Rethinking My Choice To Be A Nurse

Nurses Disabilities


Hi everyone, I'm Kass and I'm new here.

My general concern right now is that I'm wondering whether I should still continue to pursue my education for nursing or not. Right now I'm an enrolled student, but I'm only doing core classes, I have not gotten into a nursing program yet. I also have severe depression, generalized anxiety, and bipolar disorder. My bipolar disorder was recently diagnosed last year when I got admitted into a hospital after a suicide attempt...anyway, I thought being a nurse was something I really wanted more than anything. I thought getting back into school (despite being out of college for 7 years) would be fine, especially since I'm only taking 2 classes right now. I was so wrong. The school I'm enrolled in has been very awful so far. I knew the reviews weren't fantastic and the graduation rate sucked, but I live in middle Georgia and there aren't many options around me, and this was the cheapest and most convenient. The staff has been awful and vague when it came to me needing help signing up, financial aid, etc. Due to miscommunication, I missed out on receiving financial aid that I had a right to. My mom has been wanting me to just move forward and succeed in life so bad that she didn't care about the cost, she just wanted me to go back to school. She paid for my first semester. I shouldn't have let her, but I'm so afraid of letting her down yet again. So I'm stuck going there. And it's awful so far. I found out a little too late that the summer semester is an accelerated course. In one class alone I've had 160 pages worth of reading, 3 exams, 2 essays, and a discussion board (In the first week). I'm only two weeks into the semester and I just want to give up. One of my teachers (the one with the heavy workload) hates me for what reason I don't know. He treats me like crap even though I was getting an A in his class so far, which is steadily declining because of how he grades certain things. Where I live you have to maintain a 4.0 to even be considered for the nursing program. They only test for it once a year and choose once a year. It's very high pressure for someone like me, who had only gotten no higher than a 2.5 in high school and a 3.0 in previous college. I'm not fantastic when it comes to academics. And last year was so awful with depression and learning I had bipolar disorder...let's just say I'm still trying to get myself to a place where I can function alright. I'm on medication, but I'm uninsured right now so when the meds run out, that's it. Because I'm uninsured I had to stop seeing my therapist and psychologist. I do work part time at my mom's shop, but I don't make much. I live with my boyfriend who has been nothing but loving and supportive through all of this, and though he has a decent job, we don't have much left over at the end of the month money-wise because he pays almost all of the bills. I don't make enough to contribute...most of my checks go to my car payment. I have friends who are nurses who joke and say "If you think this is hard now, wait until you get into the actual program!" I don't think it's funny. I worked as a CNA full time for a year at a nursing home, and though I loved working with my residents, we were constantly understaffed and the work was very laborious and high pressure. I was stressed every day. The ****** supervisors made things worse. It was work that landed me in the mental hospital to begin with. So now I'm wondering if I should even pursue nursing as a career. I'm not all there mentally. I don't have a handle on my bipolar disorder, and every "good" day I have where I think I do have a handle on it, one little setback or trigger can easily break me. I constantly feel like I'm teetering on the edge on a cliff. So far being in school has not been a positive experience. The anti anxiety meds I take make me drowsy, so sometimes I nod off in class, which pisses my teachers off and makes them call me out in front of the class, triggering bad anxiety. I don't know if this is right for me. I want to be a nurse and help people....but I don't believe in myself. I feel like I'm mostly doing this at this point because I don't want to disappoint my mom yet again. I don't want to make my boyfriend unhappy. We talked about wanting to start a future together. I want kids. I'm about to be 28 and I'm so far behind... My goal was to become a nurse by the time I'm 30 so I can start making decent money and we could start our family and get married or whatever...if I give this up I'm once again at a standstill with what to do with my career. We can't have a baby now, my boyfriend says we aren't financially stable. If I quit, I'm so afraid he'll be disappointed in me and not want to start a life with me anymore. But what if I spend all this money (my mom's money) and fail? Or what if I get through this somehow and become a nurse and I can't handle the pressure? Then it's all that work and money for nothing, just like when I was a CNA. I'm so sorry, I went on a rant, but I'm just at a loss on what to do. I feel so unstable lately with my bipolar and anxiety disorder. I can't seem to handle highly stressful situations, which makes me feel so helpless because I'm 28 and should be at a certain place in my life and I'm not.


