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What should I do when I'm having second thoughts with the course I'm taking? I don't know what to do.

I'm a first year nursing student and I'm having a second thought with my course. During the pandemic I really got interested in psychology and even tried to apply in a school and passed. I also tried to apply in bs nursing in another school and I've passed. And chose to take bs nursing coz I thought it would be practical. But right now I am thinking if I did the right decision or not. I'm really interested in watching and learning something about psychology whereas nursing became my choice because of my childhood dream to become a doctor. Throughout the 2week sembreak I've given it a thought but too shy and scared to reached out to someone and my parents. Second sem just began and I am stuck between 'as long as it's early, i should decide' and 'maybe it's too early to decide'. I don't know what to do.

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Bella’s Answer

Hi there,

If you are interested in both nursing and psychology, I just want to say that these two fields are not very far apart from each other. If you were to keep pursuing your bachelors degree in nursing and graduate, you can always continue into graduate education and get a masters or doctorate degree in psychology (just make sure that you'd now be taking the pre-requisites required for a graduate program in psychology, that way you don't have to go back to college after you've already graduated with your nursing degree just to take the pre-requisites).

I'm curious as to why you like psychology? What about it can you see yourself doing? Do you want to help someone with their mental illness? Do you want to be able to help diagnose and treat patients behavioral health disorders? If so, then you can do this as a nurse. Might I suggest, doing research into the field of psychiatry. Psychiatry is similar to psychology in that professionals who work in these fields are both trained to identify mental issues and disorders. However, psychiatry is a branch of medicine. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that diagnose and prescribe medication for and provide therapy for complex and serous behavioral or mental illness. Psychologists on the other hand are not medical doctors, they cannot diagnose or prescribe medication, rather they focus on providing psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help patients.

If you are more interested in psychiatry, I'd suggest learning more and asking your nursing advisor or professors about a career in psychiatry as a nurse and possibly doing a clinical rotation in psychiatry (if that's an option in your program). Since it is a field of medicine, you can work as a nurse under a licensed psychiatrist (doctor). This way you get to help patients clinically in the specialty that you enjoy.

Hope this helped. Blessings to you and all you accomplish!
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Colleen’s Answer

If you are interested in the medical field and pediatrics, nursing will probably be a good fit. What are your reasons for second guessing nursing? If you are now realizing that the hands-on medical procedures and skills aren't for you, there are other careers that envelope pediatrics and psychology. Mental health in pediatrics is in desperate need of providers. Have you considered child or school counseling? Another field that many are not aware of is "Child-life". In the hospital, these specialists work with children to overcome there fears during a procedure, or decrease the anxiety of being in the hospital. They are in charge of providing age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate toys and activities for patients. Perhaps you should explore this idea. I would do some research and then speak with your advisor. Please also remember that nursing encompasses an endless range of experiences. There is no limit to what you can do! You never have to touch a patient if you don't want to. With advances in telehealth and digital platforms, you can even practice nursing remotely.
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Jenna’s Answer

It isn't too late. I switched my degree is my second year - from psychology to industrial design (so... a huge leap). I was so glad that I made the change. For myself personally, I didn't see the point in staying in a degree that wouldn't lead to the career I wanted. Just know that you are not alone, and it isn't too late.
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Frances’s Answer

Since you are only in your first year of college, it isn’t too late to change. I also felt the same way during my freshman year, and after talking to my advisor, I switched to a program that I felt would be more beneficial to me and my community. It all comes down to which career would make you feel happy and not have any regrets in the future. If you feel that nursing isn’t what you wanted, you have psychology as a backup plan. I would talk to professionals in the nursing and psychology fields to get an input of their daily tasks at work. That way, you can get a sense of what you’ll be doing if you become a nurse or psychologist.
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david’s Answer

Talk now. Do not delay. I was once there, staying in a program because I was embarrassed to say I made a mistake. Talk to the professor and guidance counselor and, depending on your relationship, your parents. Get the feedback. It may just be fear of over committing, or fear that you won't succeed, all of which are normal. But the fact that you're unsure indicates you will appreciate being able to unload this heavy burden you are carrying. As students, we try to find our paths, and sometimes we are unsure. Pause and talk. The conversation may further strengthen your resolve, or it may help you refine your direction. Thank you for your openness in confiding this here. That is a huge step forward. Looking back, I wish I had done that when I was your age. All the best.
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Ally’s Answer

I started my college career as a PR major and after taking a psychology class my first year I immediately added it as a minor and then my second year when I took my first PR class and hated it, I dropped it all together and changed my major to psych with a socy minor. I loved every minute of school. I work in tech now and while I am not a traditional mental health professional after getting my degree in psych, it helped more than you would think as I got in to the professional world and I had the added bonus of truly loving my courses, class never felt like a burden.

It's not too late to change but you also have time if you want to give nursing a year to see if that's where your interest really lies, that's ok too. People change major at all sorts of time before they graduate, there isn't an exact right time and it's ok to change your mind. Keep in mind that with psych as a major, you will likely need to go get post graduate degrees in order to get employment. You could always get your PHD and still maintain your dream of being a doctor too :) but at minimum to make a career out of mental health, you will likely need some sort of masters.

I'd suggest talking to your career counselors at the university and/or seeking out advice from professionals in both nursing and mental health/psychology. I did that when I was in undergrad and it helped me realize what areas I did not want to go in to which is just as helpful as figuring our what areas you do like. There are numerous career paths for both and understanding your options and seeing what peaks your interest could help with your decision process. Best of luck!
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