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Nursing may not be for me.. help!

Vmanzini Vmanzini (New) New Student

Has 2 years experience.

Hi all... this post may be kind of long..

I got into nursing school last Summer and was so excited. I was over the moon because I had put so much time into school and felt relieved because All my work was paying off.. fast forward to the start of Spring semester and I was optimistic and enjoyed the work. I never understood why people complained about the workload because for me it wasn’t an issue.

After the first few classes we had our first big nursing school exam and it rattled a lot of student except for me.. I got one of the highest grades on the exam and felt pretty confident moving from check off to clinical. When we got to clinical and started applying hands on nursing skills I slowly started to realize I didn’t really love it like I thought. I started speaking to some of my friends about it and they said it was just a the first clinical and no one likes those. After our 3rd or 4th rotation one of the nurses I was working with pointed out that I seemed to enjoy more of the science, policy, and pharmacy things then actual nursing. I didn’t think much of it and continued on with my semester and continued working on my skills and creating bonds with my patients but the other nurses seemed annoyed with that because I as told it set an unrealistic expectation of how much time they would spend with the patients. This left me dumbfounded and annoyed. Wasn’t the whole point of nursing building bonds with the patients?!

Then the program had put a sour taste in my mouth when we had to move to online and the professors pretty much gave up on us. I maintained my 4.0 through my first semester of nursing school and voiced my concerns with the professors and emailed the chair of the department with not even a reply back over the lack of guidance and effort of the professors. I wanted to discuss my concerns with my professors about how I was feeling in clinical and with their attitudes about patient care but no one seemed to care that I felt the way I did. They all told me I was a phenomenal student and I’d be a great nurse because I really grasped the material.

Well fast forward again and I got a job as a PCT.. after my first few days of working and floating and following the nurses on night shift to see what they do on various floors while doing my duties as a PCT, I stared feeling like nursing just wasn’t for me. Listening to a majority of nurses complain about patients while just passing meds and reporting off to other nurses annoyed me. A patient needed to be moved to PCU for excessive post op bleeding and one of the techs made them wait because she had to finish her midterm. Nurses said they didn’t round because patients would become needy if they did. Multiple departments and a variety of negative experiences with nurses really has made me reconsider the profession all together. I spoke to a few nurses about the critical thinking about patients and diagnosing portion and they pretty much laughed at me and said nurses rarely do that unless they go to graduate school. I’m feeling confused because I’ve talked to multiple people and seem to still Get the same answers. Are the nurses near me just poor??! I work at a magnet hospital where nursing is suppose to be top tier...

At this rate I just don’t feel like nursing is for me now and I’m scared since I spent so much time in it.

Did anyone else go through this in nursing school? Did you quit and leave to another major??

Thank you for reading..

Aim for nurse practitioner then.

Tough this out until you can get to graduate school and a possible career in research, or lab science, or even medical school, or another science based career. You are encountering the general attitudes and perspectives of the majority, who just plod along and don’t possess the love of science and learning that you possess. Beware leaving too soon. Mediocrity exists at the bottom rung of probably any line of work.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

5 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Mediocrity exists at the bottom rung of probably any line of work.

I love this line -- so true. You are seeing the bottom rungs of the nursing ladder and are disappointed that the people you are meeting do not live up to your idealistic fantasies. That will probably happen in any line of work you choose. And remember, everyone is under tremendous stress right now. Not everything is going to be as perfect as you would like it to be.

Chill out and give it a 2nd chance. If you can think of another career that has as much potential to fulfill your goals as nursing and want to switch, then make the switch. Maybe take a leave of absence and try another field to see if that other field fulfills your hopes and dreams. But don't give up on nursing because it wasn't perfect on your first try -- during a worldwide crisis that has seriously disrupted every nurse's life.

If you want to be a nurse -- be a nurse -- and be the best nurse you can be. If you don't want to be a nurse, and you find something better to do -- then do that. But regardless of which decision you make, it is unrealistic to expect the world and everyone in it to live up to your idealistic standards. Most people are struggling to just make it through the day right now.

To modify an old saying: When you meet some people who don't live up to your standards, it's probably due to their weaknesses. But when no one lives up to your standards, the problem probably lies with you.

