A day in the life of a nursing student

  1. I will be starting a BSN program in May. I know 13 hours of nursing school is a lot different than 13 hours of pre-reqs! I'm wondering what to expect. Can anyone tell me what a typical day/week is like for a new nursing student?
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   bhanson
    Last semester:

    Lecture days: (twice a week)
    Wake up at 0500
    Workout for an hour
    Eat breakfast
    Study for an hour
    Be in class by 0830 because attendance is mandatory
    Do nothing for 4 hours because lecture is a waste of time
    Get out at 1300
    Eat a snack and study in the library for 2 hours and then eat a late lunch
    Study for a couple more hours
    Eat dinner
    Prep for next day
    Bed around 0000
    Repeat

    Clinical days: (twice a week)
    Wake up at 0500
    Eat breakfast
    Leave at 0600 for clinicals
    Get out of clinicals at 1300
    Workout for an hour
    Eat lunch
    Study for a few hours
    Eat dinner
    Prep for next day
    Bed around 0000
    Repeat

    More or less studying depending on the week. I was still working a lot of hours but to be honest if all I had to worry about was school and didn't work it would be pretty easy. It's hard if you have other obligations.
  4. by   kgh31386
    Hah..this was my typical day when I was in the BSN program.

    Lecture days with no test that week
    Wake up at 630
    Go to class from 800-1100
    Go get lunch at around 1130 with some friends
    Go home and play XBOX from about 2-5
    Play some ball til the sun went down
    Eat dinner around 6 or 7
    Watch Wheel of Fortune at 630
    Watch Bones at 700
    Play some games on the computer
    Pass out around 1AM?

    If I had a test coming up in a few days
    I would usually substitute the XBOX for studying the couple days before the test

    Clinical days
    wake up at 530
    Clinical from 645-315
    Go home and nap cuz I hate getting up early
    Wake up and eat, see if I had any assignments or anything
    Then more games

    Some people say you have to study everyday...but it's really up to the person. Some folks need to, others may not need to. I found that a stress free life helped a lot in school. Don't kill yourself studying, unless you need to
  5. by   cpartrid
    At my school we have to go to the hospital the day before to pick our patient for the next day, then (depending on the professor) do a bunch of prep work (i.e. looking up all the patient's meds, the patho for their diagnosis, etc.) that usually took me 1-2 hours.

    My BSN program varies quarter to quarter, usually we have 2 lectures (3-4 hrs/week) and 1 clinical (9 hrs/week). To be honest I've worked at least 20 hrs/week all the way through and taken electives every quarter, and been president of the nursing students association and still get mostly A's.

    Time management!!!!!
  6. by   FLhusker
    Thanks to all who posted. This is pretty encouraging. I don't work but I do have kids and a very supportive husband. I'm beginning to think this might be manageable after all!!!
  7. by   kgh31386
    I forgot my work days. I usually worked 32 hours/week. And we did have those pre-lab days. It wasn't bad though.
  8. by   symphie
    Our weeks rotate whether we have lab or clinical.

    A typical lab week:
    Monday: Lecture 8-12
    Tuesday: Lecture 8-11, Lecture 1-3
    Wednesday: Lab 8-12
    Thursday: Lab 8-12

    A typical clinical week:
    Monday: Lecture 8-12
    Tuesday: Lecture 8-11, Clinical planning 1-4
    Wednesday: Clinical 6:30-4
    Thursday: Clinical 6:30-4

    Things differ a little if we have tests, validations, meetings, etc. But that's our basic schedule for a first semester BSN student.
  9. by   ImThatGuy
    Ok, Monday as a representative sample:

    Wake up at 0700.
    Pee, shower and brush my teeth, shave, get dressed
    Drive to school which takes about 40 minutes
    Start class at 0900.
    I never leave my seat, btw.
    Over the next three hours teachers will come and go in the room teaching their
    respective subjects. I listen but mostly veg out during that time.
    Lunch starts at 1200.
    I generally go to my truck, drive around for about 15 minutes, and go park in my shady spot, eat lunch however I may have acquired it, listen to the radio, play my Agent game on my phone, or on the rare occasion I may read a text book.
    Go back to class at 1330.
    Sit through two hours of acute care.
    Leave
    Get home at about 1600.

    Insert here any assortment of eating, napping, watching TV, running, reading a
    school book, and going to bed by 2200.
    (Tuesdays I don't have class and am usually off on that day as well so if I'm going to do any reading it's usually on Tuesday.)


    I never work on Mondays. If I picked a work day you'd wonder why I'm not even more aggravated and disgruntled than I really am, LOL. Work for me is usually Wed. - Sun.
  10. by   TheCareerStudent
    I do not start clinicals until May but here is my schedule:

    Wake up 0530
    Eat, Dress
    Get to school by 0700 because we either quiz or test EVERY day. So I study for an hour each morning.
    Class starts at 0800
    1130 Lunch
    1200 Class Again
    1500-ish class ends
    Go Home and Study, Eat, Shower, Get things ready for the next day
  11. by   kenpochic
    Quote from kgh31386
    Hah..this was my typical day when I was in the BSN program.

