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In 4th of nursing school, but don’t like nursing what should I do? (Kind of long sorry, please don’t be mean)

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marymv3 marymv3 (New) New Student

Hi, so I’m in my 4th year since I’m doing a BSN. I initially went into nursing since I really like the science courses I took in high school and I’m going to admit, I also chose it this career because of the money. Have always been good at math, physics, bio and chem. I took the first year courses like anatomy, physiology, Microbiology, patho physiology and pharmacology in my second year and I really liked them. For our school we started clinicals in 2nd year at a long term care facility. It was for us to learn things like how to give a bed bath, feeding, how to change briefs, and how to use mechanical lifts and transfer belts. I did not enjoy doing these things and this was when I first wanted to switch out of the program and pursue a different career. People were telling me to just stick with it since it I was still in my first semester of second year and that it might “grow on me”, and the problem is it never did. I’ve done acute care (they call med-surg in the states apparently), mental health, and community health rotations and now I am finally in my nursing leadership and management rotation in my 4th year starting Monday. In my 3rd year I actually failed my first acute care (med-surg) rotation only 4 days into the rotations. The main issue was my instructor who singled me out because of my race, I am asian by the way, and everyone in my clinical group was white. She would always nick-pick at things such as correct me on my words when I would say wash my hands and she would correct me and be like “no one has time to wash their hands all the time its called hand hygiene”. She also made comments about why I dyed my hair blonde to try to fit in with caucasian people and that its too long and I need to cut it. She accused me of neglecting my patient because a nurse on that floor offered me the opportunity to do a wound dressing on her patient and I went to go do it. There were a bunch of other things as well but I’m not going to go into it too much since this post is already so long, but most of the other members of my clinical group also had issues with her but they did recognize that our instructor kept singling me out. After she failed me, I had to go to the student advisor to get my schedule revised since they change our curriculum, added in the leadership and management rotation and took out our OB rotation, which then meant I had to do an extra year of school, so 5 years in total. I continued with my schooling and rotations and never felt that spark or passion for nursing, I was just doing them in order to get a good mark and pass. A lot of the students seemed to have this nurturing personality and genuinely loved the relationships they have created with their patients and they always share stories during post-conference at the end of our clinical shift, and I always had nothing to share because I didn’t really care, I just wanted to go home and study for other classes. I was doing my preceptorship on a cardiac surgery unit in the fall term 2020 (Sept to December) and my preceptor did not pass me, she even asked me during our zoom meeting if I liked nursing or not and that she sees my heart is not in it and its kind of sad. So I have to repeat this preceptorship in the Spring/Summer semester (May to august) after I do this leadership and management rotation from January to April. I’ve realized I don’t really love nursing and should of switched out during my very first clinical rotation I’ve ever had to save time and money. But I have two semesters left to do and the smart thing is just to finish it so at least I have a bachelor’s degree and then pursue something else. I was thinking of doing computer science, engineering, or pharmacy but I’m already 22 years old and don’t have much time left. I know I’m going to get a lot of people who are mad at the reason why I choose nursing, but believe me when I say I really wanted to love nursing, but I just didn’t. I’m literally crying as I write this because I’m so miserable, I can’t see myself doing this for 45 years. I’ve googled non-bedside nursing jobs and they all seem to need years (like 5-7 years) of experience as a bedside RN and I don’t want to put myself through that suffering just to get a job in public health or informatics. So I just need some help here on options 😞

Are you familiar with a concept called the sunken cost fallacy? It's the idea that people will keep doing something simply because they have invested time/effort/money into even though the end result might not be worth the time/effort/money that it takes to get from where they are now to the end. People don't want to loose the time/effort/money they have already put in, so they keep at it.

With that in mind, you sound pretty sure that you don't want to be a nurse, so are you absolutely sure it's worth the time/effort/money to do two more semesters of nursing school? You have a couple ideas for alternatives (comp sci, engineering, pharmacy) - have you looked into what it would take to switch majors? How many semesters would it take you to work through the major requirements (usually ~30 credits), keeping in mind the pre-reqs and progression? Once you have that info you can make a better decision if 2 semesters of nursing school is a better option than 2-4 semesters of another major.

You sound pretty stressed out, so I'm willing to help research other options if you would be interested.

16 minutes ago, kayji said:

Are you familiar with a concept called the sunken cost fallacy? It's the idea that people will keep doing something simply because they have invested time/effort/money into even though the end result might not be worth the time/effort/money that it takes to get from where they are now to the end. People don't want to loose the time/effort/money they have already put in, so they keep at it.

With that in mind, you sound pretty sure that you don't want to be a nurse, so are you absolutely sure it's worth the time/effort/money to do two more semesters of nursing school? You have a couple ideas for alternatives (comp sci, engineering, pharmacy) - have you looked into what it would take to switch majors? How many semesters would it take you to work through the major requirements (usually ~30 credits), keeping in mind the pre-reqs and progression? Once you have that info you can make a better decision if 2 semesters of nursing school is a better option than 2-4 semesters of another major.

You sound pretty stressed out, so I'm willing to help research other options if you would be interested.

