Nursing School: Easier or Harder?

  1. .......than you imagined and/or were told??? How did your expectations differ from what became reality? (crouching, because I don't know if I really want to know this going into school in July:uhoh21: )



    Looking for insight! Thanks!
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   klone
    Easier.

    I was expecting it to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I was expecting that I would need to study 8 hours a day, every day, in order to even keep my head above water. I was told that "C=RN" would be my new mantra.

    It's challenging, yes. But I'm enjoying it, it's not completely consuming my life, and I do still have a life outside school and studying. And I'm doing damn well with it.

    The hardest part for me was the first month of the first semester. It's a bit overwhelming, but you soon get into a routine and know what's expected, and it all falls into place.
  4. by   Achoo!
    Quote from klone
    Easier.

    I was expecting it to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I was expecting that I would need to study 8 hours a day, every day, in order to even keep my head above water. I was told that "C=RN" would be my new mantra.

    It's challenging, yes. But I'm enjoying it, it's not completely consuming my life, and I do still have a life outside school and studying. And I'm doing damn well with it.

    The hardest part for me was the first month of the first semester. It's a bit overwhelming, but you soon get into a routine and know what's expected, and it all falls into place.
    Thank you for this! It is so refreshing to hear from someone who isn't
    worried every day, completely stressed out, ready to quit etc...
  5. by   RainDreamer
    For me, some aspects are easier than I had imagined they'd be and some are harder.

    I had heard all sorts of horror stories, that nursing school is so hard and you'll be stressed out beyond belief. Well that's true sometimes, but not all the time.

    And I also thought people meant the material is hard to learn. That has never been the case for me in the nursing classes. The material isn't difficult to understand, it's just SO MUCH information. I wasn't prepared for having 15-20 chapters covered on 1 exam. It's just so much. That was probably one of the hardest things to get used to.

    Also, it's not just the lecture and exams that are hard and stress you out. Clinicals is a big part of the stress. I remember during first semester: I'd go get my patient's information the day before clinical, then spend 5-6 hours writing up my careplan and I'd just cry because it was taking so long and I had to be at clinicals at 6:30 the next morning. That was a really hard thing ..... just because I never had any experience like that before, no other classes do you do stuff like that.

    The careplans and exams get better as time goes on. Once you do a lot of careplans, they get easier and easier and you don't have to spend as much time on them. The exams are hard at first because they're not like any exams you've ever taken before ..... you have to critically think. There's usually 2 answers that are correct, but you have to pick the one that is most correct for that situation. That takes practice, but you'll be amazed at how good you'll be able to critically think even after the first semester.

    I don't mean to scare you by telling you this stuff. I wish I had known more of what to really expect when I went into nursing school. You'll have plenty of really great experiences!! It's one of the hardest things I've done, but one of the most rewarding. There'll be times you walk out of clinical with the biggest smile on your face because you helped a patient; you listened and were there for them, took good care of them and at the end of the day they said "thank you so much for taking such good care of me". That makes you feel so good

    Get to know your classmates. You'll be spending lots of time with them and they are the ones that know exactly what you're going through. There's times you'll feel like no one understands. No one else undestands why you can't just blow off studying so you can party all weekend. They DO understand though. Talk with them about it, vent, study together.

    Get to know your instructors too. Go to them to get help on things you don't understand. They're there to help, and for the most part they really do care about your success.

    And of course, you have us! We understand! As you already know, there's tons of great info here to help with classes, I wish I had found this place sooner. Vent to us when you feel frustrated. It makes nursing school seem not so hard and more bearable.

    Sorry this is so long, and way more than you asked for! I just got carried away and wanted to give you information that I wished I would have been given when I started nursing school. Good luck to you
  6. by   SusanJean
    Honestly, it is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, but all of my science prereqs are out of the way, and I have a medical background. Patho is a review of sorts and that is my most technical class.

    I love school, so maybe that is why it does not seem difficult. I'm enjoying all of it, even stats. How sick is that:chuckle
    SJ
  7. by   studentnurse74
    I thought it would be very hard, also. It's not too hard, just time consuming is the biggest issue. I think it's easier than most of my pre-reqs, probably b/c I find it so interesting and I enjoy it. It goes by FAST. I can't believe in 6 weeks I'll be halfway done.
  8. by   mariedoreen
    I vote for harder.

    I study more and I stress more than I ever did before. BUT, I had to take two extra classes my first term (and first term is overwhelming for a lot of people because you have to get used to all the changes and the expectations) and I took one extra class my second term (and again a tad overwhelming due to a lot of unique expectations for that term).

