Nursing school - reasons for not following through

  1. In your experience, what have you found to be the most common reason(s) why people do not make it through nursing school? I hear that out of the initial class of 130, only about 22 will actually graduate.

    I'm trying to prepare myself - I start school this fall.

    Thanks in advance!
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    Joined: May '04; Posts: 17


  3. by   suzy253
    It's true that you'll end up with less people than you started out with. I'm still hanging in there (sometimes I feel like by just a realllllllly thin thread). Some of my classmates dropped out for various reasons.
    1. Just figured nursing wasn't for them after all.
    2. Flunked out
    3. Flunked out by not showing up for classes.
    4. Personal/family reasons
    5. $$$
    6. A couple failed different courses and were forced to take a year off before continuing on but they'll rejoin us again in September.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   IMustBeCrazy
    I think lots of people also *really* don't understand exactly what it is that nurses do. As my wise CNA instructor once said, "you don't sit around old women helping them paint their nails all day". :chuckle

    In addition, I think it's also fairly evident of the HUGE liability nurses personally take upon themselves day in and day out. If I were to name my biggest fear, it would definitely be that.
  5. by   Tweety
    Being overwhelmed and falling behind is another reason people don't make it.

    It takes a lot of strength and determination. Plus, the rest of your life needs to be relatively peaceful and under control. (yeah right, like life waits while you're in school. LOL).
  6. by   Headhurt
    I think a lot of people underestimate what kind of sacrifices nursing school requires. It's not like regular college where you can half-a$$ed study and still pass, meanwhile going to bars on weekends and drinking your liver into a pickled state. It's not just nursing school...its a lifestyle change, and some people are either too selfish, too immature, or just not able to adapt to the demands of nursing school (you can discern which is which because they whine about unfair school practices and sometimes threaten with a lawyer). This doesn't apply to everyone that flounders in nursing school...but there are certainly more than a fair share.
  7. by   HisTreasure
    Many people in last years program failed out because of lack of support our nursing director told us. Support is very important. If you have children you need support especially with the different situations that can arise suddenly. Sometimes financial support, sometimes emotional support or educational support. Each individual is different, but I am a strong believer that a strong support system is essential.
  8. by   blkdawn
    I'm in the third semester of a four semester program and although our cohort started with 144 people, we're down to 63. I think (just based on the trend) we'll probably lose another 4 or 5 people and hopefully that should be it.

    Some people leave for personal reasons, but unfortunately, most of these people failed out. (Granted, the nursing program I'm in probably sucks more than most... :chuckle )

    These are the realities at a lot of schools. I'm not trying to scare you, but just let you know how it is.

  9. by   susanna
    Oh, well, I'm not enrolled in my school's nursing program yet but people who are pre-nursing majors are failing out now in my classes. I think that they are failing out because they don't know how to study efficiently or prioritize the information so that they score well on tests. Also, I'm already a college graduate and quite a few people I think are young and they kind of get good grades if their friends are getting good grades and think classes are dumb and don't try if their friends think its dumb and don't try.
  10. by   VickyRN
    Most of the time, the students fail due to academic reasons. The curricula is rigorous (especially in the ADN programs) and huge volumes of information must be digested FAST. The pace is overwhelming and exhausting. Not only that, then the student must be able to APPLY all of this information with critical-thinking type questions ("higher-order" type questions) on exams. A lot of students are not used to the higher order application questions. They are used to simply memorizing information and then regurgitating it back to the teacher word for word on the exam.
    Other times, the students allow anxiety and lack of confidence to get the better of them and they simply lose heart and give up.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 2, '04
  11. by   Annabelle57
    I'm seeing the same thing, and I'm still in pre-nursing classes, too. My microbiology class started at 30 people; we are now down to 12 and probably less - today is the last day to withdraw without penalty. I've lost my entire lab group!

    Honestly, I wouldn't let the high attrition rate frighten you. As with ANY program - nursing, law, English, hula, whatever - you're going to have certain groups of people. One group will be people who find their calling in another field while in nursing school - I actually had the reverse happen to me: I left my music conservatory to come do nursing! :chuckle There are the slackers who will wonder why their PS2 didn't help them pass pharmacology, or why all that beauty sleep during lab didn't make for an attractive grade. There are people who have misconceptions about what nursing really is - a foley catheter, a "whiff of diff", or a colostomy bag is going to freak the hell out of them, and they decide to pursue something else. There are people who have personal events get in the way, like a family member in the hospital or having to take a 2nd or 3rd job to support their family. There are people who run out of money. There are people who just simply decide they didn't really want to do it. There are people who win the lottery (oh, please let that be me...).

    But for the most part, you don't have the entire nursing department chasing after you with a stick yelling, "Get out! Get out!" I'm sure there will be difficult instructors, coworkers, fellow students, etc... and maybe I'm being an eternal optimist when I say this, but I remember something a professor told me: "You know, we WANT to see you succeed." Maybe other schools are more supportive than others - I don't know, I'm still pre-nursing. But in my musician days, in a school that was more cutthroat than a pirate ship, my professors were doing their best to help us all succeed.

    Plus, if you really, really want to be a nurse, you will be. The path you take might look different than you imagined, or you might just sail on through. Either way, same end result. Just keep on keepin' on, and don't let statistics scare you!
    Last edit by Annabelle57 on Jul 2, '04
  12. by   rileydog
    I got my bachelors in 4 years, good grades, hardly every studied and had a lot of fun!! Now I changed my mind am back in Nursing school at the community college and can't believe the work load! I've done more work and studying my first semester than I did my 4 years in college. We started with 50 and are down to 30 after 1 semester, so it is scary. But hopefully like others have said if I have the determination I will make it through!
  13. by   truern
    It's soooo fast-paced, especially in the ADN programs, and you really have to be dedicated to studying.

    Some of the biggest problems I see in my classes are those students that want test material spoon fed to them. Hand them a critical-thinking test and they fall apart because they can't use the info they've memorized. You CAN'T memorize most of the material, you actually have to UNDERSTAND it.

    Add to that the students that whine constantly "It's not FAIR" and think instructors have it in for them when they've done nothing to prepare for labs or clinicals.

    And, face it....some people, as much as they'd love to be nurses, just aren't cut out for it.

    It's usually easy to pick out the serious students though. They're not always the top grade-earners, but they put forth great effort. And they're MOTIVATED.
  14. by   husker-nurse
    It was my experience, in Nursing School, that there were way too many students who had been honor students in high school, and thought they could just sail thru Nursing school with no problem. I had minimal skills in science (I am really stronger in English, vocabulary and such). Most of the students who dropped were shocked when they were unable to ace the classes. I worked part-time and studied more than I ever had in high school; I even took a course on how to study! (which helped tremendously), and I graduated with honors, not that it matters, but it was meaningful to me. I will pass on to you what my nursing instructor gave to me; "How bad do you want it?" Good luck with your career!