Hating Nursing School - Don't know what to do


For the past few years I have been trying and trying to get into a nursing program. Well finally I am in a ADN program and I hate it. I have hated every minute of it. I honestly believe that a big part of it is the school itself. They are trying to expand and doing a crappy job of it. None of the teachers really know what they are doing.. and it's miserable. I am doing quite well grade wise though. I have one of the highest grades in my class. But still it just hasn't clicked with me. I cry every night before clinicals, after.. I'm so terribly miserable after one semester. And it has nothing to do with the work load. I'm fine with that. THere is just this feeling that I have deep down that I hate it and I'm afraid that it's not going to change. So I've been debating if I should even continue onto the next semester or not?

I don't want to put more time money and effort into something that I hate. What if I hate it when I get out? I dunno what to do.. Any advice would be great.

polka-dot, RN

1 Article; 375 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I've read on here many times from people who say they hated school but love nursing. Hopefully these feelings you have are temporary...do you have a friend from school you can bond with? Sometimes it helps to vent those feelings of frustration with someone who knows exactly what you're going through.

Can you pinpoint exactly what it is you dislike so much? If so, then maybe you can start coming to grips with your feelings and maybe find something positive to focus on. It sounds like you don't like your school in particular...can you focus on something else you do like? Patients? Other students?

Good luck to you...I hope you find the strength to do what's best for you. My hunch is that you're going to hear from a lot of people who were in the same boat and are glad they stuck it out.


60 Posts

I honestly believe that a big part of it is the school itself. They are trying to expand and doing a crappy job of it. None of the teachers really know what they are doing.. and it's miserable.

I think the first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what it is you don't like. If it's the school itself, then well, it isn't nursing you hate, and dropping nursing altogether might not be as good as transferring to a better school or something. If it's something else you hate, then you should address that issue accordingly.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Hey there,

Can you tell if you are hating school or if maybe nursing just isn't what you thought it would be? School sucks, imo, no two ways around it. I'm sure you have seen here that the horror stories are numerous. The thing is that if you really want to be a nurse you will have the strength to slog through it to get to your goal. If you are finding that nursing isn't your cup of tea, please don't feel bad for one second, definitely take some time to explore other options. Your pre-reqs will transfer to nearly any other major so no real loss there. Nursing as a career just isn't something you can grit your teeth and get through imo. I wish you well as you figure this out. Hugs, Jules


17 Posts

I worked really hard to get into a nursing program but once in I found out that I was pregnant my attitude changed, before I got into the program I was obsessesed with nursing! I studying NCLEX books I could barely understood, picked up nursing books at barnes and noble just to read and get ahead I lived and breathed nursing. To make sure it was what I wanted I even volunteered at an assisted living facility and even the grossest jobs I was able to do I loved taking care of people. After starting I was so sick because of being pregnant that I got so discouraged and lost my love for nursing everyday was a battle with myself to get myself together and go I have never been so sick in my life as I was my first semester and I was so depressed I wanted to quit! I know my situation is different than yours but my point is that maybe your overwhelmed, the first semester is hard and even though you may hate it at this point maybe you will like this coming semester better. You could just be exhausted, honestly that is why I joined allnurses.com because I was getting so down and depressed I needed "nurse school support" and this site is great for that! I think you should consider why you wanted to start so bad in the first place remind yourself of that feeling when you first got accepted and I would try and stick with it at least give it another semester you could just be going through a period of stress and exhaustion especially if you dislike your school. If not maybe look into transferring to another school. But consider the fact that your going to dislike doctors you work with as a nurse and other nurses and even patients and you will have to deal with that as a nurse so maybe you should get used to it now, not liking your particular school is not enough to quit. Good luck! I hope you follow your heart!


7 Posts

The problem is I'm underwhelmed actually. I got by very easily. Studying and everything I have no problem. I'm only working part time so I have plenty of time to actually study and the first semester.. well I thought it was going to be harder, but it wasn't. I've been so frustrated because I don't know if I just hate this school or if it's actually nursing. I think I'm more about the tech aspects then the bedside nursing part of it all.. So I've been debating going into a new field.. Or maybe try to switch out schools and see if it helps.. I'm so confused!

Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I really apperciate it.


654 Posts

I truly dislike Nursing school,majority of my instructors,and a lot of people in my class,but I love nursing so I could care less about anything else,stick it out,you might surprise yourself and start liking what you training for...


21 Posts

I dislike school and waking up at 4:30 in the morning to go to clinicals and not sleeping or having a life. I cry after almost every clinical rotation. Because I'm exhausted, I smell like feces, and I'm aggravated. Sound remotely familiar?

Stay in school. It is not about dreams of a great career and, at this time, it is not about helping people and being a beacon of light. That is an added bonus. The truth of the matter is, economic times are tough and its only going to get worse. With upwards of 2 million Americans out of jobs at the moment, you need to cling to this opportunity. Nursing will fare relatively well in the coming economic depression. And having a job will be far better than starving or losing your home.

If I had my way, nursing would be the last thing I would want to do. I have a bachelors in accounting and nursing is far more promising as far as pay, hours, and benefits.

It is a dirty job and a hard job. You are in the working class. The smartest thing for you to do is find the career that gives you the most money for the least amount of time...and you have found it. Stick through it. You have the support of other nurses, this forum, and hopefully, your family.


7 Posts

Hi Nicolie,

If you don't like it then you shouldn't be doing it - life is too short. I'm still a bit unclear about what you don't like. You mentioned the lack of challenge and being underwhelmed. Nursing school has a lot of bs and not enough hard core patho type courses...some programs are worse than others because they don't have the faculty who understands the patho well enough to really teach it!

