Will I Ever Be a Nurse --- Am I the only One????

  1. The reason why I am posting this message here, because I am wondering if I am the only one that has had so many obstacles and valleys to cross over, go around, go through [etc...], with wanting to become a nurse. And will I see the day that I will be a nurse and futher my career as a nurse.

    Maybe I shouldn't post this message, because I will open myself up to more negativeness. No I don't want to be beat up more then what I have been already. I am looking for a ray of sunshine, hope that this dream, this goal will come true. I am looking for a soul [so-to-speak], that I can connect to, that has gone through similar trials and errors and is a nurse and has been one for sometime and has futher his or her career.

    This journey that I am on, started in September 1994. I was 32 at the time. Never been at a college, did not know anything or anyone. Did not know what to do or who to talk to. I was told from the financial aid office, that I could never take less then 12 hours because of the student loan I was getting. It was the Stadford Loan that I was receiving. Which I found out too late, that they lied to me.

    Anyway as I was saying, I started to a 4 year college in 1994, going for my BS in nursing. The day was cold, but excited. Everyone that was majoring in nursing, met in this big auditorium.

    We were told that you choose your schedule/courses and your assigned advisor will ok it and if there is any problems she will help you choose alternatives. That is when my bad luck [if you want to call it that], began.

    I chose my courses. Yes you had to take prereqs before getting into the nursing program. Chose the courses I was going to take, 16 hours, took the form to my assigned advisor. While she was looking over the courses I signed up for, I asked her, "is everything ok, so far?," and told her that "this is my first time of ever being in college." She never did respond back to me. She ok my paper and told me to go to financial aid office. So I did.

    I was having a rough time. My grades were not good. I was making B(s) and C(s), mostly C(s). I studied and read, but just wasn't doing that well. And too at this time, I was a mother of two and a wife. Then in the middle of the quarter [yes at this time this college was on the quarter system], when I was in microbiology, this girl asked me, "what are you majoring in and what courses are you taking." Well I told her, she looked at me and asked, "why are you taking 2 of everything." I looked at her and said, 'two of everything, what do you mean?' I gave her my copy of my schedule that had all the courses that I signed up for and my advisor ok signature on it, for her to look at it. That is when she pointed out to me that even though the courses has different names and different course IDs and section numbers, basically they were the same. The Statistic course I did not have to take, being a nursing student that I will have that after I get into the nursing program. I just looked at her, feeling so stupid and embarrased. She even made the commit, why did my advisor ok these courses, when they were the same. I told her, I don't know. I asked her what should I do. She told me that I need to go to my advisor and ask her why did she ok for me to take these courses. Well that is what I did.

    And of course that cost me, because I was going to this college on a student loan. Money I will have to pay back when I get finish.

    So I went to my advisor, told her what was told to me. I handed her the copy of paper that had the courses that I signed up for with her signature on it, okaying it. She admitted to me, "verbally," that I was taking two of everything and that I should not be taking the statistic course. She also said that she will take care of it, for me to w/d from everything and start over fresh in Winter of 1995. I asked her about my student loan, if this will have any barring on it. She said, "no it will not." I even asked her, will this be on my transcript? She said, "no, it will not, that she will take care of it."

    Well to this day, those courses are on my transcript and I am going to have to pay back that money I borrowed, to paid for those courses that I was trusting this woman to advise me honestly and truthfully and in the right direction. Not only that, but this w/d, went on my records, finacial aid records at this college which lead to a penalty.

    Over the time, from September 1995 to June of 1998, I have had to w/d from courses because of medical reasons and because of some of the courses that I was taking as an elective, the instructors flat out told you, "I do not allow nursing students in my class." Which again, I went to my advisor, the same one that I had from the very beginning at this college, and told her how I was being treated by these instructors and what should I do. She advised me to w/d and that she will take care of the instructors for the way that they have treated me and that these courses will not be on my transcript or interfer with my student loan. So once again, I trusted her.

