The fear of the unknown


I am so excited to start my ADN nursing program September 3rd. I had my orientation on May 29th. It was surreal to see 56 students (not all are RN, some are LPN). I was sad because I know a lot will end up dropping (I'm praying I won't be one of them). I want this more than anything and will study my butt off. I guess the fear of failing is what is getting to me lately. I have to work part time while doing the program. 7p-7:30a 2 nights a week on an infant and children's unit as a PCT (been a CNA for 10 years). I have 5 kids. Their dad said he will do everything from cook, to clean, to everything for the kids. I just feel like when you ask people about the program they can't answer. Knowing that the only thing they talk about is the crying and the panic makes me doubt myself. I know it won't be easy, but I want this so bad. How come no one can really tell you what the program is like the first semester? Get into the nitty gritty, tell me about fundamentals of nursing. I just feel like everyone says relax, but I want to be at least a little prepared for what is to come. Thanks :) ps I have a nursing boot camp on Aug 20th-22nd 9a-12:30p. Not mandatory, but I signed up.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,560 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Dear MommaTy:

Just like David had to remind himself of the accomplishments he was able to do with God's help, I would encourage you to do the same.

Look at how much you've accomplished to date?

You can do this if you put your heart, mind, and soul into it. Don't let it consume you; just conquer it as you conquered other things in your life.

This will be for your benefit, your families benefit, and the benefit of those whom you will help as an RN.

You can do it!

Specializes in Med/ Surg/ Telemetry, Public Health.

In my program fundamentals was like a CNA but with critically thinking. Get familiar with the test questions there's a book called test for success that will help you get into test taking mode. Fundamentals will probally go smooth for you because you are a PCT/CNA. Never fall behind in reading and assignments. Look at what's in front of you don't get caught up in the end picture of an RN, focus on what's now and build upon that. I wish you the best in your nursing journey.

I'll be working as well as taking care of my two boys. It'll be tough but I think the reward the entire family will benefit from in the end will be what keeps us all going.

Get on YouTube and follow nursing students through their journey. It's interesting and gives you a taste if what to expect. I've subscribed to quite a few so far.


157 Posts

It's exciting. It's stressful and above all else it's doable!!! Good for you for taking the steps to get to where you want to be and it's awesome that you have such a supportive partner! I went back to school after many years and its been hard on my family (3 boys, 1 with special needs and a husband) but everyone is on board and we're making it work. Good luck, it's quite the journey!!


292 Posts

If you're only asking about the first semester, the real answer is, to relax. I'm in a 4-year BSN program so I don't know if the schedule is the same for an ADN program but for me, the nursing class was the least of my worries (20 credit hours: speech, spanish, chemistry, and anatomy & physiology I). My stress came from the second nursing course, med-surg I.

The first semester is not bad, I assure you. The school (hopefully) has it designed to teach you the basics the first semester, nothing terribly hard. However, you will want to know key aspects in what they teach you because it will come back to haunt you if you don't. Each semester will build on the previous semester until you know it all... Just kidding, you'll never know it all! But really, don't get stressed out about having panic attacks. You might cry because of some butting of heads, but I wouldn't worry about crying because you're stressed out.

If you really want to prepare yourself supper good, get a planner and set a schedule for yourself for everyday like a week in advance (eating, work, bedtime, study time, pick up kids, ect.). If the schedule works, stick to it, if it doesn't, change it! I understand you won't really know if it works until you have to actually read and do homework, but it will kind of get you in the mindset of time management. Then when you get your syllabus, fill in what is due for each day in your planner. (For some reason, I do this, but then I have another piece of paper reminding me what is due the next week. I don't know, might be crazy...) Once you have your schedule all filled in with your mom things and your school things and what not, do your homework in your designated study time. If for a few days the time frame you have set for yourself works, stick to it!

Next phase: train those puppies! (Mind you, I don't have kids so I might just be totally off in how I would handle the situation butttttt....) If the kids are old enough to do chores, perhaps start now in assigning them daily chores. That way, once school starts, they will already know they are expected to do these things and now you won't have to do them!! hahahaha! But little helpers would work because it takes your stress away if you have any, gives you more time to study if need be, and you might get a chance each day to study in quiet if they are doing their chores.

I don't really have anything else to add but that your first semester should go smoothly. Only a few in my class (probably 3) had to retake the class, but only because they rarely came to class and did not study for the exams. A few others realized they did not want to be nurses and dropped out. If you study and go to class, you'll do excellent!


83 Posts

I have been a CNA for years so I found first semester as a refreasher course. We did all CNA work and learned the skills that go with. You really have an advantage because I found I was more comfortable caring for my patients than some who never worked in healthcare. My clinical instructor actually had me helping students who were struggling a little with the skills during clinicals. I haven't found nursing school all that bad. I mean it demands a lot of time, but I found if you schedule yourself around everything you will do fine.