I graduated with an ADN from a "really good school" and my clinical experiences were terrible. Our instructors were responsible for up to 12 people on two different wings - it's was chaos and for me, it didn't work out well. I sort of managed to slip through the cracks without getting very much hands-on experience at all. We were supposed to have a preceptorship for our final rotation, which I think would have helped me a lot - but we never did. A lot of people were successful in clinicals and felt ready to start nursing. Me, I'm terrified. I passed all my classes easily and I know that I possess talents that you can't teach but it's the technical aspect that's causing me concern. I know the knowledge is in there - I just get nervous and tense up. I've been out of school now 5 months and have applied to so many new grad programs that I have to keep a spreadsheet of them all. I really believe with the proper support and encouragement, like the transition help you get in a new grad program would be excellent for me and bring out my abilities but those programs are only taking people with experience, with advanced degrees, with tons of certifications. In fact, to me, it seems like some of those people might be fine with a more traditional orientation and training. So I wonder are the hospitals focusing on the right people for these extensive training programs? What does that say about me? What happens to someone like me? I got into nursing because I wanted a career where I felt like I was doing something important, where I could advocate for patients, encourage people, educate communities, and continue to learn and grow. Is it possible that I managed to get into nursing school, get through it with honors and being well-liked and respected by my peers and instructors, but not really be "nurse material." Is that possible? I feel like I've made a big mistake. I feel like I want someone to hold my hand for a few weeks, really take their time with me and I know I would thrive under the encouragement but everyone says nursing isn't like that... it's sink or swim. So what happens to people like me? People who maybe want to wear a life vest for a little while? Does that mean we don't have the right stuff? Not sure what to do with this shiny new (getting older) degree.