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Haven't even started the program, but already terrified of flunking out

I just can't shake this fear that I am having. I am set to start the nursing program in January. I am so scared that I won't be cut out for this. I know the school is really hard. I'm constantly seeing or hearing about people that are in there who are flunking out. I've had people (here on allnurses) warn me not to even think about going to this particular school. Unfortunately I don't have much of a choice of which school I go to. I'm so afraid that I am going to quit my job, get into a bunch of student loan debt, just to flunk out. I've tried to think happy thoughts and I'm really excited to finally get started, but it's hard when I have negativity coming from every corner. I know people who have graduated from this program and know people who are very close to graduating so I know it can be done. I'm just worried that I won't be cut out for it. I need some positive words and encouragement. I don't want to be this worried before I even get started!

I had the same fears before starting school. I have been out of school for 10 years and I was never any good at it. This time is different though because this time I'm more motivated to do well. So I studied my butt off, and I am now carrying a solid 4.0. I am taking more classes than the rest of my classmates but I am holding on.

The key is always be prepared to study harder than the person sitting next to you. :)


Specializes in Intrested in hospice & psych.

Congrats on getting in! :yeah:

I will be starting in the fall. I have my choice of schools but I am leaning toward the best one which is also the most difficult one. I have the same fears and anxieties.

I hope it is not as hard as everyone says it is. The only thing that gives me hope is that there are nurses out there who are as dumb as a box of rocks who have managed to graduate from these schools and even more prestigious ones. I just think if they can do it well then there is no excuse for me not to do it with perfect grades!

You got this far, you got in! You will do great :) Just work hard and stay focused. Good luck!

ShantheRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc.

I think everyone has this issue to some degree, whether they'll admit to it or not. I gave myself a pep talk - literally. The night before clinicals started, I was staring in the mirror and said to my reflection, "Get over it. You've got this!" Sure, I kinda felt like an idiot for doing it....but it worked :up:

I've also realized that sometimes I am my biggest obstacle. I've learned to stop, take a few deep breaths, and mentally kick myself in order to focus and not let my nerves get the best of me. My motto is "baby steps." One test at a time. One skill review at a time. If you micromanage it, it doesn't seem nearly as formidable. We've already lost some people and we're only in our first term of the clinical rotation. It happens at every school, but you can't assume that your fate will be theirs.

You can be great - you just gotta convince yourself of it :) Good luck!

newbebop, ADN, BSN, MSN

Has 12 years experience. Specializes in critical care nursing, ED, education.

These anxieties are normal. But if you let them get the better of you, they will pull you down. Take a few deep breaths. You have to believe in yourself.

There are people flunking out of all kinds of programs, you cannot assume that it is because the program is too hard. Or that you can't do this. You can do this! You have been accepted and are getting ready to begin. This is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud. Don't let others get you down. If you can't get their negativity out of your head, turn it around and use it as fuel.

You can do this! Take some time between now and January to do something for yourself. Pick up a healthy habit, Start a journal, Something just for you, It will help you to refocus and you may discover your confidence. ;-)

Best of luck!


Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Telemetry.

I used to have the fear of flunking out too but I just take it one day at a time...day by day, week by week...Now I am almost done, no more exams just preceptorship and NCLEX review :D

I'm not in nursing school yet, but I'm in a job where I really have to think on my feet.

What helped me was realizing that fear/nervousness wasn't just a useless waste of an emotion: It's a signal for you to DO SOMETHING!

Don't just take a hot bath and make it go away! It's your friend!

You need to look your fear in the eye, and ask it what, specifically, it wants you to do to be more prepared for an experience you're afraid of.

When I start to feel it, no joke, I ask myself: So what am I doing to do about it?

Is it telling you you should really go back to the skills lab? Is it telling you you should really take another practice test rather than go to the movies with your friends? Is it telling you you really need to go talk to the professor and tell her you're trying but you just don't understand glomerular filtration -- long before the test?

(Mine is usually telling me to turn off the TV!)

Then do that thing, you'll be more prepared and you'll feel better.

Not only will you be more confident, you'll probably be more prepared and do better too. It has worked for me at work and in my prereqs.

Do all your assignments, go to ALL your classes and don't give up. Nobody can give up on you but you, so just don't. You'll be fine.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement! I know I'm just probably worrying way too much. I just got done with my orientation today and they were very honest about how hard it is, but it was also really exciting and interesting too! I just have to stop worrying so much and try to be positive. I know I'm going to give it my all and if that's still not enough then I'll pick myself back up and try again!


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