How do you compare nursing school to being a nurse?


I would really like to know the answer to this question because although my nursing school expereience hasn't been HORRIBLE, it has been almost unbearable at times. The stress is so overwhelming. So in order to make myself and (others) feel better...please tell us that it gets better? What are the differences you've experienced?



54 Posts

Specializes in med surg, oncology, outpt and hospice. Has 11 years experience.

:welcome: to nursing! i love being a nurse!:nurse: what is the difference between being a student and being a nurse. as a nurse there is no instructor to look over your shoulder and remind you, look up drugs you do not know, there is no preparing for the patients the night before because you do not know your assignment until you get to work. you will have a preceptor until you feel comfortable taking care of patients yourself. there is still stress in this field but the stress is different, it comes with the job. there will be atleast one time in your career when a doctor or resident chews you out for something, but stand your ground and do waht is best for the patient. student nursing is very confining, you can do nothing without your instructor. as a nurse you are the one who cares for the patient, you do it all.

i hope my response does not scare you. just remember you do not know everything straight from school, ask questions, no question is stupid when it comes to nursing. do the best you can to take care of your patients and you will do fine.

i have never regreted my decision to become a nurse, i love what i do.


14 Posts

Specializes in OR.

It does get better however, you do still experience some stress. Nursing school provides the foundation for your entrance into the reality of the healthcare system. In addition, it prepares you for the almighty state board exam.. Do you best and learn to laugh along the way for those are going to be some great memories you will recall one day. The real world can be much tougher and less forgiving and it no longer becomes a grade, but rather a life. They may seem like "nurse ratchet" instructors, with meaningless deadlines, but one day you will look back and understand the discipline. It is all part of their plan....


158 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical-Ortho-Neuro-Agency.

Nursing school is where you built your nursing foundation. Learning about nursing history, diagnosis, diseases, nsg interventions, writing progress notes, bed baths, giving meds, pt care during clinicals. Nursing on the floor is all of those and everything else you did not learn in nursing school. Basically the practical skills that you gain only through practice. Yes, you will make a couple of mistakes at first, and please make sure that you learn from them, because I'm pretty sure that you won't make the same mistake the next time. Remember that nursing is a practical profession, and you learn new things EVERYDAY. You start working at your own pace, and seek help when you are unsure of something. People's lives are in our hands. No question is stupid, because it can save you time from writing incident reports, monitoring for critical changes in your pt's condition. Nursing is the best career. Looking back in the gruesome days of nursing school, I can say that it was only the tip of the iceberg. Don't be afraid, be ready for the challenge, and the learning. Once you start working, you will feel more competent with the new skills you will acquire.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

In nursing school, I never cared for more than 2 patients.

In the real world of nursing I have worked in LTC (nursing home), psych nursing, and rehab. I have had up to 30 patients in LTC, 21 patients in psych, and 20 patients in rehab. It gets better as you learn to manage your time impeccably, stick up for yourself, and utilize skills to cope with the workplace stressors.


280 Posts

Being assertive in nursing school might make the instructors mad at you in the feild it might get you fired, but your patient will benefit.

Specializes in Med-Surg/Oncology/Telemetry/ICU.

As far as I can tell, there's NO comparing the two!

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,993 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

Very stressful. But there are no tests, this is the real thing. No endless care plans, but you do look up drugs and other information that you don't know.

It gets easier as time goes on.

Good luck!


801 Posts

Very stressful. But there are no tests, this is the real thing. No endless care plans, but you do look up drugs and other information that you don't know.

It gets easier as time goes on.

Good luck!

Thanks everyone for replying. I'm about to graduate in december and was hoping it gets better. I'm over school!


19 Posts

Specializes in general nursing. Has 3 years experience.

to me its fun being in school aside your supervisor being on your neck during lessons and clinical periods, u get alot of free time to hang out with friends, go on execursions and organising student weeks.

but after school,its all about work bein very cautious and sometimes been faustrated by your seniors,patients and docters.always bein tired after work and your shifts donot concide with your schedule for the week.

for me i always like been a student


25 Posts

You pay to go to nursing school. They pay you to be a nurse. :chuckle

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