I'm SOOO overwhelmed!!

  1. I am starting Nursing school next week. I had THOUGHT I wanted to be a Nurse for years now. I like to help people, I'm very nurturing, I've got an interest in medicine as well.

    Yesterday, I picked up my books (12 in all) panic finally set in! These books are SOOOO thick I can't believe it! These books are for the Fall Semester ONLY!!!! My Syllabus alone, is about 6" thick!!! My stomach is in a knot! I will also have to take Microbiology 2 nights a week. I'm freaking out!!!

    For the first time, I have zero confidence. I really am starting to have serious doubts about myself. Suddenly working in an office for $8hr seems appealing! It is really hard to believe that I can learn all the stuff in these books in just 15 weeks, and manage my two kids, husband, dog etc.... I have never been a quitter, but I have the urge to get up and just RUN away!

    HOW on earth do people do this? If some of you can offer me some insight as to what helped you to survive, I'd appreciate it! I am so intimidated!

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    About Nurse2003

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 3
    FT Student. Also a FT Mom...pays lousy but the perks are great!


  3. by   MollyJ
    It's been about 25 years ago since I first sat int he classroom and (in that program) they handed us books and syllabi. I had an indescribable urge to RUN. I still remember it vividly. The books were so enormous (especially the Med surg book). Thumbing through the syllabi revealed tests, papers, care plan due dates, lecture schedules for topics that looked horrifying and overwhelming. I didn't even know what a care plan was! Then our instructor started talking about how the nurse planned and directed the care of patients. She talked about accountability. I wanted to run from the room. I just wanted to "take care of people". I didn't know I would be planning care or directing others. What did I know about any of it?

    You barely get your panic under control in the upcoming weeks and then your colleagues start to drop like flies. But they told us they expected to lose about I think 8 to 10 out of our very modestly sized class. People who you thought were stronger than you drop. It is scary.

    But the long and short of it is, I've been a nurse now for 23 years. Ta-da! Even in my MSN I would have this wave of feeling overwhelmed when they hand you that da** syllabi. Take a deep breath. Learning is a process, and learning nursing is a life changing process. Realize that you will be prepared to deliver what is asked of you when it is time for it to be delivered (if you keep up on your daily work). Get a calendar so you can see big projects coming up.

    Realize that the panic you are now experiencing is really pretty universal. Except for your first reading assignment, nothing is due THIS minute. Oh, likely some cute little instructor will have you write your philosophy of nursing on day one, but that's just so you can drag it out on the last day and see some growth.

    Deep breath. You'll be okay.
  4. by   essarge

    We all felt (and still do) overwhelmed. Sit back and take a deep breath. Think about why you are doing this.

    Yes, the texts are very intimidating, but the instructors won't just hand you the syllabus and say learn the entire book! They break it up and allot of times the entire book is not used, just select areas. And remember that all of the other students are probably feeling the same way!!

    You didn't say what type of program you are in. You mentioned 15 weeks. If you could let us know what type of program it is, maybe someone could help you wade through it.

    You will survive and look back and realize that it really was worth the high stress level that you started out with. That stress is what keeps most of us plugging forward!!

    Good luck and let us know how things are!!
  5. by   Nurse2003
    I'm in the ADN program at my local Community College. I WAS thinking of entering the bridge-over BSN/MSN program at USF when I'm done with the ADN. (HA! That's a laugh now!)
    I'm not sure I'll even surrvive the ADN program at the moment!

