First week of nursing school... is it for me?

  1. I recently started in an ADN nursing program at a local community college. The first week was a roller coaster of emotions and I can't help but feel overwhelmed. This is completely normal from what I hear and read. I had prepared myself tremendously prior to the start of my program, I had watched countless youtube videos documenting nursing school and the process, study tips, what exams and clinicals are like, etc. I had even talked to many nurses about the career itself and I hear nothing but extremely negative things... long endless hours, lack of breaks, poor administration, unsafe working conditions, under-staffing issues, bullying and "catty-ness" on the floor, complete disrespect from upper medical personnel... the list goes on. I'm nervous that I can not cut it in this type of atmosphere and the pressure and stress of it all will be too much. My professors so far have put that out there too pretty clearly that nurses "eat their young" and that they all can be rather cruel and after one another. I'm sitting here thinking how in the world am I going to survive and even thrive in this environment.

    I am a rather shy introverted person... with very little healthcare experience coming in so everything is out of my comfort zone. My group that I have been placed in for our labs is all experienced with many years of previous work experience in medicine (CNA, X-ray, techs, etc...) I feel inadequate and undoubtedly scared.

    I also suffer from severe depression, PTSD, GAD, OCD, as well as chronic back pain due to a disk injury and tear about 7 years ago. I don't know if I can physically and mentally handle this field of work. Ever since school started my back has been bothering me from long extended periods of sitting for lecture, my long commute, studying and reading... Its killing me already and I haven't even got to the point of lifting or ambulating patients.

    Unfortunately my mental health problems have been dragging me down, even more so as I completed my first week of nursing school. I was trying relentlessly over the previous 2 years to get myself "together" more to be able to handle this all because it was what I seemingly wanted to do with my life-- I love school, studying, medicine, helping people-- but I don't think I can cut it in the real nursing environment. The stress of the career is going to be too much for me, I have heard horrible things about the profession-- even from nurses currently licensed now. I know it is very stressful and having a shift work schedule which varies week to week wouldn't help me as well. The thing is I've been so persistent to do this that I had made it the only thing in my life to live for, the only thing that drove me to get up everyday, but now that I'm here beginning the schooling part of it, I'm realizing it might not be the best for me. Though I love the content and the book work part of it all, I don't think being in the clinical setting or as much so as a nurse is, is right for me. I don't know what to do. I feel lost. I feel suicidal. I think my life is over. And it sounds ridiculous to hear myself say or rather type, but it's the truth to my feelings. My mental health isn't good either (obviously) and I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to better fix it or at least progress in that area. So physically and mentally I feel I cannot do nursing. It breaks my heart to think this way because I love the idea of being a nurse. I respect and admire it so much. I'm probably going to end up withdrawing soon and when I do I might have to hospitalize myself and go through that process... my psych NP and therapist have both brought this up before and I should have listened to them when they told me to consider putting off school. I have no support system. School was suppose to be my saving grace and help me out of this depression... but that hasn't been the case yet

    My heart is broken and torn. I am at a loss for words, I am lost
    Last edit by knursing on Sep 4, '16
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    About knursing

    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 4; Likes: 2

    9 Comments

  3. by   knursing
    I recently started in an ADN nursing program at a local community college. The first week was a roller coaster of emotions and I can't help but feel overwhelmed. This is completely normal from what I hear and read. I had prepared myself tremendously prior to the start of my program, I had watched countless youtube videos documenting nursing school and the process, study tips, what exams and clinicals are like, etc. I had even talked to many nurses about the career itself and I hear nothing but extremely negative things... long endless hours, lack of breaks, poor administration, unsafe working conditions, under-staffing issues, bullying and "catty-ness" on the floor, complete disrespect from upper medical personnel... the list goes on. I'm nervous that I can not cut it in this type of atmosphere and the pressure and stress of it all will be too much. My professors so far have put that out there too pretty clearly that nurses "eat their young" and that they all can be rather cruel and after one another. I'm sitting here thinking how in the world am I going to survive and even thrive in this environment.


    I am a rather shy introverted person... with very little healthcare experience coming in so everything is out of my comfort zone. My group that I have been placed in for our labs is all experienced with many years of previous work experience in medicine (CNA, X-ray, techs, etc...) I feel inadequate and undoubtedly scared.


    I also suffer from severe depression, PTSD, GAD, OCD, as well as chronic back pain due to a disk injury and tear about 7 years ago. I don't know if I can physically and mentally handle this field of work. Ever since school started my back has been bothering me from long extended periods of sitting for lecture, my long commute, studying and reading... Its killing me already and I haven't even got to the point of lifting or ambulating patients.


