Mom & Dad were right: I'm a screw-up

  1. I'm into my first three weeks of nursing school and I just can't seem to get it together.

    Up until the beginning of this semester, I've pulled a 4.0 in EVERY class. However...

    I took my first test and scored a 74 (75 is passing). I went to do my first skill check-off today (aseptic technique) and got an unsatisfactory. Apparently, I moved my sterile field with a gloved hand at the border, as opposed to the center of the field (where it's not contaminated).

    For a guy who's used to doing well, this stinks. I'm giving all I have to give in the studying arena... and still coming up short.

    Last edit by EricJRN on Sep 11, '06 : Reason: Language edited to comply with Terms of Service
  2. Visit suture_self profile page

    About suture_self

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 30; Likes: 2
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience


  3. by   labman
    Hey suture

    Sorry your first week is going badly. Nursing school is a lot different then any other program even the pre-reqs. Well evaluate what you are doing then try to do something different. If you study alone try getting a study group together. See if there are any tutors in your school that would be available. Talk to your teachers tell them your situation. Maybe he or she can offer some advice.

    Don't say your a screw up. You definently did something right to get into nursing school.
    PS. hope this helps a little!
  4. by   EricJRN
    Nursing school is definitely a tough process and it can really make you feel inadequate, especially if you've grown up hearing those kinds of messages.

    Try not to be too hard on yourself about the skills lab. Maintaining a sterile field isn't always easy. It can be something that really takes a lot of thought about what you're doing. I was definitely not a natural at it, but those skills come with practice.

    Hang in there! It sounds like you've been very successful up to now and I know that you can make it with some persistence.
  5. by   Tweety
    Hang in there. Those first few weeks are tough and very humbling.
  6. by   suture_self
    Thanks for the kind words and support, fellas. A little encouragement goes a long way.

    Especially on days like today.
  7. by   emllpn2006
    Hang in there!!! If you had a 4.0 in all the prereqs that shows that you are defenatly not a screw up . You have to be a very intelligent individual to get those grades. Nursing school is great at making you feel inadequate. The instructors who ride you the most and make things the hardest during school are the ones who are most proud of you when you graduate.
    GOOD LUCK YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. by   Boston-RN
    Practice, Practice, Practice.....that goes for clinicals and for classes. As far as clinicals go. We had a lab pack we needed to use that had everything in it. It sounds corney but set up a station at home and practice. As far as the tests what I did was read the material before class and make a list of any questions you may have. Follow along w/ lecture and then read the material and lecture notes again but together and compare the 2 for major points. Then I got an NCLEX book called Fundamentals Success for the first semester and just the Saunders Comprehensive guide for the rest of school and that helped with the different style of questions in nursing school vs. other classes.

    You're not a screw-up. As others have stated, nursing school is just a different way of thinking

    Good luck
  9. by   ArmyMSN
    Yep, definitely find time to practice in skills labs. Find some student that was an LPN that did the clinical stuff before. Years ago, I remember doing that. I was strong in chemistry, A&P, etc, but maybe not so strong in clinical skills, so I found someone that could help. You'll soon see what exactly the clinical instructors are looking for. Definitely develope confidence in what you're doing - your instuctor will pick up on that.
  10. by   tencat
    When I was getting checked off on hanging IV's I was failed the first time. It rattled the heck out of me. But, I kept at it and now I'm a real RN! Nursing is challenging. I was pretty used to being a stellar student myself, so nursing school really threw me for a loop because I had to work hard to get good grades. Keep at it! It's worth it.
  11. by   ShannaRN
    Awwww, don't think your a screw up. Nursing is hard work. The tests are like nothing else you've ever had. They like to know that you can apply the facts and not just memorize them as with other tests you may have encountered. Keep truckin on and you'll see that the hard work does pay off. Also, try not to do this :deadhorse . Try instead to think of at least two things that you did very well that day and then work on your problem areas. Keep your Chin up!
  12. by   NurseguyFL
    What you are experiencing is common to most nursing students when they begin the program. There is a HUGE difference between nursing courses and any of the pre-requisite courses you took before. Nursing exam questions are not linear so you have to learn how to think more critically. You must disect the patient-specific information given in the question scenario and you must consider the implications of each answer option before you choose. Consider that the answers that seem the most obviously correct on a nursing exam are often the wrong answers, and the questions are deliberately made up that way to challenge you. There are nursing books available that teach strategies to eliminate wrong answers. I recommend that you get one of these books and practice with the questions until you get the hang of it. Once you do you will find that it is very possible to get high scores on any nursing exam.

    Regarding your clinical skills, you are not going to become an expert at these overnight. The thing to do is go to the nursing lab and practice, practice, practice. Then ask the lab instructor to critique your techniques.

    I disagree with your parents that you are a screw up. Nursing school is a challenge for every student. Many of us RNs never thought we'd get through nursing school, but we did. You can and will do it, too.
  13. by   yelper42
    Dude, I made a 4.0 in my masters program and failed my Nurse practitioner certification exam three times. Talk about thinking I was a dummy. I got my letter on Friday that said I passed. You CAN do it. Just don't give up.
  14. by   Corvette Guy
    suture self - A few words of encouragement...

    We are not creatures of circumstance ...we are creators of circumstance.

    Whether you believe you can do a thing, or believe you cannot... you are right. :wink2:

    No one conquers who doesn't fight.

    The most drastic & most effective remedy for fear is direct action. You gain, strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you must really stop to look fear in the face, then you must do the thing you cannot do.

    When an optomist finds a worm in his apple... he goes fishing.

    Most spectacular performances are preceded by unspectacular preparation.