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Was told by an aide that I'm not CUT OUT for Nursing


Yesterday was a horrible day for me. I am externing on a Med-Surg floor and was told by an aide that she didn't think I was "cut-out" for nursing. I just came off of orientation and have worked a total of 4 days on the floor and she said that I'm not "cutting it." That maybe I should re-consider my career choice and that the medical field is not for everyone. I'm devastated. I have doubted myself constantly about my capabilities.... to the point that I completed my first year of nursing school and then dropped out this semester. I thought maybe externing would give me some much needed confidence and keep things fresh in my mind for when I start back next fall. Now.... I'm not even sure if I should waste any more time with this at all. I mean... she must be right. If I can't handle the duties of an aide-- then surely I won't "cut it" as a nurse.

I just have a hard time "prioritizing" my time and not sure of how the "flow" of things are suppose to go. I get so nervous sometimes and really lack self-confidence. But I love people... and truly care about making a difference. I just don't know what to do. I am 4 classes away of becoming a RN. I don't know if I should finish or take this aide's advice and throw in the towel now. :sniff:


Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU. Has 4 years experience.

Hi Tabby,

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I wouldn't pay that aide any mind. Perhaps she's very jealous of you. You've only been on your own it takes a very long time, to get into a good flow with time management, prioritizing, speed, etc. Focus on giving good care. Tell her to worry about her job and you'll worry about yours.

Take care & trust that it will come.

mom2michael, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Rural Health.

She's right, nursing isn't for everyone, BUT only you can decide if it is for you. If it's your passion, calling, desire, etc...you'll make a good nurse. Everyone has to learn how to do it and everyone struggles in some aspect or another and everyone wants to throw in the towel from time to time. No one is perfect. Over time, practice and patience, you'll learn to become a good nurse if it's in your heart to be one.

I wish you luck in whatever decisions you make but don't let the opinion of 1 person drag you down and make you give up something you really want.

So far, my experience has been that the aides feel threatened by us nursing students and will do anything to make themselves feel better and like they have a higher rank than you. For instance, the aides at the place where I am doing clinicals will try to make you do their job. I just put my foot down and let them know what I was here to do and not to do.

I think you should use the same strategy. You said that you were there doing the externship to build up your confidence and clinical experience for the day you do become a nurse. So long as you know that you will be a nurse someday, hold your head up high, plug yourself into a couple of nurses (not aides) who can show you "the ropes" and learn from them. Know what you're there to do and do it!:)

I wouldn't pay any attention whatsoever to the aide's opinion. Who knows what her agenda is; but be certain that it isn't your best interest. Pay much more attention to what feedback you get from your nursing instructors, and your own gut instinct. The "prioritizing" stuff, in my opinion and personal experience, comes with time. I didn't learn it in school, and I wasn't good at it until I had been a nurse for a while.

Good luck.


Has 20 years experience.

And this aide is an expert in who will be a good nurse because........

Relax, give yourself a break. Everyone is a little unsteady at first. This person has no idea what kind of nurse you are going to be based on a couple of days. Don't let her negativity get to you. Build up your self confidence, take pride in the little things that you do every day. Keep the faith, one day you will look back at all of this and see that it helped you become an even better nurse.

boulergirl, CNA

Has 5 years experience.

Umm...just curious as to why you're letting a nurse's aide make your career decisions for you. Just because you may not make an efficient aide has little bearing, I think, on your ability to be a good nurse. You have to make this decision for yourself--and get some confidence!

Years ago, I let my mom talk me out of nursing school. She said she expected certain qualities in a nurse and said I didn't have them (except for compassion--how nice). After hearing her beg me for days to drop out, I gave in--I never even set foot in class. Since that happened, I lost focus in college and abandoned my college education.

The point here is, don't let one person decide your future for you.

nursemary9, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, Home Health, Oncology.


Your note made me so ANGRY!!:angryfire How dare you allow someone to get away with saying something like this to you!!

