Quit nursing school, now what?


I recently withdrew from my diploma nursing program in the second semester. I was severely depressed in the direction I was going and after trying to bring myself to enjoy clinicals and working as a cna I just don't think this is for me. It wasn't a snap decision as I have been thinking about it since the end of the first semester and my only regret now is that i didn't finish out the semester and the fact that I didn't finish what I started.

I have read numerous posts on here about the things nurses go through and seen it first hand. I have always heard that nursing is either for you or it isn't and I guess it's just not for me. I feel like a weight has been lifted although now I am faced with reality as I am 25 with a b.s. in biology and in need of a full time job. I'm not really sure what I would like to do as a career to be honest. I have considered coaching as I already have a solid foundation, but always pictured myself working a career in healthcare. Perhaps I could work for awhile and maybe try to get into pharmacy school.

I started off wanting to eventually be a crna, but after gaining experience in the hospital setting I feel like I really don't have the desire to be a nurse. I'm a little lost right now so any information would be helpful.

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Well, this all is a blessing in disguise really. If you continued you probably would not be able to find a job in nursing, unless lucky and very connected. I remember a fellow student who dropped out of nursing school. We all worried for her, and thought that she should not have dropped. But now, I think, she was really wise to do so giving the current state of nursing. She didn't miss out on a thing.

I do hear people suggest occupational therapy. I also off and on see ads for clinical research for which they would like a certification.


138 Posts

No harm in stepping away to consider your options.

Nursing school is not free. I would suggest that if in the future you decide to return that you make a personal commitment to complete the program to avoid debt that you have nothing to show for.

If you want to stay in the healthcare field, consider becoming a dialysis tech or surgical tech or some similar. If you have BS you can get into the business side of healthcare , consider medical device or pharmaceutical company, not necessarily sales as this is a scam (a story for another time), but possibly as a product manager or compliance/ regulatory


233 Posts

If you want a career in health care but didn't really care too much for the hands on patient care, maybe pharmacy is a good option for you. You already have a degree in bio, you just need to make sure you have all the prereqs. I worked in a pharmacy for 4 years and even though I thought it was boring, all the pharmacists were pretty content with their jobs. The hours are usually decent and they actually interact very little with the patients. Mostly the student interns did the consults and the techs filled the prescriptions, all they did was look for mistakes and initialed and only really talked to the patients if they were complaining. I heard their job market is hurting right now as well, but whose isn't?


38,333 Posts

Sad that you have nothing to show for it. Whether or not a person makes nursing their career, the license is good to have as a fallback in hard times.

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

When I decided clinical nursing wasn't for me, I wanted to jump back into some other program so that I could feel more marketable. However, since I wasn't sure what would work and I'd already had one miss with nursing, I decided to use my bachelor's to 'just get a job' instead of going back to school. I'm currently working with data management at a hospital. It's been good for me as I've not only goten to learn lots in 'the real world' of health care but I'm also getting a much better sense of my own preferences and weaknesses in the work place while getting paid - as opposed to paying to go through another professional program that I'm not really sure about but sure sounds good.

If you're still interested in health care, hospitals have tons of non-clinical staff (administration, medical records, quality improvement, purchasing, etc). There are tons of medical-realated distributors and manufacturers out there (supplies, devices, pharmaceuticals, info systems) with a wide variety of possibilities - from research and development to sales. If there are any university research centers, there may be something there up your alley.

I know getting a job these days is not easy, but clearly you've got lots going for you with a bach in bio and having made the cut into nursing school. It *is* a tough job market. Just sending out apps probably won't get you too far. Chatting up employees, getting to know folks in HR, doing informational interviews can help you learn more about various opportunities and may help you 'luck into' a job (right place, right time).

Best wishes!!


1,097 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

There are many health care related jobs. Look into xray techs, lab personnel, ultrasound techs, respiratory therapy. All decent jobs that pay well. Maybe you would be happier in the lab, or running the CT scanner.


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

I'd like to congratulate you for making a decision and sticking to it. Nursing isn't for everyone and not every student is brave enought to say "that's it, I'm done".

You are young and have your entire life ahead of you. Take it easy on yourself and reconsider what you'd really like to do. Physiotherapy? Health Records? Have you thought about medical school?

Ignore those that say you should have toughed it out and got the diploma. It always is evident who finished because they hadn't got a clue with what to do with their lives.

You're only here once. Enjoy yourself.

Ivanna_Nurse, BSN, RN

1 Article; 469 Posts

Specializes in CCU MICU Rapid Response. Has 18 years experience.

Wolfless, if its any consolation, I am kind of in the same boat, but a little farther down the creek. I just withdrew from the BSN program in the seventh week of school.

I really didnt enjoy nursing school the first time around and struggled to find a place where I felt "good"....I work in a large ICU and have learned to focus on the parts of the job that I love, and look past the parts that make me cringe. Ive always worked ICU for the preparation for CRNA school, and being back in school for my bsn brings back all of those unpleasant feelings that I had the first time around that I ignored.

I dropped my classes and feel so free. I too have been contemplating pharmacy. I will have to get a BS first, so youre ahead of me. I dont have any good advice, just wanted you to know that you arent the only one sitting in front of your laptop wondering "what the heck did I just do with my life?" Hang in there :) Ivanna

canchaser, BSN, RN

1 Article; 446 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 20 years experience.

Well, it's a definite blessing. keep Your eyes and ears open, use Facebook to let friends/ family know you are looking so they can give u leads. I withdrew from CRNA school, it took me months to rebound from the mentality that " I had lost something" and how to answer the question" what are u crazy?" I have landed a job I truly love. Hang in there look at hospital ads, maybe since u have a BS maybe u could land in lab as a technician.


2 Posts

I don't know what to do either, I wish I could shadow a nurse or even a nursing student for a day. I got accepted to the ADN 2 year RN program at the community college in my town. I just finished my medical asst 1 yr program, which I did while waiting to petition for this. I am just not sure if this is for me. I have been getting A's in all my classes thus far A&P I and II as well as MA program (problem with the MA is it only pays 12/hr, terrible for what they have to be responsible for). I am afraid of starting something full force and not liking it. I also have 3 little kids. It will be challenging. I have a 4 yr in Sociology. And a 20 yr work experience in electrical tech. So I am a mish-mash of experience!!!! I have been volunteering in social service fields while going back to school after losing my job. Not many social service jobs available with all the cuts about to happen.... Before I start in the fall I was thinking of physical therapy asst instead, anyone have any idea if this path has benefits? i can get rt in it in the fall as well. x-ray tech is a 6 yr wait so out of the Q. Anyway, Good luck on your job search, you should be good with the Biology degree, especially if there are drug companies in your area. Here we have ABBOTT for people with Biology degrees as well as RN degrees. I feel for you because feeling indecisive is miserable, I wish I was one of those people that knew exactly what I wanted to be. I am 40 and I should know by now.... uhg! : /