I recently failed Block 1 of nursing school at a community college. It was devastating. I took the first nursing course along with an Anatomy and Physiology II class (BIO202). I got a B in my BIO202 class, but I got a D in my nursing class. I only needed 5% more on my overall exams score to pass the nursing class. I was actually confident I passed the final. But after I took the final exam I received a call from my instructor informing me that I didn’t pass the class. It hurt even more considering that I was on a 2.5 year waitlist to get into Block 1 of nursing school.
I’m a CNA, a single mom with a 3-year-old son, and I’m 33 years old. I’m originally a graphic designer, but I decided to change my career to nursing when I had my son. I worked as a CNA for part of the time that I was on the waitlist to get into an associate’s degree RN program. When I finally got accepted into Block 1 of the program, I quit my CNA job halfway into the semester so I could devote more time to studying. But in hindsight, I didn’t utilize my time wisely, and I didn’t know how to study for nursing school. The tests were a whole new way of testing that I wasn’t familiar with, where it’s majority application questions. The “select all that apply” questions killed my exams scores. I was honestly stressed and anxious all the time. I lacked sleep, got sick often, as I tried to balance my son, my job, my BIO class, my clinicals and clinical assignments, the practicums, the research papers, my boyfriend, and my awkward roommate situation. I scrambled for some study time everyday, but I just didn’t make that 3-4 hour block of focused study time that I now know I should have done.
I keep debating in my mind between whether or not I want to get back on the waitlist to try the RN course again. I sometimes think I’m not cut out for nursing school at all, that I should just completely change my major to design and go back to doing graphic design for my career. I even considered changing my major to finance or something business-related. I am totally in limbo right now, because I am afraid to try for the RN course and fail again.
I’ve taken personality tests, a career assessment, researched those online lists that show “top paying associate’s degree jobs” to see if I should totally go a different route. I have so much doubt right now. I question my motivation for becoming a nurse — is it for the money or for what I will be doing in my job? As a CNA, I’ve worked with RNs and it made me realize that I want to increase my knowledge so that I can engage with patients with more nursing skills and abilities. Money is also an important deciding factor, because I don’t want to spend money on an education that isn’t worth it, so I honestly have considered starting salary when I graduate as part of my decision.
Some days, I’m certain that I want to be an RN and that I’ll get back on the waitlist. It will be another 2-3 year wait. I already looked into other routes, like public and private colleges in my state, but they are all too expensive, and I don’t want to add too much debt to my existing student loans. Other days, I’m not certain I want to be an RN, because I feel it would take too long.
I don’t know. I pray for a clear answer. What do you think? Do you think I should try again for nursing school and get back on the waitlist? Or do you think I should try for something else?