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Failed Adult Health, What Now?


So I just finished my 2nd semester of nursing school, next year would’ve been my senior year, but I unfortunately failed Adult Health with a 71 (needed a 75). I was already struggling in class and everything transitioning online made it worse. For my school they let you come back into the program if you fail 1 class, but it won’t be until the Spring that I can take the class again.

In the meantime, I have to take classes, but cannot take just random classes. My two options are to double major doing something like interdisciplinary studies (that’s what nursing majors normally choose if they fail a class) or pick up a minor. I need to get my GPA up in the fall, so I’m wary to take difficult classes, but I also want to minor or double major to have something to fall back on in case nursing doesn’t work out for me. I’m trying to be wise about what I choose, because I don’t want to waste my financial aid. My institutional aid covers 4 years and I’m already at 3 years.

Do y’all have any suggestions on a good field I could pursue and be able to easily get a job with a Bachelor’s or have any suggestions on how minors can lead to other things?

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

So WHY do you have to take classes this semester? Can't you just take one off and study? Taking on a double major or a minor when you didn't pass a core class isn't going to benefit you in the long run. I'd pretend my job for the semester was watching videos on Registered Nurse RN, Cathy Parkes or get a subscription to Nursing.com. If you want to be a nurse - you don't need anything to fall back on. Besides - you can fall back on becoming a welder for $6,000 and about 12 weeks (no one wants to be a welder but they make a lot of money, always have work and it doesn't take long to become one). If your program only provides 4 years of aid - you are going to come up short a semester anyway.

I sort of understand where your head is - but how will you pay for that last semester of school? Get a job as a tech, to help defray expenses and study your butt off. If you can, go to school part time (because most institutions cover at least half time) then do so. In the Spring - go part time again. Focus on passing these core courses. Spreading yourself thinner doesn't make passing them easier. Nursing school just gets harder the further you get in.

Have you sat down to focus on why you did not pass so that you can change what needs to be changed so you can pass next time? I'm sorry I'm not really answering your question - but passing Adult Health is more important that adding extra stuff.

The main reason is that I’ll use the grace period up on my student loans and I want to avoid that. The second reason is I need to bring my GPA up because this class knocked it from a 3.16 to 2.95. The only class I’ll be taking come Spring will be the failed class and it’s only 8 credit hours. 12 or more are required for full time so I pretty much have to declare a minor from what I was told today. My school is also offering me $6,000 a year in Scholarships and if I fall below part time I’ll lose it. My Pell grant will cover up to 6 years, but that will still leave me paying even more in student loans without my HOPE Scholarshipthen capping out my institutional one in the end. I never went to become a CNA because my program, unlike others, didn’t require it.

As much as I hate it, I was planning on using student loans for that last semester of school. I work part-time in retail and pay on them whenever I can.

I have sat down to focus on why I didn’t pass and of course in part it’s my fault, but I just did not understand anything with how my professor taught. I felt like I taught myself this semester. I struggled in this professor’s class last semester and didn’t do well until another professor took over (went from 70s to 90s). Everything going fully online pretty much took away any chance I had. Our tests were even open note (except for the final) and I still failed them. It’s not like I didn’t study. I studied AND used my notes and still made bad. I’ve debated on whether I should continue pursuing nursing just because I can’t get the basic classes down and it worries me. It’s like I can’t think critically. I don’t cram, I study everyday, do the PrepU’s, picmonics...I just can’t get it. I tried to reach out to my professors in that class and communication is horrible. I watched Registered Nurse RN videos all week leading up to my final and maxed out my levels on PrepU and still made a 70 on the final.

In the beginning of the semester I think my heart kind of got taken out of pursuing nursing because of all the anxiety I have with it - that’s hurting me too. I’ve been questioning my choice. I have the option to choose something I’m passionate about but I want to be able to be financially stable and easily be able to attain and retain a job upon graduation. I just don’t really know what to do. I feel like I’m stuck and I have 5 different people at my college telling me different things.

sorry for the length of the post

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

I'm too tired at the moment to think about finances... I'll come back to that at a later time.

Realizing that you spent this semester learning from home certainly puts you at a disadvantage. I was certainly distracted this semester as well and didn't feel I had the same type of support available (I did, but it wasn't like being able to walk into an office, throw my bag on the floor and cry and feel better when I left). Before you give up on nursing (unless that is really what you want to do - it does happen for some people) - look into a few things.

1) see if there is any grace for failing during a semester when you weren't allowed to be on campus. Maybe they will hold your scholarships under the circumstances - the worst they can say is no.

2) Don't worry about paying back your student loans right now - if the grace period ends (mine are 9 months but they were 6 the first time I graduated) then just call for a forbearance - they almost always grant them while you are still in school. It does start over after you complete school, so it isn't "wasted" on that time in the middle. You get a do-over.