My question is, how do you feel during clinicals? Do you like working with pts? You just finished your 1st semester - was it in LTC? First semester in many programs essentially gets you to CNA level - not much. Med Surg will certainly be challenging....critical care will be really tough - if you get into it. I've seen a lot of students just kind of float along. Nursing School is one of those "you get out what you put in" sort of things.

Clinical instructors really run the gamut ... I've had 1 nightmare clinical instructor who didn't know her stuff (and I consequently ended up paying for it) and 4 clinical instructors who were awesome.

Nursing really is a "calling". You can make decent money, have decent job security, etc. but bottom line there are easier ways to make money. We do things that most people cringe at. The flip side is when you have a patient who's got half a dozen lines in them, who is embarrassed by being reduced to having a student nurse perform personal hygiene on them, say to you "thank you so much, you're really an angel from heaven".....I've done a lot of things in life and made very good money but imho there is no financial reward that comes close!

So, the question is, are you the sort of person who is willing to do what other people don't want to do - and like it? Because if you are forcing yourself to do it for money, job security or whatever, then you won't be the kind of nurse that you would want your grandmother to have - and you're going to be taking care of somebody's grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter......


7 Posts

My problem is I don't know what I don't like about it. From my first moment on the floor I just felt akward. I know that's expected, and I just figured that I would slowly get used to it. But I never did. Some of the girls just had everything click with them right away. My first floor was basically a med-surg floor.. I don't know if we were really supposed to be there. I was lucky that I got to do more than just bath's and oral meds. We did shots, started IV's, hang piggybacks.. everything.

My instructor sucked though. Thankfully we got a new one halfway through and I totally thought that things would finally turn around because our new instructor was amazing. But I still dreaded it. I always thought I had a thing for people, and eveyone has always told me that they felt I would make a great nurse. I'm smart, I can think fast in tight situations, I can deal with people yelling at me (the whole time I've been trying to get into school I've worked in retail.. I can deal with the crappy customer or patient)

The whole time during clinicals I just wasn't inspired. I waited this long to get into school and it was nothing like I expected. I have to teach myself everything. I swear I think I knew mroe than some of my teachers about the info we were going over because I knew the book better than they did.. It wasn't hard. I studied hard but It just wasn't what I thought or wanted it to be. Even during clinicals.. I felt before that I had this passion for helping people, and helping people get better. I've had family in the hospitals before and the right nurse can really make a difference..

I'm so sad and hurt and confused because this passion that I had.. just isn't there. And I don't know what to do about it.

I'm debating switches schools, maybe that'll help. It really isn't the best program. Even the second years I've talked to say that it's crap adn you have to get yourself through it.. Or I might go into Sonography, I'll get my patient contact plus I'll still have to have some tech skill and be able to diagnois.

I really apperciate everyone listening to me vent. This has helped. My poor boyfriend and family have to be going crazy listening to me change my mind over and over and the random bits of crying I go through.. So thank you.


6 Posts

Rest assured that you are not alone. Unfortunately I can't tell you that it'll get any better. In fact, it may very well get worse before you're done. You never know who you're going to get for instructors, or what changes they may make in your program. RN education programs are very costly, arduous and time consuming. Something tells me that if you really HATE (pretty strong word) all of it....not just some of the components...i.e. lectures, labs, nursing care plans, science-related courses, community projects, clinical rotations (which most students are intimidated by), etc...then it must be a miserable experience for you. I'd encourage you to pay attention to that. Life is short. I'm in my 50's and have been a hospice volunteer for several years. I'd say half...maybe more...of my patients have been younger than me. Closer to home, my brother-in-law passed away at age 50 of prostate cancer, my sister-in-law who's 56 is seriously ill with carcinoid cancer, and my first husband passed away in his 50's from complications of diabetes. So.....is it possible that there's another career path out there that might make more sense for you? Please know that I'm not taking your situation lightly or being critical in any way. It's a tough spot you're in. My very best wishes that you'll come to some conclusion and resolution......

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

whatever you decide to do, know that it's not a total waste. as long as you aren't sure, you aren't sure. meanwhile, you are learning a lot about yourself. you are feeling a certain way but aren't sure what it means. you may not for awhile yet. at some point, you'll be able to look back and use this time as a point of reference in evaluating various situations. it's not a fun place to be, but you're bound to run into such dilemmas at some point - where you feel underwhelmed or out of place or whatever it is you're feeling right now.

i totally understand the feelings of nursing school not seeming very rigorous. if you're a science-oriented student, there's a thread specifically discussing the impressions of nursing school by students who enjoyed their hard-core science courses prior.

what to do? how easy would it be to switch to another program (eg sonography)? if it's pretty easy, maybe you want to shadow a sonographer and/or student and if you like it, make the change. or if you really know that's what you want to do, as opposed to just trying something else you might discover isn't what you expect. or if you can reflect back on any other positive class or volunteer or work experiences that suggest a more promising and motivating direction for you, then go that way.

if it's not that easy to change and/or you're not at all sure what else you'd rather do, then consider staying in nursing and making the most of it, especially since you're likely already close to half way through by now, and especially if you're in a bachelor's program (since having a bachelor's degree can open other career doors).

you can use the unique opportunity of your clinical rotations and status as a student to find out about various other roles and potential jobs out there and/or to work as a volunteer or intern. nursing school does expose you to a broad knowledge base and to a wide array of health care arenas that can inform future career choices, even if you choose to move away from nursing.

- i just checked back to your post and saw that you're in an ADN program, where the RN license earned is much more valuable than the degree earned; if you think you're unlikely to use the license, then you might more seriously consider changing your course of studies; it's a very personal decision and there's no crystal ball to tell you for sure what you should do; as long as you do your best and make the most of it and stay true to yourself, I think it's possible to avoid regretting even decisions that don't turn out as we hope. Best wishes to let and keep us updated!

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