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Nursing school freakout

Hi Everyone,

This will be my first post as I have been kind of stalking the forums since I applied to nursing school, and didn't even sign up until I was accepted. Here is my story...

I am a 34 year old mother of four, who returned to school after managing retail stores; I have much life experience, as I was a teenage mother to an autistic child. I am married for a second time, but spent much of the last 15 years as a single parent. I returned to school in 2009, determined to show my children that anything was possible and that the road I took was much harder than if they just pursued college after high school. Although, I never graduated high school, my children are well on their way to accomplishing this goal for themselves. I couldn't be a more proud momma, they are great kids and I got really lucky.

I applied for the nursing program at ASU in February 2014 for the fall 2014 cohort. My GPA was a 3.71, but my TEAS score was not so hot, I do not do so well at standardized tests. So combined I had an advancement score of 1.6405 out of 2. My advisor told me not to sweat the TEAS again, and that I would get accepted into the program. Fast-forward to March 2014, acceptance letters are being emailed, I am sitting in one of my last prereq classes, you can see multiple students shining from their happy news and a few who looked bummed. My heart sank as one of my close friends showed me her denial letter. Do I really want to open this email here? I take the plunge....denied, not even wait listed. I drove home feeling defeated and like I had completely failed.

I decided that I would of course try again for spring, I am not a quitter and I truly want to be an RN. I had saved some tuition money with the help of my loving husband. Like I said before, I have been at this since 2009, so my financial aid has dwindled and I knew that I would be on my own for paying for the remainder of school. After being denied for fall, I decided to take a semester off and spent the tuition money on debt that we currently had. Exactly one week to the day of paying this debt, (payment already processed) ASU calls me and says, "There is a spot for you if you would like it." Not only that, it was at my first choice, the VA cohort. Of course I accepted...I mean I can work out the financial aspects, and this is my dream.

So my whirlwind began or what felt like it for a minute, high on the fact that I had been accepted for whatever the reason, and then... I started to panic inside. What if I fail, I mean I wasn't good enough to get in the first time around; heck I wasn't even good enough for the wait list. What if I get to my clinical and end up hurting someone, what if I get through nursing school and start working and my inexperience hurts or worse yet kills someone. My self-doubt has kicked in big time and I am trying to put on a brave face for everyone around me, but inside I am scared to death. Am I alone, is it because of my age, is it because I was originally denied acceptance, I don't know but for whatever reason I do not feel like I am good/smart/young or whatever (I don't think I have actually identified my cause of anxiety) enough to be successful. I am a strong, stubborn, and independent personality and I am so not used to these kinds of feelings of insecurity.

My classes start in 10 days; PLEASE tell me there are other people out there who are or were as scared and anxious as I am. Any words of wisdom about nursing school and what I can expect would also be helpful....maybe I just needed to get this out there. Thanks for reading my rant.

It will work out. Obviously you want it bad enough to find a way to make it work. What helps for me is to just look at one semester at a time. If I think to far out my anxiety flares.

I'm a mom to two special needs boys. I'm 32. Dropped out of high school at 16. I got my GED four short years ago and since have become a high honors student. I've been accepted into two different nursing programs one ADN, one BSN.

You can do this :) and great job on setting a good example for your kids!

Thank you so much for your kind words, I think I just needed to get it all out. Everyone is so happy for me, that I hate to complain and tell them how I am freaking out inside. I know it is a long road, and I think I will do exactly as you suggested one semester at a time. Thanks again!

Carpediem1012, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

And what if....you are a rock star at it?? :)

Go for it and don't look back. You can do this!

You're welcome!! :D

I think the freak outs are completely normal. We all have what ifs when it comes to such big life changes...you are not alone. Get it all out, then get back on a positive-thinking track. Good luck, I am sure you will do great!

Thank you...I really hope that I am someday! :yes:

BabyMamaJenn

Specializes in Pediatric OR.

