What's a good reason to quit nursing school?

  1. I've read a lot of threads here about quitting nursing school. Most of them were someone saying "I have problems with this, this, and this" and people saying "well that's just not a good reason to quit."

    I had my first clinicals last week, and I was miserable every single second of it. I've cried every day since, dreading the next. I've had nightmares about it. I honestly can't come up with a good reason to stay in school, aside from my pride, money, and the job security nursing would provide, but everyone around me is just saying "Hang in there! You can do this!"

    I used to want this so bad, but now...I just don't. Surely there's other ways to get what I want out of a job without going through all this mess.

    So, what is a good reason to quit nursing school? How do I know if this is just stress from school and a bad instructor and a hideous clinical site, or if this is something serious I need to address?
  2. Visit none the wiser profile page

    About none the wiser, ADN

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 55; Likes: 33
    from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Ortho, OR

    42 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    What would you do in place of nursing school? You can go through one line of work after another, but at some time you are going to have to settle with something so that you can support yourself and maybe enjoy your career. The problem most people have with quitting nursing school is that you do it too early and don't give yourself a chance to get it together. You might want to talk to a nursing school advisor or a regular school advisor to get some insight on your decision. Good luck.
  4. by   goodstudentnowRN
    You seem to be under severe stress. There is no reason to quit nursing school unless you did not want this bad enough. If this is your dream, you would not entertain the thought of quitting. There are many obstacles that came in my way since I started nursing school but these hinderances just motivate me to push forward. I am always a winner not a loser! I am above not below!
  5. by   none the wiser
    Quote from caliotter3
    What would you do in place of nursing school? You can go through one line of work after another, but at some time you are going to have to settle with something so that you can support yourself and maybe enjoy your career. The problem most people have with quitting nursing school is that you do it too early and don't give yourself a chance to get it together. You might want to talk to a nursing school advisor or a regular school advisor to get some insight on your decision. Good luck.
    I've thought about different grad school options, such as genetic counselor (I have a biology degree). I've also thought about other lower stress medical positions, like an ultrasound tech or something.

    Quote from goodnursingstudent
    You seem to be under severe stress. There is no reason to quit nursing school unless you did not want this bad enough. If this is your dream, you would not entertain the thought of quitting. There are many obstacles that came in my way since I started nursing school but these hinderances just motivate me to push forward. I am always a winner not a loser! I am above not below!
    I don't know if I want it...that's the problem. I feel like maybe I just sort of fell into this. I'd never even set foot in a hospital for more than a couple hours before this.

    What worries me the most is I felt no compassion whatsoever. I wanted to be done, and that was it. I really couldn't have cared less about my patient. He was in late late stages alzheimers, and was practically comatose, but shouldn't I have cared at least a little? I really just didn't though. It was just a gigantic pain, a huge task to get through.

    Already I resent my patient for next week and I don't know hardly anything about him. I hate that he's there. I hate that I have to clean up after him. I hate that I probably won't have time to go to the bathroom myself, but I will have time to clean up after his accidents several times over.

    The best part of the day was talking with my classmates before clinical about the diagnoses. I feel like such a horrible, insensitive person, but I did not enjoy caring for this person one little bit. I don't feel like this job is making me into a better person...it's just making me generally dislike people who can't care for themselves.
  6. by   llg
    I am just the opposite of many people on this site. I believe that too many students SHOULD quit but don't for the wrong reasons. They stay because of pride, because other people tell them to "give it more tme," or most often, because they smply don't have a great "plan B" all worked out. So ... inertia keeps them in school ... miserable and going into debt for a career they don't really want.

    Ask yourself a few questons, such as: What was it about nursing that appealed to you in the first place? What type of nursing did you imagine yourself becoming? What type of patients did you imagine yourself caring for? Do you still find that aspect of nursing appealing? Does doing that type of work still interest you? If not, why not?

    There is no reason you have to enjoy each and every type of nursng -- or feel a connection with each and every type of patient. All the way through college, I used to say "If the only job I can get when I graduate is on a med/surg floor or in a long term care faclity ... I will go to law school. I will not do that type of nursing. I am only interested in a few clinical specialties." For me, it was neonatal, peds, maybe maternity. 32 years later, I can tell you I have only ever worked in neonatal -- and I feel the same way that I did as a student. If I had to work med/sure or LTC, I would leave nursing.

    So ... analyze WHY you hate your clinical, what you hate about the care you are givng, whether it it is the speciifc specialty ... the teacher ... the stress of school ... etc. Ask yourself whether or not the reasons you chose nursing in the first place were legitimate and still relevant. That process of evaluaton wll help you decide whether or not you still want to be a nurse or not. If you decide you don't want to be a nurse, then quit and stop wasting your time and money on something that wll not make you happy. If this is just a case of you hating this particular clinical experience and you still find other types of nursing appealing, then suck it up and get through this particular TEMPORARY experience.

    Good luck with y our deliberations.
  7. by   eldragon
    Quote from none the wiser
    I've thought about different grad school options, such as genetic counselor (I have a biology degree). I've also thought about other lower stress medical positions, like an ultrasound tech or something.



    I don't know if I want it...that's the problem. I feel like maybe I just sort of fell into this. I'd never even set foot in a hospital for more than a couple hours before this.

    What worries me the most is I felt no compassion whatsoever. I wanted to be done, and that was it. I really couldn't have cared less about my patient. He was in late late stages alzheimers, and was practically comatose, but shouldn't I have cared at least a little? I really just didn't though. It was just a gigantic pain, a huge task to get through.

    Already I resent my patient for next week and I don't know hardly anything about him. I hate that he's there. I hate that I have to clean up after him. I hate that I probably won't have time to go to the bathroom myself, but I will have time to clean up after his accidents several times over.