3)delve a little deeper into how you are understanding adult health. How are you studying and how are you learning? Your pre-reqs were all about memorization - but adult health isn't. I am assuming that Adult Health is similar in nature to Med Surg - which is how everything in the body works and works together. It isn't enough to know that one can suffer from right sided or left sided heart failure - but you have to understand what happens during right sided heart failure (everything backs up, peripheral edema, etc). and that it can lead to left sided heart failure - where you start getting crackles and blah blah blah. You need to know what medications will be used to treat this and what their intended effects should have and what the adverse effects are. I did a lot of questions to learn, but that's how I learn. I did over 3000 questions in Prep U for Med Surg and over time all the pieces started coming together for me. I can't say that I would have done well in Med Surg I if it was all online. I would have certainly done better in Med Surg 2 if I would have been on campus.

4) What are you passionate about? My daughter wanted to be a vet when she was younger. I always joked with her that she was going to have to put her hand up a horses butt... know what? She did it. She's not a vet. She realized that she hated grinding their teeth because there was a balance between keeping a horse on their feet and enough pain meds to make them comfortable. Luckily she had the opportunity to work on a farm while she was in middle and high school and even was able to be present when they had to put down one of her favorite horses. She put a tube down a horses throat and delivered a foal that didn't survive. All the bad and grinding some teeth made her change her mind.

I know its a little rough right now. Whatever you are passionate about - try to go do it. I realize life is on hold or closed at the moment - but If you can - try. I'm also not kidding about the welding thing - you don't always need a 4+ year degree to make money. Maybe not welding specifically - but don't rule out things that don't require 4 year degrees. Also - I'm here to tell you that while money makes life much easier, it doesn't necessarily make you happier. Happiness comes from within. Money makes things tolerable. Student loans also get paid off. Mine were paid off precisely 2 years before I started them over again...

Tech jobs.... many don't require a CNA. Once you pass Fundamentals in Nursing school - that usually gets you in the door. Not sure if you will make more $$ or not, but it can be an option. It will also help you determine if you really like being in nurse type situations (you do different stuff, but you see first hand what goes on).

So talk to me about your passions - and why didn't you go that way to start with?

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

Even after sleep - I don't think I understand the scholarship/loans enough to really give guidance. Do you have an instructor there that you are comfortable with - someone that you can talk to - not necessarily from your program either, but someone that understands how things work there? I feel like sometimes people get in a rut with their jobs and they don't think outside the box at all. They do what is comfortable. So the financial aid people only tell you X because X is what is easiest for them and what they do 99% of the time. Y is a possibility but it requires a lot of work and effort on everyone's part. It seems reasonable to me to request them to hold your scholarships so that you can take a semester off to "reflect and study" so that you will do well the next time you take the course. Maybe that's logic and reason and doesn't coexist with financial aid.... I'm just trying to help brain storm!!

In any event - I am sorry that you are experiencing this right now. Life is hard enough without this extra stress.

One day I actually sat down with my clinical instructor and explained all my worries to her. I would go into clinical being so excited and end up having really bad anxiety to the point of almost passing out and thinking about how I was already failing AH played into it. I literally sat down and cried and just explained to her how I was afraid of all this happening (and it did LOL). She was super encouraging and told me to finish out the semester to see where I stand and if I still don’t feel like nursing is for me then to explore my options. We even brainstormed together different things I could do. My parents are constantly telling me that if I end up making it through I’ll be able to work in doctor’s office’s and such, but my instructor said usually new grads get the hospital jobs until they get some years under their belt. Overall I was worried about disappointing them.

I honestly don’t think my school would hold my scholarships. I was told if I’m not taking classes for the semester then I have to withdrawal. I’m just going to have to call them today and explain what’s going on to see if we can get some answers.

I really wanna do teaching instead of nursing now, but I don’t want to disappoint my parents. They want me to get a good paying job. “No one loves their job,” is what they tell me and they also don’t think I’m emotionally strong enough to deal with parents in teaching. During high school, I shadowed a teacher first a semester and absolutely loved it. They think teaching isn’t a wise choice even though that’s what my younger sister is going for. I also go to a private college and options are super limited for majors unless I transfer somewhere else.

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

It is difficult to really disappoint parents. The only time I am disappointed is when my daughter doesn't trust me enough to tell me the whole truth - the first time. She makes choices that I don't love - but they are her choices and she has to deal with the consequences.

Your parents want the best for you. Nursing has good future opportunities from the outside. If it isn't for you - it just isn't. Or maybe it isn't right now. You could also be a school nurse. You could do so many things. Do not feel pressured because you may lose your scholarships or because it may cost more in the end. Chances are its going to cost less if you end up where you want to be.

When I was trying to get into nursing school - I wrote every school down on a white board. I wrote all of my options under each one. I wrote requirements and everything else. Do the same for your life choices. Write down what you see as your choices right now. List good things, bad things, financial things... write it all down. Then go to your parents with it and say - I need some help. This is where I am. This is what I think you want for me, but this is what I think I need.

I'm not sure how to do this in the reverse - but my daughter and I have a deal. She asked if I would be able to financially bail her out of certain situations and I frankly said no. But I did agree that if she asked for my advice and I didn't say NO straight out, that I would be willing to help her in any way that I could - she just had to ask me first. She knows now that 1) she has to ask for guidance and 2) I can't specifically say NO and her go do it anyway.

Trust your parents. Write it all down and go to them for guidance. You may cry. They may cry. It may take more than once.