Nursing school and overriding self doubt - Anyone else?

  1. I am 25 and now considering a career as an RN - My Mama is one, as is my sister in law. I've done in home care (unlicensed) for 6 years now as a self employed individual. I would LOVE the honor of being called a nurse, and the pay that comes with it would be better than what I make now. I have a soft spot for the elderly I have come to care for and love over the years, but would be happy I believe as an RN at a small doctors office. The whole idea is daunting. I have many questions...I've taken most of my prerequisites, with the exception of math & anatomy. The issue isn't getting into a program for me, it's once it begins

    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?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer! Every response means a lot to me. Every RN I have talked to has been really happy to answer my questions, and many indicate they felt "lost" after their first year of school, which is making me think I may not be alone here...

    Last edit by SouthmovedupNorth on Jun 9
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    About SouthmovedupNorth

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from SouthmovedupNorth
    I am 25 and now considering a career as an RN - My Mama is one, as is my sister in law. I've done in home care (unlicensed) for 6 years now as a self employed individual. I would LOVE the honor of being called a nurse, and the pay that comes with it would be better than what I make now. I have a soft spot for the elderly I have come to care for and love over the years, but would be happy I believe as an RN at a small doctors office. The whole idea is daunting. I have many questions...I've taken most of my prerequisites, with the exception of math & anatomy. The issue isn't getting into a program for me, it's once it begins

    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?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer! Every response means a lot to me. Every RN I have talked to has been really happy to answer my questions, and many indicate they felt "lost" after their first year of school, which is making me think I may not be alone here...

    25 isn't old. At 25 you may even be one of the youngest in your class!

    Social anxiety will be limiting -- if you let it. Some of your first assignments in nursing school will be to interview a nurse, interview a nurse manager or interview a patient. Take it seriously and use the assignment to meet with someone face to face and interview them. You cannot be a nurse if you're not willing to interact with people.

    My most difficult task in nursing school was the clinical aspect -- talking with the patients and the staff of the facility. I didn't cope well, and had a rough time of it. Identify your support systems now; you'll need them.

    I had three jobs through most of nursing school, so there were days off from studying but not because I had a day OFF. On some days, I started off cleaning hotel rooms at 5am, had a waitressing gig for lunch and/or dinner rush and closed the bar at 2 or 3am. Those weren't days off. Hopefully your schedule won't be that packed.

    I had plenty of self doubt, but as others have said on here, self doubt is what keeps you from making that stupid mistake that can harm a patient! The new nurse who terrifies me isn't the nurse with self-doubt, it's the one who thinks she knows everything.

    You can easily run a search for starting pay and average pay of nurses in your area. There are salary surveys on this site, and the results will be available for you. Asking someone's pay is not considered a polite question.

    Good luck with making your plans.
  4. by   emmjayy
    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.
  5. by   CrunchRN
    Absolutely you can do it. I suffer from performance anxiety and made it through nursing school and have had 24 years as a pretty good nurse. You can do it and should.
  6. by   Ashdwn
    Why would you think 25 is too old?! I'm 32 and half way through, The only limitations are the ones you put on yourself. I have children and a job and made it work, its difficult and I have a hard time around people too but realizing you'll do whatever it takes and its only temporary helps.

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