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Wrong career or wrong school?

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Hi all. I don't even know how to word any of this, so I'm sorry if it doens't make much sense. First a little back story:

I'm a sophomore at my local college, going for my BSN. The first year is pre-reqs, and the following three are nursing classes and gen-ed requirements. I did very well in my pre-reqs. (I've been an A-B student my entire life.) Lately, however, I'm starting to wonder if there is something wrong with me.

I love my Health and Assessment class. It's fun, engaging, and the professor is a wonderful woman. Sadly, it only meets once a week and has a six-hour lab that also meets once a week. We recently had our first exam, and I only earned an 86%. I am very unhappy with my grade. I am also unhappy with the amount of cattiness and competition that arises after every exam at my school. After every exam, people start comparing grades. If Student A performed worse than Student B, Student B says it's because s/he studied harder. If Student A performed better than Student B, Student B claims it's because s/he didn't have enough time to study/Student A cheated/ the professor was biased/etc. This happens Every. Single. Time. I don't know how to disengage myself from these post-exam contests. I am just so tired of the competition and cattiness.

Exams are also stressful enough for me because of my "perfectionistic" tendencies. If I earn anything less than an A, I feel like a failure. I don't know how to change my thought processes, especially with the constant grade comparing.

I hate, absolutely HATE, my Foundations class. It's all about the history of nursing, organizations, and theories, etc. It seems pointless and I feel it will not help me become a better nurse. It's all well and good that nurses have evolved from being prostitutes into being professionals, but how is this knowledge going to help me treat a patient? This class meets twice a week with a three-hour lab once a week. We literally had a three hour lab on how to read an advertisement. It is completely unnecessary and I hate that I am wasting eight hours of potential study time and $2,000 on this class.

I desperately want to become and RN - I truly enjoy helping people, and nurses have had a huge impact on my life - but I don't know what to do. I am miserable in school, and dread going to every class, with the exception of the Health and Assessment class. Are all school like this? Does it get better? What do I do?

Edited by Eponine

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

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

It gets better. Trust me

I agree with the comment above... I'm in an ADN program and the foundations stuff we went through in the beginning of the semester was very boring...I'm in my last year of NS now and although I am extremely stressed out, I feel like what I am learning is "real" nursing stuff and it is a lot more interesting. Also, don't get stressed out about the grades...my first nursing exam I got a 82 and I was so upset. I stopped stressing so much when I realized how many people do not even make it to the 'passing' mark (ours is 75)...I don't focus on getting an a anymore, I just try to understand the concepts (not memorize) . If you truly understand the content and what the questions are asking then you should be fine

TheSquire, DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

The foundations class is all "crap you need to know as an academically-prepared nurse that didn't fit anywhere else". Power through it and you'll be fine.

When I was in school I didn't experience the kind of cattiness about tests you describe, but I wasn't interested in spending a lot of time on "post-mortems" after exams, like a lot of my classmates were. When classmates would ask me what I got, I would just shrug and say I didn't remember. And continued to say that however many times I was asked. Not a v. believable answer :) (esp. right after we got our test results), but my classmates quickly got the idea that I just wasn't available for those kinds of conversations. (The same with the "what's the answer to XYZ?" questions right before an exam -- I found swapping information with classmates before an exam just confused me about what I did and didn't know, so I didn't go there.)

Stick it out, it will get better and you'll do fine. Foundation/Fundamentals is never as interesting as the classed that come after it, you just have plod through that in order to get to the good stuff. An 86% is an EXCELLENT grade on a nursing exam, since nursing exams are about 100x harder than exams in pre-reqs. You're doing great and shouldn't feel like a failure at all. As for the cattiness, well you'll find that in any major/department. you just have to let it go in one ear and out the other. If I were you I'd stay with the program, don't quit now.

My school is like that too! I hate it! I hate that everyone is soooo chatty. There's not too much competition.. just a few people, but everyone likes to talk A LOT. I feel when I come in a 6:30am to get 15 minutes of review time before the 7am test, I want it to be QUIET!! They get so loud. Grr.

I wish you luck. I'm sure the nursing classes will get better. (My fundamentals are NEXT term) I've heard from a lot of people that the class is horrible, but it gets a lot better.

My school is like that too! I hate it! I hate that everyone is soooo chatty. There's not too much competition.. just a few people, but everyone likes to talk A LOT. I feel when I come in a 6:30am to get 15 minutes of review time before the 7am test, I want it to be QUIET!! They get so loud. Grr.

I wish you luck. I'm sure the nursing classes will get better. (My fundamentals are NEXT term) I've heard from a lot of people that the class is horrible, but it gets a lot better.

Buy and bring in a pack of earplugs on test days. I always use them for exams, they make a huge difference!