Feeling like I'm in a rut with school and I really need some advice...
- 0Nov 11, '13 by JBrown8592I am currently enrolled in a Community College and getting my Gen. Eds knocked out. When I originally started college, I thought I was going to end up doing several different things and I have constantly changed what I wanna do for the rest of my life. I've thought about nursing for some time now even when I was bouncing back and forth between careers and I've decided to give it a second look.
I feel I have all of the characteristics it takes to be a nurse (caring, compassionate, desire to help others, etc.) but academics is where I REALLY struggle. I've never been an "A" student, no matter how hard I try and honestly, I'm okay with that (don't get me wrong, I'd love to have all "A"’s but I just don't think it’s feasible). I can accept that I will never be an "A" student with the 4.0 GPA BUT this does NOT mean under ANY circumstances that I am okay with failing or getting a "D". It makes me really nervous though when I see the other students in my Physiology class flipping out about getting a "B" on their test and feeling like they won't even pass the class with anything higher than a "B". Then I begin to think, "Is that the mindset I should be having? SHOULD I be getting all worked up over having just a “B" or a "C" in a class?" I mean if that's the case, then am I getting in WAY over my head here? I really feel passionate about helping others and Science is an interesting subject to me but it just KILLS me sometimes. Then I think about taking the NCLEX exam and that really freaks me out because I feel like I’m gonna fail it and in the end I’ll be doing this all for nothing.
So I guess what I'm trying to get at here is can I be an RN-BSN without being an "A" student or even a full on never gotten a “C” or a “D” student? I mean I realize it's only going to get harder and I know the GPA requirements are a 3.7 minimum (at least for the school I’m interested in) and I meet those requirements but only by a small margin. However, what I am lacking in academics I am trying to make up for in other areas. I have volunteer hours accumulated and a job that is pertaining to healthcare and the personality traits just come naturally but will me being only an average academic student screw myself over for this entire career path? Anyone who has any advice or constructive criticism (preferably nothing demeaning though) I could really use it right now. Personal stories are great too even for those who don’t have the answers but are in the same boat as me.
- 3Nov 11, '13 by copeRNIf you work hard, study hard and keep believing that you will succeed, it will happen. Simple as that. The biggest thing holding you back right now, is not your "average" acedemic profile, its your confidence. YOU CAN DO THIS. I was an average student. I failed two nursing courses, was let back into the program and got extremely focused and passed all my fourth semester tests, then took the NCLEX and passed it the first time, stopping at 75 questions. If you are unfamiliar with the NCLEX, I will explain. You have to take at least 75 questions, with the max being I think around 250. If you are getting more wrong than right, the computer will keep giving you a new question, until you make enough right to be in the passing percentile. If you are doing fabulous and get to the minimum, 75, then the test will cut off. I believe that people can take just 75 questions and still fail, but that means you had to get almost every question wrong, but like I said study, and you will make it. Just set your focus to the goal, don't worry about all the stuff you feel like you can't do. Try this, everytime I thought comes to your mind of "I can't" come back with a "I can" You can study, you can pass the tests, you can stay positive, you can be a nurse.
- 0Nov 11, '13 by NolliLike you, I changed my mind a lot. This is my third, and final major. My track record of grades wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either. I got a D in history a few Cs in other subjects, but As in my language courses and nursing pre-reqs. I transferred into a BSN program two years ago. I had never really been an A student prior to pre-reqs and I had to work my butt off to do it. Getting the other grades in the past won't hold you back if you can change the pattern, but the grading scales and difficulty are higher than most people are used to. Nursing school is very much a commitment. Sometimes I feel like school ate me. In my class we run the gamut from A students to C is passing. Getting into nursing school is very competitive and while GPA isn't everything, a low GPA doesn't really help your chances. Being average isn't a huge deal, but please make sure this is what you want to do. If you have your heart set on Nursing School I recommend getting all your pre-reqs squared away at a community college as it is cheaper, doesn't have the same commitment of nursing school (you can usually apply the science credits to another degree if you change your mind), and will help you decide if you are up to the challenge/really want to do this.
Additionally I also recommend finding out what helps you retain the information best. For me reading the material and understanding the details then quizzing myself on it and taking practice exams at least 2 days prior to the exam does it for me. Once you figure it out it goes a long way to improving scores.
Edit: CopeRN is right; You CAN do this!
