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I Am Not Smart Enough For Nursing And I Have No Options

Updated | Posted
by SuperBlue SuperBlue (New) New Student Pre-Student

Specializes in MHT.

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I’m sure you guys have seen these types of posts a lot, so I’m sorry if it’s repetitive and annoying.

I am 21 years old. I am in my 4th year of college, and I STILL haven’t finished my prerequisites for nursing yet.

I’ve had to retake so many classes, I had to decrease my work hours so I could study more, I have no social life. I feel like I’m wasting the fun years of my life stressing over a degree that I’ll never obtain. Science and math classes are arguably the most important of all the prereqs, and I struggle with them the most.

I’m really drowning out here and I have no one to talk to. I can’t tell my parents, because I’m on my own now and I can’t make anymore excuses. If I don’t make As, they will stop supporting me altogether. I don’t know what to do.

I already know that I won’t make it into nursing school, so, what are my options? With the credits I have, what can I graduate with at this point? I heard kinesiology is a worthless degree so I’m trying to avoid that.

Blatant Shannon, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical. Has 5 years experience.

I was 28 when I went back to school. The schooling was the hardest part of nursing all together. I didn't have any prior knowledge of how it was going to be, but I'll tell you a profound secret. 

Nursing is teamwork. You have resources in every workplace as a nurse. It really comes down to assessment of patients, communicating that assessment to medical, and following orders from medical. That's it.

Nursing education makes it all sound overwhelming, that there's more to it than what it really is. I'm not the brightest person in the world, but I can follow directions. Only you can walk through this door if you really want it. I recommend that you persevere because nursing opens up many opportunities to help people including yourself. After you get your license, then look at other things. That way you at least have a backup career. 

I hope that helps. 

I don't know what your grades are, but you do so you probably know whether you will be a competitive candidate or not in your area.  

Do you think you might have decent grades to apply for a LVN/LPN school?  Sometimes these schools tend to have less applicants than your regular BSN or Associate degree nursing programs.  I know most people on AN will recommend you find a community college program which has that program, but sometimes the private schools will take people with the less desirable grades.  By less desirable I mean all B's and not all A's; or something like that.

After you graduate as a LVN/LPN and get a job, some hospitals/companies may even help with tuition assistance to get your RN schooling done and go on from there.   Something to think about......

Squidpdx, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Ambulatory Care, Community Health, HIV. Has 5 years experience.

Yes, I agree. LPN programs are often a great way to start. There are many LPN-RN bridge programs, and working as an LPN will give you an idea of how you feel about nursing overall. Honestly, I'd say maybe start with getting your CNA first. It can help you figure out if you really want to be a nurse, and also clarify the role for you. Great to start earning money while you continue your education. Definitely look into LPN programs in your area. 

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

Like others have said...LPN is an option to consider. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with a counselor to assess what your aptitudes are and what you degree you may most enjoy and BENEFIT from. 

After 4 yrs and still taking pre-req's it's time to reassess and prioritize

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Are you sure you want to be a nurse?  There are many other options and you are so  young to feel this is your only one.  Ultrasound tech might be a good option for you and many low cost non-profit public community tech colleges offer it.  Or some people work in insurance and real estate and you don't even need a degree for that. 

I believe there is a limit to total student loans a person can take and if you've already been in school four years you have to figure that out so you don't run out of options.  I think checking into the public, non-profit community tech school is a cheaper alternative.

As to if you really want to be a nurse, you have to decide can you overcome your problems with math and science.  They can be overcome with study and there are many books and even free online info such as the Khan Academy to help anyone interested in improving.

Is your issue that the classes are too large and the instructors are not good teachers, rather TA's doing it to pay for their own degree?  That can be an obstacle in big universities.  I've had great teachers and occasionally not so great.  If that is the problem a smaller college would help.  I would look if there is a public state college that is smaller than you are going to. 

As to math, you have to do the homework and you should be able to purchase a study guide called a solutions manual or solutions review manual for your specific math book which will show you how to reach the right answer.  Otherwise you could spend hours trying and still not get it right.  It might not be offered at the college, but you should be able to get it online.  I used one years ago.  Also reviewed with basic books like Math Made Easy etc on basic math and algebra.  The type of basic review books that bookstores sold to anyone.

Chemistry has a lot of math too and you have to do the homework.  It takes time and repetition and memorizing.   There are review books for the sciences as well as free science info on Khan Academy and other internet sites I'm sure.

Lastly if you are trying to get into a nursing program in a large state university you may be up against stiff competition.  Also some colleges average the repeated coursework and some don't.  If your GPA is an issue you may be able to get into a nursing program by transferring to a smaller or private school, but then money can become an issue.  Private schools can be insanely expensive. 

Is there a local public community school that you could get your RN at?  Or you could go the LPN route at the local community non-profit school as others suggested and then do a LPN to RN bridge program. 

