How hard is nursing school?

  1. Hi,

    i know the question is hard to answer since it is different for everybody.... but in general..... how hard is nursing school?
    I plan on applying to the ADN program at our Community College. I am under the impression that community colleges are usually very managable, as they are meant for pretty much everyone, but does that also apply to nursing? I am a little intimidated after reading some of the posts.
    I have always been a good student, but to be honest, sciences and math weren't my strongest subjects.
    I am from Germany, so I am also concerned about learning all the "medicalese" in english. I did take 4 years of latin in high school, though...maybe that will come in handy now ;-)
    How much do you learn about diseases, diagnostics etc.... i mean, nurses arent really there to diagnose, right? So.... on a scale from 1 to 10, how hard is it? Or lets just say, compared to high school or general CC classes (I took a sociology and an early childhood class at american colleges), how bad would you say it is? what subjects are the hardest? i hear anatomy isnt all that much fun.... i am personally most worried about the chemistry/microbio...

    thanks :-)
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    LOL.. don't kid yourself ADN programs are just as hard as BSN programs! Nursing school is my second degree and on the scale I rate it at an 8 or 9 and I graduated with high honors with my previous degree. The gen ed classes are not that hard it is teh nursing classes that are hard. Nursing school is a lot of studying and a lot of work no matter what type of program you are in. It is also very stressful, and I do not get stressed easily!

    Nurses do not dx, but they do need to know about various diseases and procedures because nurses ASSESS. In order to properally assess someone you need to know about their condition or procedure so that you can be alert if something is wrong and notify the physican when appropriate. You also need to be able to interpret labs and tests so that you know what is happening with your patient (if they are getting better or worse, should you give them a medication etc.).

    so to put it bluntly nursing school is by no means easy. You also have a lot of projects, papers, and careplans to do along iwth all the studying and test taking!

    swtooth
  4. by   SoulShine75
    Community college /ADN is just as hard as a university/bachelor's degree because you're taking the same board exams regardless. It's difficult once you really get into the nitty gritty of it, and you'll find that you learn so much in a short amount of time. You have to know how every system of the body functions so you'll know what's going on with your patient. It's doable if your heart is truly in it. If you really want to be a nurse then go for it. The only way to know how you'll do is to do it and if you don't like it, or if it's too much for you, you can always change your mind. Nothing is written in stone.
    Good luck.
  5. by   Myxel67
    Nursing school is just a very different educational experience from any other. I already had a bachelor's degree in English, and went through school on scholarships.

    I also attended a CC school of nursing, but my experience was similar to many others who went to 4 yr schools.

    First, the NCLEX-RN was simple and straightforward compared to any exam I had in nursing school. Many of the instructors were nurses who tried bedside nursing and didn't like it. If it was written in a book, the instructor took it as truth, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. Text books are full of errors, so if something contradicts your prior knowledge, don't automatically assume the book must be right.

    Many teachers, especially the Head of Nsg 1, seemed to take pleasure in designing tests that would be failed by half the class. Care plans required an all night marathon. These comments don't apply to any of the prerequisite classes. A & P, microbiology, organic chemistry were all outside of the nursing school and were good experiences with knowledgeable teachers. Also, grades in these classes tended to follow the bell shaped curve as opposed to the 50% fail rate in the nursing school.

    All nursing classes required 80% to pass, and that 80% was a C. At the two 4-year universities in town, 80% was required as well, but was a letter grade of B.

    I succeeded--number 1 in my class--but I hated seeing what was happening to many of my classmates. The school did have an excellent NCLEX passrate, though.
  6. by   SoulShine75
    Quote from Myxel67
    Nursing school is just a very different educational experience from any other. I already had a bachelor's degree in English, and went through school on scholarships.

    I also attended a CC school of nursing, but my experience was similar to many others who went to 4 yr schools.

    First, the NCLEX-RN was simple and straightforward compared to any exam I had in nursing school. Many of the instructors were nurses who tried bedside nursing and didn't like it. If it was written in a book, the instructor took it as truth, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. Text books are full of errors, so if something contradicts your prior knowledge, don't automatically assume the book must be right.

    Many teachers, especially the Head of Nsg 1, seemed to take pleasure in designing tests that would be failed by half the class. Care plans required an all night marathon. These comments don't apply to any of the prerequisite classes. A & P, microbiology, organic chemistry were all outside of the nursing school and were good experiences with knowledgeable teachers. Also, grades in these classes tended to follow the bell shaped curve as opposed to the 50% fail rate in the nursing school.

    All nursing classes required 80% to pass, and that 80% was a C. At the two 4-year universities in town, 80% was required as well, but was a letter grade of B.

