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Anxiety about ADN and life


School and life in general, is killing me. Ever since I graduated from high school my anxiety has gone through the roof and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

I am currently taking pre-requisites for an ADN nursing program at a local community college. In another year I will be in the actual program. At this point, community college is all I can afford. The problem is, I'm not sure that I should be going into Nursing. I am pretty interested in what I've been learning so far (Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, etc.) but I am not sure I will be good at the hands on stuff. I'm sort of shy and socially awkward and not much of a people person. I think I have some degree of social anxiety and just anxiety in general. People have commented my entire life about how quiet I am. I have trouble holding conversations and connecting with other people that I'm not already close to. My mom is a nurse which I think is a huge reason why I'm considering this, but I'm interested personally as well.

On top of the social thing, everyone talks about how difficult the program is and how its nearly impossible. Please help, I feel like I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown because I don't know what to do. I don't have an interest in ANY other field, and I don't know what to do anymore. I've already wasted a year in college and thousands of dollars just deciding what to do and now I'm afraid I'm completely screwed.

I have always been socially awkward but nursing school forces you to deal with it.

It has done me a great deal of good, I tell you!

As for the program being impossible...


Have you noticed how many nurses on this site? How many more do you think there are?


For something impossible, a lot of people sure have done it.

Good luck!

Stcroix, ASN, RN

Specializes in cardiac-telemetry, hospice, ICU. Has 6 years experience.

Ask to shadow a nurse at the hospital and see what goes on. You might try volunteering in the hospital for 4 hours/ week and get your feet wet even more, that's what I did. I was surprised how it helped my confidence. I stared volunteering one day per week when I was doing prereqs, and I am still doing it now that I am in school. I think my volunteer time has gone further in gaining confidence and social graces than my clinical time has!

Good luck

i work with nurses all day... a lot of 'em i can't understand how they became nurses. it seriously is one of those "if she can do it, anyone can" moments almost every day for me. every time i start to feel nervous about the program, i think of all of the nurses i deal with and fell much better about nursing school, and myself in general.

engineering school is difficult. so far, every class i've taken toward nursing (all my prerequisites) have been much easier than even the entry level engineering classes. a lot of people say nursing school is so difficult, but i question their frame of reference. i really think its what you make of it. if you think its going to be difficult and let yourself succumb to that mentality and fear, than it will be difficult. but if you realize that this stuff really isn't that bad, its easy enough.

Mike R, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

Ask to shadow a nurse at the hospital and see what goes on. You might try volunteering in the hospital for 4 hours/ week and get your feet wet even more.....

Good luck

This. But unless you're a volunteer at that facility, chances are they won't let you shadow. HIPAA regulations, unfortunately.

But seriously, it's not about being socially adept that makes a good nurse. It's the compassion and brains behind it. Don't let your shyness get the best of you. Really look into every aspect of nursing to see if this is right for you. Heck, there's even forensic nursing which includes death investigation. Sometimes dealing with "clients" who can't argue back is just the ticket ;)

If after you find that this really isn't the field for you, have you considered Xray, Ultrasound, MRI, Pharmacy, Respiratory Therapy, Dietary, etc? You don't necessarily need to be social butterflies for any of the above, yet they all require the same interesting pre-reqs like Anatomy, Physio that you said you liked.

What the above have said, Nursing School isn't impossible. Totally doable if you have your heart behind it.

I have social anxiety and general anxiety. As someone who was in the program in the past and didn't put my all into it due to extreme anxiety in social settings with many ppl (such as the classroom and school)...I highly recommend that you get on meds (I now take lexapro 10mg/daily) and/or talk to a therapist to work through your anxiety if you want to do your best in the program. In the nursing program, you can excel on exams and still fail practicals (where you demonstrate your skills in front of your teachers). You probably will also have to give lectures in front of the class/class demonstrations...ect. Stress makes you unable to process new info and notice your surroundings...I used to be so nervous around people that I felt dizzy in class and couldn't focus...I would literally rush to get out of the school once class was over....No more. I am attempting Nursing School for the second time and am really excited!!! Meds and therapy have made such a huge difference in my life!!! I hope everything goes well for you but this is the way to go, if you are anything like me.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

Statistics tell us that the majority of nurses are, indeed, introverts. I'm not sure why, because nursing requires the ability to talk to strangers (and we won't even discuss the agony introverts must go through when doing presentations and skills labs in school!), among other things. But they do populate this field far more than flaming extroverts like me, and they do just fine. :up:

virgo,student nurse, CNA

Specializes in 10.

Please be sure that NOTHING in life is impossible. If you really enjoy what you are learning then maybe this is for you. I myself don't like to start a conversation if I really don't know you, but school has made me talk to people I would not have spoken to before. In time you will not even remember feeling the way you feel now. Best Wishes!