I must stress that you avoid for-profit colleges as they usually cost the most and have high default rates, some have even gone out of business in recent years and some grads find they didn't get the right training and that their credits won't even transfer to any other college!

But I would still look at other career options in allied health and check out the ultrasound tech program.  I think it pays as well or better than nursing and has better working conditions.

Edited by brandy1017

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service.

How do you study?

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

On 9/7/2021 at 10:08 PM, SuperBlue said:

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you guys have seen these types of posts a lot, so I’m sorry if it’s repetitive and annoying.

I am 21 years old. I am in my 4th year of college, and I STILL haven’t finished my prerequisites for nursing yet.

I’ve had to retake so many classes, I had to decrease my work hours so I could study more, I have no social life. I feel like I’m wasting the fun years of my life stressing over a degree that I’ll never obtain. Science and math classes are arguably the most important of all the prereqs, and I struggle with them the most.

I’m really drowning out here and I have no one to talk to. I can’t tell my parents, because I’m on my own now and I can’t make anymore excuses. If I don’t make As, they will stop supporting me altogether. I don’t know what to do.

 

I already know that I won’t make it into nursing school, so, what are my options? With the credits I have, what can I graduate with at this point? I heard kinesiology is a worthless degree so I’m trying to avoid that.

What classes have you taken in the four years besides nursing prerqs?  What job are you currently doing?  What interests you about nursing? How are you paying for school and board? 

If you haven't had a strong background in science and math in grade school and high school it puts you at a disadvantage in college.  Many girls do not get a strong a science/math background whether due to old fashion stereotypes of pushing girls toward pink classes vs just a personal preference. 

I liked science as a kid and was even put in an advanced class in third grade where I could go at my own pace and had to do a special report as well.  I did a 40 page hand written astronomy report.  Unfortunately that teacher left and the next year it went back to everyone at the same slow boring pace and then they only let the boys do actual science experiments.  Hopefully that is no longer the case in this day and age.  But it made me very nervous when I was graded on labs in Chemistry and micro but I pushed thru it and passed.

A kinesiology degree has limited potential, unless you go on to be a physical therapist.  I worked with a nurse who had an exercise physiology degree who had a sweet gig at a small college until 2008 and was laid off and couldn't get another job in his field.  He went into the military, was able to pay off his student loans and then got his RN.  Last I heard he was working in the ER of a level one trauma center.

I think you might consider taking a hiatus from college and not finish your bachelors until you know what you really want.  You can take nursing prereqs at the local community tech college.  Check it out as it has lots of different vocational job programs that are inexpensive and quicker than a four year degree.  There is ultrasound tech, radiology tech, dental hygienist etc, etc.  Unless you decide to go for PT.  PT was a Masters program, but I believe it has become a DNP now.

Also if you get any degree just to get one, it limits your financial aid to just federal and private loans.   I read the max federal undergrad $57,500 but I don't know if that is current.  That would disqualify you for grants to my understanding.

I always advise limiting student loans.  Seriously check into the local community college before you put more money into the college you're at now!

chevyv, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Mental Health. Has 13 years experience.

I went to a tech school then a BSN Completion Program. How many more classes do you have to take yet? Nursing classes are intense, not gonna lie. Sounds like you may already be part time, but it's time to think about what you want now. I went to school later in life while I had 2 littles at home.  My advise would be to figure it now because life takes over and the less responsibilities you have the better. It's so hard to study with children and work. 

You sound a bit burned out as well.  Take a day or two to regroup and seriously consider what you want to do in the next couple of years. LPN is great.  I did that as well. I was also a CNA for many years prior to LPN. Many tech colleges have a LPN with a RN tract available.  It's still a hard program so be prepared to dig in and keep working hard!  Good luck to you

amgRN, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, ER, education. Has 24 years experience.

I agree with the others that have made the suggestion you look at some other options such as a CNA, LPN, or medical assisting program.  

Often, it is not a matter of not being "smart enough", but you may need help learning better study skills.  Sometimes, students in college may also find they have an undiagnosed learning barrier that is causing school to be harder for them.  If you are in school now at a college or university with a student success center, you may want to schedule to meet with someone there to see if they can talk with you about studying, test taking, or any other issues that might be causing you to have such a hard time.  

There are lots of options out there!  If you have a technical college, you may want to see what degrees they have that you would be interested in.  You may find a good stepping block that will let you decide what you really want in the long run.  

Best of luck! 

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service.

You're smart. You need to stop thinking that you aren't. You can learn your sciences by breaking them down. Start at each body system at your own pace. You have to have a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology.

I've met people who didn't do very well in math and sciences but are doing alright in nursing. I find math and science easier. Pathophysiology is easy to learn. Nursing thinking is not. For example, the pt needs the prescribed medications  badly but family and culture, forbid them, are thrown in the health problems that the patient shouldn't get them. How are you going to decide?

In science, you administer the prescribed medication to ease the patient's pain or problem. If you have problem with understanding emotion and value culture, you'll find it hard to see your client's perspective.

Edited by Honyebee