I HATE nursing school. Now what?

Nursing Students General Students Nursing Q/A

I am in my third semester of nursing school and, if I make it through this semester, I will only have one more to go until graduation. But, I HATE nursing school. I keep reading that being a nurse is not like nursing school and I leave my clinicals feeling intrigued, interested, challenged, and excited for being a nurse. Mainly, my issues are with how it is structured and how I simultaneously feel pressure to ask a million questions and shamed by/ hostility from professors for asking ¨stupid questions.¨

My school requires a 75 or higher to be considered passing in a class. If you do not get that, you fail the whole semester and have to repeat the class you failed with a 75 or higher before you can move on to the next semester. It also has a zero tolerance policy for late work (very understandable), drilled into us in the first and second semester about all of the things that would get us kicked out of the program (also important to know... but there are better ways to go about it), and expects us to always be prepared (also very understandable), and how they have the right to change our schedules (due dates etc) at any time for any reason. However, the professors are often unprepared, do not understand the instructions for their own assignments, give vague/ unclear directions with information that is half correct, often seem like they don´t really know what is going on, and/ or get defensive/ hostile/annoyed/ look at you like you are an idiot when you ask specific questions to clarify (because whether they told you or made it clear or not you are accountable for it... that is why I ask a lot of questions).

Also, and I am not trying to imply that class should be entertainment, but where is the sense of humor? Where is the attempt to make learning fun/inspiring/ even remotely engaging? I know we are going into a profession that requires a very high degree of professional communication, but we are all human and the medical field deals with life and death and uncomfortable situations on a daily basis... you have to laugh, or you´ll pull your hair out from stress, cry your eyes out, and/or get burned out. Further, all that therapeutic communication stuff that we have been learning about since first semester? Definitely not practiced in the academic setting. Basically, it just feels like there is perpetual disorganization, lack of respect for our time, dual standards of expectations, and zero sense of humor. And I am finding myself angry, already burnt out, frustrated, and perpetually exasperated.

Additionally (I swear I am almost done), I am in OB this semester. I am a female in my early 30´s, married, no kids, don´t want kids, think birth and pregnancy are gross, and find that people are continually trying to explain things in terms of what you do with your own kids/ with your own pregnancy. Also, for the ones who don´t have kids yet that are either younger or male, there is a definite assumption that they will and, I am quoting my professor here, ¨you should learn it now, so you know when you go through it.¨ What about those who have tried and are unable? What about those who are like me? Screw you for implying that I am less capable/less something because I don´t have kids and don´t want them (this has also happened a couple of times in clinicals and a few times in other classes... it is never overt, but the implications are clear).

So, what now? I am seriously considering quitting, but, as I and my husband have sunk a considerable amount into this already, I need to be 100% sure and have a plan of action before I bring it up with him. I decided to go into nursing school to make a career change from working in various roles in retail and food service and to join a career path that can actually make a difference for the better in the lives of others while still being able to pay the bills. I have a bachelor´s degree, but the degree is basically useless (it was a build your own major with an emphasis on English and creative writing, but I did a lot of work in Sociology and Biology... I took the long way around to graduate). I am very afraid that I have made a horrible, expensive life mistake.

32 Answers

Specializes in Emergency Room, CEN, TCRN.

You ever say something out loud and realized you answered your own question?

"HATE nursing school. I keep reading that being a nurse is not like nursing school and I leave my clinicals feeling intrigued, interested, challenged, and excited for being a nurse."

Nursing school isn't nursing. You're almost done. Quit looking for things you dislike and focus on what you do like about what you're learning, get through the last semester, and graduate.

Working as a nurse is light-years away from nursing school. I did not enjoy nursing school and have had a 25+ year career that has been much more fulfilling than school would have led me to believe.

You've put a lot of time, effort and money to get where you are now. Tough it out and finish; THEN you can find an area of nursing that you can enjoy.

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

It sounds to me like you are in a crappy school. Put your head down, trudge ahead and make it through. Your career will be what you make it and you will have many options.

Find a way to break down the time until you graduate. How many weeks until the next break? Hang on until then. Then count the weeks until the next break. When you're graduating with your class (whomever hasn't already run away screaming) you can breathe a big sigh of relief, get blind drunk, take a little holiday and then plan the Rest Of Your Life.

Specializes in Neuro.

It sounds like you just don't like your school or their methods, and maybe rightfully so, it could be crap. But if you leave clinical intrigued, why then do you just wanna quit? You're almost done, get through it & be a good nurse on the other side. Good luck.

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice.

Just get through it and study nclex style questions. I can already tell that you're going to be a good nurse.

It's hard to find good nursing instructors. Damn near impossible. So nursing school often sucks a smelly fart.

But being a nurse opens up a world of opportunity.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Peds, Pediatraic Home Care, Infusion.

Just study, take tests, check off weeks, hours left until the nightmare is over. You have received great advice already. Don’t get involved in personality issues with nutsey, unstable instructors. You are going into a wonderful profession, focus on class and clinic work only. The only way I got through nursing school was knowing there was an end date to the stress and the misery. I think there must be a requirement for some instructors in nursing school to be mentally unhinged and mean, not all are required to be nuts, thank goodness. Clouds parted, the sky was blue, birds sang, when I obtained that RN license.

Specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

I hated nursing school as well, and I was in a wonderful program with excellent teachers. Then I found out that pretty much EVERYBODY hated nursing school, and I felt better. Most nursing instructors have no teaching training, and make less money than they would in a hospital setting (hence the lack of humor). So don't give up, it will be totally worth it in the end.

Pretty sure you climbed into my brain and typed my thoughts out. I would say we go to the same school but I'm in 4th semester with two more to go. You can do it! Just... power... through ?

Specializes in Medsurg.
15 hours ago, namaB said:

Thank you to all who have replied. You all are right... I need to suck it up, graduate, and get my RN. It has been very reassuring to read the input everyone has offered... this past month has been brutal. So, again, THANK YOU for the support. I can do this.

One thing we are good at at allnurses ... We support! Go get your RN girl!

Wow, I’m sorry your school is so unorganized. As someone else said, it sounds like your school just sucks. What I’m getting from you is that it’s not the actual nursing field you don’t like, it’s the way your school is executing things.

Stay positive. The more you tell yourself you HATE nursing school, the more you’re going to HATE nursing school! Don’t let these irrelevancies distract you! Sometimes we have to learn how to take things less personally- easier said than done I know.

Do you enjoy learning about theory/the human body in general? Do you enjoy connecting with the patients? Try to focus on the things you enjoy, or you’re going to make yourself miserable.

And if you find that you really don’t enjoy nursing, then continuing is not going to make you happy. We need happy nurses to have happy patients!

Specializes in Psychiatric nursing.

As an RN/BSN nurse told me last night, when I was moaning about having to do a care plan, a journal entry, and a self-eval this weekend for school:


Nursing school was the worst two years of my life, but they were the best for my career--I work whenever I want, however much I want, wherever I want. WORTH IT.

You're so close to the end that I would say to go ahead and finish.

The Instructors are the problem. But you have to be smart enough to stop making them feel embarrassed and then angry at you.

Best wishes.

What area do you want to work in?

+ Add a Comment