The program that I was enrolled in was a diploma school that was run by a hospital. It was an old-fashioned program that started in the days when students lived at the hospital in dorms, worked in the hospital, and RN school was their whole life. The entire program is 28 months total. but there is one semester at the front that is just college coursework. If you subtract that, the actual nursing portion is more or less 24 months, year 'round.
The curriculum was built around using the hospital's limited facilities. It was not taught in traditional "blocks" like most vocational and registered nurse programs are. It was "integrated," meaning they chopped up the the topics like they'd pulled them out of a hat, and taught "normals" then they started through "abnormals." From a student's viewpoint, it was pure Hades. The clinicals were rotations, every term. You went when your group was scheduled, and as a rule, the clinicals were always out of sync with the lectures, and you might be doing the clinical far before or long after that material was covered in class. Thus, it was usually like going to two separate nursing schools
at once: Keeping up with the lectures and passing the exams; and teaching yourself whatever you need to know to do a clinical before it was covered in lecture or reviewing prior lecture content from long ago, so that you could use it for your clinical the next day.
We sat in lectures roughly 6-7 hours per day, three days per week, for the entire term. Two full-day clinicals took up Thur & Fri. Weekends, all you could get done was write up all that clinical paperwork for Monday, and cram and read and study for the next exam. It was that same grind, day in, day out, week after week, and each term was the same: Too much time spent sitting in verbose lectures and no days off to study or get off the galley-slave routine.
After one year, Nursing 4, I was done. That school totally killed all of my enthusiasm for becoming a nurse. I find the lecture material very interesting to read and study, on my own. I just never will permit any school to monopolize and ruin my life and my health like that, ever again. If the RN job is that grueling and is constantly comprised of unreasonable demands and unsafe working conditions, they can keep that, too. Let some fool have it.
Add to my list of dislikes: I did a 2-day clinical that was observation in the OR. Granted, it was outside the sterile field. But, for those two days, there was a piece of paper and a few strands of hair lying on the floor, in the exact same spot, and they never moved. That means the floor wasn't even swept or dry-mopped, much less bleached or disinfected in at least 3 days.
One of the problems with going back to school as a mature adult is that you see things that other students can't. And then they wonder why you are so disappointed, or angry, or disgusted. And it truly does affect your experience as a student. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.