    I succeeded--number 1 in my class--but I hated seeing what was happening to many of my classmates. The school did have an excellent NCLEX passrate, though.
    At our school we had to have a 78% to pass= lowest C. Many people outside of nursing school think it's cake. I made all A's in every pre-req but have yet to pull an A in a nursing class. They change the grading scale to make it more difficult...understandably, but it still sucks.
  7. by   WannaBeNrse
    OMG i was hoping for some encouragement but you guys scare me even more ;-) i have been out of school for a couple years, but i am currently working on a medical assistant diploma via distance ed, so hopefully that will at least help me get back in the "study mode"....
    I have two little daughters and will also have to work part-time during school.... do i even have a chance with all that? i plan on only working every other weekend, though.
    the soonest i can start the actual nursing classes is 2009, anyway, due to the colleges waiting list. so i guess i got some time to prepare myself and at least get all the generals out of the way....
  8. by   IWANT2BEEANRN
    Prior to nursing school I completed one two year degree and a four year degree. Now, I attend an ADN program, and I can say this is the most difficult time I have had academically, but, it is not impossible to pass either.
    I often believe that most things are possible if a person uses their brains, and works hard at achieving one's goals.
    Finally, do not believe everything you read or hear about nursing school. People's experiences often shape their experiences which then alters the experience that they are describing to another individual.

    Kevin
    Last edit by IWANT2BEEANRN on Feb 4, '07 : Reason: Forgot period
  9. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Though others will most certainly disagree, nursing school is not hard, it is just a lot of work.

    Maybe it's cool for me because I like to read. A lot.

    I took 18 hours one semester in pre-reqs and I had history (ten page paper due and weekly essays) English (about 5 papers) Micro (essay and fill in the blank questions, so I had to study hard)Chemistry (boring teacher) and women's studies (essays due every week).

    My chemistry teacher was bad and I had to teach myself, I had a million assignments due, papers, I studied everyday, discovered that there were other resources to use besides the book, and generally did what I do now that semester. Plus, I worked two sixteen hour shifts on the weekend.

    All that wasn't as bad as nursing school.

    But I really think that helped prepare me for what I am going through now and I must say reading this board helped too.

    I really don't know why I don't find it hard, I just don't.

    So, my honest answer is no nursing school is not hard. I just take it one day at a time and I'm shocked at how the time is flying!
    Good Luck!
  10. by   bladensburg,OHrn
    Oh, it's hard alright. But let me be the first to say it-well worth the effort. I went back to nursing school after being out of any school for over 17 years. I had a 2 year old child, and I worked full-time. Now, I had a lot of support from my husband, as he was the stay at home dad (I had the insurance through work), so that lightened the load a little bit. All of my instructors told me I couldn't do it that way, that I'd never make it. But I did, and worked extra hard to prove them wrong, making pretty decent grades throughout. It can be done, it's just a matter of how badly you want it. I always knew I would someday be a nurse. It's all I ever grew up wanting to do-I just took the long way of getting around to it. I am so happy that I went against all odds and took the plunge. Now i have well over 10 years of nursing under my belt, my son is extremely proud of me and the example I have set for him to see that anything is possible if only we try, and I have provided my family with a reasonable amount of financial security. Sometimes you just have to go through a little hell to find your own piece of heaven. Only you know how badly you want it. Search your soul, 'cause you know what? After nursing school is the boards - and to me, they're much worse than the school.
  11. by   momx4
    I personally think that nursing school is just very time consuming. The information isnt difficult to understand but the amount of time given is not alot. I just keep thinking it is do able, there are nurses out there right? LOL It just takes alot of time and dedication and if your heart is in it you will get there. At least this is what I tell myself every morning,lol.
  12. by   GratefulHeart
    Quote from WannaBeNrse
    OMG i was hoping for some encouragement but you guys scare me even more ;-) i have been out of school for a couple years, but i am currently working on a medical assistant diploma via distance ed, so hopefully that will at least help me get back in the "study mode"....
    I have two little daughters and will also have to work part-time during school.... do i even have a chance with all that? i plan on only working every other weekend, though.
    the soonest i can start the actual nursing classes is 2009, anyway, due to the colleges waiting list. so i guess i got some time to prepare myself and at least get all the generals out of the way....

    Your plan sounds good! --Get as many of your other classes completed now as you can, so you can focus just on nursing when the time comes. It's not really hard (as another poster has stated), it's just a lot of work and continuous studying. If you're pretty good at keeping yourself organized, managing your time well, and working under prolonged pressure, you'll do fine. If not, then those are areas to work on now that will make your way smoother in nursing school.

    [Never let the fear of failure keep you from moving forward...just take one step at a time.]

  13. by   belabelisa
    How hard? HARD. But, in a good way. You are dealing with people's lives and wouldn't want it to be easy.

    Like you, I was scared by these sort of posts before I started nursing school. It's funny, though. What I've found is that nursing school is much harder than I ever could have imagined, but also much more manageable than I had feared. I think that most people (including myself) just don't really challenge themselves very often. So, when someone does face a real challenge, they are surprised by how capable they actually are. At least that's what I feel has happened to me.

    Also, keep in mind that it will probably feel much harder at first. You have to give yourself time to learn how to take nursing exams (they are a different breed of exams, for sure) and how to manage your time. It gets better as you go along.

    Good luck! (although you won't need as much luck as you might think)
  14. by   NursePru
    It's really good to hear some positive words about Nursing school...I know it will be hard, but I get so tired of hearing people describe it as "pure hell" or "the worst 2-4 years of your life." I just feel like it intimidates a lot of people and makes them fear something that is fully manageable if you put your mind, heart, and time into it. It's a shame too, considering there is such a need for nurses.
    Last edit by NursePru on Feb 5, '07

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