Yes, I want to finish these last 2 semesters since I've then invested 5.5 years of time/effort/money into it and graduate then pursue a different career like one of the ones I mentioned above. Thats the exact reason why I want to finish it, I invested so much into it and I don't love it which is so sad because I wanted to and its taking a toll on my mental health.

Yes currently I'm so stressed out, the semester starts on Monday and I'm trying to put myself at ease. I would be interested if you could help me out a bit!

 

 

6 minutes ago, marymv3 said:

Yes, I want to finish these last 2 semesters since I've then invested 5.5 years of time/effort/money into it and graduate then pursue a different career like one of the ones I mentioned above.

This is certainly a choice you can make, but it would be better to make it with all the info. By that, I mainly mean what would be required to switch now vs. later. Monday is coming pretty quick, but that is enough time to collect some info and at least build some confidence in your plan for the future.

I'll send you a direct message to follow up.

6 minutes ago, kayji said:

This is certainly a choice you can make, but it would be better to make it with all the info. By that, I mainly mean what would be required to switch now vs. later. Monday is coming pretty quick, but that is enough time to collect some info and at least build some confidence in your plan for the future.

I'll send you a direct message to follow up.

Sounds good!

Just finish it!  I graduated nearly 20 years ago, and have done, and seen others, do all sorts of things.  You can:

*work for a cosmetic dermatologist and do beauty treatments

*go to law school, or any type of graduate program

*be a school nurse

*open a nurse-related business, like staffing 

*be a pharmaceutical rep

*work for a non-profit/charity

You have so, so many opportunities with this degree, I really recommend you finish it!  

I agree with the person above. Finish the degree because A) it seems like that’s what you want to do anyway and B) you’re so close. My step mom is a nurse but she only worked in a hospital for a handful of year (like maybe 5 max), didn’t like it so then switched over to working for a health insurance company doing case management - she hasn’t worked in a hospital or done patient care since. My mother-in-law is a nurse but has only ever done public health work and loves it. I would also suggest looking into different medical tech companies because many of them need people with medical knowledge and experience, but it requires other skill sets too and doesn’t require patient care. Some of these things might not make as much right out the gate like nursing, but most careers take a little time to climb the salary ladder. 
 

Also I know it doesn’t seem like it but trust me when I say 22 is young and you have plenty of time to figure it out. I finished my bachelor degree in business when I was 23 and now I’m 26 (going on 27) and starting my degree in nursing. It’s normal to not have it all figured out when you started your degree or even when you’re about to finish! Some are lucky and guess right, but for most we have to test things out to see if it’s a good fit. Try a job and if you don’t like it, try something else - eventually you’ll figure it out. 
 

P.S. It’s absolutely NOT OK the racist comments your professor said to you! I would definitely empower you to report them (if you haven’t already) to save others from receiving the same injustice ❤️ Im really sorry that happened to you! 

0.9%NormalSarah, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

Aww this post makes me so sad, you shouldn’t finish this degree and then work at the bedside for a few years just to get to a non bedside job in my opinion. You are very young!! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a change so you enjoy these years of your life. You truly sound like someone who could do great in a clinical job with all your interest in science, perhaps just not patient care. Do not be hard on yourself, that takes time to figure out and you are also not a bad person for considering the wages of a job when choosing your major. 

I agree with the gracious poster above that you’re messaging with, find out if you can change now. It might make sense to finish this degree and move in a different direction afterward, or maybe you can do that now. Pharmacy sounds like something that could be amazing for you! You sound like a smart and caring person that just doesn’t enjoy patient care, my goodness there are plenty of those that have wonderful careers in healthcare and are such an important part of the patient’s health team. Dietitians, pharmacists, informatics nurses...these people are so needed and do a lot for us bedside nurses, there are options for you! Sending hugs!

TAKOO01, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

It sounds like you don't hate nursing, but hate the few areas of nursing to which you have been exposed. It isn't always true that nurses have to start bedside. I have never worked bedside. I know several people who started in case management. They never touched a patient again after they graduated. I also had an opportunity to start in case management after graduation but I wanted to have physical interaction with patients, so I turned it down. I ended up taking it a few years later.

Nursing is like any other profession in certain aspects. Finding a job that you want has to do with preparation, opportunity, tenacity and that dirty word no one likes to mention - connections. 

It seems that you have decided to finish the degree. Do that and start applying to jobs you think would interest you. Think outside the box, push for what you want. It is not a guarantee you will get what you want, but just try. If it does not work out, you can get another degree and move on to something else.

ThursdayNight, CNA

Specializes in Wiping tears. Has 3 years experience.

You're almost done, so I'd recommend you finish your nursing degree. Take a break. Reevaluate what you really want. You might be getting discouraged or turn off because of your instructor's behavior plus you don't like what's going on in your first semester.  Don't let that person spoils your perception of nursing. 

Whatever you end up choosing to do, I want to point out that age should *never* be an issue. Carl Allamby just graduated medical school at age 47. 

If it's not too late, I would complain to your school about your instructor. Her behaviour is unacceptable. If your classmates are wiling to vouch for you, then even better.