Feeling completely overwhelmed


Hey everybody, I'm looking for some advice. Or reassurance, I'm not completely sure. I got accepted into a very rigorous 2 year ADN program, and was absolutely ecstatic to start. I had my clinical orientation in June, and was definitely feeling the pressure afterwards, but I still felt like it was possible. However I just got back from a workshop today to teach new students study and organizational skills, and I am feeling absolutely shot down. Don't get me wrong, I knew there was going to be a lot of work involved with nursing school. But upon hearing today that I would need to set aside 20-25 hours minimum of study time a week, not including clinical care plans, online module tests, written assignments, proctored exams, etc. I am not even sure how I am going to be able to succeed at this. I've always been a 4.0 student, and I fully accept that I need to abandon that title lol. But right now everything looks so bleak-I have no idea how I am going to learn how to juggle 20+ hours of studying, school assignments, clinicals, working, and maintaining my general health and relationships. I am so afraid of not being the right kind of "smart" for nursing school. I am an LNA in homecare, but I've never had to deal with dosage calculations or anything of the sort. How do you guys maintain your ADLs/personal relationships in addition to all of this? I know every nursing program/personal experience is different, but I am feeling absolutely wrecked. Is the fear of the unknown working me up too much?


6 Posts

Absolutely it IS an overwhelming experience! it is the most overwhelming in the first semester. getting used to how everything works and developing a "flow" takes time. But you totally have the right attitude for success. you are being given too much information all at one time right now to make any sense of any of it quite yet, but relax and roll with it, ask questions (even if its the same ones) and get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a little while. You have already noted that you are a great student and acknowledged that you are okay with getting a B sometimes if it happens. But it might not, you may surprise yourself. They accepted you into this program because they considered you to be an exceptional student with a high likelihood of success. Don't lose your confidence in your abilities now. It is all new. Remember back to a time when school first seemed overwhelming, but you are still a 4.0 student now.

My best advice is 1) look at the material more often for smaller time increments. try to fit something in every day for at least 20 minutes. This will help you to absorb the "language" which can be a barrier to learning the actual content. Long study sessions are okay too, but I have found that my test scores are better with a direct relationship to the frequency of studying vs the length of studying. 2) Don't freak out. Don't think you won't do well because of one bombed test (especially the first ones!) remember they are teaching you how to PASS a certain test.... that is set up a certain way and it can take a little bit to get used to this testing method. Take time for yourself, even if you have to pencil it in your datebook otherwise you will crack up. For me, I made it a point to go see a movie with my bestie every Saturday night at 8 no matter how much work i had (the work will always be there). This gave me a reason to get through every week just so i could have my saturday movie time and it was always there in my mind all week long. 3) Dont believe the hype. LOTS of naysayers target this particular field of study, and i am not sure why. Usually it comes from people who have not done it, which is ironic i think. Either way they can be hard to ignore, but once you get going in the program, you will forget all about them. You will be surrounded by a "family" of peers who share the same common goals and fears and struggles as you do and you will all be lifting each other up, and the people who drag you down will fade into the background rather easily.

You got this! dont get discouraged, it gets easier to manage, and 2 years flies by quickly when you are busy. And you will have constant opportunities to impress yourself by doing things you didn't ever think you could do.

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

My program takes up around 60 hours a week. Will you still be able to perform ADLs? yes, you will still have time to shower, eat, grocery shop, etc.

Will you be able to do things like keep your house spotless? Cook elaborate meals? Workout for hours every week? Go out every weekend? Have a Netflix marathon? Nope absolutely not. You may not even have time to watch tv anymore, and reading just for fun? Man, I miss that! I read non-stop over summer break to make up for it, because I miss it so much during the school year.

Personal relationships, well, your friends and family will feel neglected. Make it clear to them to not take it personally that you no longer have time for them. It's tough at first. Really tough. Especially if you have little kids that don't understand. Give them dates of when you will be available again. Thanksgiving break, christmas break, summer, etc. Hopefully they will be supportive and understanding.

Good luck. Remember, this is just a moment in time. This, too, shall pass. Nose to the grindstone. You can do this!


6 Posts

so true, and a worthy point! my house is a disaster, i havent eaten anything that i couldnt microwave straight from the box in over a year, i dont do my nails or hair or makeup anymore, and my kids and family MISS seeing me. but do try and make a small amount of time to do something for yourself..... if for no other reason than to give yourself a "end" to each period of time spent sacraficing.


89 Posts

If you want it you will make it happen. I have to work full time and take a 17 credit load for the next two semesters. TV? Sure it's on but I don't pay attention....social life? Haven't had one since I started nursing school....holidays? Good study time....lunches, breaks between classes? Study time....lunch break at work? Study time.....and like others...reading for fun, how I miss that, I still get books put them in tubs and collect series, I will be a reading monster when I'm done with school and the NCLEX! I'm either in class or clinical, studying, sleeping or working, that's just how it rolls right now, it's not forever.

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

And, as an aside, your nursing class will become your family. You will laugh and cry with them, they will understand what you are going thru unlike the rest of the world! You will have inside jokes, potlucks, end-of-semester celebrations, you will know intimately what is going on in their lives. You will rely on each other. They are your new family. Nursing school bonds you like nothing else. I am so thankful for the 56 amazing classmates that I have come to rely on over the last 1.5 years.