Do not give up! If nursing is your goal, go after it!
Letters of recommendations do not have to be solely from teachers/professors. Although, it does not hurt. Can you not get a letter of recommendation from the owner/manager/anyone from the group home for mentally disabled adults? What about letter of recommendations from anyone in a church group or youth group (if applicable)? Do you have a family friend/acquaintance that is a nurse?
Do get some writing assistance if you truly believe you " suck at essays," whether it be at your college's writing center or tutoring or other methods of tutorial. Writing is essential in nursing school (all those care plans
and essays to write!), so it would behoove you to build on that skill.
You can also try to apply to private schools; however, they are pricey, but they may be less competitive.