3 weeks into nsg program, he wants to quit...

  1. I don't know what to do...my son is 3 weeks into the nursing program at Gordon College, and wants to quit...He's not yet 20, got into the program on the 1st attempt (i've heard of folks on the wait list 4+ years...)...anywhoo...

    When I was in school, I ate, slept, and breathed...nursing school. It was either study and pass or lose my home and son (because I wouldn't have been able to provide for us if I didn't pass).

    He is not yet 20, but doesn't apply himself (he said he was preparing for his head to toe assessment skills lab, but couldn't find what consisted of patient "history..." he gave me the book and it was on the FIRST PAGE!!!!!)

    He just doesn't get it...what a MIRACLE he got in the first try...he has never had to work for excellent grades, but with this he is just not applying himself, and I called him on it...told him he spends all his time playing "warcraft" online instead of studying (he then became defensive..."you don't see what I do at school...") He cut back on work 3 weeks ago so "he could have time to study."

    I just don't get it...new grads at my facility start at $20/h...should he succeed, he will be 21 making $20/h with more opportunities for career advancement, and sign on bonuses (I graduated in 1996, and made $12/h...took me 1.5 yrs to get into a hospital job)...

    anywhoo...how to motivate a childish son? This is not a test, this is the real world. Is it because he has never had to work for excellent grades???

    Yesterday he said "I don't know if I want to do this...I don't know if I have it in me...maybe I should be a doctor or a dentist"; like THAT would be EASIER!!!

    I just don't get it...

    Thanks for listening

    atlanta rn
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    About AtlantaRN

    Joined: Oct '98; Posts: 772; Likes: 293
    med/surg/hospice/home health RN
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience


  3. by   gauge14iv
    I know this isnt what you want to hear...

    It's a case of the old lead a horse to water thing...

    Sometimes kids need to screw up on their own - no matter how much it hurts to watch them. Perhaps he isn't really sure that nursing school is where he wants to be. Or maybe he had no idea it would be so much work. Or maybe he realized the reality of it in some way and now suspects that that reality may not be right for him no matter how much you want it to be. Ask him if he as some idea of what he WOULD like to do, and then support him in that. It's so dissapointing when kids don't hold up to what they've committed to or to what you thin kis ideal for them. Sometimes we as parents just have to stand back and let them do what they will. <sigh>
  4. by   Nathalie
    I dont know how to motivate him. Maybe its a matter of him being used to not working hard to get good grades since he used to just "getting it" the first time. Nursing School is a whole other world and hes probably just getting the hang of it. Maybe hes not interested in being a nurse anymore and theres nothing anyone can do about that. If he wants to explore in something else he needs to make sure that this is what he really wants to do and you need to emphasize that it would be the equal amount of work and more! hes probably just really stressed from it all. i havent even started Nursing School yet(starting in January and really excited) but on some days I get scared and I dont know if Im really sure if thats what I want to do anymore. Maybe its the anxiety. Only he knows or maybe its just subconsciously. Good Luck. Im sure he'll come around soon. My guess is, he's just scared.
  5. by   AtlantaRN
    it just hurts because he has a wonderful opportunity, but is still acting like a 13 year old (DSL has been REMOVED), perhaps that will assist with motivation...

    He HAS to start thinking like an adult, hard work now will pay off as when he is my age, he can retire...the TASSEL is WORTH the HASSLE!!!

    thank you for caring enough to post your thoughts

  6. by   NurseforPreggers
    Have you considered that maybe nursing isn't what he wants to do? Maybe you should encourage him to find something that he loves to do.
  7. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from atlantarn
    it just hurts because he has a wonderful opportunity, but is still acting like a 13 year old (dsl has been removed), perhaps that will assist with motivation...

    he has to start thinking like an adult, hard work now will pay off as when he is my age, he can retire...the tassel is worth the hassle!!!

    thank you for caring enough to post your thoughts

    i have a feeling you've told him everything that needs said to help him realize what's at stake and what needs to be done to be successful. i also have a feeling you've done everything you can think of to motivate him. i understand that you are well aware of how life works better than he is and that you see the benefits of his continuing in the program and the disadvantages of his failing out.

    but unfortunately, here's the thing: as much as we as parents would like to we cannot live the lives of our children for them. at the end of the day all you can do is share your wisdom and then back away and let him own his decisions and their consequences.

    there is a saying that i turn to during such times with my own child:

    "should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings."

    good luck to you.
  8. by   prmenrs
    Since I was 4, all I ever wanted was to be a nurse. I was very bright, but teachers always described me as an "underacheiver". I think I was actually ADD. Didn't like to study. Turned out I was extremely near-sighted, which was discovered just before 9th grade. (I had gotten D's most of 7th and 8th grade.) I started getting better grades cuz I could see what was going on, but by then, the no-study bit was a habit. I could get c's and b's in HS (even a Catholic school) w/o studying, why study?

