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!!
Sep 5, '11
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank-you for posting such an inspirational post. I think your suggestions are great advice. I could sense the passion when reading your post. It is that passion that will set you apart from others in our profession. At this point, I would generally end with good luck, but I don’t think I will need to. Rather, I will end with…I can’t wait to read your graduation post!
Sep 6, '11
Great post! You gave me a big confidence boost to not give up... Hope to see your graduation post as well
Sep 6, '11
Such a great post! As I'm finishing up my last semester of pre-reqs right now, coming across this has really lightened my stress load. I'm already so nervous about if I'm going to get into the program or not. So far my chances are good, but you never know who could come out on top in the end...it's a viscous competition at my college, as I'm sure it is everywhere! Everyone around me (well majority of them) probably want this just as badly as I do. I used to not be on top of my game, but these pre-reqs have taught me that I really can succeed where I find ambition. This post is so inspirational. I've thought about volunteering whether I get in or not, but if I don't...I can have more time to volunteer and build myself up, as you said. I want to be an ER Nurse, so I'm going to aspire towards some of the things you've listed here in case I get wait-listed.
I'm with Parker on this one, I felt such a strong emotion/connection/self-inspiration vibe when I read this post...brought tears to my eyes! Thanks again!
Sep 6, '11
Great advice... One thing I can add, is to make sure that you are applying to the proper program for you... A year ago, I applied to 5 Master's Entry Programs in Biological Sciences, and got rejected from them all. I re-evaluated my academic profile, continued taking classes and getting A's, then decided to apply for ADN and BSN programs, which may be more appropriate for me. I can always get a Master's later, and believe that I'm much more competitive in ADN and BSN programs. I applied for three of each for the Spring of 2012 and am confident that I will be accepted into at least one of them.
Last edit by BeachsideNic on Sep 6, '11
: Reason: typo
Sep 6, '11
Thank you for your wonderful post. I think this is one that many can benefit from in years to come. So I have moved it to the top of the page in the Sticky section.
Sep 7, '11
Sep 21, '11
Thank you so much for this post!! I'm about to put in my application for the nursing program at my school in October and I am a nervous wreck just thinking about it. This has lifted my spirts and made me not worry so much, so thank you for the tips and advice it is greatly appreciated!!
Sep 30, '11
I just found out today that I was not accepted to the RN program I applied to and was so upset, and then this was the first post I saw!!! Great advice and made me feel better. It made me put my "big girl panties on" and deal with it and I'm already working on a plan of action on how to better my chances next go round!
Sep 30, '11
Sunshine SM- good luck, and good for you for working on a plan of action. I'm impressed! Keep hope
Sep 30, '11
Thank you Want2BANurseSoon! I will admit I cried again when my husband came home from work and said he was sorry, but I'm better now!!
Again, thank you so much for this tread, it truly was a blessing to have seen it when I did because it helped a lot!! I'm now looking into a possible job at the local hospital and planning my next classes. Also think I will apply for the LPN and RN next time so at least I have a better back-up plan.
Sep 30, '11
Good Attitude, Sunshine... The best thing you can do next time around is apply to as many programs as your budget can handle... try to get application fee waivers... Apply to a variety of programs, ADN and BSN programs and keep open to moving out of your area if you need to... Sometimes you have to widen your options and not put all your eggs in your proverbial basket... There is a program out there for you... and you will find it if you really want it! Stay strong and make it happen!
Sep 30, '11
Thank you BeachSideNic!!! I won't be able to move out of my area because of owning my home and having my husband and daughter, however the RN program I applied to takes preferance of those with the LPN first, so if I have to, I will enroll in that program, so that it helps me get into the RN program, it just adds another year to my goal, but whatever it takes to get the degree, I will work on it!!! I was just really sure I would make it in with all my prereqs done and an 86% on the NLN, but I'm not giving up!!
Thank you so much for your kind words!! Such support on this website!!!