It would be a good thing if nursing schools put more useful information into their pre-nursing orientation programs about what nursing school is REALLY like. Students would be better prepared to do well in the program if they know ahead of time how many hours they need to put into studying, practicing in lab, preparing care plans
and concept maps for clinicals, traveling to the clinical sites to get patient assignments, etc every week.
During my freshman year there was a huge auditorium full of new nursing students who were real excited to begin after hearing all these wonderful things about the program, but most of us were not prepared for what was thrown on us during the first semester. Many students I started with thought that all they would be doing in clinicals is giving shots, dressing wounds, and charting notes. They weren't thinking about the 'messy' parts of bedside nursing, and when they got into the clinical area they would freak out about things like wiping butts or cleaning a colostomy. Many of them had no idea that nurses are expected to do these things and they left voluntarily very early in the program.
Also, we didn't know how to answer 'critical thinking' questions, and we were also led to believe that the clinical instructors would hand-hold us and teach us all the clinical skills before asking us to perform them in the hospital. No such thing, babe! They showed us only the basic stuff, and we had to spend hours studying and practicing in lab every week on our own. As for those nursing questions, Everyone did badly on the first coupla exams. Of course, after that first semester, the number of students who dropped or failed out was about 50%, and the number dropped again by about another 50% after the second nursing class. The instructors didn't seem to care. All they would say is that its up to us to buy a book about how to answer nursing questions and study the rationales until we got it down.
Some students come in thinking it will be easy because they assume that all they have to learn is how to do basic patient care. WRONG!!! Nursing school hogs a lot more time than many new students think possible, and this is perhaps the biggest reason so many people fail or drop out.