Not sure I can handle BSN School.

  1. Hi everyone.

    I have a 4.0 GPA. I decided on Nursing because I love the healthcare field, and medical science. However, two weeks into the start of my Nursing program I feel completely overwhelmed. I can't do everything they want us to do - read all of the chapters, write papers, etc. on top of physiology and the demands for that class without dedicating every second of my life to studying. Don't get me wrong: I love the material and learning it. I just feel this low-grade chronic anxiety feeling because they want us to do 100% of everything in a small time-span. I feel discouraged, because I put my heart and soul into the pre-reqs to gain admission; however, I think I won't be able to hack it. Everyone else seems as though they have everything together and know everything going on in lecture before starting the class because they read the book beforehand. I did not because I am a slow reader and learner, and it takes me twice as much as everyone else to do the material and I find it discouraging :/.

    My first exam is in a few weeks, for both Physiology and my other Nursing course on the same day. I am unsure as how I will do, but I won't be expecting to do extremely well on it compared to other students in my class. I just feel sort of discouraged because I spend ALL day studying and to do things on time requires me 24/7 to do it while everyone else seems quicker at it.

    I'm just wondering if Nursing School is for me or not.

    Thanks to everyone in advance!
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Well, nursing school is tough for most people, there's no way around that, with a lot of content to master in a relatively short time. But many students have had the same experience you have had, of coming in with a high GPA in the prerequisite and general education courses and then feeling thrown for a loop by the nursing courses. It's v. different content, and a different style of learning and studying, than you're used to. I can pretty much guarantee that your classmates who seem so together and savvy don't feel that way themselves as much as they may appear to you. Does your school have a academic services department that may have a study center, or someone, who can help you look at how you're studying and whether there may be a more efficient and effective way to master the material? Do people in your program do study groups? Are you friendly enough with any of the students who seem to be doing well to ask them about how they're handling the reading and studying? Have you talked to any of your faculty about your concerns and asked for any tips or guidance in focusing your reading and study efforts?

    I wouldn't throw in the towel yet if I were you. Seeing how you do on the upcoming exams will give you some idea of how well you're doing so far with your studying, and you can use that info to work on formulating a plan for going forward.

    Best wishes!
  4. by   Cowboyardee
    1) It is hard for everyone. There are a few thousand threads here on allnurses.com testifying to this.

    2) Studies tend to find that how you think you compare to your peers has little to do with how you actually compare to your peers. Some of those confident peers will be flunking out before you know it. Some of the people who seem most overwhelmed and intimidated will soon be earning the highest grades.

    Take a few tests, turn in a few papers. See how you do. If your grades aren't acceptable at that point, then reevaluate your study and preparation methods. Right now, just accept that some anxiety is normal, and do your best.
  5. by   JKL33
    Quote from Cowboyardee
    2) Studies tend to find that how you think you compare to your peers has little to do with how you actually compare to your peers. Some of those confident peers will be flunking out before you know it. Some of the people who seem most overwhelmed and intimidated will soon be earning the highest grades.
    I've never looked into the mentioned studies, but I believe the general conclusion based on anecdotal experiences and personal observations.

    Academic environments are settings ripe for observing various behaviors of preening, self-inflation. My observation is that this is sometimes done due to others' own insecurities or out of sheer ignorance; sometimes just pure excitement may make others initially seem more capable than they turn out to be. Even if they are going to be excellent students and excellent nurses, that in and of itself doesn't preclude you from success - it is utterly irrelevant.

    I think it would be a grave error against yourself to pre-decide your own abilities based on appearances your peers put forth. You may end up regretting it for life.
  6. by   Scorio
    Yeah, I am just trying my best. Afraid I may fail, but if you do your best and don't compare yourself to others, then I guess I have nothing to regret.
  7. by   Scorio
    Quote from JKL33
    I've never looked into the mentioned studies, but I believe the general conclusion based on anecdotal experiences and personal observations.

    Academic environments are settings ripe for observing various behaviors of preening, self-inflation. My observation is that this is sometimes done due to others' own insecurities or out of sheer ignorance; sometimes just pure excitement may make others initially seem more capable than they turn out to be. Even if they are going to be excellent students and excellent nurses, that in and of itself doesn't preclude you from success - it is utterly irrelevant.

    I think it would be a grave error against yourself to pre-decide your own abilities based on appearances your peers put forth. You may end up regretting it for life.
    You just about nailed it on the head. I'm studying all day today, yesterday, day before, etc. I want to stay on top of things, but man it's super difficult! I would love to play golf today, or do something on my own time, but I feel as though if I take time off from studying I may be selling myself short and being left behind.
  8. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Scorio
    You just about nailed it on the head. I'm studying all day today, yesterday, day before, etc. I want to stay on top of things, but man it's super difficult! I would love to play golf today, or do something on my own time, but I feel as though if I take time off from studying I may be selling myself short and being left behind.
    Self-care is sooo important too! You won't be able to keep up studying nonstop without risking burn out. Please make sure you are making some time for yourself to see family/friends and to do the things you love. I did an accelerated BSN program and I started off setting aside one day a week (typically a Saturday) to relax unless it was exam time. I tried to keep that habit throughout the program- it might not have been a total full day at times, but I saw my friends and family just about every week. I even travelled out of town on certain weekends (such as right after a batch of exams when I had none the following week) to visit friends.

