Student trying to decide to Stay in Nursing School or Not

  1. Hey everyone,

    I really really need people's advice on my staying in nursing school or not. I've always said I wanted to work in healthcare since I could remember, but after 2 semesters in nursing school, I just don't think this is the right fit for me anymore. I used to say I wanted to work in healthcare because I wanted to help people. Now I'm wondering if this isn't the way I'm supposed to be doing it.

    I'm really really miserable in class and in clinicals. I also started working as an aid a few months ago, and I'm absolutely miserable there as well. It really scares me because I had thought this job would help me figure out what area of nursing I would like to specialize in (in a float pool, so I get a different floor nearly every assignment). The really scary thing is, is that I've hated every unit I've been assigned to.

    The only classes I have enjoyed in the program have been pathophysiology. I liked learning about the diseases, but everything else? not so much. I'm not interested in the content and find myself doing other things in class.

    I almost quit once before, but I told myself to hold on and see if it got better. "Maybe you'll like it better once you start going to the hospital and taking care of real patients." And so far, going to the hospital has been my least favorite part. I cry nearly every day about having to go to clinicals and to my shifts at work. And sometimes I will go hide in the bathroom and cry for a few minutes while I'm at there.

    I know everyone says that every person in nursing school feels like quitting at least once and that it's normal to feel like that. I just still don't think that what I'm feeling is normal. It shouldn't be normal to cry every day and have anxiety attacks in the car before going into the hospital for your shift.

    The only thing that is holding me back from quitting is all the time I've invested already in nursing school.

    Anyway I guess my question is, based on everything I wrote, am I right to believe nursing isn't meant for me?
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  2. Visit paola1422 profile page

    About paola1422

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    14 Comments

  3. by   It'sYaGirlK
    Maybe it's bedside nursing that isn't for you. I have no desire to work at a hospital but as a CNA I love working at an ALF! I will be going into correctional nursing once I become a nurse. Maybe do further research on opportunites outside of bedside for nurses! Best of luck
  4. by   idkmybffjill
    What about clinicals and your job as an aid do you not like? Do you dislike the patient care? Do you hate the tasks? Do you not like the critical thinking required for nursing judgements? Are having a hard time not knowing how to do everything and messing up?

    Because if the actual thing you hate is the nursing duties, then nursing may not be the best way for you to help others. Maybe you'd rather go into medical research or physical therapy or a number of other healthcare professions (or even things outside of healthcare).

    But if it's more that you hate making mistakes or not always knowing what to do or the anxiety of having someone's care in your hands, then I don't think that necessarily means you weren't meant to go into nursing. It may mean that you should pause and go talk to a therapist, especially if your anxiety is affecting you as much as you've said, so that you can figure out the best way for you to move forward in your career. You may still determine you don't want to get into nursing, but you may decide it is something you want to do as long as you can manage your anxiety.

    I don't think you should let how much effort and time you've put into it be the deciding factor. Because if you spend another year in this program and then end up not being able to handle working as a nurse, then you've wasted even more time and money than if you had quit 2 semesters in.
  5. by   Pepper The Cat
    If you are unhappy as a student, get out now.
    Do,you really want to,spend the next 40 Years doing something you hate?
    There are many jobs that help people that are not nursing. OT, PT, Rec Thaerapy, Social Work. Speech Language , Teaching, the list goes on and on.
    So you have invested some time in nursing. So what? Your investment has told you that this is not the path for you.
  6. by   MiladyMalarkey
    I think you know what you should do it's just scary to do it. Do what will make you happiest. Crying in the bathroom & loathing what you're doing is not your happy.
  7. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Quote from idkmybffjill
    What about clinicals and your job as an aid do you not like? Do you dislike the patient care? Do you hate the tasks? Do you not like the critical thinking required for nursing judgements? Are having a hard time not knowing how to do everything and messing up?

    Because if the actual thing you hate is the nursing duties, then nursing may not be the best way for you to help others. Maybe you'd rather go into medical research or physical therapy or a number of other healthcare professions (or even things outside of healthcare).

    But if it's more that you hate making mistakes or not always knowing what to do or the anxiety of having someone's care in your hands, then I don't think that necessarily means you weren't meant to go into nursing. It may mean that you should pause and go talk to a therapist, especially if your anxiety is affecting you as much as you've said, so that you can figure out the best way for you to move forward in your career. You may still determine you don't want to get into nursing, but you may decide it is something you want to do as long as you can manage your anxiety.

    I don't think you should let how much effort and time you've put into it be the deciding factor. Because if you spend another year in this program and then end up not being able to handle working as a nurse, then you've wasted even more time and money than if you had quit 2 semesters in.
    As always, excellent advice.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from paola1422
    Hey everyone,

    I really really need people's advice on my staying in nursing school or not. I've always said I wanted to work in healthcare since I could remember, but after 2 semesters in nursing school, I just don't think this is the right fit for me anymore. I used to say I wanted to work in healthcare because I wanted to help people. Now I'm wondering if this isn't the way I'm supposed to be doing it.

