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Returning to Nursing School?

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Has anyone taken time off from nursing school and returned? I successfully finished my first semester of an ASN program last spring. I struggled with severe anxiety throughout, but finished with 3 As, 1 B, and even made the Dean's List. I had posted on here previously about my struggles and if I even wanted to be a nurse, and ended up deciding to take some time off/withdraw last fall. I went the first week, and felt like I was reliving a nightmare while I was sitting in the classes. After dropping my classes, I ended up getting a job in a high school clinic working as an assistant to the school nurse. I can definitely see myself in this setting in the future, if I were to return to finish my degree. My supervisor has even told me she wants me to come back if I leave to finish school.

So I now face a tough choice. Do I go back or stay in my current position (pay isn't great). Can I overcome the anxiety I faced before to finish school? I am older (40s), with a husband and 3 teen daughters at home. I feel like because of those factors, this is my final chance to return. If I waited any longer I would have to redo the first semester. 

I am curious if anyone else has taken a couple semesters off and returned? How challenging was it to step back into the role of nursing student successfully? Were there any things you didn't consider that you wish you had? Any recommendations for someone returning?

Thank you!

 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5 Followers; 6,200 Posts; 48,702 Profile Views

Others have taken a semester or two off, returned and been successful. I think, though, it is much like remarrying someone you divorced. If you don't examine why it didn't work in the first place and have a plan to deal with those things, you won't be any more successful the second time around. 

You have other options. It isn't nursing school or nothing. I would encourage you to examine all sorts of patient care positions to see if one would be a sweet spot in terms of earnings but less stressful overall.

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5 Followers; 37,388 Posts; 100,244 Profile Views

My advice is to return “the sooner, the better”. You want to avoid being affected by any unforeseen changes at the school that would preclude your return or cause you to have to repeat anything regardless. My program changed curriculums. At different points, people who did not progress as they should, got eliminated from the program because there was no longer any way to repeat or start at that particular semester. The school took the stance of “forewarned, forearmed” because they warned each class of the consequences of falling behind, no matter the reason. You want to avoid this sort of thing.

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I initially started nursing school before respiratory therapy school.  I was not in the headspace to complete and go through nursing school. I took about 8 months of then went into respiratory therapy to get a job to make money. I had withdrawn twice due to mental head space issues (ex broke up with me right before nursing school). I also had a medical illness at the time I later discovered.

I have worked for almost 4 years as an RT. Got accepted into an accelerated nursing program. Previously to applying I took advanced science courses like biochem and ochem and made As in them, as my GPA was not stellar from RT school. 

There will be 7 years between nursing school first time and since I withdrew nursing on my own I was considered in good standing. 

I start this fall in an ABSN program. I moved so that is why I did not go back to my old program.

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37 Posts; 684 Profile Views

Thank you for the replies. The divorce analogy is ON POINT!!! I really think my anxiety and confidence is what has held me back thus far. I am fully capable otherwise. This break has definitely given me some perspective I desperately needed. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn't have quit. But I am very nervous about going back. I worry that I have been out long enough...what if I forget everything? What if I have lost my "mojo"? I also worry about entering a new cohort where I know NO ONE. And I do really like my current job. I will miss the schedule and the kids I work with. 

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1 hour ago, Piper98 said:

Thank you for the replies. The divorce analogy is ON POINT!!! I really think my anxiety and confidence is what has held me back thus far. I am fully capable otherwise. This break has definitely given me some perspective I desperately needed. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn't have quit. But I am very nervous about going back. I worry that I have been out long enough...what if I forget everything? What if I have lost my "mojo"? I also worry about entering a new cohort where I know NO ONE. And I do really like my current job. I will miss the schedule and the kids I work with. 

Can you work while in school?  I like the people I work with but it is a job not a career. Is there advancement for your other job? I have been out of nursing school for 7 years, but I know the time in RT will help me handle the nursing program and new people. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5 Followers; 6,200 Posts; 48,702 Profile Views

On 2/18/2020 at 12:24 PM, Piper98 said:

Thank you for the replies. The divorce analogy is ON POINT!!! I really think my anxiety and confidence is what has held me back thus far. I am fully capable otherwise. This break has definitely given me some perspective I desperately needed. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn't have quit. But I am very nervous about going back. I worry that I have been out long enough...what if I forget everything? What if I have lost my "mojo"? I also worry about entering a new cohort where I know NO ONE. And I do really like my current job. I will miss the schedule and the kids I work with. 

Work and mojo are choices. You can't lose your mojo without your own permission, so put that away. Make up your mind you are going to do well, then watch for the behaviors that will keep you from doing so and nip them in the bud.

As far as the job, your comparison isn't your job vs school. Your comparison is your job now vs the job you want to have.

The "I won't know anyone" thing is your own psyche trying to sabotage you. You literally "won't know anyone" for ONE DAY. Then you start getting to know everyone. Think about the worst 8 hours you ever had. Here you still are, alive and kicking. You survived it and you will survive the first day of returning to nursing school. 

Maybe see a counselor for a session or two on helping you get past your anxieties. I promise it will help.

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On 2/18/2020 at 2:56 PM, EMT89 said:

Can you work while in school?  I like the people I work with but it is a job not a career. Is there advancement for your other job? I have been out of nursing school for 7 years, but I know the time in RT will help me handle the nursing program and new people. 

I cannot stay at this job and go to nursing school, unfortunately. There is no advancement currently, only getting my RN and being able to be a school nurse. 

13 hours ago, Nurse SMS said:

Work and mojo are choices. You can't lose your mojo without your own permission, so put that away. Make up your mind you are going to do well, then watch for the behaviors that will keep you from doing so and nip them in the bud.

As far as the job, your comparison your job vs school. Your comparison is your job now vs the job you want to have.

The "I won't know anyone" thing is your own psyche trying to sabotage you. You literally "won't know anyone" for ONE DAY. Then you start getting to know everyone. Think about the worst 8 hours you ever had. Here you still are, alive and kicking. You survived it and you will survive the first day of returning to nursing school. 

Maybe see a counselor for a session or two on helping you get past your anxieties. I promise it will help.

Thank you!!! You are so right!!!!!

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5 Followers; 6,200 Posts; 48,702 Profile Views

You got this.

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37 Posts; 684 Profile Views

On 2/20/2020 at 10:31 AM, Nurse SMS said:

You got this.

Thank you!!!!!

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