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Dismissal from Nursing program


I am feeling very defeated and distraught over being dismissed from my nursing program. I know i could have pushed myself harder but I am finally going in to see a psychiatrist for ADD. I have had panic and anxiety all of my life and have a hard time dealing with simple stress. I really feel I have this issue and hope to get a diagnosis. I have one chance at filing an appeal and then it is up to the board to decide. I am so embarrassed by this, my entire family was so excited for me and I feel like such a failure. I must say obtaining this degree is unlike any other out there, when people would tell me how difficult it was I thought they were over-reacting, but now I see I should have listened to them. I guess i am just looking for some support from fellow students/graduates that have been through something similar, I haven't even discussed this with my closest friends. Thank you.

HappyWife77, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology RN-BC and FNP MSN student. Has 21 years experience.

Glad to hear your seeking help.

If you get your condition managed and show proof of that in your appeal, it might help you. What ever is going on with you personally has to managed then you can work on your personal goals. Shame and guilt can really be overwhelming so please do not obsess over what has happened...just realize you can only change the future.


HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Agree with PP - take care of YOU first. But - gently offered - nursing is not a good fit for everyone. If it turns out to be too stressful for you, there are many other health care professions which you may find more suitable and more conducive to your own wellbeing.


Specializes in Emergency Room, Trauma ICU. Has 5 years experience.

I'm glad you're getting help for the stressors in your life. You don't mention why you were dismissed from nursing school. Did you fail a class, have trouble in clinicals? Without more information it's hard to get a clear idea of the issues you're having.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

The hardest part is stopping for a minute to realize what the problem is. We all have those "Squirrel!!!" moments in our lives but most of us are able to focus back on task. I was one of those people that failed out of a program and in my case, it was a combination of events and personalities that led to my dismissal. I had my exit interview and since I knew what the issues were, I was able to make the case for them to let me back into the program. I was going to accept a seat in their VN program and the same day they offered me a seat back into their RN program. I'm now an RN.

The reason I say this is to let you know that it's possible to be dismissed and return. Use the time away from the program to figure out what you need to do in order for you to learn most efficiently. If you've got a significant case of ADD, you may also need some tips and techniques for keeping yourself on track. I found that on the clinical side using a well-designed "brain" kept me on track for remembering what I needed to do and when I needed to do it as well as reminding me to keep track of labs and all that stuff.

Good luck!

I did not pass my class. I failed my final by 3 questions :(

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I feel a bit overwhelmed now walking back into the school. I feel the moment I walk through the door I am hit with a wave of anxiety and a heavy weight on my shoulders. I also feel stupid having to take the class again with the same instructor.

I hope they allow you back in and that you are able to deal effectively. If you feel funny, overcome this feeling. You know that there are so many who never get that chance. Feeling funny for awhile should be a small enough price to pay to achieve what you want at the end. Best wishes.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

Having to repeat a course isn't the worst thing around. I know. I had to repeat coursework as well, with the very same instructors that I had when I'd failed before. Here's a little hint about having to repeat courses... Professors rarely make major changes in the coursework unless there's something that essentially requires them to. So, you'll have effectively seen all the material for the class at least once already. You have a BIG advantage going into the repeat course over your new classmates. My advice from here on out is simple: make allowances for your "Squirrel" tendencies and go over the material while you can. Get with some classmates and be the leader of the group. Help them learn what they need to learn because you've been there already. In the process you'll solidify your own knowledge. I speak from personal experience on this point...

Yes, it's going to feel a little funny knowing that perhaps everyone there will know that you're a repeat student. Expect that everyone will know. All you'll ever have to tell them is that you failed by 3 questions. It avoids having to explain stuff on your end beyond that and it puts your classmates on notice that they very rigidly stick to the pass/fail rules. I had a classmate that failed a class by 2 points. I believe that was about 0.04% of the semester points total. He's now working as an RN at an ED. It is possible to survive this!

That "funny feeling" will show itself again and again over the years, as will the "weight" on your shoulders. That funny feeling should drive you to learn and keep learning. The weight on your shoulders should be a reminder that you must take your job as a student, and later as a nurse, very seriously as that's the weight of responsibility.

I wish you the best!