What you learn in school and what happens in the real nursing world are different things. Your first year of intensive nursing education will take place during the first year of your nursing career. The textbooks teach based on the ideals of nursing, whereas the real world has a whole different set of realities and issues. Patient medical diagnoses are what they are, it's everything else that's subjective.

As previously said, nursing is stressful right now due to the medical environment as a whole. Keep going. You've come too far to stop now.


Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

8 hours ago, Vmanzini said:

I spoke to a few nurses about the critical thinking about patients and diagnosing portion and they pretty much laughed at me and said nurses rarely do that unless they go to graduate school.

It depends on the hospital, the unit, and the extent of the involvement of nursing in the plan of care of the patients. I use critical thinking skills every day I work. I use it more when I have higher acuity patients. I am bedside with the patients for 12 hours. The doctors rely on me to use my critical thinking skills to advise them of subtle changes before they become critical. I am not a robot that blindly follow the doctor's orders and pass meds. The doctors have many patients under their care and rely on me to help guide the plan for the day for the patient. You have more autonomy in critical care. You will be given titration orders for many IV drips (Dopamine, sedation drips, etc) with parameters for titrating and standing orders that allow you to do certain things before calling the doctor. I may not be able to "diagnose" patients, but I can predict with high accuracy that if my patient is persistently vomiting, has a rigid stomach, bowel loops, and discolored abdomen, that they may have NEC. I can anticipate what the doctor is going to order and gather lab supplies and call the x-ray tech as I am calling the doctor. I am able to be proactive to their orders instead of reactive.

nursemarion, BSN

Has 36 years experience.

Nursing is many different things. You are seeing one side of it. But like school, you get out of it what you put into it. If you think school stinks, it is too hard, it is boring, then you won't do well. If you see only negativity in clinical, you will focus on that and not like it.

Some areas of nursing I would never want to work in. That is why I liked clinical rotations- you get a feel and a taste for other areas to find what area you do like.

I am getting a critical care vibe from you, where you are challenged to use technical and clinical knowledge but have more autonomy. Not every area is the same. A nurse is not a nurse no matter what other people think of us.

I loved ICU, outpatient, and oncology as a student. Hated the OR, maternity, geriatrics, and psych. I ended up working in other areas all together, but I have tried a number of different areas over the years. Nurses can do that.

Maybe a floor nurse is not what you will end up doing. But the bottom line is do you like caring for people? Do you like learning about and dealing with illness, wounds, medications? Forget about the staff and their attitudes. You can always work in other areas that may have a different feel. There are burnouts and attitudes everywhere in the world. I found myself gravitated towards home health and hospice simply because I wanted to enjoy nursing without all the drama that you get with working on the floor. Just me and my patient. That makes me happy.

I would not give up on it when there are so many different possibilities as a nurse, especially if you are interested in it.


Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

In my opinion, the patient bonding went out the window as soon as cellphones for nurses became a requirement. Let a call go unanswered, especially if it was from a nurse who was calling to give report, then the next call is from the nursing supervisor.

On med-surg units, you’ll find that the expectation is that you get in, do what you came to do (politely, but efficiently and expeditiously), and get out because your next patient has already called before you entered your first patient’s room.

Don’t let that discourage you, though, because acquiring that RN license is the ink to the pen that writes the tickets, the key that unlocks the doors, (or whatever adage you want to apply) in the nursing world. There are several hurdles to overcome before you make it to the tickets and doors. Press on and keep the focus on the destination, not the rocky roads.

spotangel, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 32 years experience.

I agree with all the other comments! Not everyone holds a love for nursing,some are burned out, others are stressed and to some it is just a job! Look at the complaints as venting session for others. Be polite and stay focussed on what you can do to help pts. If your gut says nursing go for it! You won't regret it as you can move from one speciality to another till you find your niche/love. You can leave bedside or do it along with teaching---or administration----! Learn to make quick, meaningful but not lengthy connections with your patients. You won't finish your work otherwise! The sky is the limit! In some areas you have more autonomy and in some you have less! Don't be discouraged and remember online classes are the wave of the future due to social distancing! Forge on and become a terrific nurse! God knows we need them!