Quote from SouthmovedupNorth
I have social anxiety and have taken all of my college courses online. Interacting with people freaks me out, much moreso than the courseload. I think I could excel as a nurse, but in a small practice or something without so many people / so much noise. I would love to hear from current students and registered nurses about the following questions -
1. What did you find / are you finding to be the most difficult task of nursing school?
2. How did you cope, or did you? Any days off from studying?
3. Did you / do you still ever have any self doubt?
4. Were you able to find a job relatively easy after graduation? If so, where do you work?
5. What is your pay - Do not answer if you feel this is not appropriate.
If I am accepted into a program, I will not be working while I go to school. I have no children and really no huge responsibility outside of my horses. I am feeling a lot of self doubt - Just about how old I am, "can I do it?" What if I hurt someone?? etc. Is it common to be this riddled with nerves? Are the other students nice or is everyone catty and unhelpful?
I started looking at nursing school when I was 25... I was 26 when I actually entered a program. I was by no means the youngest there. There probably would have been more older people in my program if it weren't for the fact that my nursing school partners with a four year college to provide an ASN and BSN in four years to those students, so over half of my class were in their late teens/early 20's for that reason. But there were plenty of people my age or older! On to your questions...
1.) The most difficult part of nursing school for me was the time commitment. There are a lot of time-consuming, BS assignments you get given and it was very frustrating for me to have to slog through that stuff. I worked per diem at the hospital and single-parented my child through it and did fine, though.
2.) I coped by keeping my eyes on the prize. I also vented a lot to my support system. Getting through really wasn't that bad, it was more annoying than it was difficult. I would take time off from studying weekly, I usually refused to study on days that I was at school or in clinical and I liked to take one day off per weekend to just relax with my family. So really, I sat down and studied about one day per week.
3.) In the beginning I had self-doubt, but then I learned to trust the process and take comfort in the fact that I was where I was supposed to be - even if the place I was in was uncomfortable for me or I felt slow/incompetent/etc. It's all part of the process.
4.) I had three job offers prior to graduation, they were pretty easy to get. I took a job in the ICU.
5.) My base pay is over $27/hr, plus shift differential/holiday pay/OT. And benefits. Pretty sweet compared to the $16/hr with no benefits I used to make!
It will probably be pretty tough for you to hurt someone unless you behave recklessly or don't care about your patients - which I'm sure you aren't planning on doing. It's common to be nervous. The cattiness or whatever of each cohort really depends on the personalities of the class and the environment fostered by each school. Even if people are catty, you have the option to just be quiet and stay out of it, so I wouldn't really spend a lot of time worrying about that aspect of school.