What struggles did you go through to eventually become a nurse? Share your story.


I want this post to inspire those who think it's impossible to become a nurse. No matter how long it'll take, keep your end goal in mind and don't give up. There's beauty in whatever struggle you go through. I, too, will soon have a story to share at the end of this journey!!

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

Was an at home mom of 3 kids during Pre Reqs, then 4 kids during nursing school. In a very primarily emotionally abusive marriage, sometimes more. Was not "allowed" to go to school, went anyway so I received no help at all with the kids. During nursing school he was gone 4-5 months of the year for work so I had no help, no family. Was on a waitlist for 3.5 years, First week of the last semester of nursing school I lost my brother to suicide.

Graduated on time, first one in my class to take NCLEX, did it 3 weeks before anyone else. Had lic. the next day. Got an acute care hospital job when no new grads without contracts were getting acute care jobs in the area. Left my marriage.

Your want and your will has to be stronger than your obstacles.


1 Post

Need advice- I have caring heart to become a nurse for over 15 years.But my spouse against my ambition becoming nurse.I was stuck with CNA licences for over 15 years while struggle in the real estate business and raising 4 children.I'm burned out of running around trying to sell real estate but unable to support my life and family financially. I felt is time for me to move on for career change.Currently I've transferred my college credit major in nursing program this fall 2017. I will appreciate thought,and helpful information


173 Posts

I tried to work full time as a CNA while going to nurse school full time. It was very difficult and my finances were frightfully low. I needed thos nurse study guides but couldn't afford them so I checked them out at the library. When I needed scrubs I bought them at the Goodwill.

My grades were slipping so I needed more time for study.... trimmed down my work hours to make time for reading only to have the classes get more difficult. I was too far committed to drop out and end the insanity...it was just so much reading & hard studying so eventually I quit the job. There was no turing back and I lived off of almost nothing until the end.

I got hired before obtaining my license as a graduate nurse with the condition that I MUST pass the board exam.

I took a lot of risks.

I have not told you about my faith and all how I relied on the Lord to see everthing through to completion (not trying to preach here).


29 Posts

When I was 18 years old and just starting college, my dad died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Because of his death, my college was put on hold as I fell into a deep depression. After taking a year off from school, I got back to it. I started taking classes again. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with my life at that moment. I was going to school and working as a waitress at mediocre restaurant. January, 2016, I decided I wanted to become a nurse. I knew that was what I was meant to do. I enrolled in both Microbiology and A&P at the same time. I plowed through them and got A's in both classes. In May of the same year, my mother died. I was only 21. Though my heart was hurting, I knew I had to stay strong and continue on. By August of 2016, I got my acceptance letter. After completing all of the prerequisites and the entrance exam, I made it. After the death of both parents, I made it. Now, at the age of 22, I just finished my first semester of nursing school and I am about to start my mental health rotation. I also have a nursing youtube channel, which allows me to reach out to others that need motivation to become the nurses they want to be. I am so thankful for all that I have been blessed with. Though my hearts yearns from my parents, I know they are proud of me. I know they are watching over me.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,240 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

I was in my third semester of RN nursing school when my first ex-wife told me, at the breakfast table, that she wanted a divorce.

"Can't we just wait until I finish school?" I whined.

"You treat me as though I were a convenience!" she replied.

"So- what's your point?" I asked.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I was the first person in our family to go to college. When my father was driving me to high school graduation practice, he told me that he hoped my boyfriend was giving me a ring for graduation because I'd never make it through college. I might as well get married and be a housewife. I moved out the day after graduation (not just because of that; I was tired of getting hit whenever my sister did something wrong or my parents had a bad day.). I worked multiple jobs and saved up the money for school. It took me five years to get my BSN, working 2-3 jobs at a time, but I didn't take a dime from my parents.