    Lecture days with no test that week
    Wake up at 630
    Go to class from 800-1100
    Go get lunch at around 1130 with some friends
    Go home and play XBOX from about 2-5
    Play some ball til the sun went down
    Eat dinner around 6 or 7
    Watch Wheel of Fortune at 630
    Watch Bones at 700
    Play some games on the computer
    Pass out around 1AM?

    If I had a test coming up in a few days
    I would usually substitute the XBOX for studying the couple days before the test

    Clinical days
    wake up at 530
    Clinical from 645-315
    Go home and nap cuz I hate getting up early
    Wake up and eat, see if I had any assignments or anything
    Then more games

    Some people say you have to study everyday...but it's really up to the person. Some folks need to, others may not need to. I found that a stress free life helped a lot in school. Don't kill yourself studying, unless you need to


    Also depends on the school you are attending. some schools are tougher than other. there is no way that would fly in my school. i so wish it would. i heard bsn programs are easier than adn programs. 99.9% of nursing students do not have a routine like yours. We have to work hard. my theory is the harder the program the easier the nclex. our passing rate is 99.9% on the first try. best of luck to you but thats not a true reflection of a nursing students life for people who have no idea about nursing school
  12. by   kgh31386
    Quote from kenpochic
    Also depends on the school you are attending. some schools are tougher than other. there is no way that would fly in my school. i so wish it would. i heard bsn programs are easier than adn programs. 99.9% of nursing students do not have a routine like yours. We have to work hard. my theory is the harder the program the easier the nclex. our passing rate is 99.9% on the first try. best of luck to you but thats not a true reflection of a nursing students life for people who have no idea about nursing school

    We also had a 98% pass rate. And who said anything about not working hard? Did I say I didn't pay attention in lecture? Or use my clinicals to apply what we learn in lecture? Also I worked an extern, so that really helped with applying school things as well. And as far as difficulty, we started with 130 people...and finished with 57 of those original people. Not being defensive, but I'm just saying it's different for everyone. There were some people in my program who studied hours everyday and still didn't make it to the end. I switched majors from Chemistry to nursing..so if you ask me, taking Organic Chemistry, Biochem, Physics I and II, etc. etc. etc. really made nursing school not that bad. And like I said, not being stressed helps a lot.


    And your theory is somewhat correct about the harder the program..but I took the NCLEX last year and was done in under an hour with 75 questions. In my opinion, school tests were harder than the real NCLEX. The NCLEX is really what you make it out to be, to some it's easy as pie, and to others it's the world's most evil thing. Education is subjective. Don't generalize it. I also disagree about ADN being harder than BSN, how can you speak for everyone? I work with a couple of ADN nurses who graduated and can barely read an EKG strip. They also said they never heard of this or that or this or that in school. Like I said, don't generalize it

    By the way, thanks for the luck, grad school kinda sucks because of all the writing. But I'm about halfway done with the MSN program.
  13. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from kgh31386
    We also had a 98% pass rate. And who said anything about not working hard? Did I say I didn't pay attention in lecture? Or use my clinicals to apply what we learn in lecture? Also I worked an extern, so that really helped with applying school things as well. And as far as difficulty, we started with 130 people...and finished with 57 of those original people. Not being defensive, but I'm just saying it's different for everyone. There were some people in my program who studied hours everyday and still didn't make it to the end. I switched majors from Chemistry to nursing..so if you ask me, taking Organic Chemistry, Biochem, Physics I and II, etc. etc. etc. really made nursing school not that bad. And like I said, not being stressed helps a lot.


    And your theory is somewhat correct about the harder the program..but I took the NCLEX last year and was done in under an hour with 75 questions. In my opinion, school tests were harder than the real NCLEX. The NCLEX is really what you make it out to be, to some it's easy as pie, and to others it's the world's most evil thing. Education is subjective. Don't generalize it. I also disagree about ADN being harder than BSN, how can you speak for everyone? I work with a couple of ADN nurses who graduated and can barely read an EKG strip. They also said they never heard of this or that or this or that in school. Like I said, don't generalize it

    By the way, thanks for the luck, grad school kinda sucks because of all the writing. But I'm about halfway done with the MSN program.
    I love it when someone else pops on who doesn't think nursing school is/was that hard.
  14. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from kenpochic
    i heard bsn programs are easier than adn programs.
    I'm another guy who doesn't spend a lot of time preparing for class. No need for me really. With a laundry list of bio and chem courses under my belt, a previous degree, and healthcare experience I'm fine listening to lecture and skimming the text.

    Are ADN programs more difficult? I don't know. I've never been in one, and I never will. However, the level II ADN students at my school take one seven hour medical/surgical course. They basically have three of those and a women's health course over two years.

    We take four nursing courses every semester for four semester.

    We have an ADN student in our program that dropped out to enroll in our upper level learning. She says our program staff are more student-friendly yet not easier. She's grateful that we're allowed to think and talk. Through her explanations the ADN kids are indoctrinated in the "be seen and not heard" mentality sitting much like you'd see recruits in chow sitting straight on the edge of the seat eating quickly while looking straight ahead. If that's what makes an academic program rigorous then hell I wonder what Harvard is like?

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