You have only worked what, 4 days!!! It is up to you to decide what is best for you!

Never, Ever let someone else have that much influence over you.

She is a CNA and perhaps feels threatened by you; or maybe she is jealous of the fact that you are really doing it--going for that RN! Who knows.

Only you can decide what is best for you. Other people--people you trust, your instructors, your fellow students, they can all give you feedback, but NO ONE makes that final decision but you.

Remember to be kind to yourself. Do you think that we all became what we are in a day?? Even when you finish school, it still takes time. No one just walks into the job and is perfect!!

I had been a nurse for about 12 years when I started to work the nite shift, it felt like I had never even worked one day, I was so disorganized. It took a long time before I finally was able to prioritize and organize my time. Now, after many years, people ask, How can you get it so together? Well, it is all time!! Give yourself a chance & take the time.

Remeber that the people who question themselves are usually the people who absolutely belong!!

Do not give up before you've even started. Please.

We need Good, caring, compassionate people in this profession.

We need people who care enough to question weather or not they are good enough.

Please, do not let this person decide your Life!!!

Mary Ann

she must be right. If I can't handle the duties of an aide-- then surely I won't "cut it" as a nurse.

. :sniff:

She must be right? She is an AIDE-not an instructor, not a nurse, not a doctor, not a peer. Please don't sell yourself short over one person's opinion. I am not putting down the fact that she is aide. I am trying to point out her vantage point isn't one that would be considered in evaluating your performance so why let her? EVERY NURSE has issues in the beginning. It's common. It does not mean you are not cut out for it. It may mean you're in the wrong setting, she's an idiot, you need to feel more confident in yourself, or you just had a bad day.

Constructive critism does not make you feel the way you have described this woman making you feel. It should be done in a manner that is caring and considerate and tries to TEACH you something NOT attack you. Every time someone makes you feel like you're not "cut out for this"-just shut them off. Worry about the evaluations you get in class and from your preceptor.

Four classes to finish? GET CRACKIN and don't let anyone stop you. You fit in or you wouldn't have gotten this far.

You should consider posting her on the "who would u tazer" thread.

OK, now, I'm stepping away from the motivational speaker's platform....


Specializes in Rehab, Step-down,Tele,Hospice.

ah yeah... I totally agree with boulergirl, who the heck is this aide to be judging you? Did you ask for her opinion or was this "unsolicited advice"? Up hers. Follow your heart and finish school.

I am the queen of low self confidence but guess what? the more you accomplish (even making mistakes) the more confidence you gain.

I was an aide for like 2 seconds in nursing school, hated every minute of it, but I am now finishing orientaion and have been told I will make a good nurse.

Good luck to you and forget the negitivity, people will always be there to put you down, you just have to get a thick skin and rise above it.

boulergirl, CNA

Has 5 years experience.

Maggie in NC is right. If you couldn't hack it as a nurse--your instructors would have weeded you out by now. Just a thought. ;)

learning ANYTHING is a little like riding a bicycle...everyone wobbles a little at first...but if you are this close to finishing your studies you had to have had some motivation...listen to others but turn it over in your own mind...did they see the best of you, what are their qualifications for making a judgement on someone else's career. what do you see your self doing in 10 years...self esteem comes with knowledge and practice and look around:every nurse you see was once in your shoes

chris_at_lucas_RN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but no one is entitled to express it where it is not wanted or warranted.

That girl is an aide. A-I-D-E.

If she could back her opinion up with professional experience, she'd be, uh, a professional.

I wouldn't give her or her opinion any credence. She needs to mind her own business.

