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My Parents are Nurses and Don’t Support My Withdrawal from Nursing School

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by ACR ACR (New) New Student

242 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hi all,

I joined this forum because I am in desperate need of support and advice. I am a nursing student in an LPN to ADN program. Both my parents are nurses, I have several family members who are also nurses, and the reason I chose nursing as a major (I am fresh out of high school) is because I want to help people. Everyone was thrilled that I chose nursing. I had an immense amount of doubt about nursing after submitting my application, and realized there are so many things I am passionate about such as social activism and politics and that nursing may not be a good match for me. I have never been a huge fan of science to begin with, and I have not been enjoying really any of my nursing classes except for my Intro to Nutrition class. I had always been very interested in nutrition before applying to college but never considered it as a major. Now I love that class and I want to transfer to a nearby college to switch my major to Nutrition and to get my RD. My parents will not hear any of it. Everyone around my can see how miserable I am in this program expect for them. Since they are nurses they keep telling me “we know what you’re going through and it will be worth it in the end” but what they don’t see is how I fall apart every week after clinical thinking about how I’m signing my life away to do this thing I am unhappy with forever. They keep saying that “I chose this major” and don’t understand that I am change my mind and find something better suited to me. I think I could pass my RN year and get my license, and yes, I probably COULD do this but I don’t WANT to do this. I am doing well in my classes which require an average higher than 85, and I am above that average, even though I am taking 19 credits while most in my class already took their pre reqs and have 10-12 credits (the majority of my classmates are non traditional learners who are mostly around 25-45). I am not afraid of hard work, but doing so much work for something I don’t enjoy in the slightest just doesn’t seem reasonable to me. As an RD I could still help people and do something I love and enjoy, but it just wouldn’t be in the nursing environment. I am very confused and lost and I would appreciate some advice. 

Thank you. 

Edited by ACR

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 8,921 Posts; 104,724 Profile Views

You need to live your life for you, not your parents.

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254 Posts; 1,363 Profile Views

3 minutes ago, Rose_Queen said:

You need to live your life for you, not your parents.

EXACTLY this. 

And what a blessing it is that you realize your passion as young as you are. I wasted my first try at college spiraling around majors having NO idea what to do. 

I understand you want to make your parents happy and feel proud of you but this is your life. You are an adult at least (I am assuming anyway) albeit a young one, you are still an adult and you need to learn your own way into the rest of your life. Nursing is NOT a career you can go into not WANTING to. 

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27 Posts; 113 Profile Views

I was a physics major before I switched to nursing, so I know how scary it can be to suddenly scrap everything you've been working on and start from almost the beginning. I can't even imagine how much harder that decision and transition would be without the support of my parents.

Them telling you that "you chose this major--" nursing is unique in that there are students of every age. People drop established careers to switch to nursing. "Choosing" a major is not permanent...?

If I were in your shoes, I would ask them what exactly their reasons are for their disapproval, because I don't see how any of them could be even slightly valid. You can get a variety of different, exciting, rewarding jobs after studying nutrition! Your parents should want you to follow your passion, not sign yourself up for being miserable in your career. Nursing is definitely not everyone's cup of tea and I think it would be horrible for anyone who didn't love it (your parents should understand the difference between this and the simple frustration that we all experience in nursing school).

I encourage you to do what you believe will make you feel happy and fulfilled and confident. It might not be what your parents want but they should NOT let that get in the way of your relationship with them.

I'm sorry that you're having to go through this. I think that if you deal with the anxiety and disapproval that you'll face by switching to nutrition, you'll thank yourself for it later. Good luck, you got this!

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32 Posts; 169 Profile Views

Follow your dream. I'm just glad I don't deal with that kind of pressure.

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ThatChickOmi has 0 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg.

238 Posts; 2,104 Profile Views

You're better off leaving now before dumping even more cash into schooling you don't want to begin with. Your parents are being unreasonable. Not everyone is cut out for nursing, or being a star football player, or being a doctor, or a musician, and that's okay.

I don't get overbearing parents that try to push their own agenda onto their kids.

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12 Followers; 3,684 Posts; 27,334 Profile Views

Would never advise anyone who has significant concerns about their ability to enjoy nursing to do it anyway. That is completely irresponsible.

 

On 11/16/2019 at 12:30 PM, ACR said:

My parents will not hear any of it.

 

It isn't their choice.

 

On 11/16/2019 at 12:30 PM, ACR said:

Since they are nurses they keep telling me “we know what you’re going through and it will be worth it in the end”

 

That is their opinion and their experience. It is unlikely to be true for those who do not enjoy nursing, and even some people who do pretty much enjoy nursing might think twice if they had to make the choice again. 

Understand that to some extent they probably think they are advocating so that you might enjoy something they have enjoyed. They most likely want the best for you, they want you to have a good life--and nursing, to them, is a proven way to have a good life. They are having a hard time understanding that something they've enjoyed might not bring be right for you.  On an even deeper level, your choosing nursing may be somewhat validating to them, and your rejection of nursing might feel (to them) as if you are rejecting/disapproving of their life choices, which just isn't the case--but it might not hurt to have a heart-to-heart with them.

 

On 11/16/2019 at 12:30 PM, ACR said:

They keep saying that “I chose this major”

 

They need to admit to themselves that their expectations and pressure (even if subtle) have played a part in where you are right now.

You need to step out and make your decisions about your life, and they need to accept them. Hopefully you all are close enough that you could sit down and let them know that this isn't just belly-aching--you seriously do not enjoy nursing itself. You can let them know things that you appreciate about your upbringing and their parenting while having the discussion. Go about this maturely and they will have reason to consider that you are not making a rash decision. 

Good luck!

Edited by JKL33

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

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Horrible. I'm curious, what are they saying the repercussions will be if you do not continue with nursing? 

They have no choice. You are an adult. Yes, it may mean having to move out on your own and pay for things on your own if you aren't already. I can't think of any other possible repercussions. 

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730 Posts; 9,135 Profile Views

Nurses who don’t really want to be nurses make lousy nurses.  Your family should understand this, it’s not rocket science.

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology.

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You say you are in a LPN to RN program, so you're already a nurse then, right? You don't mention having worked as a nurse, so what has your experience been with that? 

I have a coworker who was a RD who decided to be a RN and then an APRN. She works as a RD but uses the RD heavily in our field (Oncology rehab, essentially). Maintains both licenses and certifications. So, if one doesn't work out for you, you could always go back to the other, maybe? 

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by ACR New Student

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17 minutes ago, DowntheRiver said:

You say you are in a LPN to RN program, so you're already a nurse then, right? You don't mention having worked as a nurse, so what has your experience been with that? 

I have a coworker who was a RD who decided to be a RN and then an APRN. She works as a RD but uses the RD heavily in our field (Oncology rehab, essentially). Maintains both licenses and certifications. So, if one doesn't work out for you, you could always go back to the other, maybe? 

I am currently in a program to get licensed as an LPN and will graduate at the end of June, and it goes direct progression into the ADN program next fall. Sorry for the lack of clarity in my post!

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by ACR New Student

4 Posts; 242 Profile Views

6 hours ago, Orion81RN said:

Horrible. I'm curious, what are they saying the repercussions will be if you do not continue with nursing? 

They have no choice. You are an adult. Yes, it may mean having to move out on your own and pay for things on your own if you aren't already. I can't think of any other possible repercussions. 

I am still unsure of their reasonings. They keep saying that I wouldn’t have known I like nutrition unless I had entered this program, and “I don’t know what I know until I know it” which is their way of saying I can’t decide I don’t like nursing until I am actually working as a nurse. 

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