i'm in my last semester of the traditional nursing program at UTA, currently have a 3.963GPA, maybe i can help some
1. foundations (junior 1) was hard for me. students than had been techs at hospitals before had an easier time. it was a big adjustment learning what to focus on for tests, seeing as we had hundreds of pages of reading per week. Critical care (nursing of adults with complex needs, senior 1) was challenging but very interesting. nursing research (junior 2) was a pain in the behind, they cram a semesters worth of material into a 5 wk course. the content was foreign and abstract to me. **note, even though i say these classes were hard for me, they are still very doable and i managed A's in all of them. The easiest classes were: health promotions (5 week junior 1 course) & gero (nursing of older adults, junior 2).
2. lecturers are hit or miss, but generally know their stuff pretty well. most lectures are presented in power point slides. some lecturers read straight off the slide (in this case i skip class, i can read at home). for the most part, lectures are not useless. as i got further in the program, i read from the book less and focused on lecture content for tests. professors will usually make a recording of their lecture and post it online; i would study listening to those while reading back over lecture notes, with my book open to supplement some material. NCLEX and HESI books with practice questions in them were GOLDEN study tools for tests.
3. i'm not sure if their is a particular "weeding out" semester, each of them had their hard and easy parts, and students left the program during various semesters. we started with 120 students, and in our last semester we've got about 110-115 left. Some people left because of grades, some people left because they wanted to change majors, & some people had health problems/personal issues and took a semester off.
4. as you get farther into the program, you have more clinical days. i'm in senior 2 and this is my schedule: Mondays i have class basically 8-4, Tuesdays is management clinical from 8-4:30, i have Wednesdays off (hallelujah), Thursdays is community health clinical from 8-4, & Friday is class from 8-10:50. right now i study/do homework (lots of busy work in senior 2) about 5 hours a day on NON-school/clinical/work days (2 days a week). the amount of time i spend studying per week has varied throughout the program...it goes up during test weeks. concerning the massive amoutn of reading assigned, for every semester except this current one i've been dividing the reading up between myself and 1-2 other friends. we read our sections, answer the chapter/class objectives for that section, and trade.
5. tons of people have kids. i don't, neither do the friends i talk to, so i'm not too sure how much time they spend with them.