glad to hear you are going to get back on the horse, so to speak. the calling must be very strong or you wouldn't be doing this. good for you. since you've already had some exposure to nursing school you've had a little taste of what it is like. all too often i've heard of instructors who will go right for the throats of people who are unsure of themselves and show a lack of confidence. however, it's not always a good thing to openly show those emotions, as you learned. when i was in nursing school many years ago, our instructors addressed this lack of confidence with us. (i guess our instructors were kinder.) we were told about putting on a "professional face" and acting like we knew what we were doing even though we were scared to death inside. perhaps after the initial treatment you had, this is something you will want to consider doing. as in poker, put on a poker face and play your cards close to your chest and not let anyone, students or instructors alike know too much about your true feelings and emotions. what i'm trying to say in a very nice way is keep you mouth shut about your feelings and emotions. the bottom line is to get through nursing school and pass the nclex. after that, you are on your own.
i would just like to address the phrase that you used, "nurses eating their young". i know exactly what people are talking about when they use this phrase. for some reason it has taken on a darkly ominous tone among nursing. will you believe me if i tell you that this kind of behavior on the part of the "eaters" is the very same as what you experienced from your nursing instructor when you were a nursing student? "eating one's young" is nothing more than a particularly nasty person who is using their position of power, authority or knowledge to lord it all over someone who doesn't have those things, and in such as way as to belittle them and make them feel insignificant and unworthy. if others see this, so much the better for the "eater" as it helps to boost their self-esteem. this is actually dysfunctional behavior and you need to recognize it for that. people who do this are actually not as secure in their own positions as you would think. their way of increasing their feeling of being important is to pick on others who are vulnerable. they may have past issues that haven't been resolved that spurn that behavior on. what better than a student nurse who is a learner and doesn't know what's hitting them? they are playing a psychosocial game of one-upmanship thinking they are making themselves look better and important in the eyes of others around them. in fact, they are acting childishly, having the adult version of a tantrum, being downright nasty and deliberately hurting others. if it happens to you, the easiest thing to do is to turn your back on this person and walk away. having no audience takes away a lot of the glee they have in the verbal ranting they are doing.
with a nursing instructor, however, you can only stand and take what is being dished out for the moment. arguing back usually gets one in deeper trouble. i've always told students that your place in the nursing program isn't over until you've actually been told you've flunked out, or you get called into the dean's office and told you are being kicked out. otherwise, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on moving forward. you can't let a bully break you psychologically. you have to have a stronger resolve. you can't succumb to the pressure and quit this time. nurses have to be tough people.
nursing programs are notorious for expecting students to learn on their own. some believe that it is the way to teach autonomy and critical thinking. the fact is that a nurse on the job has to know where to find information when (s)he needs to access it. no one is going to hold you by your hand and lead you to the right book. you will be expected to have a pretty good idea of where to go. however, asking for help in the right way will get you the help you need. watching to see how motivated nursing students are to seek out information on their own is another way of assessing a person's dedication to the profession. you have to know at what point you are spinning your wheels before you ask for help. even then, only expect to get a little push in the right direction. professionally licensed nurses are leaders, not followers. so many people go into rn courses thinking that hands-on care is what being an rn is all about. it is only a small portion of this career. rns are supervisors and managers of patient care. the greater part of this career is knowing how to organize the care, prioritizing it, delegating tasks to subordinate personnel and seeing to it that the overall patient care is getting done. the passing of medications, dressing changes, ivs, physical assessments are all physical tasks. you will be paid for your ability to think, process and analyze and that is what nursing school is attempting to help you to learn to do.
you have my best wishes. good luck this time. remember to keep your feelings, fears and concerns to yourself.