Jump to content

Stealth Discouragement and Opposition from surprising sources


Specializes in ..

I have had a really difficult semester in my ANP program and have been really impacted by what I call "stealth" opposition. I have been sabotaged at work with regard to my schedule and clinicals. All of a sudden, I get the schedule last to sign up and no one can make any adjustments. One coworker said directly that no one wants me to finish and that many who seemed supportive previously just really thought I'd drop out like many of them had before. Others feel that I should work for at least 10 years before seriously pursuing a higher degree. At home, my spouse says she wants me to finish and constantly asks me how long it is going to take. Simultaneously, she constantly makes unreasonable requests on my school work time and gives me grief about putting too much time into this. What??? My kids are supportive and we often sit and do homework together and I get them to help me do internet searches, put together powerpoints and graphics into my papers. They really are great helpers.

Has anyone else experienced this stealth jealousy/opposition/discouragement?

BlueDevil,DNP, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

When I went to graduate school I never told a single solitary co-worker; my graduation and subsequent resignation were a complete surprise all of my colleagues and administrators. The only people who "knew" were the computers in payroll, because they processed the tuition payments from my paycheck. The reason for this was that I anticipated an experience such as you describe. I've no idea if anyone was happy for me upon graduation. I doubt it, but I really didn't care. I didn't need their permission, their help or their admiration. Nor did I ever really discuss it with anyone in detail afterward. A few people said, "Gee, I never knew you were in NP school." I would just smile and say something innocuous. I simply gave my notice, and promptly moved far, far, away, never to see or speak to any of those people again.

My family were always extremely supportive, my undying champions, so I can't relate to that part.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

I was very fortunate. When I was in school my family and coworkers were very supportive. I think (and hope) your experience is in the minority.

I have personally found OP's experience to be very, very common. There are many people who can't bear to see anyone else have happiness or success. Jealousy is everywhere.

My experience was somewhat similar. Some people gave lip service to being supportive, but then fell away when/if I actually needed some help OR if they were inconvenienced by the time I needed for school - both those in my workplace and outside of my workplace. Some family members thought it was great, some thought I was nuts.

The upside of all this, though, is that I found out the very few people who are my TRUE support in all aspects of life. I know who they are, I give them all my respect and appreciation, and they know how much their support has meant to me. The other folks, meh, they are on the periphery of my life and I don't share things with them because I realize they aren't really there for me. You have your REAL supportive relationships and you invest yourself totally in those. Then you have SURFACE relationships with family, acquaintences, coworkers, schoolmates, etc., who you treat well but with whom you do not share yourself too much.

Focus, keep your eyes on your goals, be as selfish with yourself and your time as you need to be in order to respect yourself and reach your goals. In the end, you make your life what it is.


Specializes in ..

I originally planned to tell no one at work about being in school but my manager's loose lips let the cat out of the bag. I will not let their feelings, whatever they are, deter me and I definitely will not be discussing anything with them.

As far as my family goes, I think that the problem is a true lack of comprehension as to what is involved in a nursing program. We actually struggled through the same issue with my UG, with the big exception being that I was not also working full-time then.

I just have to laugh when my wife says she doesn't understand why I'm not finished with my research paper, after all "I left you alone for a whole hour."

It helps to vent to people who understand. Thanks for the comments.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

No problem. Sometimes it helps to talk with those of us who have btdt.


Has 3 years experience.

Yes I have experienced this sort of jealousy from co-workers. Like you I ddn't tell anyone really in yet word got around that I am in school. There is a ton of jealousy I have found when people feel that you are doing better than them.

As far as family while mine are supportive, they still don't understand exactly what my schooling entails. I don't think anyone but people who went or are in nursing school does.Hang in there, don't let any of it get you down. ( I do get the how long, and aren't you done yet? Questions)

I know it's extremely frustrating and can even be hurtful at times, but just keep your eyes on the prize. Good luck and just know you have support from us here.