ARRR10: I understand what you mean and how you feel. I was super shy myself. I got teased alot when i was in school, so when i got to college it carried over. Like you I would always try to think through an answer just in case the professor called on me. Like you i was scared, quiet, nervous and shy, to top it off, im a girl that towers over EVERYONE i know, i stick out like a sore thumb. Im 5'9.5. Now imagine this tall girl, slumping her sholders, watching the ground when i walk and not even so much as trying to look someone in the eye. I stuttered when i was called on, my heart was in my ears, my face burned and you could litterally see me shaking. You know what helped? Martial arts. I joined a tae kwon do school in my neighbourhood and it did wonders. I think you should take a communication or speech class, but i also think you should look into martial arts, it doesn't have to be tae kwno do, it could be anything, i think it does wonders for one's confidence. Its been a long time since ive trained, but I can tell you that today i stand all 5'9 of my height, 6 feet in a pair of heels, im not so afraid to look someone in the eye and speak. Yes i will always have that shy nervousness, but i know how to use that nervousness to get me to stand infront of the class and make a presentation, raise my hand to answer a question or ask a question.
You know what? look at the responses to your post, you aren't the only one, so you are not alone. Best of all you have the wisdom of someone like Daytonite who always have great words of encouragement.
Don't worry you will make a fantastic nurse with time and experience