    Well it ended up, when I started a new quarter, April, 1998. I received a letter from the financial aide office. Telling me that I am on my first probabtion and the criterias that I have to meet in order to keep my student loans. I went in and spoke to the person that was in charge of my file. This is what she told me, "According to your academic status, you have w/d too many times from courses and so you are put on probation and in order for you to continue to receive your student loan these are the criterias that you will have to meet." You have to be 12 hours or more, cannot w/d or drop out and if you fail any of the courses, just one of them, you cannot receive your student loan and in order for you to return back to this college, you will have to pay from your pocket the first semester."

    Well, I went through the whole story of what my advisor had said to me from September 1995 and that I could not afford to pay out of my pocket. She told me, "what your advisor said to you there is no proof of it." When I asked her, about semester, that is when I was by told by this lady, that the college was switching from the quarter system to semester system, September 1998.

    Well at this time, I was taking 12 hours. I failed A& P I. Found out that when this college went from quarters to semesters, they added more prereqs for the nursing students to take before enrolling into the nursing program. So it would have taken me another year and a half if not longer to finish the course. So that is when I decided to transfer to a 2 year college and just go for my ADN.

    June 1998, transfer to the college that I am at now. Retook A&P I, plus other courses. Got the financial aid I needed and was told that the minimum hours I need to take, to get financial aid, the standford loan, was 6 hours. That summer semester, I was taking 8 hours. I had straight A(s) in all three courses. That boosted my ego tremendously. Because I needed those A(s) to pull my gpa up in order to be elgible, along with my ACT score, to get into the nursing program. The courses I took in Fall 1998, again, the grades I received were great and my gpa went up higher and so did my confidence.

    But, on the down side, not everything transfer. The microbiology course that I took at the 4 yr college did not transfer, b/c it did not have a lab. So I had to retake it. This was Spring 1999 and I was accepted into the nursing program a semester early because of my gpa and ACT score. And too I was told, if I did not accept the offer into the nursing program, that it would be counted as my first time of being offered into the program. You have two tries to get into the program. So I did not want to risk it and so I accepted.

    Again, I did not know what to expect. Everything was going so fast and I had so much I had to do. In my microbiology course I came out of there with a high A, but I failed level 1 of the nursing program. In order to pass this nursing, you have to make at least an 80 and they do not round up. If you make 79.9999, you have a 79. Well I had a 76.

    Then in Fall 1999, the college changed their nursing program......everything.

    I got reaccepted back into the new program. Had no problems. Came out of there with an 87---a B. Went on to level 2. Which by the way we were the first ones to go through the new program and were the ginny pigs, some what.

    The way this program is set up, each level does not prepare you for the following level and that hurts you. Because the teachers [who taught the old currculum and did prepare you for the following level that you passed into], expected you to come into the level knowing something about what they are going to teach.

    I succeeded on to level 2, no problems. Went into level 3. After the third test, I had to w/d, because I started having heart problems and I was sitting at 80.

    I had to repeat level 3 and passed. Went into level 4. Had 21 days of lecture, 7 tests, final exam, plus other things we had to do. No I did not pass. I will have to repeat.

    From speaking to others who did pass and went through level 4 before me, when I asked, 'how did you pass?.' This is the answer they would give me, "I memorized." I am sorry, but my memory is not that good, especially being hypothyroidism and with all the material we had to learn in the short amount of time we had.

    I even spoken to several students, who have went through the program before me. This was the class that I would have graduated with, or be in the 4th level with, if I hadn't had to w/d because of heart problems. I asked them, do they remember anything that they learned in level 4. Everyone has said, "no," they do not remember nothing. In fact one said that some of the things that she learned, when she was in level 4, that "you use it when it was a code." What did she learn that you only use it when it is a code, I wonder. Because everything we had, you use it on a daily basis. The different diseases, etc....

    Like I said, I am not looking for pity here. I am not asking for more negativeness. All I want to know, are there others out there that has gone through what I am going throug?

    Will this affect me getting a good position?

    Will I be a nurse?

    Thank you,
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  3. by   Agnus
    God bless you. You are NOT alone. Everyone of my class mates with whom I graduated with has her/his own story of hardship and trial.

    My own story very briefly is this. I am an RN and currently working on my BSN. I graduated from an LPN program exactly 30 Years after starting an LPN program. Then I Graduated From an ADN program exactly thirty Years after starting an ADN program. I expect to graduate from Excelsior (formerly Regents) College with my BSN exactly (or close to it) 30 years after enrolling in Regents for the original AAS program back in 1973.

