What is harder- nursing school or first year working? - page 3

Hi! So I just finished my final final of first semester in nursing school, where I am also taking Anatomy and Physiology and a psych class, 13 credits total, and I'm wiped out. I was trying to give... Read More

  1. by   3ringnursing
    I found my nursing program to be a challenge - exhausting yes, but completely do able (I had no children then - but my biological clock was ticking, and my eggs weren't getting any younger. I calculated when I could get pregnant and deliver after graduation - in hindsight I made my last semester much harder than it had to be).

    That said, having been a "professional student" for most of my adult life, and approaching 30 years of age when I graduated, I was completely unprepared for the working world. In fact, I was so ill equipped for the transition from student to a full time employee that I nearly cracked under the pressure of being a new grad, a new mother of a beautiful baby boy, and the unexpected death of my own mother. I'll spare you the ugly details of how I proceeded to screw up, but I was lucky to have retained my nursing license (and my sanity).

    Each person will have his or her own unique experience during the first year, but I will say this: think of your nursing program as pretend, and a real nursing job as the real world. As are many things in life, this can be both good and bad.

    You have the power to make your first year an awesome experience. No one graduates with all the clinical skills necessary to be a competent nurse - that you learn on the job and continue learning throughout your nursing career.

    Is working a real job harder than being a student? Well ... yes it is, but getting the nursing job and working as a nurse is the whole point of going through the nursing program in the first place. And working as a nurse is it's own reward.
    Last edit by 3ringnursing on Dec 21, '17
  2. by   Ambersmom
    First year working. In nursing school clinical instructors have your back, working as a nurse you have to time manage multiple patients, assess, communicate with providers, give meds, manage iv's, start iv's, send patients to tests or the or, get them back from the or or tests, manage their drains, wound vacs, dsg changes, chart, get report, give report, go to unit rounds (day shift), round on your patients, admit, discharge, i&o's... and thats one day.
  3. by   CanadianAbroad
    I found nursing school harder. I found once you are in the working world, it becomes second nature and you get in a flow of a routine. I gave up my license after stopping working due to a car accident. I am back 10 years later in school doing my program over. I keep reminding myself that this is the hard part and with working, at least we are making money and not paying for tuition and doing the same "work" for free.
  4. by   blondy2061h
    Working, though getting a paycheck instead of paying for the experience was wonderful.
  5. by   RNrhythm
    I was new to healthcare and my first job was grueling, but I would say that nursing school was harder than my first job. At least my first job had a daily curve that I could work on over and over and get better. Six months in and I was doing OK.
    Nursing school was relentless with no relief until graduation.
  6. by   Been there,done that
    I found nursing school to be very difficult. I am a smart chick and it took maximum effort. ( graduated Magnum Cum Laude).
    Applying what I learned in theory.. to the hands on challenge of patient care, was another challenge in itself.

    You can do this. Best wishes.
  7. by   Irish_Mist
    Definitely working. No freaking doubt about it. Just a hair shy of one year in. Phew!
  8. by   mmc51264
    Nursing school. We had a rough time in my class. More people over 35 than under, multiple degreed students. They didn't know what to do with us. It was an ADN program and I think most of us were smarter than the instructors. They made it very stressful for us.

    The first year of work was a learning curve, but I found it fun (I am a weirdo).
  9. by   jive turkey
    Ain't no homework, studying, papers to write, pass or get kicked out the program math tests, lectures, clinical etc... when I clock out I'm done till the next shift, or done for 4 days until my next set of shifts.
  10. by   JBMmom
    I think it's apples and oranges. Your pressures and stresses are very different in school vs when starting out working. In school you have the constant pressure of being evaluated and the potential that your career goals could be ended before they even start if things don't go well.

    But once you hit the floor to work, you've got the responsibility for the care and well-being of patients in any setting in which you work. You will be learning how to manage your time and the pressures of the work environment.

    Personally, I don't listen to the people that tell me how hard something will be, how awful something will be, or how lucky other people are to not be in their shoes. You'll most likely get through school, you'll most likely get through your first year of work, and you'll most likely have a successful career. Just take things as they come, you can do it.
  11. by   Alma 3323
    Wow, such hard first years. I was able to finish all my non nursing courses before nursing school so that helped alot. My nursing instructors were poor teachers, I had the worst 2 years of my life in nursing school. And that's including birthing and raising 6 kids to adulthood. My first job was Home Health and Hospice. I've since moved to acute care. I loved HH and would recommend it as a first posting. You learn assessments, wound care, foleys and PICC line care really well. I found med surg faster paced than I enjoy which makes it very intimidating for a new grad.
  12. by   jvanwoman
    Well, I am just about done with my first year working on a progressive care unit at a busy hospital, and haven't found it very difficult at all. I think nursing school was harder family wise, because I was at school/clinicals all day and then at home had assignments and studying to do. Now, I go to work but when I come home, I am at home with no other responsibilities except loving on and taking care of my family. I no longer have the stress of a paper to do or a test to study for.
  13. by   Meerkats
    I'm a few months into my first year of working as an RN. What is harder is the PTSD from nursing school. (lol)

    No, really. Nursing school pressure was more difficult for me. And I've had some tough patients.