- 0Nov 11, '13 by HeathermaizeyFirst of all it depends how competitive your school is. Mine is extremely competitive and you need excellent grades to get in. They go off of 4 classes and your TEAS score. It is a points system. I was never an A student either when I was younger. I did just enough to get by. Now that I am a little older I realize that yes I can be a 4.0 student and am achieving that. Right now I am focusing on the classes I need A's in to get into the program. If I get a B in another class I don't freak out but am upset with myself because I know I can do better. You need to find out how you learn best. For me, if I can explain the material like I am teaching the class myself then I know I can do the test. I just feel like I am paying lots of money for my education. I don't want to screw it up. So I take my classes more seriously now. Find out what your school requirements are and do the absolute best you can.
- 2Nov 12, '13 by ScientistSalarianQuote from JBrown8592Unfortunately nursing schools don't admit based on caring, compassion, or a desire to help others. A solid academic track record is a fairly reliable indicator of how successful you're capable of being in nursing school and for many programs subpar grades just aren't going to cut it. You need to be aware that as much touchy-feely "caring" curriculum as there is in nursing school, the foundation is still science-based. If you're not going to be able to pull A's and B's in several science classes at once while juggling fluffy theory classes and clinicals then nursing may not be the path for you.I feel I have all of the characteristics it takes to be a nurse (caring, compassionate, desire to help others, etc.) but academics is where I REALLY struggle.
I'm not saying this to discourage you from proceeding. Really. If you're meeting your target school's 3.7 GPA requirement and have volunteer/work experience then you're probably going to be fine. But I would really encourage you to talk to an academic counselor as well as some current nursing students to find out if this is going to be a good academic match for you before you spend a lot of time and money pursuing it.
- 0Nov 12, '13 by HouTx GuideOne of the most important "characteristics" of a successful nurse is intellectual horsepower, especially in life sciences. Nursing - like all clinical professions - requires continuous learning just to remain current with our rapidly evolving industry. A lot of this learning is highly complex. If you have an overpowering yen for a healthcare career but no aptitude for science, you may want to consider psychology or social work.
- 0Nov 12, '13 by J.MoYou're not the only one. I'm in a bit of a rut as well. I was going for IT (Computer Networking) first and now I'm trying to get into nursing.
I'm finding that I'm not really interested in my classes I'm currently taking and I'm doing OK but I love science.
Don't be so hard on yourself. If you meet the requirements to get into the program why not? You may find that you do better than expected.
Best of luck!
- 0Nov 12, '13 by MissCrisI was a lot like you when I was undecided in my career path. I never put much emphasis on the grades I got, and I certainly never studied. I was happy just to pass. Now that I know I want to be a nurse, I'm way more focused on getting A's. I'm the queen of flipping out over even the possibility of a B and the members of my study group make fun of me all the time for it. I realize it's a bit crazy, but I don't care. My program is VERY competitive though. If it wasn't, I might not be as obsessive. There are only ~60 seats up for grabs (by rank, the remaining 25% are chosen by lottery) and I want to snag one. Badly. I do know that nursing school requires a lot of studying and many schools consider anything under an 80% to be failing, so getting in the habit of pushing yourself for the best grades you can get really can't hurt this point. I guess you just have to ask yourself how passionate you really are about being in this field. I agree with the above poster about realizing "Yes, I AM an A student. I can do this." It's pretty amazing what you're capable of when you want something badly enough and have the resolve to get it done. If you decide you want to be an A student, there's no reason you can't be. Good luck in whatever you decide!
- 1Nov 12, '13 by akulahawkRN, ASN, RN, EMT-PI don't claim to be the inventor, but what helps is to read the material about a week before you're lectured on it (if possible), and then take notes on it in class. Afterward, you review the lecture and the reading material before you do a quiz or exam, and make sure you don't end up cramming. If you have homework, be sure to do it. This way, you've seen the material 3-4 times before an exam and you'll have a good chance to pass the exam/quiz without too much trouble.
Another thing you can do is to try to teach the material to someone. Even your dog, cat, or pet fish will do! In my class, I'm seen as a little bit of a leader/dude that knows stuff, so people often come ask me questions. I teach all the time!
- 0Nov 14, '13 by JBrown8592Quote from akulahawkHA! Yeah my physiology teacher suggested this too because she did it all the time in Grad school!! I have been say a lot of the material out loud rather than running it through my head, but I haven't tried teaching (even my cats) someone yet. I think it's because I am not confident in the material, but I need to tell myself that I am!Another thing you can do is to try to teach the material to someone. Even your dog, cat, or pet fish will do!
Thanks for the advice!