    Got accepted @ college (Univ of Hawaii), but not into the nursing program. So, I started taking the same courses as the nursing students-anatomy, chem, micro, but I couldn't get away w/as much stuff in college as HS. It also didn't help that after 3 yrs of all girls, there were men around, and that became VERY distracting. UH had a policy that you could basically cut as much as you wanted as long as you showed up for midterms and finals. I flunked out TWICE!!!!!!

    My parents were paying, and my dad had told me: I have this much $$ to send you to school, when it's gone, you're on your own!

    I guess what I'm saying to you is it sounds to me like he's fooling around, all right. IMO, you may need to deliver an ultimatum: turn it around, or get a job and forget about school, at least for NOW. Not forever!

    After the 1st flunk out, I decided I need a Catholic hospital school on the East Coast where I wouldn't be tempted to go to the beach instead of class, and there would be plenty of external discipline! Cutting class would soooo not be an option. And that is exactly what I did. Altho there were a few near misses when things got scary and I almost didn't make it (depression, homesickness [family moved to west coast]), but ultimaltely, they gave me my black stripe and my diploma and I passed the Boards 1st time, got a job @ a hospital I stayed @ for 34 years. STABILITY!!

    I made a pact w/another student to stick it out, and some one told me something that turned into a motto: "Sacrifice immediate pleasures for ultimate goals."

    Good luck--let go as much as possible. He's not throwing his life away for good. There are plenty of threads here w/people saying "Is it too late @ 30, 40, 50?
    Last edit by prmenrs on Sep 19, '05
  9. by   llg
    There is a book that deals with the problems that some young people have making that transition from teenager to adult. It sounds as if your son is having some of the problems described in the book. You might find it helpful to read.

    Levine, M., 2005. Ready or Not, Here Life Comes. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    There are many reasons why teenagers arive at young adulthood not ready to be adults: this book covers many of those reasons.

    Good luck,
  10. by   lady_jezebel
    Have him meet other male nurses in a technical, high-paced setting, such as the ER or ICU, so that he can see what they really do. Unfortunately, nursing programs start off by focusing on bed-making, toileting, and an emphasis on traditionally female values ("compassion" "listening" "touch"). He needs to see what the work environment is really like before making such a huge decision.

    But also wanted to say -- he needs to make his own choices, even if they're the wrong ones (in the long run). Maybe nursing really isn't for him. Alternatively, maybe nursing is right for him, but not now -- he can always reapply in the future. Maybe he needs to figure things out for himself right now, make mistakes, and discover who he is.
  11. by   lady_jezebel
    LOVE this quote, and will think of it often as I raise my son. Thanks Mariedoreen:

    "There is a saying that I turn to during such times with my own child:

    "Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.""
  12. by   goodknight
    I am 19, and in my second semester of ADN. When I was reading your post I wondered "if he can't motivate and apply himself in school, will he be a good and safe nurse?" Maybe he will be. But if this isn't something he wants or is mentally/emotionally ready for, then perhaps he should try something else (Gen Ed, Ass. of Arts) for a while. Them when he feels ready to be a responsible adult, he can go back into a program, if he is still interested in nursing.

    Obviously it would be ideal if he would take advantage of the opportunity he has now to be an RN without the long wait that seems to be standard now. But it may be that he just isn't ready for this kind of responsibility.

    Just my 2 cents. Not worth that much.
  13. by   Gompers
    Whose idea was it for your son to go to nursing school? I know it's a stable job - but it is NOT for everybody. There are thousands of other jobs out there, and maybe he is better suited for one of them. Of everybody I went to nursing school with, the ONLY ones who actually graduated were those who wanted to be nurses, period. The students whose parents steered them towards nursing or those who were in it for the stability and money...they all either failed or switched majors. You can't make someone want to be a nurse, and maybe this is his way of "getting out of it" without hurting your feelings.
  14. by   elizabells
    I definitely agree that sometimes kids have to fall on our butts before we figure things out - I absolutely did.

    Something else my dad told me (I know, I post too many of his sayings!) - sometimes you're so afraid you won't be good enough that you don't try. If you don't try, you can't fail, and you can always tell yourself that if you HAD tried, you could have done it.