What to Do When You Hit a Rough Patch in Nursing School

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rough patch in nursing school

About a month before starting coursework in our accelerated nursing program in Indianapolis and Nashville, incoming students attend Registration Day here at the site. Then, on the first day of classes, they return for their first day orientation. At both of those events, I talk with the students about a variety of aspects of the program, and I always make two statements: “First, look around the room. These are your colleagues, and you will get to know them and experience more with them than you can imagine. Second, you will reach a point that you might consider your breaking point. You will feel like you have reached your limit and aren’t meant to do this. I assure you, it can be done.”

Interestingly enough, shortly before this past Registration Day, a current student in her first semester stopped by my office to inform me that she remembered those two statements and said they absolutely came true. And, despite the second, she was successful and is moving on to her second semester.

So what can you do when you hit that rough patch? Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. Although it may not seem like it, everyone has their challenges. There will always be someone who scores higher than you, and there will always be someone who scores lower than you. If you are too hard on yourself and lose perspective, you will fall behind and waste time. Pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, and move on. If students spent as much time studying as they did commiserating and working each other up, they would all be straight A students.
  2. Use the resources available to you. There are more than you think! Fellow classmates, students ahead of you in the program, faculty, clinical instructors, the Learning and Counseling Center, your academic advisor (ahem) and many more.
  3. Ask for help! Don’t be shy! As mentioned in the previous point, there are people all around who want to help you succeed. However, you need to reach out or they will not know that you are in need of help.
  4. Keep me or Director of Nursing Education Beth Rabideau or both of us informed. If you have an issue in your personal life that has the potential to impact your performance in either your online coursework or your clinical, please let us know. We're here to work through something as simple as an ill pet to something as major as a family crisis and everything in between. Everything is confidential. and we never judge. But, we can’t help you if we don’t know what’s going on. I can’t tell you how many times a student came to me with incredibly unfortunate circumstances when it was too late for me to be able to help him or her.

Just remember – you are not alone. Many have been down this path before you and have not only survived, but have come through with flying colors. I can assure, as can our many graduates, it is definitely worth it!

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today.