How to explain how hard you have to work in nursing school

  1. How can you convince your family, friends, significant others how much time and effort you have to spend to get through nursing school? How can you get them to give their support and make them understand why you can't always be available to them? What can you say? What can you show them? How can you convince them you are not just whining? Is there something your school could do or is doing to help?
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    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 496; Likes: 276

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  3. by   JROregon
    Might be helpful to show them an example schedule. So just for starters, there is classroom time. We have about 5 hours of "nursing", 1 hour of pharmacology and a 1 hour lab every week. Then the reading. If you actually read everything you were supposed to, you would want to give yourself about 5 hours/week. Then the clinical hours. Our groups spend 10 - 12 hours/week doing the actual clinical patient time. There is a prep that we do beforehand that requires a 1-2 hour hospital visit to get info on our patient(s) and then a written prep that takes 3-8 hours.... depending on how much experience you have and the number of patients you have. Oh yes, then there is the testing. We have ours every other week. I study maybe 4 hours a week to prepare for that. There are random written assignments that add another hour or two here and there. There are skills demonstrations. Boy, I hope I have everything.
  4. by   anonymousstudent
    Don't waste your breath. I know that's kind of bleak, but honestly if they don't have enough sense to know that school is hard work, they aren't going to have an epiphany based on your skill at argument.

    At the same time, don't let it consume your life. If it takes that much work, it's not the right career path. JMO, I know others would disagree. Make time for your people. They will be there when you are done with nursing. This career is not your life. It's a part of you, but it isn't what defines you. Don't forget it.
  5. by   sandyfeet
    I found it wasn't anything I said, but my actions. For example, when I started waking up before my boyfriend and going to sleep after he was already in bed, then he started to understand. When my mom calls on Sundays and I am always in the library...when I replied at 6am to an email from the day before...etc. Everyone likes to say they are busy, even outside of nursing school, but actions speak louder than words.
    As far as support, that's another story. Is there something specific you feel they are lacking in? Is it giving you time to study? Helping around the house? Support means different things for different people. I feel like my boyfriend is being supportive when he keeps the house quiet the night before a big test so I can study at home.
  6. by   guest10
    Quote from sandyfeet
    I found it wasn't anything I said, but my actions. For example, when I started waking up before my boyfriend and going to sleep after he was already in bed, then he started to understand. When my mom calls on Sundays and I am always in the library...when I replied at 6am to an email from the day before...etc. Everyone likes to say they are busy, even outside of nursing school, but actions speak louder than words.
    As far as support, that's another story. Is there something specific you feel they are lacking in? Is it giving you time to study? Helping around the house? Support means different things for different people. I feel like my boyfriend is being supportive when he keeps the house quiet the night before a big test so I can study at home.
    Thank you so much. I am asking on behalf of my students, some of whom are so terribly torn between their obligations to school and to friends and family. It tears me up too to watch them struggle. So very many times I hear students say that the support they got made all the difference in their success. Sure wish I had a way to help with that even just a little.
  7. by   mangopeach
    My school does try to help. We have family night before the first semester starts. This is supposed to help family understand what you will be going through. I live alone so I did not go. Not sure if it helped those that went. Some just don't get it so I just turn my phone off when I'm busy or just don't answer it. If they get upset, oh well. This is more important to me right now.
  8. by   ImThatGuy
    That's a good question because the faculty haven't even convinced me as a student yet how much time I should be putting in. From what I hear from my classmates though it takes a lot of work so keep on plugging away at it!
  9. by   syost
    During seminar my first term, the professor actually put up a power point slide show pointing out basically what another poster here said.....they broke it down. In our program, we are to expect the following each week:

    Classroom hours: 13
    Reading/Studying Time for those class hours: ~15-20
    Clinical hours: 20
    Clinical prep/post hours: 5-6, minimum

    Clearly this is more than a full time job. And it was stressed to us that to be successful, we really should put in that 15-20 hours reading and studying, although they conceded that most don't. At first. Until the first grades come in.

    The discussion then went to the fact that while they know we all have to support ourselves somehow and therefore most of us do work, ultimately, this is a full-time day program and the program is set up to be a FULL TIME program.

    And then they finished with: every graduating class experiences approximately a 30% divorce rate from when they entered the program to when they graduated. They told us that not to discourage us, but to encourage us to work with our spouses/significant others and be honest about what a toll it will take on us. We were "assigned" the "homework" of sharing that powerpoint with them and then to sit down and work a plan that will give us the time we need to do what we need to do. And *also* to listen to them and make sure we hear them as they tell us what they need from us.

    My own particular method is to study after school until dinner (he cooks). During dinner, we start a DVD we've rented and watch it. After the DVD is over, I go back to studying. Most nights we do go to bed at different times, but I make a point of turning in when he does at least twice a week, even if it means I have to get up early the next day.

    For friends and family, I simply send out an email at the start of each term that gives an update, asks them about what's going on in their lives, then saying, "peace out; I'll talk again in three months!!!!"
  10. by   TheCareerStudent
    Everyone supports me but no one grasps how difficult this schooling is. I gave up trying to explain it and I just go about my business. I don't think anyone except a nurse will understand how hard it is.
  11. by   syost
    I think you hit the nail on the head....unless you've been here, you can't possibly understand.
  12. by   anon695
    It seems hard to grasp for anybody who hasn't been to nursing school themselves, but when I tell people that I can't come to XYZ event because anything below a 78 is failing, we lost 1/3 of our class after 3rd semester, and that if I failed I'd have to wait a year to try again and have lost all my tuition money, the usually understand!
  13. by   syost
    wow....harder than mine. Mine's at 75!!!
  14. by   peytonsmom
    I'm with most of the people that say don't even bother trying. They're not going to get it unless they've been there. I think this especially applies to people that have been to college for things other than nursing. I have a business degree and I can tell you I put in about 1/4th of the time and 1/10th of the effort that I have been putting into nursing school, but most people seem set in the "college is college" mindset.

    I work 2 twelve hour midnight shifts each week, am heading into my last two semesters of school, and have a 5 year old boy currently involved in tball, 4-H and riding lessons. I'm very active in my son's school and am currently trying to figure out how to head up the committee for teach appreciation week that just so happens to fall during finals week. There are usually two days a week that due to my work, school, & son's schedule I end up getting 2 hours of sleep or doing 30 hour stretches before I can fall on my face for 5 hours and do it all over. All of that and my husband and a lot of family/friends STILL doesn't truly "get" how difficult nursing school is for me.

    *ETA* - Our pass is an 80 and we have 20 of the 52 people we started with.

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