You're a nurse--

Thank you all for your uplifting advice. :)

It really means a lot. I have wanted to be a nurse since my little boy was born (3 years ago). I had to have an emergency C-section and the nurses that took care of me were WONDERFUL. I was so scared and worried. One of my labor nurses even got permission to scrub in and go with me to surgery. THOSE nurses made a frightening experience turn out to be the BEST day in my life. I know I'm not stupid or uneducated by no means-- I even have an accounting degree. But that is my background-- Business not Medical. So I have kind of felt "out there in left field" since I have started nursing school. Ya know... just completely out of my element. I have made pretty good grades so far in nursing. All A's and B's. I have one instructor that I just truly admire and she tries to boost my confidence all the time. But it is so different from being in lab or the class room to actually hitting the floor and taking care of real people. I'm always second guessing myself and afraid of making a mistake and hurting someone. Clinicals weren't even as bad as working yesterday. I felt like my head was spinning. I guess I took what that aide said to heart because I doubt myself.... I think maybe I'm not doing things right... and then she comes along, starts telling me I haven't done this or why haven't I done that? She even made a comment about what I was wearing. I had on a pink scrub top and she just kind of looked me up and down and said... " Not everyone can carry off wearing pink like that." I hate confrontation and I worry when I think I've offended someone or if someone doesn't like me. It just really hurt my feelings when she said I wasn't cut out to be a nurse. I have questioned that about myself so many times and to hear someone else say it....I thought maybe she's right. I called my nursing supervisor and we are meeting in the morning. I told her I was feeling kind of "lost" and that I just wasn't catching on as fast as that aide thinks I should. She said she would put me in training with another aide and would get me up to bat in no time. I just hope she's right.

You are right about the "thick skin". My anatomy teacher told me he thought I was gonna make a great nurse but I needed to get some "thick skin". He said I was too nice and to NOT let people walk on me. I guess now I know what he is talking about.

Thanks again for listening to my woes and for your support.

akcarmean, LPN

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

You need to make your own decisions. Don't listen to one person. In any area if you are new to that area it will take some getting use to. Just b/c of the routine and placement of things. I work in HH and I only work per-diem the boy's mom rearranges things quite often. I feel disoriented when I work after she has moved things around. The nurse I am relieving never shows me I just have to look. Don't worry about 1 persons commit. You have come this far. You just need to make sure you follow your heart.


Tabbey people will always try to intimidate you in your career. It's part of the business. I doubt there is any place where you won't find at least one *****. Trust your own judgement of who you are and what you stand for. I never worked as a CNA or in the health profession at all until graduation. I worried over this but being an RN and being a CNA are two totally different areas. We as RN's can do there job however they cannot do ours. They have no training in any of the concepts which we use to give good care. They have no idea how we prioritize care. However they are invaluable, and a wonderful resource to RN's. The only way I would let that CNA's comment stop me from nursing is if indeed i was cold uncaring and ignorant. Good luck , Kathleen


first of all, this Aide is NOT an RN. How the heck would she know if you'd make a good RN or not? I'm finding that the nursing/medical profession is FULL of these sort of mean-spirited people. I don't understand why that is. You sound like a very genuine nice person. I was exactly like you when I was in nursing school. I totally questioned my abilities. I did this even out of school and into the real world of nursing. It truly does take time to be comfortable with your abilities. It doesn't happen over night. I'm still learning to prioritize my time. I've been out of school for 2 years now and I'm just beginning to feel comfortable with what I do. You will have people slithering out from their rocks and undermining your abilities and making you feel inadequate; but trust yourself. You are going to do just fine. Plan your day out. Write a schedule down. Put down each hour you're going to be there and right next to each hour, write down the tasks that you want to do during those times. I realize that on most normal days, it doesn't work like clock-work, but it'll give you some gauge as to where you want to be at that hour. This will help you to stay on task. Anytime, you see a gap where there is nothing written during those hours, use that time to finish the stuff you didn't get done...or do those things that aren't high priority. Don't give up your dream. I believe you have what it takes to be an excellent nurse.

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Whether or not you cut out for nursing is something you must decide.

I think the aide was out of line for telling you that you weren't cutting it, and i would have asked her if she had anything else to do instead of giving her opiion on other people's business.

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