Reading your insightful article, "Issues in Nursing: Why Not Nursing?" (July 2005), I was amazed that no one cited the biggest drawback to choosing nursing as a second career. I'd be more than willing to invest the time, money, and hard work required to become a nurse. But all I see in the media is how competitive it is to be accepted into nursing school, that there aren't enough faculty to accommodate everyone who wants to attend the schools, and that you need to have almost a 4.0 grade point average to get in. I believe this perception, real or not, is keeping many dedicated people away from nursing.
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Fort Worth, Tex.
Last year, I left a lucrative job to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. I'd taken the prerequisite classes and started working as a patient-care assistant and felt prepared and excited to step into this new career. What I wasn't ready for was the limited availability of required classes. I'm on a waiting list for clinical nursing classes for the second year in a row.
It's frustrating and discouraging, and it makes me angry. Students plan on a set time frame, but it can become an ordeal if we can't get into a required class.
Fewer students are quitting or flunking out of nursing school than in the past. Most students are adults who are going to persevere. I will too. I may be broke, scared, discouraged, and disappointed at times, but I can't turn back. On days when I can offer a smile, a touch, or a caring word to someone who really needs it, I even understand why I'm doing it.
LISA JAIMES NURSING STUDENT