For the People Who Think Nursing School is Easy


For anybody who doubts the intensity of nursing school, here is a list of subjects we had to know inside and out for our upcoming exam:

Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Cancer, Concussions, Contusions, Epidural/Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Subdural Hematoma, Skull Fractures, Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Shock, Autonomic Dysreflexia, Atria Septal Defect, Ventricular Septal Defect, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Coarctation of Aorta, Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of the Great Arteries, Congestive Heart Failure in Children, Rheumatic Fever, Kawasaki Disease, Hydrocephalus, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Reyes Syndrome, Meningitis, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Osteosarcoma, Ewing's Sarcoma, Gastric Cancer, Gastric Surgery, Dumping Syndrome, Postprandial Hypoglycemia, Bile Reflux Gastritis, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Peptic Ulcer Disease, Diverticulosis, Diverticulitis, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Nasogastric Tubes, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Tubes, Total Parenteral Nutrition, Chest Tubes, Heparin/Insulin Drips... oh yeah and Ethics.

It's good that we had four weeks to learn all that!

You had a lot more time that I did! LOL! And yes, nursing school WAS "easy"...if you have a STRONG A&P, micro and patho base, it is relatively simple because you dont have to really refresh your base knowledge. When I speak to the incoming students at my school I stress 5-8 hours of study on days off in A&P, micro and patho. If you get those down solid, then nursing school will be "easy". If you keep up with your studying and realize that nursing school is like building a house (you MUST have a foundation, you MUST have strong walls, in order for the roof to be stable) then it will be easy. If you barely pass each class then you will struggle the ENTIRE time. If you end a term and dont really understand what you learned, then you will not understand the next items you must learn. Example: ICP...if you dont understand how the brain functions normally, A&P, then when there is a shift in fluid (patho) you must know what is happening to nerve cells, THEN you must know what your interventions are. For NG tubes and GI issues...if you dont understand the healthy functioning of the stomach, you wont know what happens when there is an ulcer, you wont understand WHY you are using an NG tube, if you are using an NG tube and dont understand what it does, then you wont understand why electrolytes become important. It really IS easy, IF you put in the effort necessary to understand the BASIC functions of a NORMAL body.

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Well, a strong A/P, Micro, Patho & Chem background makes it easier, but I wouldn't say it's easy.You will rarely get a question on how myocardial hyperplasia develops in CHF patients, but you will see questions with patients having complications due to the problem.The thing is, you have to be able to put it all together and think critically about the patient. You can have a strong understanding of all the science and still get the questions wrong if you're not able to think ahead and draw at least most of the necessary conclusions, anticipating and connecting the sequelae.That's where the magic happens. Sure, know the patho et al, but also know why the patient is exhibiting the SS he is AND get a handle on what will happen next if it is treated properly and if it isn't. Etc


7 Posts

This was not meant to start an argument about how hard nursing school is/isn't. It's always a lot of time and work no matter who you are. This is just a little thing I put together for my family who don't always understand how intense school is.

I don't really think anyone is "arguing" more just sharing points of view.


2,723 Posts

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

I'm tired just looking at that list! No one who spends any amount of time with me would claim nursing school is easy, I don't think. It's not some sort of crazy high-level thinking that leaves me crying into my coffee cups with confusion, but it is a LOT to know just know, but really understand and "get" the nursing process for. The hard part for me is just going, going, going.


72 Posts

Pretty much sums up my experience too. It's funny because when I was in prenursing my boyfriend said to me that "anyone" could do nursing school. Lol. Needless to say he doesn't feel that way after I told him about my study guide for ONE exam being 20 pages long. ;)

My study guide for this next test is 56 pages:nailbiting: Nursing school is hard, but I enjoy it. I feel like a dumb@ss sometimes, but it makes me think and learn and I love it!

ETA: the study guide is 56 pages completely filled out!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology, Epic CT.

I think everyone is bringing a lot of very good advice to the forum as to what to expect, especially for those who are still working on pre-reqs or even considering nursing school.

My piece of advice...STUDY GROUPS!!!!


Specializes in Med/Surg, Oncology, Epic CT.
Pretty much sums up my experience too. It's funny because when I was in prenursing my boyfriend said to me that "anyone" could do nursing school. Lol. Needless to say he doesn't feel that way after I told him about my study guide for ONE exam being 20 pages long. ;)

Or the fact that half way through Nursing school, half of your cohort has been 'weeded' out, because they could not handle the intensity of it because they were one of those people who thought it would be 'easy'. :roflmao: