My wife once said to her sister that childbirth is actually not a big deal, but those that have been through it exaggerate to scare the crap out of those who haven't. I can't speak to that obviously (except to say my wife is a 7x birthing champ), but I often think that that is very true for nursing school. Let's be honest: nursing school is not a big hairy deal. There are a great many courses of study a heck of a lot more rigorous. I studied a few hours a week and I had a 4.0 from day one all the way through my DNP.
I went to Penn (BSN), Case Western (MSN/FNP) and Duke (DNP), so I don't think it was because I went to fly-by-night schools with pitifully low standards, lol.
Is it demanding? Yes, in the sense that there is little by way of subjective evaluation. You either know the material or you don't; can either demonstrate the requisite skills or cannot. However, we all look really silly and foolish when we pretend it is on par with math, engineering or the hard sciences, and plenty of mediocre minds graduate in those fields.
You can "have a life." Be organized, plan ahead, and for dog's sake, don't procrastinate. It isn't a cake walk, but it isn't even nearly one of the most challenging curricula.