    Once you're a nurse self-care continues to be important. I just had a long stretch off work for Labor Day weekend and I went away to go hiking in a national park. I had a fabulous time and walked into work Tuesday feeling more refreshed and ready than I have in a long while.

    Good luck! Take it one day at a time!
  9. by   Scorio
    Quote from AceOfHearts<3
    Self-care is sooo important too! You won't be able to keep up studying nonstop without risking burn out. Please make sure you are making some time for yourself to see family/friends and to do the things you love. I did an accelerated BSN program and I started off setting aside one day a week (typically a Saturday) to relax unless it was exam time. I tried to keep that habit throughout the program- it might not have been a total full day at times, but I saw my friends and family just about every week. I even travelled out of town on certain weekends (such as right after a batch of exams when I had none the following week) to visit friends.

    Once you're a nurse self-care continues to be important. I just had a long stretch off work for Labor Day weekend and I went away to go hiking in a national park. I had a fabulous time and walked into work Tuesday feeling more refreshed and ready than I have in a long while.

    Good luck! Take it one day at a time!

    Thank you! I have one question regarding study habits and time management.

    Due to the sheer volume of material per chapter, I originally wanted to get done [x] chapter done per day. However, because I have other classes I realized that doing this is too much. I won't be able to retain it effectively if I'm crushing in [x] chapter in one day, then starting a new chapter the following day. So, I've started to switch things up a little. Instead of focusing on finishing one chapter, I will do half a chapter one day, the other half the next day, and reviewing everything accordingly. The primary focus is to review the material daily, so I won't be behind and taking it a day at a time.

    Does this sound like a good plan?
  10. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Scorio
    Thank you! I have one question regarding study habits and time management.

    Due to the sheer volume of material per chapter, I originally wanted to get done [x] chapter done per day. However, because I have other classes I realized that doing this is too much. I won't be able to retain it effectively if I'm crushing in [x] chapter in one day, then starting a new chapter the following day. So, I've started to switch things up a little. Instead of focusing on finishing one chapter, I will do half a chapter one day, the other half the next day, and reviewing everything accordingly. The primary focus is to review the material daily, so I won't be behind and taking it a day at a time.

    Does this sound like a good plan?
    I think reviewing some everyday (or just about everyday) is a good plan. The key will be keeping up and not letting yourself fall behind. The majority of the people in my program did that in our second semester and we were scrambling at midterm time. Most of us learned our lesson and never let that happen again.

    I think once you have the first set of exams you'll be able to see if your study methods are working and if not then adjust accordingly. I found reading the text beneficial in my med-surg courses, but only read as needed in most of my other classes. I had some classmates that were amazed I actually read- most didn't, but I found I did better.
  11. by   dishes
    Many nursing students, when they first start a nursing program, look at each of the courses as if they are separate pieces of information, but after they have been in the program for awhile, they start to recognize the concepts and can see that some of the key ideas are repeated in courses. The courses are designed to link together and this makes it easier to synthesize the information as a whole by the time a student reaches the end of the program.
  12. by   Beachesandthrees
    Nursing school is stressful for most people. In addition to the great responses you've gotten, I'll add that with the anxiety and fear of failing, everyone around you may seem to be doing better than you. Can I tell you how much you reminded me of myself? I felt that way, but later learnt otherwise. When I started nursing school, I was all over the place. School seemed like a big ball of confusion. Few people were actually doing well, but for some, it was all an hype, a serious hype. I use to think that they must have 24 hours in a day, while I have 12. After I started talking to my classmates, I realized that while I was not the best, I was not the worst. Initially, I felt so guilty if I even thought about going out and treating myself. Gradually, I learnt how to balance things. I still did not went out much, but recorded some of my favorite TV programs, then watched them on specific days. It was helpful, but it was a process. Reaching out to your professors, schoolmates (in class and upper level), school support resources and this forum may yield fruitful results. A calendar is great to keep up with upcoming important dates. Create a realistic timetable, giving your weakest areas most of your time. Life happens, and you will deviate from that schedule sometimes. It's not the end of the world, just try to follow it as best as you can. If you can't read all the long chapters before class, find a summarized version so you don't feel clueless during lectures. Some text books have great summaries, so do Saunders and the Incredibly Easy series. School is not just about the academics, but the total growth experience that prepares you for your career and life. Thumbs up on your consistent reading/ studying, way to go!!!
  13. by   tnbutterfly
    Moved to General Student Discussions
  14. by   forevergreatful
    nursing school is stressful, there isnt enough time for anyone to read all the chapters, if your teacher give you an overview over what she want you to learn just focus on that and if there is something that isn't really clear then you should go into dept on the readings. good luck and you can do it. and get in a study group as soon as possible

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