Got rejected from several nursing programs. What are your coping mechanisms?

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    Has anyone gotten rejected from a nursing program? What did you tell yourself in order to stay motivated?

    I've already gotten two rejection letters. At first, I took it in stride. But sometimes I find myself questioning if this is worth it. I left behind a promising career as a journalist in order to pursue a path that is more meaningful. I returned to community college sitting next to a bunch of fresh high-school graduates, just so I could fulfill my pre-reqs. I went from making a decent salary to a $9/hour job as a nurse's aide just so I could get some healthcare experience. And now these rejection letters feel like I got stood up on a date after I got all dolled up! Haha.

    Has anybody else been in the same situation as I am? If so, what were your coping mechanisms? What tips can you provide in order to keep striving?

    For those who got accepted the first time please allow this post to be answered by people who are sharing the same experience
    Retired APRN, mpreavis, Pb&j711773, and 1 other like this.
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

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    I definitely understand how you feel. I have gotten 3 rejection letters. Never give up. My heart is in the nursing field and I walked away from my job after 16 years. I surely will not give up. I feel very positive that I will get in this Fall. I continue to pray and know that God has a place and time for me, so I wait. I wish you all the best and continue to press forward. I was once told this....if you throw everything up against a wall, eventually something will stick!
    Texas02, mpreavis, LWitcher, and 4 others like this.
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    Hi, I am in your boat. I got placed on the alternate list for the ABSN program I applied to. I keep having to tell myself that "Not Accepted" does not mean that I'm not acceptable. I have sacrificed so much to pursue this and I hold onto the knowledge that God's timing is perfect. I am applying to a regular two year BSN program and will see how that turns out. Keep strong and think that in 5 years you will look back on this and have worried for nothing.
    CNAinSD619, Pb&j711773, raychelcho, and 3 others like this.
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    Please dont give up on your dream... I got rejected to ADN program once but i didnt give up.. Then, I applied for BSN program and got accepted. Just keep pursuing your dream and try hard double the amount that you did. I understand how you feel but keep trying your dream of becoming a nurse will come true as long as you dont give up.
    Faiva_3 and Pb&j711773 like this.
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    I got a total of 3 rejection letters, had one program disband AFTER we applied, one wait list that became a no, and got in on try #6 to a grad entry masters program. Here's a bit more on each attempt, all with a 3.2 undergrad GPA, BS in athletic training and a minor in healthcare management. All told, it was just shy of 3 full years from the redoing of my first pre-req to my acceptance letter.

    Try #1: A's in all pre-reqs but micro (b+) and possibly a B in stat if they required it. Program takes 200 out of 1500+ applicants.

    Try #2: Same school as attempt #1, but with all pre-reqs at an A and still rejected. Got bummed and began to look elsewhere because they added chemistry to their pre-reqs and I would have to repeat inorganic and take ochem for the first time.

    Try #3: Hopkins. For the hell of it since I had all A's for pre-reqs and was very familiar with their medical system after doing my undergrad in Baltimore. Yeah.... At least I didn't have to worry about paying almost $80k for school.

    Try #4: ADN program that required the TEAS at $200something that kept us hanging on the decision only to tell us that they ended the program and were becoming a feeder program to the school mentioned for tries 1 & 2. And they did not refund our money or TEAS fees. Said that there wasn't a demand for non-BSN nurses. (Makes sense when they became a feeder to the school that's associated with a Magnet hospital)

    Try #5: ABSN that needed pathophys, so I took it and aced it. Ended up on the waiting list and never got called to join the program. Not too heartbroken because we moved clear across the country and I didn't have to figure out how to afford two apartments (hubbs would have stayed where we are now).

    Try #6: Settled in the state where the hubbs is originally from, found out I immediately qualify as an in-state student because he never changed his residency while on active duty. Went back to school for a few final pre-reqs (chemistries, sociology, psychology, and a comparative religion course - As in sociology and psych, B+ and C+ in chems) so I could apply to all of the local programs and got into the first one I applied to which was the masters program.

    I think going back and excelling the second time around helped me become a stronger applicant. I can't say if I was helped by additional course work in medical terminology or phlebotomy, but I doubt they hurt me. I just kept pushing myself and I wasn't going to give up until I got in or my sciences 'expired' as I wasn't going back to earn another A when I use anatomy and physiology on a daily basis as an athletic trainer. Outside of the classroom, I attended as many of the information sessions and open houses that I could and that's where I gained a lot of insight that I was able to add into my essay.

    Hope your path to nursing school has a few less hurdles, but just wanted to let you know that I've been where you are.
    Faiva_3, jennyy, and Donoharm like this.
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    I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I think rejection is something anyone trying to get into nursing school is going to have to get used to. Because, even if you do get in, get through, graduate and pass NCLEX....you then will have to deal with the TONS of rejections when you start sending out resumes to find work.

    I know it sucks to hear, but yea...that's just reality...
    LL143KnB, lmrn13, and LWitcher like this.
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    Try another school, I was put on the wait list 5 TIMES at the community college where I took my pre-req's, each time a bigger blow than the time before. I finally smartened up and applied to a different school and got in on my first try. I was one of 30 people to get accepted out of over 400 applicants. It's definitely competitive, so put your best foot forward and something will work out. Best of luck to you.
    Pb&j711773 likes this.
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    Quote from dsb_fam
    I keep having to tell myself that "Not Accepted" does not mean that I'm not acceptable.
    I love that.
    I can commiserate, but this is my first year applying to nursing school. I felt horrible last year after receiving 13 rejections for physician assistant school. I took the risk to leave a partnership at my job that pays quite well to pursue this. I had to humbly beg to keep my job. I'm still at my job now, but it has been made known that I should be shuffling along soon. I moved from the front office to a cubicle in the back warehouse where my computer sits atop a pile of phone books. But, in my rejections, I found ways to better myself and become a stronger candidate for nursing school this year. I feel better about it this year, so I think things will just happen if they are right.
    TiffanyLe likes this.
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    Well said. Made me stop crying in my cornflakes for sure. The way I am approaching the chaos of denial vs acceptance is to stay positive. It is what it is and something better is being prepared is what I keep telling myself. I sooooo would love to attend Rush University School of Nursing BSN to MSN but the $67K tuition (out of state) stopped me in my tracks. I too am at the point after this semester (completing Stats) I can apply for BSN programs as I already have one BS degree. Where I live I feel like my 20+ years as a nurse (LPN/LVN) and a BS degree are just not valuable assets looked at. It is all about GPA, TEAS or HESI scores...no experience or degrees are considered. I am a tenacious person that enjoys learning so I am seeing all of this experience as a test of my will. I will do it.
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    Thanks for the tips everyone. Ya'll have been keeping me uplifted. Ya'll are like my chicken soup for the soul...with Tabasco sauce because I know you are just as fierce and determined as I am.
    FutureNurse40 likes this.


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