Give me some idea...

  1. I just got accepted into my college's nursing program for Fall '07. I'm going to have to quit a job I've been at for ten years in order to go. I hate the job, so I don't think I'll have regrets about that. My big concern is what to expect from nursing school.

    Can anyone give me some idea of what I can expect? Specifically, why does it seem like everyone feels the instructors are worse than Marine drill instructors? Are they mean battle-axes who hate students? Are they looking to fail students?

    Also, what exactly are clinicals like? My only understanding of them is that they are days where you go to a hospital and learn by observing and occasionally doing certain tasks.

    Finally, and this may be hard to ask without it sounding wrong - are the students who complain how hard it is the ones who don't study as much as they should, or are trying to juggle kids/full-time jobs with the demands of school? I already have a bachelor's degree in business and to be honest I never found college to be extremely difficult. I am single, have relativley few bills, not a lot of distractions from coursework, etc. Do you think this will be a good thing for me?
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    About Asklepios

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 95; Likes: 20

    11 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    What makes nursing school difficult is that nursing involves a total change in your thought processes. Nursing exams reflect this change in thought from the very first exam. Once you learn to answer the questions using the nursing process, nursing school becomes a lot less daunting.

    Many nursing professors are battle-axes, but most are not out to get you.

    Regarding clinicals....YMMV. You are actually in the hospital taking care of patients and implementing what you are learning from the didactic portion of your curriculum. Clinicals usually involve a good amount of time prepping the night before and the night after. It involves care plans, drugs cards, case studies, etc.

    Keep your head up, go in full force, and utilize any extra resources your instructors might offer you. Also, keep in mind to play their game to get out of school and not buck the system. They treat you like they do for a reason......as inhumane as it may seem at times, it's part of it.


    Good luck with school and congrats!!
  4. by   Asklepios
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    What makes nursing school difficult is that nursing involves a total change in your thought processes. Nursing exams reflect this change in thought from the very first exam. Once you learn to answer the questions using the nursing process, nursing school becomes a lot less daunting.

    Many nursing professors are battle-axes, but most are not out to get you.

    Regarding clinicals....YMMV. You are actually in the hospital taking care of patients and implementing what you are learning from the didactic portion of your curriculum. Clinicals usually involve a good amount of time prepping the night before and the night after. It involves care plans, drugs cards, case studies, etc.

    Keep your head up, go in full force, and utilize any extra resources your instructors might offer you. Also, keep in mind to play their game to get out of school and not buck the system. They treat you like they do for a reason......as inhumane as it may seem at times, it's part of it.


    Good luck with school and congrats!!
    Thanks for your well wishes and for your reply! However, I was wondering if you could expand on your answer a bit. In what way do you have to change your thought process? I have already earned a college degree and have worked in a fast paced, high pressure job for almost 10 years. What do you think I'll need to rely on more - my work experience, or my time as a student 10 years ago (and now while taking pre-reqs)?
  5. by   SteveNNP
    I think what we mean is nursing judgment and critical thinking skills. You probably can already think outside the box coming from the business world. You will now have to assimilate all the knowledge you can regarding diseases, pathophysiology, medication managment and signs and symptoms so that when you care for a patient you can see the "whole picture." You will get to the point once you are a nurse when you can look at a patient and know something's not right, and have the mental tools to bring it all together and figure out what's going on with a patient. I hope I haven't confused you! You need to just wait and see what school is like. It was a positive experience for me. Quite stressful most of the time, and I often thought my instructors were harder on me than I thought they needed to be, but looking back I believe that only prepared me to be a better practitioner. Good Luck!

    Stephen
  6. by   Scrubz
    I think everyone approaches school with a certain mindset of what it's going to be like, only to learn that reality is much different. Wheter this is good or bad for the student depends on the student.

    Plus, every school is different so everyone's perspectives are different.

    My advice, don't stress out about it, you'll find out soon enough what nursing school is like, and then go from there. Everyone always stresses about how to best prepare for getting ready, but the best thing to do is nothing and don't stress, because more than likely you'll get enough stress in school. Savor your off time..
  7. by   McDraw8
    Nursing school will break you down. well that was from my experience. But later on, as you start to absorb more knowledge, you will start to see why they have to push you. Things will get easier once your knowledge are widen. The thing that im anxious about is really being out there and working. Im still getting ready for the Nclex.
  8. by   justme1972
    School is much more difficult when you have family responsibilities than when you are single. When I was single and going to college, I had the luxury of staying as focused as I want to, and would get my work done quickly and make a decent grade.

