I remember when I first discovered allnurses. A second career was in my future and nursing was in my list of the top three choices. Making the best choice required some guidance. allnurses offered some gems of wisdom buried within spicily worded replies from seasoned nurses. Over the past few years, I have remained a faithful reader of allnurses. There are some questions that continue to come up constantly, written by anxious people eager for the fresh opinions of current nurses.
There are some questions and concerns that cannot be answered on the internet. There are unique circumstances behind each screen name. But the answers to certain questions are perennial.
1 - I am 64. Should I go to nursing school?
You are not too young/old for nursing school.
Of course, if you are 12, you are too young for nursing school. But generally, any age between 18 and death qualifies for nursing school. Most of these questions are concentrated on the older end of the scale - “Am I too old at 48/59/70 years old to start nursing school?” The pure answer is no, you are not too old. The fine details behind that answer are up to the individual.
What will be your return on investment?
Will you spend $40,000 and only work 5 more years?
Or perhaps money is no object and it is a passion project for you.
Do you have the time to complete the school work?
Do you have the stamina?
Who will pay the bills/feed the kids/walk the dog while you study?
These questions are among several that need to be answered before starting nursing school. The bottom line on this question is - age ain’t nothing but a number.
2 - I have anxiety, should I be a nurse?
You have anxiety surrounding the idea of nursing school.
These questions generally have two categories. There are those who have a medical or mental health issue and need help unrelated to nursing school. Then there are those who feel anxious only when dealing with all things nursing. For those with a true medical problem, speaking to a mental health professional is the best bet. The people on allnurses may be sympathetic, but they cannot help.
For those who get anxious about nursing classes, tests or clinicals, it should not stop you from going to nursing school. Everyone gets anxious and stressed at some point. I personally found that nursing school was unnecessarily stressful and believe there needs to be an overhaul of the systems in place. That being said, things are not going to change right now, so take the nursing school experience in stride. Yes, your instructors are unfair, your classmates are bullies and the nurses at clinicals have it in for you. As they say on allnurses - “Suck it up, Snowflake”. This too shall pass.
3 - Are men treated differently in nursing?
People look askance at you when you tell them you are in nursing school.
So this question is an interesting one. In the working world at large, men tend to have the advantage in so many ways. So it always makes me wonder if nursing is some special bubble where men are generally treated as second class citizens. Perhaps men are discriminated against in the nursing world. I do not discount the feelings and experiences of another person. If the discrimination is happening, do not let that stop you from going to and completing nursing school. Report any incidents that occur in school to school authorities. Snarky comments from people in your personal life will have to be handled with some snappy rejoinders and a thick hide.
4 - I have a C average and I am afraid I will not get into/pass nursing school.
For those who are not in nursing school yet, this is a no-brainer. Simply apply to the schools that interest you and wait for their replies. If you are accepted, then yes, you can get into nursing school with that 'C' in Statistics. Please plan to make higher grades when you enter nursing school or else you will be wasting your time. If you are not accepted, well, ask if the school will accept a new grade if you retake the class.
For those who are in nursing school and have a 'C' average, the short answer is yes, you will fail and you will waste a lot of money in the process. The long answer is, things can be turned around if the problem is addressed early.
Speak to the instructors to help discover your weaknesses.
Do not take the feedback personally.
Start working on your deficiencies immediately.
Do not focus on whatever part of the process that feels unfair to you. The instructor is mean. The other students cheat. No one in the study group likes you. The instructor changes the answers to the exam after grading them. Brush that dirt off your shoulder like Jay Z circa 2003.
5 - My classmates exclude me/ the instructor told me he does not like me.
I have alluded to this one in the other four reasons. Humans are social creatures. We tend to imitate each other and engage in a scary amount of group-think. It is not fun to be the person who is on the outside of all this fun. So okay. Your classmates do not like you. Sucking up to them probably will not change that. Sometimes people will not like you. It is a part of life.
So your instructor does not like you. This relationship is actually more important than the one with your peers, because a poor relationship with instructors can push you right out of school.
Sucking up may actually help in this case. Maybe volunteering for extra work may help if all else fails. Tap dance as fast as you can and make your work match the needs of the instructor. The take away from this answer is that the pain and stress do not last forever. Vent to your real friends, your family or on allnurses. Do not whine to the people in school.
FACT: Nursing school is about 2 to 4 years of torture or bliss, depending on individual experience.
Push through and push on.
If any of these reasons are standing in the way of you entering or completing nursing school, this article is just a reminder that all of them can be addressed properly with just a bit of work.