Holy wall of text!! Could you do those of us with old eyes a favor and break this into paragraphs so we can read it better. That way maybe we can make better sense of it and offer you some good advice.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I wish I could give you a hug! Your pain is palpable. I feel for you because I have bipolar I and know how out-of-control it can get. My case was incompatible with my career and I had to leave and go on disability awhile back, so I get it.

To be honest, I think this is not the time for you to start school. You're unstable and you know it, which is a good bit of insight that not a lot of people have when they're in the middle of depression or mania. I know you don't want to disappoint anyone, but don't let that guilt you into doing something you're clearly not ready for. At this point all you're going to be doing is wasting both time and money, and you don't want that. You need to concentrate on getting better.

I wonder, since you're working only part-time and I'm assuming you have a low income, if you might be eligible for Medicaid. This is the federal program that provides assistance with medical expenses and prescription medications. You have to have very little money and few resources, but it's worth looking into. As you know, sticking with your medication and treatment regimen is vital to getting and staying well; unfortunately it often takes months or even years to find the right combination of meds, and you just haven't been diagnosed long enough to get to that place. It took me over two years to reach stability, and I had a hospitalization for suicidal ideation in the middle of trying different things. Unfortunately for my career, it was too late to salvage it and I wound up going on Social Security Disability.

This doesn't mean you can't become a nurse at some point in your life. Don't give up on your dreams; someday you will be healthy enough to go to school and do well. It's just that now isn't the right time. Forgive yourself and don't let anyone tear you down. Make treatment for your bipolar a priority; you can't progress otherwise.

Hugs and best wishes to you. Viva

I agree with Viva that your own mental health and stability need to be your priorities right now. You have the rest of your life to pursue nursing if you decide that's what you want to do. Hugs and best wishes!

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

Do you have a therapist and psychiatrist who you work with? I would strongly suggest you get support for yourself, ASAP. That should be your priority other things can wait. You can pursue nursing when you are stable and can apporach it from a position of strength, not anxiety and doubt. Please take care of yourself.

Thank you so much for this. It feels so good to hear from someone who understands what I'm going through, because even though I have a decent support group, none of them truly understand what being bipolar means or feels like. I feel really alone most days. I found a clinic near me that may be able to help me until open enrollment in November. They offer cheap to free mental health care depending on your situation, diagnosis, etc. I'm going to go next week and see if they can help me. As for school, I'm going to try to get through this semester best I can. It's short, ends on July 30th. Until then I'm going to think about what I should do after that, continue with school or just take some time out to even myself out. I think I might do that. I still aspire to be a nurse someday. I loved being a CNA, but I wasn't fully stable then, and I'm not fully stable now. I can't help others if I can't help myself...Again, thank you so much for the advice. It's means so much to me.

hey i get how you feel i live in georgia to. the school i went to for lpn was southern regional and i quickly got out. the teacher was a braindead that rambled on about soda while going through a powerpoint. read the book take the test. i didnt like it

if you need someone to talk to, im all ears im probably more like you then anyone else on this site. my dad is bipolar and so was his dad i was never formally diagnosed, but since its genetic im going to not be surprised if i ever am diagnosed

Specializes in Inpatient Psychiatry.

Speaking as a newly minted RN who also has bipolar disorder (though in a less acute stage than yours), from one quirky lady to another..

..This is not the time to go into an epically high-stress major, like nursing.

I say "this is not the time", because there may be a time. It's not when you're in such a crisis state that you can't manage the early stages and nod off in class.

I so deeply understand the desire to make your mother proud, to prove that your worth her financial sacrifice. But ask yourself this: would she be happier having a daughter who is present, functional, and recognizes her own need to survive? Or does she put however much she spent on those two classes over her daughter's mental health?

(Don't answer that, I think it's obvious that I meant the former)

You're in a critical stage of a need for self-preservation. You have a long life ahead of you, and this is the time that you need to focus on managing your mental health to ensure that you'll be ready. Give yourself a semester. Two, if you need. But know that you can't push through and fix this biochemistry. And that your mother and boyfriend would rather you functional and healthy.

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