Is nursing school getting you down? Does your instructor have nursing school confused with Marine Corps boot camp? Does the mere mention of the word "quiz" shoot your systolic and diastolic up at least 50 points? Do you think you'll scream if you have to calculate another IV drip rate? Are you ready to chuck it all and study accounting instead?

Friends, let "Dear Flabby" and your fellow nursing students help. Just e-mail your problem to "Dear Flabby" and we'll put it in this section. Please let me know if you want me to include a link to your e-mail so other students can respond to you directly or whether you want their responses posted on this page. Or let me know if you want me to respond privately instead of posting it here. All correspondence will run till the end of the following month (So if I receive your question in May it'll run till the end of June, etc.)

Dear Flabby,

I am in my Jr. year at nursing school. I am going to be 53 when I graduate. Sometimes I wonder what was I thinking. How do you decide what kind of nurse you want to be? I liked my maternity rotation but everyone is saying it is stressful but what isn't. Do you have to do a year of med surg before anyone will hire you?


Dear Flabby replies:

Sometimes I wonder what was I thinking.

Sue: You were thinking, I want to do something important with my life.

How do you decide what kind of nurse you want to be? I liked my maternity rotation but everyone is saying it is stressful but what isn't.

Go with your gut instinct. If you like maternity (I didn't; had a bad experience), then look further into it. Speak to your maternity instructor or maternity nurses to get more insight. But don't write off other areas of nursing yet. You might find other areas you like.

Do you have to do a year of med surg before anyone will hire you?

Like chicken soup: Couldn't hurt. I don't know it that still applies given the current shortage of nurses but med-surg still gives you a wide variety of nursing experiences. At least it could be a foot in the door while looking out for openings in the maternity area.


Dear Flabby:

I found your web site this morning by surfing the web trying to stay awake after a ten hour third shift (I have to take my daughter to school). I cannot tell you enough how validating it was to my mind and the mental strength it gave me to read your wisdom in words. I am 31 years old. I am currently enrolled in a nursing program. I have been out of school for the past two semesters due to a broken hand. I go back to school in January. I only have 3 clinical rotations left and I will have an associate degree in nursing. However, I am fearful. I have no clue how I am going to do it financially. I am a single parent, no child support, I am on conditional status for grants due to my hand (having to drop in the middle of a course), this also includes loans, my family support systems are void, I am alone, and I am a nurse on the inside screaming to get out. I attend the toughest program in our state as far as community colleges are concerned. Instructors are not concerned with children or keeping a roof over your head. I need some advice. I read here that there are programs that have evening hours for 30+ students, share this with me please. I am so close, and I will get there, but the when and where are my concerns. I have gone as far as applying for food stamps, Medicaid and welfare for when I go back to school, but this just isn't enough. Please share with me some wisdom.

From the nurse waiting to be born.

Dear Flabby replies:

Sounds like you have quite an insurmountable situation going here. But as a very wise person (me) once said, "Never sacrifice your dreams on the altar of reality." (I have a very inflated opinion of myself).

OK. Anyhooz, that said, it sounds like you've gotten yourself on the right track by looking into welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. The resources are out there somewhere, but you're going to have to be a little resourceful yourself in looking for them.

As for schools with evening programs, the best thing to do is to inquire into other nursing programs in your area. Be aware, however, that if you're attending a community college outside of your county, you'll be paying higher tuition. Your state job service can give you some additional leads.

Also, check into your school's financial aid department or on the Internet about scholarships. Perhaps a doctor's note stating that you can return to school might help your grant status.

Also, don't forget your county board of social services. Your state might have a women's services phone line that could provide some leads.

You're right in that some instructors unfortunately don't give a rat's ass about students having jobs and/or family responsibilities. Hopefully this attitude will change as more and more "recycled" students enter nursing programs.

So, I hope this meager information will get you started on your quest to let that inner nurse out!