I am half way through a front-loaded program, so I am doing clinicals only. I am glad I am in this program now that I am doing specialties like open heart and complex acute cases. I feel like I am coming into the clinical with some background information and not "winging" it (did an AAA the other day, and could competently explain about AO XC and the gtts and pathophys, etc.) The clinicals are still exhausting, but more because of my own self-imposed standards of excellence (if that makes sense?). In the beginning I didn't feel like a real SRNA becasue I was only doing book work--and there are 4 other programs in the area that are integrated, and I felt like I was "behind." And then when I got started, I was compared to them, and then really felt woefully behind. But after a few months of straight clinical 4 days a week, I'm up to speed--and I have 11 months to go, and will certainly polish off my skill set and be ready for boards/practice independently.
Granted, this teaching style works for me, and not necessarily for everyone--but I am happy with the front-loaded program. So don't get discouraged! Trust that your instructors and administrators will give you the information you need to succeed!