I'm freaking out too!!!! I think and hope it's all normal feelings... But seriously though.... I'M ABSOLUTELY FREAKING OUT!!!!!!

You shouldn't be thinking about getting denied and than accepted.. Be happy and proud... You made it!!!! Just know the competition was tough... But you're there and will kick butt at it. You have worked so very hard to get to where you are. Great job and good luck to you! 👏👍👌💉

missmollie, ADN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Neuroscience.

You have more reasons to succeed than to fail. You will be fine. You will accomplish your goals and you will not only be successful but amazing.

We talk up nursing school like it's the most terrible thing. If you have the mentality and the intelligence, you will succeed. I think you've got this. Don't let your fears hold you back.

I think everyone has had some point where they were nervous and/or scared about what the future held. I myself have had cases of the what ifs regarding failure. The thing is you did get into nursing school and that was no accident; allow yourself time to revel in your success at that before jumping to conclusions. Prestigious colleges all over the world turn down or wait list applicants. Thousands of people including myself have been denied or wait listed not because they were not qualified or couldn't hack it, but because there were too many people to accommodate. Even after being denied spots in my top 2 programs I still ended up going and passed with flying colors. The only thing you can realistically do is do your best and take everything one day at a time. If you do fail something then you deal with that scenario when you come to it and not before.

I think what you are feeling is perfectly normal. I am a 40 year old, wife and mother of 3, level 2 nursing student and I was extremely nervous going in, partly because I kept reading how difficult nursing school was. Trust me, when you get to class on that first day, you will find a room full of people having the same thoughts as you are. Everyone will be nervous because you don't know what to expect, but you will find your groove and be just fine. The key is finding what works for you and going with that. Everyone has their methods of how to make it through nursing school. You get all kinds of advice from read every word to forget about your social life until you're done. The truth is, for me, neither of these worked. I learned that it was impossible for ME to read every word, but let the Powerpoints direct my reading and then research further if there were holes or I had further questions. I also had a social life. I drank wine on weekends with my sister and friends, I hung out with my husband and children, but when it was time to get back to the books, I did just that. So basically, don't be afraid of what is to come, embrace it, go in with the idea that you will succeed and give it your best shot.

Stitch3296

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Remember to breathe! Your hard work and perseverance has paid off. You will need that you will need that same work ethic to get you through nursing school. But you CAN do it!!! One day, one step at a time. I'm a 37 year old mom of 4, and am 2 quarters away from graduation. There are days I never thought I'd be here, there are still days where I feel like I shouldn't be this close to done, I don't know enough. But I am, and so will you be one day. Remember to sleep, eat well and take care of yourself. Your experiences so far as a mom and in life will serve you well in ns.

A few tips that help me, keep notes or flashcards with you to study at kids events if there's a moment. Read the back of the chapter 1st to get an idea of what the chapter is about. Try to read as much as you can before lecture, it really does help. Remember in clinical everyone is nervous, but you are in a really safe learning environment with all the eyes on you and 99% of the time those eyes want to see you succeed and will help you do so. Good luck and congrats!

Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement! I appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness and advice. I am beginning to understand that what I am feeling is totally normal, while I am fearful of the next two years and beyond, I keep thinking to myself how bad can it be really. I have gotten this far, and I wouldn’t dream of turning back at this point. I am grateful to have the opportunity to follow my dream, and I know that it all depends on me. I know I can make this work, but the fears will always be in the back of my mind. I think the only thing that will help/cure these feelings is time, and that’s ok. I thought wow, people will depend on me for their care, that’s kind of scary….then I thought ummm you have had four people depending on you for their care for coming up on 18 years. I think putting my fears out there and having people respond in such a positive encouraging way really has helped me put it all in perspective! Thank you so much, you will never know how grateful I truly am.

LMags14

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Oncology/Hematology.