    Unfortunately my mental health problems have been dragging me down, even more so as I completed my first week of nursing school. I was trying relentlessly over the previous 2 years to get myself "together" more to be able to handle this all because it was what I seemingly wanted to do with my life-- I love school, studying, medicine, helping people-- but I don't think I can cut it in the real nursing environment. The stress of the career is going to be too much for me, I have heard horrible things about the profession-- even from nurses currently licensed now. I know it is very stressful and having a shift work schedule which varies week to week wouldn't help me as well. The thing is I've been so persistent to do this that I had made it the only thing in my life to live for, the only thing that drove me to get up everyday, but now that I'm here beginning the schooling part of it, I'm realizing it might not be the best for me. Though I love the content and the book work part of it all, I don't think being in the clinical setting or as much so as a nurse is, is right for me. I don't know what to do. I feel lost. I feel suicidal. I think my life is over. And it sounds ridiculous to hear myself say or rather type, but it's the truth to my feelings. My mental health isn't good either (obviously) and I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to better fix it or at least progress in that area. So physically and mentally I feel I cannot do nursing. It breaks my heart to think this way because I love the idea of being a nurse. I respect and admire it so much. I'm probably going to end up withdrawing soon and when I do I might have to hospitalize myself and go through that process... my psych NP and therapist have both brought this up before and I should have listened to them when they told me to consider putting off school. I have no support system. School was suppose to be my saving grace and help me out of this depression... but that hasn't been the case yet


    My heart is broken and torn. I am at a loss for words, I am lost
  4. by   HarleyGrandma
    Quote from knursing
    ...

    I feel lost. I feel suicidal. I think my life is over. And it sounds ridiculous to hear myself say or rather type, but it's the truth to my feelings. My mental health isn't good either (obviously) and I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to better fix it or at least progress in that area. So physically and mentally I feel I cannot do nursing. It breaks my heart to think this way because I love the idea of being a nurse. I respect and admire it so much. I'm probably going to end up withdrawing soon and when I do I might have to hospitalize myself and go through that process... my psych NP and therapist have both brought this up before and I should have listened to them when they told me to consider putting off school.
    You need to seek help, now. Everything else is secondary to your safety. First rule of nursing, patient safety. Please take care of yourself, nursing school will still be there once you have found a healthy place in your mind and spirit.

    Gentle hugs & positive thoughts
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from knursing
    I feel lost. I feel suicidal. I think my life is over.
    I missed this part. If you truly are feeling suicidal, reach out for help. There's the promise of a new day to live for. Please get help. We care...

    1-800-SUICIDE

    1-800-273-8255

    1-800-866-2465

    1-800-621-1693

    Suicide.org: Suicide Prevention, Suicide Awareness, Suicide Support - Suicide.org! Suicide.org! Suicide.org!
  6. by   NICUismylife
    It's hard to see anything clearly when you're struggling with a mental health issue. Nursing may be for you or it may not. Its not for everyone. Even if it is your calling, you need to defer the program and focus on getting yourself better.

    What I got from your post is that you are passionate about academics and research. Have you considered going into medical research? Or what about teaching the sciences? There are many options to explore if nursing isn't your exact fit. But your own health needs to be priority right now.

    Good luck!
  7. by   knursing
    I will be seeking further help and I am currently under the care of a Psych NP and therapist. I'm so concerned that if I can't do nursing, that nothing else out there in the world is for me. I love health and medicine and I'd want some interaction with people and caregiving. I'm at a loss and feel I have to have some sort of plan figured out before I drop from my program.
  8. by   mimibrown
    If you are feeling suicidal, you really need to get help. You can't be an advocate for patients unless you can advocate for yourself. You don't have to have everything in life figured out right now. You need to be safe. Best wishes.
    Last edit by mimibrown on Sep 4, '16 : Reason: typo
  9. by   BSNbeDONE
    Quote from knursing
    I will be seeking further help and I am currently under the care of a Psych NP and therapist. I'm so concerned that if I can't do nursing, that nothing else out there in the world is for me. I love health and medicine and I'd want some interaction with people and caregiving. I'm at a loss and feel I have to have some sort of plan figured out before I drop from my program.
    Academically, you could change your major towards a degree in psychology. This field of study would help you to understand more about what is going on with yourself, as well as teaching you how to help others in similar situations as you find yourself in at the moment. All is definitely not lost. Creating and chairing support groups would be ideal. Psychology definitely combines a knowledge of medicine with the ability and desire to treat and help others. Imagine becoming a guest speaker providing hope where hope is believed to be lost. Your testimony in itself provides experience in the subject. (Remember, experience comes in many forms, including life).

    But first things first. As others have said, you must take care of yourself before you could possibly be in a position to care for others. Even in the absence of mental issues, your physical issues would be a hindrance to you as far as gaining the experience that new grad nurses are required to have that enables them to move on in this field.

    The great thing about the healthcare field is that it is comprised of many different avenues...not just nursing. You have many options available to you. Go see your practitioner, get your mindset and thoughts back on track and tomorrow, look over those options.

    Well-wishes for a bright, new future away from the bedpans and emesis basins.
  10. by   knursing
    I thank you for your response. I have since pulled out of my nursing program (it was terribly hard to do) and have enrolled in a more intense mental health treatment plan. I have considered psychology as a major when I return to school, as this is what I was previously studying prior to switching to the nursing path. I have considered pursuing OT but am still unsure as to the physical demands there. I still feel lost and overwhelmed. My poor mental state is no help there. Thanks again.
  11. by   Meeshie
    I'm glad to know that you have decided to work on you and your health. I wish you all the best.

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