Need Some Words Of Encouragment

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Let's see where do I begin? I am a 28 year old 2nd year nursing student. My dream of becoming a nurse has been with me since I was a little girl. Now that I am studying to be one sometimes I feel like I am not "smart" enough to be a nurse. Don't get me wrong I consider myself to be an intelligent person, but I make such "dum" mistakes that I hate myself for making. Several examples, I got an 80 on my drug math examination which is a failing (you are allowed a 90) but thank God I am able to retake the test again! So tomorrow it is do or die for me...I know the math I just made 2 careless mistakes! So wish me luck on that. :o Second mistake I made was on my IM injection module, can anyone relate? Whenever I have to get tested on my skills I "freak" out...I get so nervous, I shake, sweat and I forget what I have to do- I don't know if I am having a panic attack or being that I did forget what I had to do, now I have to be tested again. Sometimes I feel like I am not cut out for this, but than again I ask myself, if I am not a nurse what else would I want to do, and it is nothing!!! I compare myself to others in my class especially this one girl...she can study a night before an exam and do so much better than me! But me I put in weeks of studying and she still manages to come out with a better grade...:confused:

I just don't get it....what is wrong with me? Am I not focused enough or smart enough? Should I just give up now?

Sorry the post was so long...I have alot on my mind...

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

Awww, you sound stressed. First rule--do not compare yourself to other students. We all have different strengths & weaknesses. Good luck on the math exam---take your time & check your calculations twice! Get in the practice of doing that. As far as your skills eval, we all get nervous & stressed. Some of us can just hide it better. Have confidence in yourself & take your time. Think through what you are doing & practice, practice, practice! You can do this---you simply have to believe in yourself! Don't forget to let us know how you did!


532 Posts

It sounds like your problem is anxiety. You know how to do the math problems and skills, you just get nervous and forget what you know. There are a lot of ways to deal with anxiety, deep breathing, medication, etc. If you go to Amazon and search on anxiety there are hundreds of books on how to overcome it.

You are smart and capable and will make a wonderful nurse. You just need to deal with the anxiety. So many people have problems with anxiety, there are ways for you to overcome it.

Best wishes.

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Anxiety? Yes..that's it! You do have anxiety!

When I was in nursing school, I ALWAYS got lower grades than my friend, who was a "last minute studier".

But you know what? I also passed al my classes first time around, and she had to go back twice to finish up a class she failed! (One time it was Med-Surg, and another time it was Geriatrics).

We are all different. Study modes are different, learning modes are different and ways our bodies retain the information are different.

You can do this....I promise....hang in there and don't be so hard on yourself. We've all made dumb mistakes that we regret after we've made them. Just look forward, not back, and know that you are doing your best.

If need be, speak to someone in your counseling division of your school, maybe they can help you with a different testing method. (I'm going to try this when I return to school in January!) Maybe they can help me, maybe not, but i want to explore all my options for getting better grades....

Best of all to you!

Julie :)


952 Posts

Definately sounds like anxiety to me.

Regarding the math tests (and other similar types of tests/problems)...take your time. Rushing through math tests, you're bound to make mistakes. Concentrate on one problem/question at a time.

As for the skills...practice, practice, practice. I heard this advice from a marine. He said he would practice things to the point where he could do them without thinking to much about them. That way when he had to perform the skill for his instructor, he wouldn't be as nervous about it. Makes sense to me...that's what I'm planning on doing when I start the nursing classes anyway.

Good luck & hang in there! :kiss


33 Posts

thank you guys for the support, I am going to make an appt to see my doctor regarding this problem, I know that this has to be more than just "NERVES". As far as my classmate who I am always comparing myself to..I know it is not good and I have to realize that everyone is different when it comes to studying..I am going to try and just focus on "me" and not anyone just gets frustrating because I tend to feel that maybe I am not smart enough ...but anyway-I am off to take my math test "again". I will let you guys know how I did! Wish me luck!! :rolleyes:


36 Posts

Our adult class was initially so stressed over quizzes and lab skills that our instructor actually began taking us all outside for some exercise ("the anterior/posterior shuffle"!) and passed around her own personal basket of aromatherapy lotions for our use before tests. We do some deep breathing and visualization, it only takes a few minutes, and we're all practically limp, we're so relaxed. Our grades, and our confidence, as well as our relationship with and respect for her, have all improved tremendously.

Good luck!

What a wise instructor, and what a lucky class!

I too had difficulty with those math questions. Our instructors would say "nothing new on the math mastery exam," then there would be something on there that wasn't going to be covered for another couple of weeks (drop factors for example).

I found myself getting so p---d off at them that I was distracted and made dumb errors, too. And I do math in my head all the time! Accurately!

I found I had to use a method that made sense, then see the questions as puzzles. For me, I used the unit conversion method for everything. After that, and the puzzle visualization, I missed not a one.

And I actually like the med math items now!


36 Posts

These sites help define and identify learning styles, and effective classroom, study, and test-taking techniques geared toward each individual style. Our instructor (she is a goddess, isn't it sounding like it??) did the colors test on our class the first week, to get a handle on what her class-mix is, and found that she has some of all four colored styles (I'm the only green). She has since combined her teaching format to appeal to all of our learning styles to help us all be successful--I think she may be getting this stuff into our heads!

Good luck...


18 Posts

The focus at my college is determining how you "learn".

While you definately sound stressed..... some people are visual learners, auditory learners, etc. (I know, psych 101)

I am definately a "do-er" I *have* to physically do something, and only then do I really "know it".

A friend who is also an RN told me that in school, she had trouble with calculations.... somehow she had her own method of calculating IV's etc.....

If her instructor asked how she came to a calculation, she couldn't really answer (ie: there was no real "math formula" that she followed) but she always came up with the correct answer.

I figure, she either realized how she personally "learns" things, or she's just one of those people that we all compare ourselves to, who just always seems to "get it".

Either way... DO NOT give up! Find some help... whether its with a classmate, or here, or talk with your instructor!




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66 Posts

I too was in the same boat as you, I believe we all were unless you were the gifted type or the teacher's pet. I would get so nervous my hands would shake so bad I couldn't draw up a med, more heart would race so bad my chest hurt, then the instructor would say what is your problem I'm not going to bite you, and I would say well there is one of you that already has. keep your chin up you will get through it, if you have the desire and the enthusiam you will make it, I did, returned to school with 3 kids a hubby. Just to think know 6 months later I'm the real thing now something I have wanted to do all of my life. Put your heart into and you go girl!!!!!

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