Advice on handling comments from well-meaning family members who just don't "get it."

by heystargirl (New) New

Specializes in Psychiatry, Corrections.

Allow me to preface this post by saying that, for the most part, I have an excellent support system. My family/friends have been extraordinarily understanding and supportive through this entire process of going back to school, and the many sacrifices I have made to make all of this happen.

Recently, however, I was unsuccessful in passing third term of my ADN program by a very slim margin (we're talking less than 10 points here), and although it only took about 48 hours for the initial sting to wear off, my mother continued to talk about how terrible it was that I didn't pass, she knew I should have studied harder, was I lying about taking my ADHD medication, etc... None of those things are true or very helpful. I've gently explained to her in past semesters the kind of things that would be helpful to say instead of hurtful, and I suppose she is finding it difficult to change her approach.

I'm asking for advice because things have been good for a couple of weeks, but last night she commented that "[she wishes I was] doing something towards school instead of working so much." I'm not even sure what she meant by that, because what is there left to do? Nothing is going to change the fact that I didn't pass. I've already been offered a seat to retake the course. The dosage exam/med pass validation isn't for two months. I still do ~25 NCLEX questions a week. I will be honest, I do work a lot; I have an externship at a local hospital that I work full-time (three 12-hour shifts/week) to make extra money, I really enjoy it, and because there's a good chance that it could lead into my first nursing job. Yes, it's a lot, (and I also have a full-time job where I do double weekend option) but i love to work. I'm staying busy, I'm making money, and I'm gaining invaluable experience and doing so much hands-on patient care. I shouldn't have to justify my choices, should I? -cue frustration-

Can anyone can relate or offer advice? Thanks in advance!

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience. 2,212 Posts

So you're working two full time jobs? Were you doing that while in school? If so, I think your mother has a good point.


1,168 Posts

Are you really working two full time jobs? One full time job is probably too much while going to nursing school, but some manage it. Do you need to work that much? Are you supporting yourself? If you don't have to work so much you need to invest time into passing your nursing coursework. Your jobs will never lead to a nursing position if you can't get your nursing degree and pass NCLEX.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 3,663 Posts

I agree. You are working too much. I think that I wouldn't even worry about NCLEX questions now. Not until you are in your fourth semester and you have the foundation to do them. When you get close to starting back up, I would give up at least one full time job and focus on your classes. As the PP mentioned, all of this experience means nothing if you don't graduate and pass NCLEX. I think you have your priorities a little mixed up right now. While gaining experience can be good, it most certainly doesn't guarantee you a job after school. Also, if you want your BSN or MSN someday, you can't trash your GPA right now. You are going to need a decent GPA to get into another school in a few years. I know you think you are doing the right thing, but it's only going to hinder you long term, not help.


367 Posts

If you are working two full time jobs while taking classes, I would agree with the other posters and say you are probably working too much. How many hours during the semester did you have to dedicate towards studying and how many of those did you actually study during? Many programs recommend that their students work no more than part time, and in the accelerated programs many are advised to not work at all. There is a reason why they recommend this.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience. 1,761 Posts

Just to point something out. As you know nursing school can be rough in many ways but by saying you failed by a small margin less than 10 points is very harmful. I know several students that failed by a 10th of a point. When you go back, please keep that in mind. I don't want you to think if it's 5 points or 3 points you would have passed. I also agree with the other posters. If you are working 2 full time jobs, cut back once school starts.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 11,114 Posts

As for your mother, or any people who say unhelpful things, the most useful thing I've learned is to smile ruefully and say, "You may be right."

Note you haven't said they ARE right, or that you're going to do anything different. But they think they've been heard, and then they stop. And if they don't? Broken record time.... "You may be right." "You may be right." "You may be right." "You may be right." until they stop.