I don't think that NS is impossibly difficult, rather just extremely time consuming
. For me, learning the nursing process with nursing diagnosis was a hard concept to grasp in the beginning. Now, at the end of Level 3, I can look at a patient and come up with them off the top of me head. Also, the NCLEX style questions really ate my lunch first semester. I bought the Saunders review book and have had a much easier time ever since.
I think they make us jump through so many hoops in school. The fact that it can sometimes take me 12+ hours to do clinical paperwork without getting a grade for it, just pass/fail, kind of irritates me. I would much rather spend that time on my classes that actually impact my GPA.
Everyone has different aspects in their personal lives that would makes school a lot harder for them, like being a single parent, working full time, etc. This semester has been the easiest for me so far, Med-Surg 3 and Ob/Pedi. I had lots of free time and slept in a lot..and I worked between 16-24 hours per week. I attribute it to having way less paperwork due than previous semetsers.
As for clinicals, of course it's different dealing with humans rather than mannequins. But it is so rewarding to get that Foley in or start an IV successfully. Even if I'm terrified, I walk in like I know what I am doing and with confidence. Just take a deep breath, mentally go over what you will do once in the room, and treat the patient like you would like to be treated. You will do great!