Do not underestimate the difficulty level of nursing school... - page 6

As I am almost done with my first year of my ADN nursing program, I decided to write this article with some thoughts about where I was a year ago. I know I am being overly dramatic here, but hey... Read More

  1. by   LoriRNCM
    Quote from tenjuna
    6 months later and thought I would add a bit more to this...

    - I first wanted to say that at the time of the article I was just this side of failing out of the class, so I had a lot of anxiety about that. My kneejerk reaction was to drop everything I had going on in my life and spend all day every day studying. Since then I have actually had my lightbulb OMG I GET IT moment and I no longer stress so much about school every day. That isn't to say that it is any easier, far from it this is one of the hardest things I have ever done. However, like a lot of other people have noted it IS possible to have a life while in school heh. If you can find that balance, school gets a whole lot easier to manage.

    - Start studying for NCLEX as soon as you feel comfortable. I have found that it actually reinforces the material I learn in class, plus you get a head start on the exam. I am using the Saunder's Comprehensive review: Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination, 5th Edition (9781437708257): Linda Anne Silvestri: Books

    - I will once again stress the need for critical thinking skills. There is simply no way to over-stress is a good book: Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgement: A Practical Approach to Outcome-Focused Thinking (9781416039488): Rosalinda Alfaro-LeFevre RN MSN ANEF: Books

    - Relax. Breathe. It gets better.

    More to come...10 months to go woohoo!
    Two things. One..... AWESOME ACHIEVEMENT! You should be proud. Two, your writing style is hilarious. As a word nerd myself, I can appreciate it. OK, I lied, three things.... Saunders is coming out with a new edition in October, so I have heard. I will definitely be buying it. I start my ADN program in 21 days, four hours and twelve minutes! And I'm older than you, so I am happy to hear that us not-such-spring-chickens can still have an occasional neurological synapse. I will be picking up that Critical Thinking book in a few minutes on Amazon. Thanks for the tips! Bookmarked your post for future updates to your journey!
    Last edit by LoriRNCM on Aug 5, '13 : Reason: spelling, because I just couldn't stand it!
  2. by   hardwrkingmama
    Thank you for this post. I, like you, have always breezed through school without studying. School has always been very easy for me and although I didn't expect nursing school to be a breeze, I didn't feel it would be difficult or require too much extra effort. A friend of mine just graduated from nursing school and she told me that everyone who does well in school does not always do well in NS, because of the critical thinking aspect. Although I am still finishing up my pre-req's, I am going to buy the book you recommended now. I am an analytical thinker and I better get a jump start on training my brain to think in a different way. Thank you again!
  3. by   angelhawk
    I am in awe of the honesty on this topic. I will be starting my nursing program in 11 days, needless to say I am nervous, scared, anxious, excited, and hopeful.

    I have a SO and my children are grown, I am also 47 years old. I wouldn't say nursing has been my calling until recently. I feel I can give quality care and compassion to the ones in need. I know I will be a good nurse just getting through school and working is really scaring me. I would not say I'm smart by no means but I do good in school.

    I have been working on getting all the pre-regs out of the way for the past 18 months. I have no delusions about how hard nursing is. I just hope I have what it takes to graduate.

    Like everyone else I have heard the horror stories about having to make the grade, no life, no friends and so on. I do work as a CNA for a Home Health agency and will have to continue working during school. I have the fortune to be able to make my own schedule for work. I get any where between 23 to 49 hours depends on school schedule and patient need.

    My question is do you think I can work like Thurs. 3rd and any on Fri. and Sat. and 1st or 2nd on Sun. and still be able to do the work class will demand? Now keep in mind I can do homework and study while at work depending on the clients needs. If I work 3rd it is generally quiet affording me time for homework.

    I am really excited to start the program and I hope my nerves will settle down once I get in class and get a routine, but I am afraid that is asking a lot. I have order the Critical Thinking book, hope it will help if I have time to actually read it. According to this article there is a lot of reading for class so doesn't seem like there is time for outside reading.

    Any way I enjoyed everyones comments and have bookmarked this discussion. Thanks for reading and any, I mean any input is greatly appreciated!
    Last edit by angelhawk on Aug 8, '13
  4. by   tenjuna
    @angelhawk - My advice would be to give the class some time before you make any major changes as far as work goes.

    I was working a full-time job while doing pre-reqs, and was getting effortless A's...when October and that nasty exam score hit it pretty much shattered my illusions regarding how "easy" nursing school was to say the least.

    My reaction was to quit everything I had going on, and in hindsight I am glad I did. It took me about 6 months to recover my confidence in being able to pass the class, and by the end of this Summer's semester I actually got my grades up to an 85-87% level. Now this was with me spending literally every day at my kitchen table reading and doing practice tests and flashcards and all that, which admittedly was way over the top.

    Since then I have taken a part-time job as a CNA working about 16-20 hours a week, and I feel I will have plenty of time available for reading and studying. I figure I need around 40-60 hours a week of study time to keep me on track.

    As I said in my last post, it's really all about finding a balance. Just don't do what I did and go into it expecting it to be a piece of cake, as it really isn't...on the other hand, once you get your rhythm down it DOES get more manageable.
  5. by   halfglassfull
    Great post. Thank you so much!
  6. by   amberella123
    Quote from demeanor89
    THANK YOU!!!

    I am in the SAME POSITION!! I entered nursing school with a 3.5 GPA and am struggling so bad! I'm already in my first semester and am already going downhill. I have gotten only 60's and 70's on all my tests (thankfully I'm still passing due to backup assignments I am doing very well in ). As for those who work, there is a woman in my class who works full time and is still managing with mostly A's in my program. She's very smart, but how she manages, only god knows. And it's funny cuz my program is accelerated..only 16 months long before we become nurses. I do join study groups, read the material, but I think test taking is also part of it as well which I'm weak in. But these tips are helpful..I hope to pass by this semester and hopefully next semester I'll whiz through these tests.

    But def taking all these tips!!
    Yikes. Didnt know 16 months was accelerated. I've got it planned out for only like 14 months. We'll plus signing up to take nclex. So I might need to stretch it out maybe. I just don't want to wait any longer than I have to to finish! But with how hard everyone says it is I might need to stretch it out a little more. Specially because I have to work.
  7. by   AZMama86
    Great post! Thank you!
  8. by   BeTheLight1145
    I appreciate this post! I am ready for the challenge of nursing school. I realize it will be far from easy and it will be very different than my pre req classes. I volunteer at a hospital on a weekly basis and lately I have been meeting burned out nurses that HATE their job. It will not discourage me, but I take it all into consideration. This post will be filed away in that mental cabinet. Best of luck to you!
  9. by   ShelbyaStar
    Thank you so much! I am going straight for my BSN and have many general ed requirements (chem, writing, etc) covered already from a previous degree so I'm HOPING it may be a little easier on me. I won't be counting on it though.
  10. by   mee9mee9
    I'm taking out time from school to be a CNA and then apply for nursing school in a few years.
  11. by   amberdawn85
    Then those who do it without neglecting their children. I don't think 1 and 3 year olds will understand that they are less important than a school.
  12. by   Lifelonglearning
    Many thanks to Tenjuna[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]. The whole thread is filled with helpful advice
  13. by   Shinnichi
    This is a great thread, and I love that the OP posted follow up info! I'm bookmarking this as well, and I'm buying the Critical Thinking book as I post this. And though I won't start nursing school for a few more months, I'll be buying the Saunders book soon, too.

    Thanks-- to all of you-- for giving advice and sharing experiences to help those who have yet to enter nursing school. I hope to do the same in kind.