First term RN school

Students Pre-Nursing


Why do so many people drop out of the ABSN program ? What's the best advice to make it through ? I work in a clinical environment now and I'm an older student with a MBA.


21 Posts

Hi there!

I hope I can help! I did the ABSN program, well, I attempted. It was a 12-month program at Lehman College in the Bronx, NYC. I had two prior degrees so I thought ABSN was the way to go! 

It was extremely fast paced and a "trial by fire" program. In my cohort we had 20 students. After the first semester we had 16. By the Spring semester I began feeling the mental and physical exhaustion. I was so tired that I began questioning the career choice and if I could get through the rest of the program. I was doing really well, mostly As, and I think one B. 

When I decided to leave the program, everyone, my fellow classmates and the professors, were shocked. They tried to persuade me to stay, but I was adamant. I am not sure, now almost 4.5 years later, why I quit. I do regret the decision to do so.

However, there was no room to work, even part time. A lot of classmates managed to do so, but I just could not. There was so much to read and learn - I felt the pressure. I failed my med/surg mid-term. I did pass the final, but that failure was very painful to experience. 

Now onto the advice...if you realize that you do not have enough time to study, you will need to make some hard decisions - transition to part-time work, or quit altogether for the time being. If you have a someone that can support you during this time, that will be amazing! I did not have anyone, so I had to save up some money two years before beginning the program.

You will feel a lot of physical and mental stress! Surround yourself with people you love at home, and your classmates - you need that emotional support.

If you are struggling, do let the professors know as soon as you can so they can support you! Do not hesitate to ask questions, no matter how stupid you think they are!

Do not simply cram, but actually understand the material. Nursing school is all about critical thinking. Learn the material and then try to apply it during your clinical rotations. Do not shy away from doing anything and everything you can when you are in your clinical. Always volunteer to assist, no matter the task! 

Even though the program will be very fast-paced, please try to get enough sleep as you can. Eat as healthy as you can and do not forget to hydrate yourself. 

Finally, do not worry about getting all As. Be comfortable with the idea of getting a C, as long as it is a passing grade. I am not saying you should do bare minimum to just get by. Yes, study your behind off to get that A; however, if you do not, but do get a C, that is fine, too! Do not become entangled with the drama.  Do not compare yourself to other students, especially the ones that always do well, and just want to show off. 

Finally, accept the idea that even when you study for days, you will feel like you did not learn anything. That was the biggest mistake I made. I felt depressed. I felt like I was not learning, even though I did well on my exams. I began to self-doubt myself, which lead me to quitting the program. I worked so hard and paid so much money to get in. 

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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