You took the first step that so many are afraid to take in the first place: you applied! And you were accepted! You got this! I'm gonna be honest with you, nursing school is not easy. But neither is the job, that's why they only take the best of the best. And hey, they obviously see that you have something!

Your past makes you strong and confident, which is exactly what a good nurse needs. The moment I put on those scrubs and walked into clinical I knew nursing was for me, and I feel once you're on the floors, you'll feel the same. The University I attended had a program for second degree students, and MANY of them were well into their 30s and 40s. Heck, one guy was 52! You aren't alone. I HIGHLY suggest you read the book "Critical Care" by Theresa Brown. It is amazing and such an easy read and based on this woman's life story as she went from college English professor to a nurse.

You have your family's support as well as the support of so many people on this site. All you need now is to believe in yourself. Be confident, you got this :)

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

Hey, been there, too. Just not willing to stay there!

More and more I realize how much we create our own realities. Our brains are always picking and choosing facts and weaving them into stories. Tell yourself stories that empower you.

You are the best! You were selected over oh so many others to attend your school. You have the cunning of age that youngsters can only dream of. You've been a flipping single mom and raised two great kids; your hardest job is behind you, baby! You'll be surrounded by people who will become lifelong friends and supports, instructors who will help you learn and find work.

Turn your thoughts to the rewards and meaning behind your choice, whether it's to set an example for your kids, to serve suffering humanity, to grow in intelligence and skill, whatever. What you focus on is what grows. As a nun friend of mine says in tough times, "Where will I find the gift?"

Pray. "Holy One (or whatever works for you), remove my fear and direct me to what you'd have me be." Worry is just praying for what you don't want.

Last suggestion: Write a list of why you want to be a nurse, keep it with you and read it again and again, esp. when things get hard. Whether it's to inspire your kids, heal the world, use your mind, whatever - keep your eyes on the prize.

You can't serve two masters, so serve life, not fear. You can't stop fear from piping up now and then, just don't do what it tells you to do.

You can and you will succeed.

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

I know I can make this work, but the fears will always be in the back of my mind.

Just keep 'em in the back and don't let 'em drive your car. You're a mom, you know the drill!

:laugh:

Hey, been there, too. Just not willing to stay there!

More and more I realize how much we create our own realities. Our brains are always picking and choosing facts and weaving them into stories. Tell yourself stories that empower you.

You are the best! You were selected over oh so many others to attend your school. You have the cunning of age that youngsters can only dream of. You've been a flipping single mom and raised two great kids; your hardest job is behind you, baby! You'll be surrounded by people who will become lifelong friends and supports, instructors who will help you learn and find work.

Turn your thoughts to the rewards and meaning behind your choice, whether it's to set an example for your kids, to serve suffering humanity, to grow in intelligence and skill, whatever. What you focus on is what grows. As a nun friend of mine says in tough times, "Where will I find the gift?"

Pray. "Holy One (or whatever works for you), remove my fear and direct me to what you'd have me be." Worry is just praying for what you don't want.

Last suggestion: Write a list of why you want to be a nurse, keep it with you and read it again and again, esp. when things get hard. Whether it's to inspire your kids, heal the world, use your mind, whatever - keep your eyes on the prize.

You can't serve two masters, so serve life, not fear. You can't stop fear from piping up now and then, just don't do what it tells you to do.

You can and you will succeed.

Thank you for all of this, especially the bolded. I am feeling very similarly to OP, just terrified of this new journey that I'm embarking on with no experience in the medical world at all and my family's entire future riding on it. As an anxiety sufferer, it's hard to direct my thoughts to the positive but these words resonated with me and I will remember them.

javadown2

Has 3+ years experience. Specializes in Surgical nurse, correctional nursing..

You've gotten this far...some anxiety is a good think (you will find this out in Psych nursing studies). Just keep doin what you've been doing one day at time. I personally had a difficult time in my nursing program barely passing...but I can say that I never gave up and just passed the NCLEX July 29th....good luck and remember to always have some time for yourself during school.

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