I was halfway through graduate school when my then-husband tried to strangle me to death while muttering "I'll fix you. I'll fix you for good," over and over. It had been an abusive marriage, but it never occurred to me until that moment that staying in the marriage could actually KILL me. I was left standing on the side of the road with the clothes on my back and my dog, 300 miles from home. I was so lucky -- when I called work (collect) from a phone booth in a nearby laundromat, the assistant manager answered. She said "It's slow today, and the surgeons are out of town. I'm marking you off for the weekend, and I can be there in six hours to get you." And she came and got me and the dog. That was in 1987 -- she's still my best friend.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,022 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
I was in my third semester of RN nursing school when my first ex-wife told me, at the breakfast table, that she wanted a divorce.

"Can't we just wait until I finish school?" I whined.

"You treat me as though I were a convenience!" she replied.

"So- what's your point?" I asked.

Well, I can see her point. But it looks like she could have waited until after breakfast -- at dinner, maybe.

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Instructor telling me Ill never be a nurse.

Failing a class and being held back.

Watching all my friends graduate and start their lives as I toiled away in school for 6 years ( I changed majors )

A nasty break up with my girlfriend of 3 years who just so happened to be in my nursing classes.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

1,578 Posts

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Let's see if I can find some "struggles" in my journey to becoming an RN.

Raised by retired grandparents cuz dear ole dad left my mentally ill mother in the State Hospital. Lived on "Aid to Dependent Children" AKA Welfare and ate commodity peanut butter sandwiches I think every day for years. Warned throughout school, "You better get good grades because if you don't get a scholarship you're not going to college." Grampa didn't think I was smart enough and we certainly couldn't afford schooling an idiot. Fooled him. Got that scholarship and went to a private religious college for 3 years. Then a totally unexpected episode of depression and dropped out. FAILURE. No degree, no job, big disappointment. I was the one fooled. Maybe I was an idiot.

A year later the poor idiot took out a bunch of loans and entered a nursing program. Did well until the last semester of school when I had an episode of mania. Dropped my keys on the kitchen table and walked out that night into the mean streets of downtown St. Louis. Was not killed or otherwise assaulted while staying awake for 3 straight days and hitch-hiked as far as Salt Lake City. Picked up by police wandering their streets and sent to University of Utah locked Psych Unit until I was coherent enough to tell them I was a nursing student in St. Louis. My Psych instructor picked me up at the airport and drove me directly to the Psych Unit where the school did clinicals. (Yes, my fellow nursing students saw me there as a patient. They talked and joked with me and were very kind.)

Because of all this adventure, I had failed some classes. I had to be started on medication to become stable enough to think clearly. I finished with Community Health Nursing in summer session and though I didn't get to graduate with my class, I got my degree.

In July I took Boards with my classmates. (They had been wondering what had happened to me.) Back in those days it took 2 months to get results but by September 15, I was officially an RN. A poor, damn idiot had managed to make it after all.

"It all works out for the best, when you make the best of what works out."


7 Posts

I started my bachelor's in 2010, initially full-time but very quickly had to drop to part-time. Took all of 2011 off because of mental health issues. Finished first year at the end of 2012. I had my mental health subject and placement first trimester of 2013. Unfortunately that wasn't so good for my mental health, so I took a further 6 months off. At my uni we had to do 3 electives, so first trimester 2014 I did those and picked up nursing subjects in second trimester. I graduated with distinction at the end of 2015 - in all that time, I only had three credits, everything else was a distinction or high distinction. Unfortunately I didn't get a grad position, and still haven't found work. Not giving up yet, though!


254 Posts

Define: Struggling as a Nursing Student: surrounded by women (mainly or mostly); dealing with hormonal changes, mood swings, dramas, and break-ups, name calling, At times, may experience, a nasty fight between women, not necessarily involving mud wrestling and lack thereof. :facepalm:

Define: Men struggling in nursing school - becomes one of the girls, lift-team, driver, someone to lean on, a crying shoulder, part-time BF; Avoids to have the last word, anything a man adds after that, is the beginning of a NEW argument... :banghead: