Pre-Nursing Student still in High school.. NEED HELP

  1. I am a senior in High school and started my pre-req's this fall term I am taking Anatomy and Physiology and Psychology. I found out the hard way that these classes are alittle different then what my high school classes are when i saw my scores from my mid-term. I am at that stage in high school where i know what i want to do with my life i am just really scared about how to get there. I have had so many people tell me that i wouldnt make a very good nurse because i have a strong personality and am very stubborn, ive even had teachers tell me this. I have always wanted to be a nurse i really want to be a Labor and Delivery nurse but i have a major fear of needles and am very afriad that this will hold me back once i get into a program. Since i also dont want to be in school forever so i want to know what would be the benifits of being a RN verses being a CNA?

    I could really use the advice anything would help right now!!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    hi, mkhs08, and welcome to allnurses!

    well, as you are finding out college is different from high school. you will be expected to be more responsible for doing much of your own learning and no one is going to kick your butt to make you do the necessary studying and homework. studying is a learned skill. as i have learned, it sometimes takes years to become good at studying well enough to start earning those high grades in classes. educators know this. some college educators have put together some webpages to help students learn to improve their study skills:
    i don't know who is telling you that a strong personality type doesn't make a good nurse, but they are so-o-o-o very wrong. rns are leaders (i was told they were battleships) and are in responsible positions where they have to make important, sometimes life changing decisions every workday. that is not something that weaklings do! that is what we rns are trained to do. you might have the idea that nurses give pills and shots and fluff pillows for people and that is true. however, rns primarily are managers and supervisors of patient care. nursing school changes all of us. it forces us to deal with life because we see patients who have to deal with life and death changes affecting them all the time. you can't help but think about these things and how they might affect your own life. so, as a nurse, life and every curve ball it has to throw your way is pretty much in your face. you might think that labor and delivery nursing might be a happy place to be working, but i can tell you that there are some pretty sad tragedies that go on there as well. nurses have to realize that we all make mistakes and own up to them, learn from them and improve from them. this is how we gain wisdom, experience and become better human beings. so, for this, you will have to let go of some of your stubbornness in favor of learning and improving yourself.

    we all have a fear or two. if you want your life to have meaning then you must learn to face your fears or live with your head buried in the sand. rns cannot live with nor are we paid to keep our heads buried in the sand. i've lived for 57 years and i can say with some confidence that today you might be afraid of needles, but at another time of your life it will be something else. fears come and go in our lives just like friends and lovers do. what is important is how you go about dealing with them. as for needles--my thumb shook like crazy during the first shot that i gave. what was important was that i did it and faced the fear. now, phfft, it's nothing. i've given hundreds of shots and that shaking thumb is a distant memory. why? because after doing a few shots i realized that i wasn't killing anyone and the fear faded away. in fact, i was an iv therapist for many years--sticking needles into people's veins and drawing blood. giving a shot is a skill that has to be practiced to perfect. most nursing skills have to be practiced a number of times in order to become perfect in doing them as you will find once you get into a nursing program. no one expects any nursing student to perform faultlessly at the first or second attempts at anything. that is just the reality of things. how many times did you fall off your two-wheeler bike before you finally learned how to maintain your balance and ride it without the training wheels and falling over, hmmm? i spent my entire time as a student nurse scared to death that i would accidentally kill a patient. many student nurses have this same fear. some openly admit it, but many don't talk about it. it's normal to feel that way because it indicates a person's realization of how serious they take the work that they are learning to do. as we learn to perfect skills our confidence in our abilities grows and the fears fade away.

    i am giving you some links to websites that have information about what the career of registered nursing is about. please read them. the more you know, the better informed you will be. that's a very rn thing to do. i'm also giving you a link to a page that has some information about the specialty of labor and delivery nursing. if nursing is your dream don't let others discourage you. learn all you can about this profession, how to get training in it and talk to people in it. don't believe people who are not in the profession--how can they possibly know if you are suited to being a nurse if they have never been trained or worked as a nurse themselves? how can they possibly know what a nurse does during an 8- or 12-hour shift of work if they've never walked in our shoes? as i said, there is more to being an rn than just giving pills and shots--way-y-y more.
  4. by   catzy5
    Quote from mkhs08
    I am a senior in High school and started my pre-req's this fall term I am taking Anatomy and Physiology and Psychology. I found out the hard way that these classes are alittle different then what my high school classes are when i saw my scores from my mid-term. I am at that stage in high school where i know what i want to do with my life i am just really scared about how to get there. I have had so many people tell me that i wouldnt make a very good nurse because i have a strong personality and am very stubborn, ive even had teachers tell me this. I have always wanted to be a nurse i really want to be a Labor and Delivery nurse but i have a major fear of needles and am very afriad that this will hold me back once i get into a program. Since i also dont want to be in school forever so i want to know what would be the benifits of being a RN verses being a CNA?

    I could really use the advice anything would help right now!!!

    I really admire people like you, who are so young and yet have such a solid idea and more important a plan of ACTION of what they want to do.