    The best part of the day was talking with my classmates before clinical about the diagnoses. I feel like such a horrible, insensitive person, but I did not enjoy caring for this person one little bit. I don't feel like this job is making me into a better person...it's just making me generally dislike people who can't care for themselves.

    If you generally have no compassion for sick people, then perhaps nursing isn't for you. There's no shame in that. Or perhaps you just don't care for geriatrics. Perhaps you would rather be a surgical nurse, for instance. Nursing provides many options to choose from.

    But not everyone is cut out for it. If you aren't cut out for it, do yourself and your patients a favor and bow out now.
  8. by   scrubs4me86
    I would just like to tell you that you should think about why you got into nursing school in the first place, and if you still feel the same way, you should not quit. You sound exactly like me when I started nursing school. I had an intimidating instructor at the public hospital downtown. The patients all had AIDS (literally, no exaggeration, it was a med/surg floor, but most were unemployed and basically dying). I wanted to quit, but something made me keep going. When I started nursing school, I had no idea exactly what kind of nurse I wanted to be, but I found my niche in Labor and Delivery and I am glad every day that I did not quit when I desperately wanted to! If nursing is truly something that you do not want to do, then you should quit before you get out and find that you hate your job. But if it something that you still want to pursue (maybe just a different area or type of patient), then you should not let anyone or anything stop you!!
  9. by   none the wiser
    Quote from eldragon
    If you generally have no compassion for sick people, then perhaps nursing isn't for you. There's no shame in that. Or perhaps you just don't care for geriatrics. Perhaps you would rather be a surgical nurse, for instance. Nursing provides many options to choose from.

    But not everyone is cut out for it. If you aren't cut out for it, do yourself and your patients a favor and bow out now.
    Generally I do, just...it's hard to care when they aren't really...there anymore yknow? I don't feel like I'm helping anyone at all.

    I'm going to give it at least one more week, I think. I really did/do want to be a nurse. This particular place is just...horrible. My teacher is horrible. I've never done any of this before...I think it all just came crashing in on me at once.

    Yall are great, btw. I really appreciate the lack of judgment *hugs* You're very understanding.
  10. by   guiltysins
    You are not the first person to not like geriatrics. In fact most nursing students say that is the last place they want to work. That's not a bad thing. I would say try to make it through the semester and see how you feel abotu a different clinical. If you quit, you'll never experience it. A lot of people hate nursing school right up to the day that they graduate. If you realize that you really can't do it and don't want to do it anymore, then I say quit. If you really don't want to be a nurse anymore. It's even harder when you have a bad clinical spot, or when your professor is just horrible. I think you've just got those first clinical jitters. You hate it and the easiest way out would be to quit but think about the other things you'd miss out on. L&D clinicals, pediatric clinicals. Some people truly have a bad experience, it's not common. But things might get better in the next few weeks, just hang in there.
  11. by   NeoNurseTX
    Remember clinicals are NOTHING like real nursing...and for me they never got any less nerve wracking and there were still horrible instructors even at the end. And not all units are as crazy as med/surg. If I had a job anything similar to anything I ever did in school, I would NOT be a nurse right now.
  12. by   eldragon
    Quote from none the wiser
    Generally I do, just...it's hard to care when they aren't really...there anymore yknow? I don't feel like I'm helping anyone at all.

    I'm going to give it at least one more week, I think. I really did/do want to be a nurse. This particular place is just...horrible. My teacher is horrible. I've never done any of this before...I think it all just came crashing in on me at once.

    Yall are great, btw. I really appreciate the lack of judgment *hugs* You're very understanding.
    I work in a nursing home and I also find it hard to become involved personally with patients with severe end-stage dementia. I feel that their life has been led and in all reality, the healthcare system and their families have selfishly kept them alive because by the time someone gets to end-stage alzheimers, for instance, that person has had many health issues that were life-threatening but were kept "alive" by IV's, antibiotics, etc.

    I see the long-term results of healing every cough with antibiotics and of sending them to the hospital when they aspirate just because someone else fed them and they coughed some ensure into their lungs. There is a reason why the body tries to end a life that is, for all intents and purposes, over. They used to call pneumonia the old persons friend, because it would come along and end the suffering of an old person who was bed ridden. But now-days, they are rushed to the hospital and "saved" so that they can go back to the nursing home and "lounge" in a geri-chair for another several months until they aspirate again. Or they are dehydrated, or get a UTI, or skin-breakdown - all the natural things that happen when bodies are sedentary and the person can no longer care for their basic needs.


    Not to go on a ramble, but I see this type of patient everyday and when you have dozens of them to care for, it's overwhelming and alot of work. It's not particularly sad, however.

    So don't let any one experience change your career path just now. Hang in there because you have so many more options than geriatrics.
  13. by   elkpark
    As others have already posted, there are lots of options in nursing, and you don't have to like all of them. I hated my nursing home clinicals in nursing school, and still hate working with old people, demented or not. My specialty is child psych, which most people in healthcare won't touch with the proverbial ten foot pole -- so, it all works out in the long run.

    If you are hating your current clinical, but feel positive about nursing overall, I would advise you to stick with it and just "tough out" this particular clinical. However, as llg commented earlier, nursing is certainly not for everyone and there's no shame in cutting your losses early if you're realizing, in the larger sense, that you've made a mistake and are heading in the wrong direction.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  14. by   Resolute00
    I don't think you should quit after your first clinical. I have a couple of friends in nursing school and their first clinicals were in nursing homes. My opinion is that you should stick thru it. The nursing field is so broad, why would you quit after on clinical. Hang in there and make it to your next semester. The things you want in life are not easy to get, so just hang in there. I don't think your first clinical should be your reason for quitting. Good Luck.

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