What is the hardest semester in nursing school

  1. I attend NS in CA, I just finished my first semester and I was wondering what opinions are about which semester is the hardest. I thought first semester was tough but i did pass all classes with some breathing room, I am hoping that the difficulty stays the same, but I doubt thats the case. What do you think?
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    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 40; Likes: 10


  3. by   MMARN
    I am currently in my third semester, which consists of OB, psych, and Peds. My first semester was OK. I learned a lot and I liked pretty much everything. However, my second semester was THE hardest for me. I mean, it was all about chronic diseases. I found it interesting, but it was so condensed, and overwhelming that I had a really hard time in it. Now, during this semester, even though there's a whole lot more information and it's something completely different than med/surg, I'm enjoying it more and I find it a whole lot easier. So, for me, it was my second semester. I've heard that the fourth semester in my program is probably the hardest, but I sincerely doubt it.
  4. by   iHeartNICU
    I would say for me (& the rest of my class) it was our 3rd semester which consisted of OB, peds, & management. It was just a ton of info and very different from your regular med-surg. Most people in our class dropped a letter grade. As long as you don't fall behind and continue studying & giving 100% then you should be ok. Best of luck.
  5. by   SmetRN2008
    I'll be starting my 3rd semester in the fall. I thought first semester (the fundamentals) was pretty easy actually. 2nd semester however was a killer! Learning all the different diseases and disorders was what was difficult, but it's doable. I ended up with a B which I was very happy with. Next semester, it's more med/surg (ugh!), some peds, and some psych and I think 4th is the same plus we have OB too. I'm going to be very busy but I can't wait to be done. Good luck to you!
  6. by   SummerGarden
    I thought after one semester of school I would have very clear understanding of why people fail but I have heard conflicting stories. The reason being, those who fail LIE about is/her real reasons (understandable, it is honestly no one's business but thier own). Although they usually tell the thruth to a close friend. So, I have been able to compile reasons from students who know those whom have dropped/failed and who looked at his/her friend impartially:

    At my school 2nd (Med Surg-Med Surg-Med Surg) and 3rd (Med Surg, Peds, OB/GYN, Fam) are the toughest semesters. Both second and third semester classes this past spring lost between 20-30% of their remaining class and this is consistent every semester.

    What I am told is that students that drop/fail are usually the students that got past the previous semester by the skin of his/her teeth (a history of low exam grades, poor assessment skills, poor clinical abilities, etc.). Other students that fail or drop usually have some personal devastation outside of school (this I am finding is a minority but you will hear that it is the majority since the failed students will not tell you the entire story... again understandable) or act in an egregious manner during the semester that caused the drop/failure (again, a minority of students).

    Thus, there is no sense in worrying. The best thing to do is study, practice, ask questions, and learn as much as you can from every resource possible. Plus, be sure to create a support system that can handle disasters/changes in your personal life when you can not!!!! GL! :spin:
    Last edit by SummerGarden on Jun 22, '07
  7. by   RNFutureRN
    I'm starting my third semester in the fall and thank god I'm done with second! It was sooooo hard! I was studying at least 6 hours a day and nursing was all I had time to think about. At my school it was med surg and OB. Although it was tough, OB was awsome! There is nothing like seeing the birth of a child. Im excited to move on though...to something easier
  8. by   Thedreamer
    3rd for me was Cardio, Gi, Endocrine, Respiratory, And musculoskeletal. Learning all the different disorders, tx, and over 175 drugs. I can say that term was probably the hardest term I have every had in all of my years of schooling. I am now on my OB/Peds/Med-surg3 and I can say that it is infinitely easier then 3rd term!
  9. by   Jessy_RN
    SIGH, for me, THIS one (my last). I am a disaster to say the least........but I am still alive and counting the days for pinning.

    Psych is just so difficult to grasp for me. Also I hear the word HESI and want to puke. Help!

  10. by   Bigsky4me2
    So far my first semester was by far the hardest. I may have to get back to you after I graduate to have a broader perspective.

    Our instructor was ill our first semester, and we literally missed several key sections. We were constantly lost, and didn't know what to expect next. So we went into our second semester almost as if it were our first.

    Luckily we followed the syllabus almost to the T, and we "caught up".
  11. by   MikeyJ
    I am still in 1st semester, but have spoken with many students who are ahead of me or who have graduated. This is how they tend to rank the semesters (btw, I am in a 4 "trimester" accelerated BSN program -- it is a year round program).

    2nd Semester: OB, Peds, Geri, Patho/Pharm (a continuation of 1st semester patho/pharm). I heard it is pretty difficult but actually exciting because you are in the hospital more often, doing more skills, and no longer in classes like "Fundamentals" and "Physical Assessment".
    3rd Semester: Psych, Nursing Research, Med Surg I & II. I guess this semester is the worst of all. Med Surg is a killer and nursing research is apparently ridiculously BUSY BUSY work that consumes so much time.
    4th Semester: Critcal Care, Nursing Management, Community Health, Preceptorship, AND a "seminar" class that is basically a 2 credit class designed to prepare students for the NCLEX. I heard this semester is by far the busiest semester of them all but definitely not the hardest.
  12. by   passion to help
    I would have to say first semester was the most difficult, at least for me; because, you're adjusting to the pace of the program plus all the information then add 2 1/2 days of clinical on top of that per week. Wheweeee, it was truly an adjustment! I was in an accelerated program in Calif and ended-up withdrawing four weeks before the end of the third semester. I was exhausted and didn't think I could maintain the necessary 75% by end of semester. I'm scheduled to re-enter third semester of the regular-paced program in August which I'm looking forward to it; although, I'm a little nervous because I haven't done any clinical work since the beginning of Nov.
    Good luck to each of you : ) in getting through nursing school. It's wonderful to have this link of people with which to share our thoughts.
  13. by   mviehman
    Everyone is going to have a different response to this because each school is going to be a little different and so are peoples opinions. My advice is to concentrate on what you are working on now and take it one semester at a time. Don't stress yourself out. Each semester gets a little harder with the content because it builds on from the previous semester. As you continue, you will learn what your teachers expect of you and you will get used to the amount of work they give you. Good luck with everything! The end will be here before you know it. No matter how hard it gets, you can get through it!
  14. by   PacoUSA
    In an accelerated BSN, I have heard the first is the killer, then it's downhill from there (but it is a rocky downhill, mind you).