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need some advice..

Specializes in Geriatrics, In-Home Care, Community Based Nursing.

Hey guys,

SOOOO I just failed out of my second semester of my nursing program. I guess I really didn't "fail out". I was told by my professors that I wasn't going to pass my clinical evals. This whole semester, I have had SUCH a hard time. Acute care setting is obviously not my thing BUT some of the issues that I've been having have been more than just not liking the environment. I have had so many problems with med passing, critical thinking, 'connecting the dots' (aka. I have NO common sense and no confidence in myself).

My teachers have noticed this, and have been 'riding me' allllll semester long about these problems. I have improved quite a bit over the last 2 weeks or so..but a couple days ago they sat down with me and told me that they don't see me reaching the level that I need to in order to meet the qualifications to pass second semester; then they told me that they don't think I should re-enroll. Evidently, I am "a very intelligent young woman but the way I think is a square peg and the way nurses need to think is a round peg. So im trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I have a lot of potential but nursing is not the right place for me and I should stay in healthcare but as something else that fits my square peg thinking."

I appreciate what they are saying and I get what their point is. SO I don't know what to do now...I want to take it again but I feel like they might be right? Im sad. Being a nurse was my dream and still is...Ive been so proud to say i was in nursing school and that i was doing good but then second semester hit and I fell.

I am not one to talk, as I am only in 1st semester right now. But, in my opinion a 2nd semester nursing student is still pretty "green." I feel like your instructors may be failing you. They should be helping to mold your square peg into a round one. Helping you to develop your critical thinking skills. If you have always wanted to be a nurse, then don't let their opinion stop you. Maybe take a semester off, breathe a little bit and re-evaluate. Is there another nursing program in your area that may better suit your needs? Maybe those instructors would be more willing and able to round off your square peg corners? Good luck. I feel for you. It took me 24 years to purse my dream of becoming a nurse. I would have a hard time giving it up at this point.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

What are your issues with med pass? What are you missing? Have they given you examples of what you are missing in critical thinking? To me, med pass is pretty cut and dry. You check for 3 identifiers, make sure your med is not expired, calculate the dose, give it to your instructor to make sure it is right, administer, document. I did insulin today. I id'd my patient, explained what I was doing, checked blood sugar, checked sliding scale, checked my med, drew it up, my instructor checked it, I administered it, I documented it. Her blood sugar was high so I assessed for s/s of hyperglycemia but that was pretty much my med pass today. It's pretty cut and dry. With critical thinking are you not understanding what you should be assessing for or what to do when you hear stuff? Our instructors are pretty much with us most of the time and if I see something that is not right I either talk to them or my patient's nurse. Do you have a good relationship with the nurses and CNAs where you are at? That is one of the first things I do. I go and introduce myself and get going with them for the day. They respond much better when they know who you are. I think maybe that yes you are lacking confidence but I am not sure what you can do at this point. That is something that you need to work on and fix.

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health.

What are your issues with med pass? What are you missing? Have they given you examples of what you are missing in critical thinking? .

I agree with her - I would like to know where you are having difficulties. Just because you think differently ("square peg") does not mean that you are not cut out to be a nurse. You just might need some different instruction or studying skills. Not everyone learns the same.

Can you give us a "for instance" example of what your instructors are saying? Maybe we can help you further.

You do need to have common sense. Don't let yourself get sucked in to a falsehood. Don't accept that negativity, and fight - teach yourself to HAVE common sense. Think through things. As a student nurse, you are not expected to be able to do things quickly. It is a process, and you learn by doing.

I want to help you, and I know others do too, but we need to be able to see the full picture.

NewNurse91D

Specializes in Geriatrics, In-Home Care, Community Based Nursing.

From what they are telling me, I can't connect the dots. I don't see that big picture when it comes to my pt's. And with med passing-it's not that I can't do it, I just don't thinkkkkk while doing it. Like a nurses job is to not only pass meds but to making decisions, likeeee my pt is showing s/s of hypoglycemia do I give the insulin, orrrrr this particular bp med is contraindicated for a pt's history but it's ordered anyways-give it? Orrrr my pt is having surgery today, does he get his ordered aspirin?

Stuff like that. I'm a very analytical thinker. Everything is black and white. So I'm really good in lecture but in lab and clinical I fail miserably. I can't take my pt's s/s and labs and connect it with health issues or crisis's. My teachers have told me all of this. And they think that in order to be a nurse and enjoy it the way that nurses should-I need to be able to critically think and make decisions and think on my toes which are things that don't come naturally to me. So they suggest that I don't reenroll and find another area in healthcare to pursue where I would be more happy and not have to struggle so much because it would fit the way that I think more.

And I understand what they say are saying. I don't really know how to think on my feet. I'm more of a black and white/give me facts type of person. But nursing is a million shares of grey and black and white. So it makes clinicals and critical thinking sooooo hard for me. I know I shouldn't let anyone discourage me fromy dreams but having heard them tell me this for the past 6 months has killed my spirit. And scared that they are right, what if they are right and I (my some miricale) pass nursing school and then get out in he feild and kill someone because I failed to connect something or I gave a med when the pt was showing s/s of some crisis or something. Idkkkkkk :(

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

So, you are not assessing your patients is what I gather? That is pretty critical. For instance, yesterday my patient had a blood sugar reading of 472. Before I even gave her the insulin I asked her have you been feeling extra thirsty today, have you been noticing any extra voiding, is your vision ok, do you have a headache? These would be signs that she may be having a deeper problem with her sugar. I made sure to take her to the dining room right away to eat after we gave her the insulin. These are things that are important. When you give a heart medication, it should tell you to hold if say the AHR is less than 60. You would assess the AHR before even giving the med. Meds are important. Someone could die if you aren't assessing them ahead of time and you are just giving them the med. Again, I don't think this involves a higher level of thinking though. Your first semester should have been all about the assessment. Are you not comfortable with this area?

NewNurse91D

Specializes in Geriatrics, In-Home Care, Community Based Nursing.

Exactly!!!! That is exactly my problem. I don't connect the information/facts from lecture to the clinical world. I don't see those connections. And that is SO dangerous!!! That is a serious safety issue. Someone will die if yo don't understand and are able to do those things. It's not that I'm not comfortable with the assessment, I'm just not comfortable with the whole process. I can do an assessment and do a general one pretty good. But then I get to the type of senerios that you just described and I go blank. I don't know what to do and I sit around and wait for institutions.

NewNurse91D

Specializes in Geriatrics, In-Home Care, Community Based Nursing.

And your right, I don't think its requires a higher level of thinking. It requires common sense :/ and I don't think common sense is something that someone can grow. I'm starting to think that you either got it or you don't...

NewNurse91D

Specializes in Geriatrics, In-Home Care, Community Based Nursing.

I did talk to my nurses and cnas. I am a cna so I was right at home with them. I have noooo confidence so I found it hard to follow them around because I felt like I was bothering them. So they didn't get a chance to know me too well

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