Need as much advice as possible-considering leaving nursing program. - page 2

Hello, This is my first post, and I apologize if it isn't in the right area! :) I am a 22 yr. old nursing student. I have only been in my nursing program for 5 weeks, and my program is aimed... Read More

  1. by   jjjoy
    First off, it's okay to quit. Know that that's a viable, respectable option.

    Next, are you sure (or as sure as you can be) that you want to quit? It doesn't sound like it from your post. So, don't quit YET.

    Can you take it just one day at a time? You can always quit tomorrow. At some point, you may be SURE that you'd rather be doing something else. You can quit then. Then you won't be wondering if you really did want to quit or not.

    Maybe it would ease your anxiety to play a role. For some, it helps to pretend they are confident even when they aren't. Another possibility, though, is to "play the fool" and ask as many "dumb questions" as you can and don't try to hide your awkwardness or uncertainty. The other students might see you as "the slow one" but then again they also see you as the one who 'asks the questions everyone else was thinking' and who is willing to admit insecurities that others are pretending they don't have. There is no reason you should already know how to do patient care or be perfectly at ease. This IS new for you.

    Another suggestion is to find a couple of classmates you can trust, tell them your feelings, and ask them to help you with your anxiety, perhaps by practicing extra with them after class time and by having you help them with their patients so that you get more chances to work with patients, with the help of supportive classmates, to help get more comfortable with basic tasks.

    Instead of looking at nursing school as only about becoming a nurse or not, look at it as an opportunity to learn your strengths and weaknesses and to strategize how to make it work for you. Does role-playing help you or not? Does practicing after class help or not? Etc. Even if you eventually drop out, what you learn about yourself from these different experiences (experiments?) will be valuable no matter what you do.

    At some point, you may come across a skill or test that you can't master no matter how you try and have to leave the program. Well, then you know you gave it your best and you can either take that as a sign to move on to something else or take it as sign that you should be a CNA first and see if that helps you figure out if you want to give nursing another go or not.
  2. by   cardinalalum
    ANrs2be, hang in there. I felt the same way you did my first semester. Everything was just overwhelming...between classes, skills lab, clinicals, care plans, etc. After my first semester I started working as a Nurse Extern and that really helped to get use to taking care of patients and improving your nursing skills. When I was in school there was another student who just became frightened when she entered the hospital setting during clinicals -- she just talked to our clinical instructor and the instructor really helping her to overcome her fear. She is an excellent nurse today. So stay with it, you will look back one day and be glad you hung in there. Remember, there is so much opportunity in nursing other than bedside nursing.:spin:
  3. by   ebear
    Emanuel Goldstein!

    HaHa! No, my instructor was Miss B. and a whole lot of "Sisters" from the order of St. Francis! (as well as other drill sargeant army nurses) You want to talk about tough, mean witches??
    They turned out a lot of excellent,well prepared nurses,though. If you could survive that bunch, you could survive ANYTHING!

    I notice that we think a lot alike! I always enjoy your insightful posts! We must be from the same era!
  4. by   sharona97
    Great Post!
  5. by   EmmaG
    Quote from ebear
    They turned out a lot of excellent,well prepared nurses,though. If you could survive that bunch, you could survive ANYTHING!

    I notice that we think a lot alike! I always enjoy your insightful posts! We must be from the same era!
    Thank you! I do yours too.
  6. by   deeDawntee
    You are sooo normal, I can't even tell you. And, you are correct that students who have had experience in healthcare do come in with a comfort level that someone like you may not. A couple of things here, please DO NOT compare yourself to them, that comfort level will come to you as well and all it takes is some time at the bedside. Second, remember that MOST patients love having the extra attention. So start seeing yourself as a blessing to them, you are another set of eyes and ears taking care of them and caring about them. It is really important that you see yourself as a welcome person in that room, that will help.

    Now, what I highly recommend that you do, is to start visualizing yourself at the bedside, saving lives, comforting, healing, educating and connecting with your patients, because that is certainly what you are doing plus much more. The technical skills you are learning are important but not nearly as important as your relationship with your patient and what you provide for them. Keep your attention more on them rather than yourself. And I PROMISE, the skills will come.

    I know you are incredibly busy with your work load, but I have a couple of suggestions for you. First, see if you can shadow an RN at the hospital you think you would like to work at. I've seen it done before and as long as you agree to HIPPA laws, it shouldn't be a problem, use it as an opportunity to see how nurses connect and to desensitize yourself to being with patients. It may also give you a sense if nursing really IS what you want to do. Second, see if you can find a volunteer position that would allow you to be at the bedside in really any kind of facility.

    Don't let your fear drive you away. There is nothing wrong with choosing a different career, but don't do it out of fear. Also, know that those classmates of yours who are comfortable at the bedside will have their own challenges to overcome, perhaps they aren't as good as you are at the academic side of nursing.

    Good luck to you and hang in there.

    you can do it!!!
  7. by   diapason05
    Quote from ANurse2be

    This is my first post, and I apologize if it isn't in the right area!

    I am a 22 yr. old nursing student. I have only been in my nursing program for 5 weeks, and my program is aimed at attaining an associates degree w/ an N.L.N. accreditation in 2 years. I am a very good student and find myself completely overwhelmed by everything that has happened thus far.

    We started clinicals on week 2, and I would say that most of my stress is derived from my lack of clinical experience. I am a big ball of nerves whenever I enter the hospital. I have never even changed a baby's diaper--let alone an adult's. I find that something as simple as changing an occupied bed or bathing a patient gets me incredibly anxious and nervous. This feeling has been continuous throughout my 1 month of clinical experience. (We practice the skills in class a day before we go into the hospital to get tested on them.)

    Since I am so incredibly stressed and find myself crying everyday when I get home from the hospital, I am questioning what my next move should be...