    Thanks, Pam
  6. by   Rn2BinMaine
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels overwhelmed. I have been an LPN for 13 years and am enrolled in the upgrade program for two semesters and will then be able to take the boards for my RN. I think the biggest fear I have is being a student in clinicals again. I have been so independent with my job on Med/Surg that it will be a big change to step back into the student mode. When I realized how much paperwork, how thick the books are and how many books there were, my first thought was "Back out now and stay an LPN." Well, I've waited this long for my RN and feel that I have done and learned all there is as a hospital LPN, so I need to move on. I really appreciate everyone's tips for getting through this and am so glad there is others out there that feel the same way.
  7. by   ADN 2002
    Hi Pam,

    Are you sure your 12 books are for the first semester only? I am in an ADN program (about to start my 2nd year) and I've used all the books every semester. We only have to buy like 3 more books after the initial investment (psych, OB, pedi). The thickness of the books is a little scary at first, but I promise you it doesn't seem so bad later on! I also wouldn't read the syllabus until you actually start the program - they seem really scary until you hear for yourself what's what. I don't even take mine out of the package until the first day.

    Also, the other students in your class are going through the same thing you are - you're not alone! I was so sure I was going to be on my own in this thing until I met some people (well, everyone) in my class. From the very first week, my class has been like my second family. We've spent so much time together - cheering each other on, crying together, studying together, etc. We also have many non-traditional students in the class - one of them is 50 years old and he's doing great.

    Also, talk to your instructors and get to know them too. They can talk you down if you're feeling overwhelmed - they've been through the whole nursing school experience already. My program director has even lent me books to finish a paper I was having trouble with. Our instructors are part of our big family I was telling you about - we kid around with them too like they're one of us.

    This program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I hope all of this helps to make you feel better and feel free to email me (and anyone that is reading this)anytime you're feeling overwhelmed.

  8. by   LJoyW_27
    it's ok!! i promise. I'm enrolled in the ADN program at my local community college...and i know exactly how you feel. I just finished my first year...fresh out of high school i started these classes. My first semester i took nursing 101., with clinicals and 2 labs, Anatomy 1, psych 101, and an elective (pottery). I felt the same way about the text books....only to find out that we only used two the majority of the time...the fundamentals of nursing text and the pharmacology text. The other ones were basically for referance....ooo except the careplan book!! that was my BEST FRIEND last year.
    i know you feel overwhelmed...i did too...i still do. i am yound..18 y/o...and people are teling me that in less than a year i will be taking my state boards and taking care of people...i feel the same way you do about having the competence required after only 2 years...or 15 week semesters as the case may be. Just relax...you will be fine. everyone there feels the same way you do . take eveyrthing one day at a time, one paper at a time, one assignment at a time and you will get through. and you will be so proud of yourself when you do get through!!
    best of luck to you in your first semester. Feel free to email me if you have any questions (this holds true to anyone) or comments or just need to vent to someone...i've been told i'm good at reasoning! have a great semester!!
    Last edit by LJoyW_27 on Aug 14, '01
  9. by   NurzofFaith

    I am starting my senior year of nursing school next week. I remember very well that pile of books and how intimidated I was and still get!!

    First...you are not alone and that's the good part! We have all been there and what you are feeling, just like the other posts have said it is so totally normal

    We have used alot of our books for more than one class, especially the HUGE Med/Surg book. I also was a wreck when I first picked up my new syllabus..I thought there is NO way one person can cover all this material and still be sane..hehe
    But I did along with my classmates..some dropped and some stayed..just as with all programs!

    The best advice I have received was from my best friend, she is a new graduate and an RN...she bought me a magnet and I have it on my fridge...its says...One day at a time! That is all anyone can do. Soo dont let those books get to you...build yourself up and KNOW you can do this

    Best of luck to you,

    --------Our problems cease to trouble us when we realize they are simply blessings in disguise-------
  10. by   Nurse2003
    Thanks you guys are sooo nice! I really needed the "boost" of encouragement. I actually cried my eyes out last night, I really was fighting with myself over whether or not to even go to the first day of classes!

    I'm taking a 3 day mini vacation starting tomorrow. I didn't think I'd even enjoy it...those darn books made me so nervous! Now I'm going to make the best of my little getaway.

    I think I'll take the advice of ADN 2002 and won't even LOOK at the books until the first day. It's all Greek to me anyway!!

    Again....thanks to all. I'm sure I'll be back when I FREAK out again next week!