Help, failed out of a nursing program last week

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    Hi everyone. I just received my final grades for my first semester of my BSN program Sunday. I failed one class by 4 points, one by 10 points, and the other by 15. During this semester I developed severe test anxiety and by the week of my second exams in all my classes I was a mess. Heart rate above 115 before an exam, tears and all. My instructors suggested I go to the student help center, but they wanted 300.00 to tell me I had a problem and to maybe get the opportunity to take my exams in a separate building with 30 extra minutes. I wish I would have charged that to any credit card I have, but I thought I could pull through. Of course our finals were 30% of our grade and I came up short. I have finally found a doctor in town who will prescribe me a beta blocker, and have gone to see the student services again. I said all that to say my program has a policy if you fail two you're kicked out. I have an appointment with the director Thursday which I think is required to basically say you're kicked out. I have called, emailed, visited every college within two hours of here and every single program will NOT even allow me to apply because of the D's in my nursing courses. This is what I want, this is what I was meant to do. I am 27 and my husband and I are depending on this. Can my dream really be over because of test anxiety?! Help.
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  4. 16 Comments so far...

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    I'm sorry that you had a rough semester. I've never failed out of a program, but I met quite a few people (including some of my instructors) who did. Do you have any LPN programs in your area? I knew some people who failed out of ADN or BSN programs, went to LPN school, and then did a LPN-RN bridge program. Good luck with your decision
    yolandaoz and jadelpn like this.
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    Or even look at your local community college, see if any of your credits will transfer, and work toward an associates. Then should you want to do RN to BSN you could do that online at a later date. Most community colleges will work with you to retake nursing courses, and another idea is to ask about online courses that you did not pass, if the community college will accept those as credit transfers. If it was 2 classes, then look online to see where it is that you can take them--and a number of colleges do have online versions. Once those are completed, go to the community college and finish your nursing courses. While you are taking these courses online, it will not be so overwhelming for you anxiety wise hopefully, and then perhaps you can seek out some therapy for test anxiety to develop coping skills that will work for you. Lastly, I would see what schools have the ability for an "IEP" situation--meaning that you have a learning disability that requires that you have accommodations in the classroom.
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    I think a little break is in order, to give you time for some serious introspection.

    Has test anxiety been an issue for you in your previous education? If not, is there something going on in your life now that is upping the stress level to produce this effect? If so, is it a stressor that can be changed or eliminated?

    IMO, it is not appropriate for you to be admitted to another nursing program right now, until you're able to identify the source of the problem and whether or not it can be sufficiently modified to give you a reasonable chance of success.
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    you can probably try online classes maybe its just the pressure of being around so many people that are taking the exact same test you are taking you're putting to much pressure on yourself and im going to have to agree with the comments above try an ADN program then do RN-BSN online, maybe you need to take a break before getting back into it try to figure out what is REALLY going on because if you havent had test anxiety before there is obvioulsy an underline issue going on here. I hope for the best and it doesnt end here you still have plenty of time dont give up you will get to where you are trying to go it just takes time.
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    Another tip ... when/if you get a chance to "tell your story" and ask for reinstatement, include an acknowledgment that you used poor judgment in letting the problem continue without seeking the help you needed to address it. You should have taken advantage of the services available through the student help center -- and yet you chose not to. That will work against you. Address that poor judgment and it might help your case.

    I agree that taking a break is in order. You'll need to figure out that anxiety problem and its underlying causes if you are going to be successful as a nurse. Meds might help you get through a few tests, but you don't want to be on them for the rest of your life without addressing the underlying causes.
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    Don't give up...
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    One thing that may be causing your anxiety....the phrase "My husband and I are depending on this" jumped out at me. Remember that Nursing is no longer a recession proof career. You see tons and tons of posts here about how people did so well in school, but completely fail to gain employment. If every time you take an exam you worry about this as something you are depending on...it's a bit hard to concentrate on the test.
    Meriwhen, KimberlyRN89, and Altra like this.
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    Quote from llg
    when/if you get a chance to "tell your story" and ask for reinstatement, include an acknowledgment that you used poor judgment in letting the problem continue without seeking the help you needed to address it. You should have taken advantage of the services available through the student help center -- and yet you chose not to. That will work against you. Address that poor judgment and it might help your case.
    Not only should you address the problem,you should have a plan of corrective action and start putting that plan into place now.

    You need to be able to state what you are doing about the problem and what you will continue to do about the problem.

    Do not throw in personal excuses. No excuses. None.

    "This is the problem."
    "This is what I plan to do."
    "This is what I have already done, so far."

    And if they keep mentioning what you did wrong, just stick to your theme:

    "That was a problem, however, this is what I am doing and this is what I have done so far."

    Repeat that often as needed and remain unemotional.

    Don't say nursing is your dream and don't say it isn't.

    BTDT.

    Cheers.
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    Thanks for the comments everyone. I have not had test anxiety before like this. I did try to go to the learning center on campus but the director with whom I was supposed to meet with did not show up because he was sick. I realize now that I should have continued to call/email him until I got a response, but nursing school schedule is not the best in the world, especially first semester. Anyway, I agree with sauconyrunner, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Knowing I had to make a 75 just ruined my train of thought. As soon as I finished the exam I KNEW what I missed, I also changed answers from correct to incorrect 15 times on one exam. My instructor explained that as the semester continued and my grades started to drop, my confidence in myself dropped as well. I don't want to be a nurse for the money, or anything else, I just honestly care for people and want nothing more than to have that chance to do so. As I said before, I have to go meet with the director tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure they will not even allow me to tell my story to the committee, but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to have an "appeal" letter ready to hand to her just in case? I am already prepared for the dismissal, but I also just want to know I tried everything. I am going to start looking into community colleges for my LPN. There are not a lot around me, and they only let 20 people in once a year. My GPA is 3.2 after the D's so I am opptimistic? Well, trying to be at least. I don't want to take a break, because I took a break in 2005 and did not start back until 2010 Again, thank you and I would love to know what everyone thinks about the appeal letter.


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