    Monday I start my third term and it will be the first one where I have no extra classes, I know the clinical site and routine well and am not being thrown any new curveballs in lecture. We've written papers and care plans for them now and done group projects and gone through two terms of skills lab so we now understand completely what they want. So I'm hoping things will get easier now.

    But no. "Regular" college did not prepare me for what's going on here. It's a whole new ballgame and I've had to do some major readjusting on how I budget my time and how I study in order to do well.

    Whether it's harder or easier than you expected tho is really a relative thing. If you're like Klone and heard all the labor-like horror stories beforehand, it doesn't seem as bad. If you were walking into boot-camp-for-nursing completely ignorant of what to expect, you'll perceive it as harder.
  9. by   TristateRN
    It is easier than I expected, but I a lot of information. Sometimes I get burnt out from all the studying even the information itself isn't hard to understand...KWIM.
  10. by   Curious1alwys
    Thank you all, I am so enjoying your responses! I have heard many absolute horror stories and just wanted some reassurance that I can get thru it! The way everyone makes it sound sometimes is like you have to be superhuman. Thanks for the honesty!!
  11. by   Tony35NYC
    I would say that it got harder for me after the first year.Our clinicals are much more challenging now than before because the instructors don't hold our hands and spoon feed us anything like they did during Nursing Process. We are expected to go to the nursing lab and practice everything on our checkoff list on our own until we can demonstrate the skills reasonably well enough to the instructors in the lab. If we are called on to perform those skills in clinical and we don't know how to do them properly we will be sent home for the day. Because the time is already so short there will be no opportunity to do any make-ups so a missed clinical day is definitely an "F". Also, in the begining we had only one patient in clinical and we would give meds either in the morning or in the afternoon. Now we have at least 3 patients, and we have to give all the meds for all our patients in every clinical. They've also packed in a lot more stuff than we had to do a year ago...research papers, essays on patho, case studies, etc. It takes hours, and hours, and hours to get all this stuff done.

    The hardest thing about nursing school for me is finding the time to do everything that needs to get done and still have time for myself, my family, and my job. There are times when it just seems impossible and like I'm going out of my mind.
  12. by   not now
    I don't want to use the word easier so I'll say...it's not as hard as I had imagined it to be. I thought it was going to completely leave me clueless the way calculus did (math is my worst subject) but it didn't.

    The content of my lectures isn't hard for me but the amount I'm supposed to know in such a short amount of time makes it more challenging. I read more than I ever had in any of my classes but I feel it's made me better at picking out the important stuff so it's not really a bad thing.

    Careplans aren't hard they are just tedious. I'm a perfectionist so getting them "just right" to where I feel I'm up at the same level as my peers is hard on me.

    Clinical isn't hard (well, getting up before the sun is hard :chuckle) but knowing what I can and cannot run by my instructor is. This is my last semester and she refuses to "baby" us as she feels the other instructors have. She doesn't want us going to her for everything unless it's "absolutly nessisary." What the heck is "absolutly nessisary" in her opinion other than getting meds? That's what's stressing me out this semester.
  13. by   JoniL&DRN
    Quote from klone
    Easier.

    I was expecting it to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I was expecting that I would need to study 8 hours a day, every day, in order to even keep my head above water. I was told that "C=RN" would be my new mantra.

    It's challenging, yes. But I'm enjoying it, it's not completely consuming my life, and I do still have a life outside school and studying. And I'm doing damn well with it.

    The hardest part for me was the first month of the first semester. It's a bit overwhelming, but you soon get into a routine and know what's expected, and it all falls into place.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! It is so refreshing to hear that not EVERYONE is drowning in nursing school. My husband keeps telling me "honey I think you're going to do better that you think you are. It might even be EASY." BUT then you hear from people.. "I HAD straight A's UNTIL nursing school. Now I'm barely staying afloat!"

    I am just SO happy that someone out there can say it isn't THAT hard!!! You give me hope!
  14. by   grinnurse
    I have loved NS and at times it has been hard, seemed overwhelming, and consumed alot of time but in the end it will all be worth it. I will get to do something I love and get paid well to do it!! NS has confirmed what I thought all along about myself, I am not stupid .

    You get to have 2 families in NS-your real one and them!! I have made some really great friends and we are very supportive of one another and help each other out through everything. I've also gotten to prove dh wrong and that well makes me .

    If you can expect the unexpected and roll with the punches it should be fine. The one's that I see hating nursing school are those that think life is either "black and white".

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