    A-Continue with my program despite the fact that I am uncomfortable in the clinical setting as of now and find myself in tears every time I come home from clinicals. (ASN-2yr-NLN Accreditation.)

    B-Withdraw myself from my current program and transfer to the university's program in Spring (provided that I made the cut w/ a 3.8 GPA) where I can get a semester in pharmacology & patho-physiology, and lots of in skills practice time before entering the clinical setting in semester 2. (BSN-3yr program-no NLN accreditation.)

    C-Withdraw myself from the program and get a job being a CNA for 3 months to see if it is something I can potentially be comfortable with before entering the university's program.

    D-Withdraw myself from nursing all together because the likelihood of me getting comfortable with clinical skills is unlikely? (Need advice on whether or not others have experienced this.)

    Please provide me with any advice. I am in a really difficult situation right now. I have the spot in a nursing program that people have tried years to get and I got it on my first try. If I leave the program--I obviously can't go back. If I stay, I may potentially be making myself even more unhappy. There is a small chance that if I transferred to the university's program, I might not get in if a bunch of 4.0 students apply. I have never been so stressed out--losing sleep, not working out, eating poorly, experiencing poor relationships with the ones that I love, etc.

    I feel like I am blabbing, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Get the BSN.. If you ever want to move up in your career, you will need the BSN. If you ever decide to go for your masters, you need a bsn first anyway. I think its worth it. Im doing a bsn program
  8. by   ExCorporateRN
    Either option A or B.

    Your first semester concerns are so normal and common!

    As you continue to try new skills you will grow in your confidence. It sounds like you got all the right stuff, so HANG in there!

    I think I told my boyfriend every week that I wanted to quit during my first semester. But I am glad I gutted it out and am nearly finished now.

    The patients at the hospital appreciate you being there and that you are learning - so relax, they are not judging you. So you can't be hard on yourself.

    You can do it!! Please don't quit!
  9. by   ann945n
    Nursing school is very overwhelming. I am nearing the end of my program and have been a CNA for many years and its still overwhelming. It will get better though and you will learn how to manage it. I would at least get through your first quater/semster and then reevaluate the situation. Is it still worth it to you, can you handle it? I find that big life altering decisions are best made over time and not abruptly. At least this way you will have known you put a lot of thought and efffort into the decision and can live happily with it. I wish you success in either path!
  10. by   2008rn2be
    Take it from me, don't quit! I felt the same exact way and I did quit. I regret my decision, but what's done is done, there's no going back. I have friends that felt the same way and they are now in second semester and feel much more confident with their decision to be a nurse. Good luck!
  11. by   dex77
    DON'T QUIT!!!!!

    I know where you are coming from! My first semester was so intimidating and difficult. I also didn't walk into nursing school with any prior experience and I was intimidated by all those who did. It was an agonizing first year...but now that i'm in the 3rd semester...I no longer have the same anxieties as I did in the first. I used feel like I was going to vomit before walking into a patient room. I felt so stupid, so incompetent, so far behind the others...IN REALITY everyone was feeling the same way! Stick it out, if you cry everyday you come home it's ok! I cried all the time after clinicals...I don't anymore. The first year you have no clue what to expect. You just have to get some experience under your belt and you'll be fine! The only reason you should leave is if you truly don't think you will like it as a career. Keep in mind that the inexperience is temporary-you're not always going to not know what to do, you will learn what you need to know-it just doesn't come all at once. Hang in there-chin up and find a group of people in school to help support you when you're feeling down or inadequate. It really does help!

    Good luck, and I hope you find the strength to overcome your fears!
  12. by   leslie :-D
    please believe us, when we tell you we understand.
    soooo many of us have been where you are.
    your feelings are not only normal, but to be expected.
    yes, there are people in your class that 'seem' to handle clinicals with more grace and confidence.

    do not compare yourself to anyone else.

    you are a unique individual, and it is these variances that will make you a one-of-a-kind-nurse.
    having been where you are, i would strongly encourage you to continue crying, vomiting and losing sleep, while pursuing your dreams.
    one day, you will appreciate the guts and glory it took to complete this program.
    it has only been 5 weeks.
    give yourself (and time) a chance.
    vent w/2-3 others in your class.
    share the miseries and rejoice in your victories.
    you CAN do this.
    believe in yourself and everything you strive to be.

    only the best to you.

  13. by   ANurse2be
    I just typed out a big reply and my computer went a little crazy on me! Grrrr! *Punches the air*

    I just wanted to thank you all for your advice and support. I logged on here a while ago, and reading all of the replies has given me the first smile of the day! (IT WAS A REALLY BIG ONE.) I was hesitant as to whether or not I should post my situation, and I am very glad that I have done so. I really appreciate all of the support on here, because it is hard to find support from others that don't understand the magnitude of nursing school and everything that accompanies it. I hope this isn't too soon but, "I love you all!"

    As for now, I am not going to make any abrupt decisions. I want to make big decisions when I have my head on straight and I lack the ball of emotions. I have spoken with my success coordinator ad we concluded that to get me through tomorrow, I am going to follow a nurse or HSA in clinicals. We figured such an action may help me alleviate some of the stress for now, and it seems like a great option as long as my instructor agrees. I am just going to have to continue taking all of this on one day at a time with the mentality of "I AM A STUDENT and I CAN'T POSSIBLY KNOW EVERYTHING." (I hope this can help me get through the stress.)

    Extra Tidbit: Regarding option A, I would transfer to the university upon getting the ASN, anyway. (FOR THE BSN.)

    ...If anyone else reading has some great insight or advice, please feel free to post. I need all of the support and motivation I can get. Thank you in advance!! :spin:
    Last edit by ANurse2be on Oct 4, '07