    I saw DAYTONIGHT's post and you couldn't ask for better information then what you get from her. I just wanted to add that I applaud you for you motive and strength to pursue what you want to do. I am 39 with 3 kids and oh so wish I had the maturity and ability to do what you are doing at 18! You will do great, just take it one step at a time!

    Catherine
  5. by   NoviceRN10
    Quote from mkhs08
    Since i also dont want to be in school forever so i want to know what would be the benifits of being a RN verses being a CNA?

    I could really use the advice anything would help right now!!!
    The biggest difference is the pay! Nurses make 2-3 times more than CNAs.
  6. by   Daytonite
    Quote from anurse2be09
    The biggest difference is the pay! Nurses make 2-3 times more than CNAs.
    Let me clarify that a CNA is NOT the same as an RN! An RN is a leader and supervisor of patient care. An RN learns what the CNA does in less than a semester of RN school. Then, the RN student spends the remainder of their time in RN school learning more advanced nursing skills, learning about the various diseases, how they are treated, how to problem solve complications that may arise, how to delegate and organize and what the nursing process is. Be clear on the difference between these two jobs. An RN is a licensed occupation; a CNA is NOT licensed although the federal government now requires that each state maintain a nurses aide registry, which is a complete list, of those people who are nursing assistants and they do it by mandating that they be certified which is NOT the same as being licensed. It is a way of tracking the nursing assistants.

    As for the pay, RNs make more money because they perform higher and more complex functions than a CNA that require critical thinking skills that require the use of logic. Anyone who goes into nursing solely for the money is nuts and has a screw loose and I guarantee that they will not stay in the profession for very long. People stay in nursing because they have a spiritual calling to it and/or because they have a strong desire to be of service to their fellow humans. Yes, the money is nice, but if they can't deal with the human aspect part of the job they're out of it quicker than you-know-what through a goose.
  7. by   mkhs08
    thanks daytonite for all the help the links youve given me i have been looking at all morning and it has helped things be alittle more clearer and not as scary and unknown. Ive heard a lot about how when going through nursing school you cant have a social life because of the studying it is going to require you to do. how true is that? Also is your GPA really looked at that much to get into a program and how hard is that going to be?
  8. by   Jilaweez
    Quote from mkhs08
    thanks daytonite for all the help the links youve given me i have been looking at all morning and it has helped things be alittle more clearer and not as scary and unknown. Ive heard a lot about how when going through nursing school you cant have a social life because of the studying it is going to require you to do. how true is that? Also is your GPA really looked at that much to get into a program and how hard is that going to be?
    You can still have a social life while in nursing school as long as you are organized and prioritize. There is a lot of studying involved but as long as you are motivated and get it done you will be able to find time for a little bit of fun. As far as GPA goes, the requirements vary by school. It is very competitive to get into nursing school and a high GPA is required by most but not all schools. The best way for you to find out is to ask someone at your prospective school what their selection process is based on.
  9. by   mkhs08
    I have been planning on going to school at a community college but was looking at a catalog for a university and it looked like it would be easier. What would be the benifits of going to a university vs. going to a community college? besides the obviouse ones like its going to be cheaper and i can get a BS at a university and not at a community college. Just clearifing this one you can get your A.S at a community college and still be an RN or does that depend on the program? Sorry for asking all these questions ive just asked a lot of people and i feel like ive been lied to by them now that ive got answers from you guys
  10. by   Daytonite
    Quote from mkhs08
    Ive heard a lot about how when going through nursing school you cant have a social life because of the studying it is going to require you to do. how true is that? Also is your GPA really looked at that much to get into a program and how hard is that going to be?
    You must understand that when you are in nursing school you are in training for a job. While you are in school and learning a lot, you are also preparing to join the work force. This is serious. I'll let you in on some insider information. . .your instructors are evaluating you all the time as potential employees. At the time you graduate from nursing school your instructors are the ONLY ones who are going to be able to provide recommendations about you to potential employers in order for you to get your first nursing job as an RN, so these are very important recommendations that you will need. The reason I know about this is because I was a nurse manager that worked with a nurse recruiter at a large city hospital that hired new grads. That nurse recruiter knew at least one or more nursing instructors at the various nursing schools around the city. Around two months before graduation time she would pick up the phone and call them asking who in the upcoming graduation class was the cream of the crop. I'm not kidding! She made a list and then she waited to see if any of these students applied for a job with us. She made it very clear to new grads that they needed one or two recommendations from one of their nursing instructors. When I see students posting on the student forums about the fights and tiffs they get into with their nursing instructors or their attitude toward them I wonder how they are going to fare during their first job process because a mean instructor can get back at them but good during that time if they are mean enough and want to.

    As for a social life, I know young people seem to want to have that. As we age, that is not a high priority in our lives as other responsibilities take precedence. Just keep in mind that when you are in nursing school you need to be aware that you are training for a career and fit a social life in and be responsible about it. Most state boards of nursing don't take kindly to nurses who have histories of DUIs or drug convictions so you need to keep a clean record with regard to those or you will have some explaining to do to the board of nursing. If you do make a mistake and get a DUI or a drug misdemeanor save all court papers relating to it for the rest of your life because you will always have to produce them when ever a RN licensing issue with any state board comes up--and you never know if you'll be moving to another state and have to get a nursing license in another state 20 years down the road. Employers will also ask for this information. Nurses are drug tested, fingerprinted and criminal checks are done on us by many employers as well. Only you can know how much studying you will need to put into the subjects you take. If a social life is more important than preparing for a career, then you need to make some choices about what you want to do.

    Please do not make the mistake of basing a perception of nursing by what you see on TV. TV portrays nursing in a romaticized and dramatic way in order to capture attention and viewers. Most nurses I've worked with were nothing like we see on TV. I have been a fan of General Hospital since I was a teenager. There is a nurse on there that just rubs me the wrong way with the way they write her character. The character is so-o-o not right as a representative of the nursing profession and it makes me mad just watching how the writers have her talking to the doctors, nurses and patients. She'd be disciplined time and time again and probably fired in real life for the way she treats others. However, I understand that it is done for dramatic purposes. However, I often wonder how many of the general public know that.

    Each school looks at and determines acceptable GPAs differently. You need to look at what each school has to say about this. It is usually addressed in the school's college catalog and in the section for the nursing department of the school. The nursing department may only compute the GPA from certain core classes (i.e., sciences) rather than the entire list of classes that you took. Your high school GPA probably won't even be considered. It is very important that you plan your classes that you take each semester (or quarter) very carefully so you don't overwhelm yourself and your grades suffer as a result. Take a hard class that you will be able to put more study time in to and an easy class that you know you will probably do well in.
    Quote from mkhs08
    I have been planning on going to school at a community college but was looking at a catalog for a university and it looked like it would be easier. What would be the benifits of going to a university vs. going to a community college? besides the obviouse ones like its going to be cheaper and i can get a BS at a university and not at a community college. Just clearifing this one you can get your A.S at a community college and still be an RN or does that depend on the program?
    It seems like I've been in school a lot over my life. I love school and I love being a student. I got my ADN (associates degree) in nursing from a community college in 1975 and became an RN. I went to a university later and finished off my BSN in nursing in 1986. What the BSN did for me was allow me to get into nursing management and supervision jobs. Prior to that I was a staff nurse in a number of different hospitals. I have been a student at 3 different universities over the years for classes and I have to say that I liked the universities much better. They were much larger. I thought the professors teaching the classes were much better and knowledgeable. They were certainly much more interesting. One wrote the textbook we used. Several were real characters. The universities had much better resources for the students to take advantage of. The libraries were huge and just didn't compare to the smaller libraries of the community colleges. HOWEVER. . .in a university you will not get the one-on-one attention that you will get at a community college. In a community college the instructors are more like friendly high school teachers who treat you like adults. University professors many times either won't or don't have the time to spend with you. You are left to learn things on your own in a university setting and you have to be savvy about taking advantage of the help that is there for you--no one is going to bring the help to you like it is done at community colleges. By the time I went to a university though I had been a student a long time and I had learned how to study pretty effectively so I was ready for it.

    There is a difference between getting an RN license and getting a degree from a school of learning. An RN license is legal authority issued by the state you live in that gives you the right to practice nursing. In order to get an RN license you have to complete a required course of study and pass the NCLEX (National Council License Examination) examination (https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm). Only then can you officially call yourself an RN. An ADN or BSN is a degree conferred upon you by an institution of learning (college or university). So, you can graduate from a school with an ADN or BSN, but you will still not be an RN until you take and pass the NCLEX exam.
    Quote from mkhs08
    Sorry for asking all these questions ive just asked a lot of people and i feel like ive been lied to by them now that ive got answers from you guys.
    Here's your first lesson as a future nurse. We are a scientific group. We need to rely on and seek out objective information before we make a judgment about people. Before I would call anyone a liar I would think about where they are getting their information from. You always want to seek the best and most objective sources for your information. Also, calling anyone a liar is liable to provoke them to anger. Stopping to argue or place blame with people ("I feel like I've been lied to") expends your energy and revs up your own emotional system which you really can't afford to do. You need all you've got to get through each day! We have enough to deal with on a day to day basis as busy nurses. You can't change others; you can only change yourself. That's what a smart person knows. It is enough to satisfy ourselves to understand that some people are just not as educated as we are. Accept part of the blame for going to the wrong resources for some answers and move on, ignore their information and realize you made a mistake in asking them, but now you know better. Don't seek their opinions any more. As a nurse you will run into all kinds of patients who will have very strange and skewed ideas about things. You can't make judgments about them to their face. You just listen, teach them (as I have been educating you about becoming a nurse), hope they change their thinking and move on. This is a very spiritualist way of viewing interactions with people, but you know what? It works. It promotes peace.

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