Serious anxiety about nursing school


Ok, so here's a litte background info. I have not been to school since the year 2000 and just recently started a 3 year BSN program. I am married, with a 3 year old, and also work a full time job as a coordinator in ob/gyn. I keep reading stories about people getting kicked out for failing an exam, or the program just being too much for them and they quit. I am so scared to fail in the program, I cannot afford to :no:. Have you or anyone that you know been successful in nursing school after being out of school for so long? Are you making it through with kids and full time job? Do you have any tips for someone like me? I guess I'm just looking for some positives, since I've been seeing and hearing about a lot of negatives. Thanks for reading!

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

1) When/if you take statistics, you will learn about sampling error. :) It is a known fact that people with complaints are orders of magnitude more vocal than people without them. So just because you "keep reading stories about ..." all those things doesn't make it the story of the majority of nursing students. Think about it: how would nursing schools stay open if they flunked out all their students?

2) That said, some schools, especially the for-profit ones, want yer money but they don't really give a damn whether you get a good education. They actually make more if you miss some deadlines and have to repeat or drop out, because the loans they gave you are still due and payable.

Also true that a certain number of people who enter nursing school discover they don't like it, have no discernible study skills and don't really work at acquiring them, wouldn't recognize a deadline or explicit instruction if it came up and bit 'em on the butt, or get upset when they see naked bodies and their various products, and then they can't understand why the meanies on the faculty decided they should pursue higher education elsewhere. But we can. :)

3) I can already tell from your writing that you are more literate than a large proportion of the students who post here. That bodes well.

In sum, I would listen to your old grandmother who says, "Don't borrow trouble." Go forth and do the classes, ask for help when you need it, remember that your faculty is really more interested in having you succeed than having you fail, and stop looking over your shoulder for the bogeyman. :)

Specializes in RNC-MNN & Operating Room. Has 6 years experience.

Thank you so much for your reply. Everything that you said makes perfect sense to me. :)

Don't be anxious, nursing school is fun! It's really not as bad as so many people make it out to be. The material is not overwhelming, particularly if you have decent study skills and good organization. The skills are not scary or difficult, they just require repetition and between school labs and clinical days, you should get plenty of exposure. If you don't feel comfortable doing something, your clinical instructor will be right by your side to guide you.

I do not have children but I work full time. Having children will make it more difficult to manage time I would imagine but there are a few women in my class that manage both and don't look or act any worse for the wear.

Your instructors don't want you to fail, I promise. You may have instructors that terrify you but make a you a better nurse because of it. You may have others that you'll seek out for support and they will not let you down. I am three semesters in and have not had an instructor yet that hasn't gone out of her way to help out those that needed it. Most understand that children and jobs are part of the package with today's student demographic and will try their best to help you out any way that they can.

You'll be fine, probably great! Take things one day at a time and next thing you know you'll be getting pinned, wondering how all that time flew by so quickly. :)


1 Article; 561 Posts

Don't listen to anyone! I was told many horror stories about my program. Apparently, hardly any of the students make it to the final semester, and the ones that do are so worn out by graduation that they don't even want to be nurses anymore.

In reality, very few students fail out of my program. Yes, a few choose to leave during the first semester because they realize nursing is not what they want to do, but they choose to leave. And no one is kicked out for failing a single exam.

This is much like that game "telephone" where one person whispers a phrase to the next person and then that person whispers the phrase to the next person and they keep going around the circle . . . the sentence spoken at the end of the game is never the same as the first.


83 Posts

Hi there Hazel. I'm a second semester nursing student. I saw your post and wanted to add my 2 cents.

If things do get too crazy, ask your school if they offer a part time nursing program. If they do you may be able to transfer into the part time program. Being a nursing student isn't all bad and it helps if you don't think of all the work that will be required of you. Just take it one week at a time. You can use a free program like google calendar to help you keep track of your schedule and assignments. It can sync to your iphone and you can set it to email you reminders every morning if you wish. I know of a lot of people that work full time and do the nursing program. It is harder but it is possible to do. Just hang in there!

Specializes in RNC-MNN & Operating Room. Has 6 years experience.

This is my first week and I've been trying to find a way to remember everything that needs to be done for not only school, but the kid, the house etc. Thank for you for the tip about the calendar, I will definitely try using that.

rubato, ASN, RN

1,111 Posts

Specializes in Oncology/hematology.

You will need to prioritize, organize and give up a few things. Your family will have to lend a hand. You will have to get child care more than you used to. And, you will lose a little sleep. But, you can do it.

I do not work, but have a very dependent family and have had to move some things around. I'm a senior this year and am managing straight As, plus taking extra classes, plus have children, plus train for marathons, plus work out on top of running, plus I see my friends. I am the student representative for my class and am on my HOA board. I don't get to do everything I want to , but I manage everything that I have to.


137 Posts

You have an advantage I do believe! You are married and have a child. These are big motivators!! I see a majority of the moms in my nursing program excel. You have drive and a purpose. Most younger students are still trying to find themselves, and I think that is probably who make up the not passing rate most of the time. You sound like your support system is great, so I think you will be just fine!!


38 Posts

hey there! Mom here to a 18 month old, wife, and a full time night shift worker. I will be starting nursing school in two weeks... YOU ARE NOT ALONE...We can make it through :-)

Specializes in RNC-MNN & Operating Room. Has 6 years experience.

Thank you so much for all of your replies. I am starting to feel a little better about getting through the program. I'm actually on my way to drop my daughter off at her grandma's so that I can get an assignment finished. I'll be sitting down with my whole family this week to talk to them about helping me out with miscellaneous tasks while I'm in school.


1,163 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

You will be fine don't worry. I suffer from anxiety especially during the summer when I wasn't very busy. So I spent the whole time convinced that I would fail out or couldn't do the work. But here I am taking 17 credits in a BSN program and somehow maintaining my sanity. It can be overwhelming but my anxiety went away once I became so busy.

If you have been accepted, then your school believes in you and knows you can do it.