Hi everyone. I decided to post this because I feel like there might be other people in my boat, and I wanted to offer them some advice.
I applied to nursing school, was rejected, and here I am.
I was rejected. I had to wait a whole new year to apply. That year is coming to an end.
I am not going to lie. It was really hard. It still is. But here are some things that I decided to do so that I would not be wasting a year in self-pity.
I cried and cried. Then I thought long and hard to ensure that I still wanted to be a nurse. I do. After that, I wiped my tears and made a list of things I was going to do with the year of time given to me to improve my career.
Here are some things I think you should do, so that you move on with your life and use the opportunities given to you to advance your career:
1. Allow yourself to be upset for a little while, but then stop. Sulking doesn't do anyone any good, especially not yourself!
2. Make an appointment with your school's career counselor to see what you need to do to improve your chances of getting in for the next round of admissions. Figure out, as much as you can, specifically why you didn't get in and what you need to do to get a different type of letter for the next round of admissions!
2. Consider other schools in the area (or areas you are willing to move to). See what you need to do to improve your chances of getting in for the next round of admissions.
3. Think about getting work experience in. Working in a healthcare (or related) environment can only help. If you are already doing this, great! Continue at it.
4. Think about your long term goals, as in specialties and research what certifications/classes/related experience you could get. For example, think you want to go into OB? Look into becoming a doula or volunteer with pregnant women. Want to become an ER nurse? Look into EMT training. Want to work in a hospital for sure? Start volunteering at one or get a job at one so it will be easier for you to get a job as an RN or LPN or whatever you want to do because you will be considered an internal employee! Want to work in peds? Volunteer to work with kids, volunteer with a child life specialist, etc.
5. Think about what skills could be useful to your career. For example, consider taking a phlebotomy class. Blood draws/IV skills are things new nurses typically struggle with. Consider getting a headstart! Consider taking a CNA class if you aren't one already. This will help you learn some of the skills relevant to nursing, and confirm (or even deny!) your passion for this field.
6. Make an appointment with your school/other schools in the area to research classes you could take ahead of time. For example, trying to get into an RN program? Try and see if there are any classes you could take for your BSN ahead of time. Might as well save yourself some future time if a BSN is your goal anyway!
7. Look into what your other options are. Want an RN program? Maybe you could try an LPN and bridge? Ask your counselor to thoroughly research all your options.
8. Aim to network and build references. Just do a basic browse on the general section of allnurses, and you will see several posts lamenting about the job environment (or lack thereof!) You see that most people get the jobs they want through references and networking. Start building them!
9. Make sure that this is really what you want to do. Maybe you don't want to be a nurse? Maybe you really do. Whatever it is, you have been gifted the time to make sure....so do that BEFORE you waste precious time and money on nursing school.
10. Start saving money. Nursing school is expensive. Even if you go to an affordable school, the books alone are outrageousely priced. You have the time- work, save, do what you have to do. Minimize your loans if you can!
11. Self-improve. Obviousely this is a difficult one, but what I mean is that you have been given time so make use of it. Overweight? use the time to workout and make nutritious meals. Disorganized? Use the time to better your organizational skills. Impatient? use the time to work on developing patience. Have bad study skills? Use the time to figure that out.
12. Volunteer. The community could use you, it will give you a routine, help you build contacts, etc. If you could volunteer in a health related field or related to your career goals, even better!
Basically, what I am telling you is that you were given the time for a reason. It is NOT because you are stupid, and your dream of becoming a nurse can still come true! If this is what you truly want to do, then you can and will do it.
Don't waste time in sulking or moping around or feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, turn the dissapointment into an opportunity. You have been given time. Now use it! You may end up doing more for your career than the counterparts who got in! Use the time wisely. Better your career. It is never too late to start.
So don't see your rejection letter as a rejection. See it as a new opportunity. You have been given the opportunity to enhance your career in a non-traditional sense. It is up to you to fight for it. You can do it!!