    Like you I have had a lot of set backs and along the way. I have learned a lot from my experiences. I had a GPA of 1.69 to overcome. By the way I gradauated ADN with a GPA of 3.43. At one time I asked to have my grades and records expunged. I felt I had an impossible mountain to overcome and thought that I should have consideration for growth and maturity that I since aquired. No way the school said unless I come back to that school and take 12 credits. Only then would they expunge my record. Even though I had taken many course and done well at other schools. But that was not good enough for them. Today I do not want that expunged because I am very proud of that 1.69 GPA! You see, it's because I over came it.

    I understand about the problem with dropping courses. I ran into the same problem when I started this last time to study for nursing.

    I got into the program as a second alternate. I had to retake many courses. I had to travel 100 miles a day to classes and clinicals. I whent on very little sleep and paid over and over for my nursing education.

    When I went back My nursing classes were my best grades. A's with only 2 that were B+'s. I did reapeat one class that I got a D+ in this last time because I'd gotten sick. When I repeated that class I got the highest grade of anyone in the class.

    Today I am a very happy RN. working in a job I thououghly enjoy in adult critical care.

    Keep you chin up. If you persit you will make it. Edison created some 80 or 90 diffrent light bulbs that didn't work. Until he finally had sucess. He didn't consider these failures. He only saw this as soritng out the ways that didn't work. Rather than looking at it as failure he viewed to as having not suceeded YET.

    This will taste so delicious when you finally do graduate. And you will have a wonderful inspiring story to encourage others. Learn all from this experience that you can. Cherish it. I see you as a person who will now take control of her own life and education and make her own decisions.

    School counselors in my experience are probably the least knowledgable people when it comes to making decisions about courses.

    [As a side bar here check out Fast Web Scoloarships. This site has access to scholarhips of all kinds. Don't hesitate to apply for scholarships. Even If you think you do not qualify. Both my sister and I have gotten scholarships that we did not qualify for simply because others who did qualify did not apply. ]

    If you want this, then don't stop. Often those who fail gave up just seconds before they would have reached the finish line not knowing that they were that close.

    I don't mean to give you platitudes I really live by this. Hang in there if you want it bad enough you shall have it. And the victory will be all the sweeter for the difficulty.
  4. by   newnurse72
    truthseeker- I to had a tough road to travel to become an RN, along with almost half of our graduating class. I agree with the last comment, you will only enjoy it more when it happens, and it will happen. I once had a college advisor tell me I'd never make it, she said "Have you seen the math they have to do?"- anyway she talked me into the occupational therapy program, I was miserable. My grades suffered dramatically. I later found out they were trying to boost the enrollment #s in OT. I did everything in my power to get back into nursing, with many obstacles along the way, I won't even get into that stuff. But keep your eye on the prize, and study, study, study! good luck, from what I can tell we need you out there!
  5. by   Mkue

    Those are horrible stories, I know you guys don't want pity but I can't help but feeling like what are some instructors thinking when they advise students.

    My story if not half as bad as any of the above, but if some people can learn something from our stories, than we have overcome.

    Recently I entered a BSN program and the more I spoke with the advisor I found that I needed more and more classes until I would actually graduate, the 4 yr. program was turning into a 5 -6 yr. program ! And I've taken many courses already at a community college.

    I've decided to transfer next fall and start clinicals in a 2 yr. RN program, actually 5 semesters, because I want to actually get some hands on experience as soon as I can.

    I know someone that did her own scheduling throughout her RN program, never went to an advisor.

    My goal after the RN- and it does seem like it will take forever and it does make one wonder if the dream will ever come true.. I would like to get a bachelors in something, probably not BS, but something.

    It does help to talk to RN's about their experiences. I find that the ones with many years of experience are very helpful, i have found some that tell it like it is and I like that straight forward approach.

    It helps to talk to someone that has gone through the same program that you are going through so you can get some tips. Unfortunately I don't know anyone at the school I'm transferring to I'm just going in on a prayer and a lot of Hail Mary's.

    Good Luck to all of you and keep us posted on your progress, I will too.

    Happy Holidays
  6. by   Y2KRN

    Hang in there you will be a nurse if that is what you wish, and you will be great because you will remember what it took to get there!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

  7. by   grouchy
    Truthseeker- Your ability to persist despite such difficult circumstances will make you an excellent nurse! Because you have already invested so much time and energy, I would advise you to keep going. Otherwise, I would have said to ditch this particular school. When you do graduate, wait for them to send you a fundraising letter. Then mail it back to the dean with a letter explaining how horribly you were treated,and how they need to get their act together if they want any alumni support. This might work even better if attached to a newspaper article about declining nursing school enrollments. In the meantime trust noone: review all course schedules with as many people as you can-maybe the dean or assistant dean of the nursing school, as many other nursing students as you can find, the school's own catalog. You can talk to the professors after the first class. If they say there is a problem, take advantage of your ability to add and drop courses during the first 1-2 weeks. Good luck!
  8. by   susie, rn, bsn
    YOU CAN DO IT! Keep going! I was a non-traditional student, a mom with four kids, working etc. when I went through school. I knew I would really have to want to become a nurse, because I knew it would be difficult. I lost two family members during my schooling, along with a number of other family difficulties. It was extremely difficult, but I survivied the ASN program, then the BSN program. With all that you have endured so far, YOU WILL BE A NURSE! and probably a great one too.
  9. by   Mkue

    Susie RN,

    Thanks so much, you are truly an inspiration to us all.

    I have 3 kids, one in college.

    My husbands business went under last year and it was devastating, but does not compare to losing a family member or loved one. My sympathy goes out to you.

    It is so wonderful to hear stories of perserverence (sp). I think that if nursing is the goal "and it is mine", one just keeps working towards the goal line as in football. A few yards at a time and finally reach the goal but not without hard work and preserverence and I think that makes it all worthwhile !

    I know we don't wear pads or gear in nursing school but I like to think that our protection is courage and confidence !

    Thanks again and congraduations on your accomplishments.

    Happy Holidays !
  10. by   TruthSeeker

    Thank you for the encouraging words.
    Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone.

    I found out from a friend today, who is in Level 3, passed. In fact it was today that she found out. So she will be starting Level 4, spring 2002.

    No, I haven't heard [yet], if I will be getting back in Level 4, this spring 2002. The rumor that has been going around, that there were 63 students in Level 3 and that they all were passing. If that is the case, I nor the others, who too has this set back, [repeating level 4], will not be able to get back in. Meaning we will have to sit out a semester.

    So I am asking......please be praying that I and the others that will be repeating Level 4, will be getting back in this Spring 2002 and that we will succeed this and also, NCLEX.

    By the way, just how hard is the NCLEX? The books that you can buy in stores [i.e., NCLEX made incredible easy], are the questions the same as the ones you will take to get your licenses? Please let me know?

    Thank you again for the encouragement, for the information, and for your prayers. Thank you.

    I know at the time I posted the earlier message I was down. But after reading what you have wrote, your caring words, I look at what all I have been through as a "set back," not as a failure. So thank you so much.

    You all are in my prayers.

  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Truth seeker:

    Immediately request a different advisor if you haven't done so already.

    What remedial help is available at your school?? Go to the Guidance counseling office and ask for review of course work. Is there a specific area of weakness they can help you identify it (beyond drop/add problems) e.g. test anxiety, problem solving skills, etc.

    Luckily, after a two year delay in returning to college, my program only changed one requirement for nursing program..... I had to take Zoology at another school to complete my prerequisites.

    Look at your schools nursing catalog. In my program, once you started in the nursing school, all the requirements the year you started were to be maintained even if nursing program changed.
    Sounds you got caught in a colleges rare complete overhaul of its programs.

    My heart goes out to you. Agree with the above posters: WHEN you get thru this you will be stronger than most cause you FOUGHT and persevered.

    If things don't work out for some reason with this program, is there any way you could transfer to another school? Maybe one that's smaller so you don't feel lost in the shuffle?

    {{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}} to get you through next semester. Karen
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 13, '01
  12. by   Agnus
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by NRSKarenRN
    [B]Truth seeker:

    Immediately request a different advisor if you haven't done so already.

    Please keep in mind an advisor is some one from the department where you major. A conselor is NOT.

    You should have an accedemic advisor. And yes change advisors if necessary.
  13. by   TruthSeeker
    .Oh believe me I have changed advisor and college all together. Did so in Summer of 1998.

    In fact the advisor that I had at USA, she was not even a nursing instructor or even had her degree in anything to do with nursing. I believe she had a degree in business, not for sure though. But I do know that it was nothing to do with nursing.

    In 1998, is when I transfer to the college I am going to now. Yes it took me that long to wake up and to see that I was slipping through the cracks and that this college only wanted my money. But I did not know of any other colleges that was near to where I live until then, Summer of 1998.

    You see, USA is an hour from my house. When I found out about MGCCC, [which is also an hour from my house in the other direction], I just kept asking, why didn't I know this, why haven't I been told about this college before. If I would have only knew, the money I would have saved and on top of that, I would already be a nurse. But God [I truly do believe], had His hands in all of this and still has His hands in it today. Call it nieve or whatever, but I did not know of any other colleges close to me, except for USA.

    Like I said, I never been to college. Did not know who to talk to, how to get information, what questions to ask. And the only reason why I knew about USA is because my sister-n-law went there.

    I know it took a lot to let me in your world for showing me that there are others who too has had problems. Only my family, besides the ones who reads this message now, knows the of the troubles, the "SET BACKS," I have had to over come to become a nurse. Yes I have been ashamed of these "set backs."
    Because of so many people that I have spoken to, went to college with, and even the instructors, all have said, they never did "fail," or "had no problems." So many times I wanted to go to an instructor and poor my heart out and ask, why, why am I going through so much. Why can't I be like everyone else that I have spoken to, just breeze through it and all ready be a nurse. This last set back, failing level 4, is when I began to ask myself, "Will I ever be a nurse and am I the only one who has had so many set backs, valleys, failures, obstacles."

    Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.

    Now just need to find out if I am reaccepted back into Level 4, spring 2002.

    Thank you and God Bless.

    Happy Blessful Holidays to all.

    I will keep you guys posted. Thank youagain.
  14. by   colleen10
    Dear TruthSeeker,

    While reading your message about the difficulties and red tape you have endured, I grew mad for you. That is absolutely rediculous. But I did want you to know that it's not just you, these experiencies happen to lots of student, even non-nursing students.

    I (hopefully) will start taking pre-req nursing courses in the evenings this spring while I work a full time job and try to save money so that when the time comes I can do my clinicals as a full time student and not have to work.

    I allready have a Bachelor's in Science from a four year school and while reading your message it took me back to my first weeks as a college student. The campus was sooooo big ( I got lost on many an occassion), I had know idea what financial aid I had and how it worked, I had no idea how to register for courses and under the guidance of counselors inadvertently registered for a course that was "only open" to Sophmore level students and above. I spent my first semester praying that my teacher didn't find out I was just a freshmen. Because if he did and booted me out of his class I had no clue how to with draw from the class and what if I I dropped below my full time status? I would loose my grants.

    I also have two friends that both majored in education. One had to completely switch universities because the program changed from 4 years to five. The other "fell through the cracks" and went through her college career without taking the state licensure exam for teachers and wasn't told of it until she graduated and tried to get her first teaching job. She had to wait a few months before the exam was offered again to take it and lost out on the teaching position.

    I have lots of experience with not having financial aid go through til the last minute, arriving on the first day of class to find that I am not registered due to "system glitches" and then need to re-register for classes, etc.

    I give you a lot of credit. The only reason I am going back to school as an adult is because of my prior experience in college. If I had not gone to college before there is no way I would have the courage to do it now. Give yourself a big pat on the back from me.

    Now that you have all this "college policy" experience under your belt hopefully you won't have many problems in the future. I would definately get a new adviser. If the school will not allow you to get a new adviser quit seeing the one you have now and go to a trusted member of the faculty or one of your instructors. Instructors usually have a better handle on the right courses to take anyway. Plus, buddy up with another nursing student and students that are further along in the program and can give you the skinny on classes.

    Good Luck to you and that which does not kill us makes us stronger.