Does your senior year get any better?


Hi all!

I am in a BSN program; my senior year is quickly approaching and I am excited and nervous at the same time! Excited that this time next year I will be a BSN graduate and nervous that the next 8 months will be dreadful. Junior year was so physically and emotionally exhausting from the beginning to the end. Having 12 hour clinicals on Wednesday, then on Thursday having an 8 hour clinical day on top of a 2 hour mandatory study session after that clinical was so draining...not to mention being in lecture all day on the days you are not in clinical. Also I spent every single minute outside of school studying, reading, and doing something pertaining to nursing school. I expected nursing school to be time consuming and tough so I'm not complaining (although it may seem that way). I am highly grateful that I was accepted into the program and that I am doing well thus far. I just wonder if my senior year will get any better. From your experience, is senior year as bad as junior year? Do you have any suggestions to make my senior year seamless? Is there anything you would have done differently your senior year in nursing school?



26 Posts

I think this greatly depends on the program you are in. Personally, I feel like my junior year was harder than my senior year. (I am going in to my last semester this Fall). Last semester, I still had to study and manage my time but I was not nearly as overwhelmed as I had been the year prior. The subject matter was also different and I enjoyed most of what I was learning. I would still intend to put work in and manage your time but I would expect you get some sort of break. Last semester was the first time I felt like I could actually relax some after clinicals and not study every minute of every day. Congrats to you and graduation is just around the corner! Keep your head up!



87 Posts

It really depends on the program. In mine, year one was prereqs and some gen eds. Soph and junior year were pretty much all nursing. Senior year was much lighter in terms of work, but not credit hours. We did have a little basic nursing to finish up, but most of the nursing curriculum was the BSN-specific stuff (research, public health, leadership/management). And we had time to finish our gen eds. But if your school is the classic 2+2, I don't see how senior year could be easier.


Specializes in critical care. 5 Articles; 4,547 Posts

I agree it will depend on your program, but will add that you've been "broken in". Simply knowing what to expect this year will make it feel easier on some levels. Hang in there. You're almost done!


Horseshoe, BSN, RN

5,879 Posts

I graduated from nursing school in 1996 from a different university in Texas. I don't remember senior year being any worse or better than junior year. So maybe that means it wasn't any more traumatic if it wasn't particularly memorable?

My most stressful year was the first year out of school. I did a wonderful new grad critical care internship. It was very intense, but also very "protective" of us in terms of not letting us do anything on our own that would turn out to be dangerous to anyone. Once I was launched on my own, though, it was very terrifying and stressful. Having patients and a license to protect is very stressful when you are confronted on a daily basis with all that you DON'T know. Nursing school was nothing compared to real life. But real life eventually became very fulfilling to me, so all I can say is that while you are in such a steep learning curve, your life may seem stressful and tumultuous. I would worry more about you if you were overconfident and saying what a breeze nursing school was.

Just take it one day at a time. Don't shrink from experiences in clinical because you are worried you are going to screw up. That will work against you big time when you start working in the real world. Seek out EVERY possible thing to do that you can. The more times you do a particular thing, the better at it you will get. You WILL look inexperienced at first, but that's expected-you are a student.

Good luck!