Are you taking the BScN or PN course? They are both difficult! REGULAR university degrees have only 4 classes per semester. The BScN program has 7 in the first semester and 6 in the second semester. In second year, I hear that its going to be 5 courses on top of 16 hours/week in the hospital. PN is even worse- they have 9 classes per semester. Anyways it isn't so much about the difficulty of the work (with the exception of anatomy) as the quantity. You have 3 hours for almost every class, multiplied by 6-7 depending on the semester. After all this class time you MUST study (aka do the readings) on your own time, otherwise you'll have no clue what they're talking about in your classes. (Do yourself a favour and do the readings BEFORE the class each week, you'll thank yourself at exam time lol) I've definitely seen people cry many, many times and am certainly guilty of it too haha. Its just very stressful, I wrote about 16-20 papers this year on top of 26 exams (midterms and finals for each semester) on top of about an hours worth of reading per week per class. In classes like assessment and practice (the "real" nursing classes, where you learn the skills) you'll have competency tests on top of all of this work, which means that you'll have to memorize 2 semesters worth of information and demonstrate what you know in 20 minutes for 15-30% of your mark lol. The purpose of these is to test whether or not you can be trusted with a patient in clinical, lol, but surprisingly a lot of people would have failed clinical if they hadn't been forced to memorize the information for the test, so they're helpful in the long run. All in all you will feel stressed and pushed beyond your limit, but you'll also make some amazing friendships and learn if its right for you by the end of the year. By second semester, our group of friends would go drinking after every test and assignment lol and when you get to clinical it will all be worth it. Clinical truly made me realize and appreciate why I wanted to do nursing in the first place, it was a great experience and I felt amazing to be helping my clients
(by the way, in nursing school patients are called 'clients' haha). And the prep courses will probably help- I took AP courses in high school and have found that my writing skills are a lot better than many of my peers in some cases, so the extra work does pay off
. I know this is a realllllllyyyy long post but I'm going to finish it with a list of how myself and others survived:
- keep on top of assignments and due dates. it sounds simple but a lot of people failed simply because they procrastinated.
- the lessons go by chapters of the text in most cases. I would recommend buying the MAJOR texts (ie for assessment, anatomy, and practice) and reading at least the first half of each text BEFORE school starts, or during the first 2 weeks.
- The first 2-3 weeks are EASY. Don't let that fool you into slacking! Just stay on top of the readings, or do extra readings during those weeks.
- Buy a laptop. Seriously, unless you want your hand to fall off lol. Most people have one. It's also convenient because most of the profs will post the slides on WEBct the week before. Download these so that you can follow along during the lectures
-When you do the readings, take notes. This way you will have the CORE info that the prof is talking about, plus the details that they don't have time to cover.
- Make a study group. It sounds a bit lame, but a lot of us got by this year because we did the whole 'divide and conquer' thing.
- start studying for tests a minimum of 1 week ahead. You'll love yourself for it when you have an A!
Just work hard and you'll see the rewards when you get to clinical
If this msg posts twice sorry- my original technically "solicits" selling textbooks and they've taken down my msgs for that before, lol.