I got in... now it's getting real


When I went back to school after a 20+ year absence I made my goal to get into an ADN program at my community college. Fast forward 3 years and I applied to, and was accepted into an ultra competitive BSN program. I should find comfort, or at least some reassurance in the fact that out of nearly 500 applications, mine was ranked in the high 80s but instead I'm panicking.

I'm definitely way outside my comfort zone and while I'm proud of the achievement I'm afraid I won't be able to maintain my success. I have to learn a whole new school, with new professors - not to mention an increased level of comprehending the course material. A friend who's already completed the first 2 of the 4 semesters has assured me that if I was smart enough to get in, I'm definitely smart enough to pass.

But I think nursing school is like labor. People who describe it once their done must have forgotten the torture, anxiety and the pace of an accelerated program. Just like a woman who has a 3 year old doesn't describe giving birth as being incredibly painful.

Am I alone in my anxiety? Is having my first summer without summer school giving me too much time to think (overthink)? I don't expect to find someone in my exact situation, but I can't imagine I'm the only one who felt they tackled more than they could handle. I'd love to hear a success story or two from someone else who's been teeter tottering between confident and nauseous.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. 3,723 Posts

I think in some way we have all been there..both nervous and incredibly excited and then nervous again.

I bit the bullet at a few months shy of turning 38 and applied to LPN school. Got in and was thrilled..then scared, then nervous, excited, thrilled, scared and then all of them. I worked full time, had 2 children in school (one a sophmore in high school the other in 1st grade), made it through with honors and passed the NCLEX first shot.

Decided to go back for my RN and again..happy, scared, thrilled, nervous, terrified, and then all of them together. Still workng full time, kids now older, got through it with honors and passed the NCLEX first shot.

Then.....went back for my RN to BSN...scared, thrilled, nervous, terrified..blah blah blah...I have 2 more nursing classes and 3 gen ed classes and I'm done.

What you are feeling is completly normal. We are always fearful or anxious of the unknown.

missmollie, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 4 years experience. 869 Posts

It's normal to be anxious when starting school, but you've been accepted. Congratulations are in order.

When schools starts, plan for your exam days, but take everything one day at a time. Know what you have on your schedule, what you need to get started, and what absolutely needs to be completed by the end of the week. I will not tell you that nursing school is easy, but I will say that I am extremely glad that I accomplished this at a more mature age. I believe you will be as well. Just take it one task at a time, and consider each completed task an accomplishment that will add up to your future as a nurse.

Enjoy your summer! Congrats!

NicoleLynch, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 2 years experience. 42 Posts

Oh no, you're not alone! I'm riding that emotional roller coaster myself! I just got accepted to my school's nursing program, which starts at the end of September. I'm excited, nervous, scared, happy, and basically just all over the place about it. I have 2 daughters who will be 3 and 1 at the time that school starts, so it's going to be a lot to juggle.

Courtney in CA

22 Posts

Thank you! You mentioned organization. I've heard from others that being organized with time, tasks, and studying is key to success. Is this true, at least in your experience? I'm ridiculously organized with time, materials, study time and pretty much my life. So if organization really is key I can take a small sigh of relief.