Was your nursing school like this?

  1. 0
    Okay, so I just started nursing school in August (love it so far!) and there are only two just-out-of-high school students in the class. One of them is me. Everyone else in my class (around 120 students) is either already an LPN, CNA, or has their degree in another area.

    Anyway, my teachers all seem to teach like everyone already knows the basics (stuff we haven't covered, usually). For example, we had to demonstrate checking blood pressure...which was all fine and wonderful for 99% of the class. I had never even picked up a blood pressure cuff or really even used a stethoscope before. When I asked when they were going to demonstrate how to do that, my teacher looked at me like I had asked a stupid question and said 'You don't know that already?'

    Also, several questions on my tests so far have involved abbreviations which we haven't learned. I do realize this is college, I am a big girl, and this does require a degree of 'go get-ed ness' for finding stuff out. I am just starting to get frustrated because the farther we go along, the more they act like we already know this stuff. I guess I just viewed nursing school as nursing SCHOOL...not refresher classes for already licensed nurses.

    Is this normal, and am I just overreacting?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights: Student Edition newsletter.

  2. 18 Comments...

  3. 1
    I'm sorry that you've had such a bad experience!

    My school is the opposite. They assume that you don't know unless you say that you do. We have some right out of high school students, some students with a year of college under their belt, and many who are doing career changes. Yes, we do have lots of CNAs and a couple EMTs, but we are taught from the beginning, basics, and it is ensured that everyone gains understanding and is taught the same.
    lillian2010 likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from TheSmilingToast
    Is this normal, and am I just overreacting?
    Sounds like nursing school to me.

    In my school, we have to have an active CNA certificate just to apply, so they went through the VS stuff lightning fast as they should.

    The abbreviations you are running into on tests should also be in your study material. Make sure you always have a medical dictionary on hand while studying and you will catch up fast.

    Nursing school starts fast and gets faster.

    Good luck!
  5. 0
    Ours also assume we know absolutely NOTHING! The basics are started with as if we have never done any of it, which most had not!
  6. 0
    Are your feelings normal? I'd have to say "NO!" Personally, I'd say that you're not prepared for nursing school, not prepared for the school I attend anyway. The college that I attend requires you to have had the CNA class before even applying, even if you're not actually certified to work as a CNA, so we know some of the basics. But, thing is, all of the responsiblities held by a nurse (not an EMT or CNA for example) are taught during lab from the ground up. If you're having trouble with some basic skills, I'd personally recommend trying to set up a session with an instructor for some extra help.
    "Good luck" my fellow nursing student!
  7. 5
    Quote from MissJulie
    Are your feelings normal? I'd have to say "NO!" Personally, I'd say that you're not prepared for nursing school, not prepared for the school I attend anyway. The college that I attend requires you to have had the CNA class before even applying, even if you're not actually certified to work as a CNA, so we know some of the basics. But, thing is, all of the responsiblities held by a nurse (not an EMT or CNA for example) are taught during lab from the ground up. If you're having trouble with some basic skills, I'd personally recommend trying to set up a session with an instructor for some extra help.
    "Good luck" my fellow nursing student!
    I think this is unfair to say. How is the OP not prepared for nursing school? MANY people, myself included, go into nursing school with absolutely no experience whatsoever! Does that make us unprepared? ABSOLUTELY NOT! It just means that we aren't as advanced as others.

    My school requires no CNA training, no previous experience etc. so many people go in with nothing. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It is what it is.

    If the OP went to a school where they said you needed skills in order to start, I would be singing a different tune, but there is no indication of that, so I think that the OP's feelings are completely valid and that the school should be doing things differently.
  8. 4
    Different schools serve different populations -- and have different cultures based on differences in populations, etc. It's something that a lot of people don't consider as they apply to schools. But people should consider it as the school's "target population" determines how it teaches. Classes are designed to meet the needs of the majority of the students.

    It sounds like you chose a school that caters to the needs of adult learners, 2nd career students, etc. Most of their students already have some health care experience -- and they design their courses and expectations accordiningly. You might want to have a sit-down chat with someone at the school to discuss what you can do to "catch up" quickly before your lack of experience puts at an even greater disadvantage in relation to your fellow students.
  9. 0
    I just realized how whiny that my original post came across as! I really wasn't trying to whine or act hard done by, because I know that this is school, and no one is here to spoonfeed me, nor do I expect them to.

    I think my main source of frustration comes from when I talked to my nursing advisors, before I even applied for the program, they said I needed no prior experience, liscensure or anything else; that I would be taught everything I needed to know. I have realized it is a LOT of me time, practicing by myself, and it is necessary to do things without being held by the hand. Was I prepared for nursing school? Maybe. Maybe not. But I am here now, and I have wanted this for a very long time. There are some ladies in my class who have all kinds of experience, but they are always talking about how much they hate the field, hate the classes, hate the process. Experience is exceedingly valuable, but I do think an actual love of the whole concept of nursing is never a bad thing.
  10. 4
    Hook up with one of the other students who has it together, go to your instructor's office hours for help, go to the lab for extra help and practice during open lab times. Whatever you do, do something. Do not sit back and wait until you start to have real problems compounded as each day goes by. Be proactive if it seems you are behind the others. Good luck.
  11. 1
    I see the same situation happening to others in my class. A few students (of all ages) have approached me for help, which I am happy to give!

    I've noticed that making the transition to nursing courses has been especially hard for the 19-year olds, I think for the following reasons:

    1. After spending years in high school (where minimal study skills were necessary), they just spent a year rewiring their brains to master the "rote memorization skills" needed to pass prerequisites like AP. Now they now have to very quickly rewire their brains to master "internalization" and "application".

    2. They are at a disadvantage for not having real world experiences that help to put things into context - childbirth and babies, caring for an elderly family member, dealing with personal and family health issues, death. This is not their fault, and a good thing actually, but it is still a disadvantage. It's hard to internalize something you can't form a mental picture of. However, that is why we lab and clinical. And Google.

    3. There is a disadvantage to never having worked a full-time 8-12 hour job. The students who have had one seem to have an easier time setting "work" deadlines and sticking to them. (At least to me, the nursing school workload is LIGHT compared to the paperwork, reports, people and money I was accountable for daily during my former career!)

    My best advice to all (assuming proper time is already devoted to studying) is to go out and get one of the many Nursing Study Skills books and a NCLEX study book and practice as many questions as possible. Reading the rationales after each question will help you realize why what was correct was correct, and in no time you will be thinking like a nurse!
    Hospice Nurse LPN likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top