    I'm really really miserable in class and in clinicals. I also started working as an aid a few months ago, and I'm absolutely miserable there as well. It really scares me because I had thought this job would help me figure out what area of nursing I would like to specialize in (in a float pool, so I get a different floor nearly every assignment). The really scary thing is, is that I've hated every unit I've been assigned to.

    The only classes I have enjoyed in the program have been pathophysiology. I liked learning about the diseases, but everything else? not so much. I'm not interested in the content and find myself doing other things in class.

    I almost quit once before, but I told myself to hold on and see if it got better. "Maybe you'll like it better once you start going to the hospital and taking care of real patients." And so far, going to the hospital has been my least favorite part. I cry nearly every day about having to go to clinicals and to my shifts at work. And sometimes I will go hide in the bathroom and cry for a few minutes while I'm at there.

    I know everyone says that every person in nursing school feels like quitting at least once and that it's normal to feel like that. I just still don't think that what I'm feeling is normal. It shouldn't be normal to cry every day and have anxiety attacks in the car before going into the hospital for your shift.

    The only thing that is holding me back from quitting is all the time I've invested already in nursing school.

    Anyway I guess my question is, based on everything I wrote, am I right to believe nursing isn't meant for me?
    The time you've already invested in nursing school is a sunk cost. You're not going to get it back, whether you decide to continue in nursing school or not. So take that right out of your equation, and you're left with spending MORE time preparing for a profession you think you'll hate against NOT spending more time preparing for a profession you think you'll hate.

    Now the crying every day and anxiety attacks sounds like something to consult a good counselor about.
  9. by   Lipoma
    I just ended my 2nd quarter of nursing school with 2 more to go until I graduate. I do not overly enjoy nursing school and clinical is a hit or miss. I've gone through 6 rotations so far and only enjoyed 1....the heart failure/cardiac unit. Like you, I pretty much only enjoy pathophys, pharm, and health assessment.

    The only reason why I'm pushing through is because it's expensive, I'm doing exceptionally well, and the program is only 12 months long. If you can find the smallest reason to continue on, hold onto that motivation and graduate. With a BSN you can do sooooooo many things. Don't quit. CNA job is rough, I lasted 5 months before I left but I enjoyed being a MA because my scope allowed me to be very hands on doing procedural things. That's what I look forward to as being a nurse.
  10. by   Oldmahubbard
    This sounds like how I felt about nursing school. And I worked as an aide as well. What a truly crappy job that is, and not because of the fecal matter.

    This is a difficult call, because in school we are only exposed to the hospital, while there are many different roles outside the hospital in real life.
  11. by   ProperlySeasoned
    It's good that you like the hard sciences, but sounds like patient care is not your thing. That is OK. Have you thought about a career as a scientist? Bio-tech is a growing feild, and jobs are availabe at either an BS or PHD level.
  12. by   jaderook01
    If you hate it so much that it's causing you to cry all the time, then it isn't for you. Go do something else. Get a degree in something else. I'll be honest, I never cried in clinicals and I've never cried on the job. It's not always fabulous times- but I don't hate it at all. This is also my second career. It's perfectly fine to admit you don't want to do something. You simply discover what you want to do and then go do it. Good luck.
  13. by   Green Tea, RN
    I was like you when I was in a nursing program. I realized I didn't like nursing on my half way through the program. I didn't quit it because it was competitive to get into the program and I really worked hard.
    Now I am an RN with 2+ years of experience in med surg and OR. I still don't like nursing in general. I became part time for work about a month ago and started taking classes to get a master's degree in non-nursing. I am aiming to get out of nursing in next three years. A few of good things about nursing is that I (single with no kids) can make a living without working full-time as long as I Iive simple.
    I remember it was very hard being a nursing student, but also I feel being an RN is very stressful as well. This is just strictly my opinion, but if you don't like nursing in school already, you'd better get out then. After all, even if you make it to be an RN, you will more likely get out of nursing, like me. Nursing is not for everyone.
  14. by   Oldmahubbard
    In my case, I cried plenty, but never on the job or in clinicals. The time for crying was long, long past.

    As a nursing student, I was a single college graduate, who at age 30, could not make a living after multiple trials of different things.

    There was no man to support me, and no trust fund.

    I had no choices. I had to buckle in, and do things I didn't care for, in order to support myself.

    It was do or die. Sink or swim.

    So that is my sad advice.

    At age 30, I had extensive experience as an unemployed person. I was ready for the realities.

    If you think you can go into some other field, and be guaranteed a wage of 60-80k, then have at it.

    If you are young enough that don't really have to support yourself yet , then go ahead, and try to find a field you really like.

    I know I sound bitter, but this is the truth of "work".

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