    When you have a family, especially young children, it's hard to learn difficult concepts and trying to study at home with "Mommy! Mommy" interruption, literally, every 10 minutes. You can't get into "the zone". I have sometimes broken down into tears at how difficult it is.

    AND...I don't start the RN program until this Fall.

    I think what will make nursing school so difficult (and this is my novice, pre-assessment), is that you are dealing with facts and concepts of which you have zero background on and the information is 100% new.

    For example, if you take Nursing Math, you took Math in high school or at some point in your life, so you are learning to apply what you mostly know in a new way. Same thing with Chemistry...mostly math, applied in a new way.

    Now take Pharmacology...how many drugs have you actually had to consider all of the uses for and how they affect the body, allergies, etc. None right?

    THAT, I believe, is the challenge, not to mention the pace.

    I feel that people that fail nursing school, go into it thinking it's like any other major, you show up, listen to lecture, take a few tests. It's not. I believe that the people that recognize it for what it is, are the most successful and complete the program.
  9. by   Cherish
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    School is much more difficult when you have family responsibilities than when you are single. When I was single and going to college, I had the luxury of staying as focused as I want to, and would get my work done quickly and make a decent grade.

    When you have a family, especially young children, it's hard to learn difficult concepts and trying to study at home with "Mommy! Mommy" interruption, literally, every 10 minutes. You can't get into "the zone". I have sometimes broken down into tears at how difficult it is.

    AND...I don't start the RN program until this Fall.

    I think what will make nursing school so difficult (and this is my novice, pre-assessment), is that you are dealing with facts and concepts of which you have zero background on and the information is 100% new.

    For example, if you take Nursing Math, you took Math in high school or at some point in your life, so you are learning to apply what you mostly know in a new way. Same thing with Chemistry...mostly math, applied in a new way.

    Now take Pharmacology...how many drugs have you actually had to consider all of the uses for and how they affect the body, allergies, etc. None right?

    THAT, I believe, is the challenge, not to mention the pace.

    I feel that people that fail nursing school, go into it thinking it's like any other major, you show up, listen to lecture, take a few tests. It's not. I believe that the people that recognize it for what it is, are the most successful and complete the program.
    Never thought of it like that. It's all about reinforcing new information. If you just study or take notes without fully grasping and understanding, then I think you would have a hard time in nursing school. It's really about application of what you are being taught. I really do see it as steps, one applies to the other. Wthout understanding the previous step you will become frustrated with your current process. Seems like from what I am hearing about from previous students and on this board, is everything is in relation to one another. Thanks for that post Hopeful, it was great.
    Last edit by Cherish on May 8, '07
  10. by   justme1972
    Quote from Cherish
    Never thought of it like that. It's all about reinforcing new information. If you just study or take notes without fully grasping and understanding, then I think you would have a hard time in nursing school. It's really about application of what you are being taught. I really do see it as steps, one applies to the other. Wthout understanding the previous step you will become frustrated with your current process. Seems like from what I am hearing about from previous students and on this board, is everything is in relation to one another. Thanks for that post Hopeful, it was great.
    You are welcome! And thanks for the compliment.
  11. by   Asklepios
    Wow! Thanks for the great replies, everyone! :spin:

    I am going to approach it as something to enjoy - the challenge, the opportunity to learn something completely new, etc. It may be difficult, but most things worth having are difficult to obtain.
  12. by   Trans-am
    At my school the professors are strict but nice and arnt out to get you. Yes it is like a boot camp and they push you harder and harder. For me it was hard this semester (my 1st) because you dont know how to study and dont know how to take nursing exams. Test are completely different. It is possible and it is alot of fun! Good luck!!
  13. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Do not think that because you have a degree, the program will be easy. Trust me, I have classmates with Chemistry, Engineering, and Computer degrees and they struggle, if not do worse than, other students. It is a different type of process. You have to combine several fields of knowlege and use them to restore patients' health, or help them finish their lives with dignity and compassion. If you go into nursing "just for the money" you will probably hate your job. You're asked to make life and death decisions, not make mistakes, and wipe fecal matter off someone's hiney at the same time. But, I love school and the hospital I work at as an aide. The way I got a grip on the nursing process and did well from my very first exam on is to get an NCLEX study guide. It really gears you up for critical thinking and the nursing process. Good luck and enjoy class. I have found my positive attitude helps a great deal.
    Last edit by Kim O'Therapy on May 8, '07

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