes.

    However, your sensitivity to the negative comments of your classmates might be telling you to get more information for YOURSELF in regard to your choices.

    And keep in mind the advice we give others is often advice we'd give ourselves if we could go back in time. I chose nursing school after majoring in biology. If one didn't go to med school, the job market was vague, whereas with a nursing degree, it seemed I'd have clear skills and clear job opportunities. I didn't want to invest 6 years in medical school and residency to discover I didn't like patient care, and nursing would give me exposure to the realities of medical care without such an investment, while also giving me marketable skills.

    Well, nursing school and nursing did teach me that I didn't want to be a doctor. I'm glad I didn't follow the entrenched path of my college classmates to automatically apply to med school. However, I also learned that I didn't really want to be a nurse, either! I enjoy research more. I enjoy working with information more. I enjoy my current desk job just fine. But there's really no way I could've known that about myself back when I had to make the decisions! Life is truly an adventure!

    Good luck with whatever path you follow!
    Sorry if this is off topic and you want to boot me out, but the poster is referring to a direct entry program so may want to know about this as well. If you prefer, I can start the thread somewhere else.

    jjjoy and others who might know--

    I recently heard from a director of an NP program that direct entry students have an easier time tranisitioning into the role of an NP and that research supports this. She mentioned that RNs that become NPs later on are not used to making independent decisions/working autonomously, and therefore it is a more difficult change. Do you know where the data is that supports this?

    Just currious to know more about this, thanks.
  14. by   jjjoy
    I've heard that even direct-entry NP programs require their students to work as an RN during their school. That is, they can sit for the NCLEX after so many terms and then are required to take a part-time RN position while they work on the graduate portion of their degree. But maybe not all programs are like that.

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