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How hard is A&P really?

by crazyemtchic crazyemtchic (New) New

I am pre-nursing. I will be applying in a couple of months. I have microbiology, chemistry, A&P I and II and Statistics left to go. I have a 4.0 average so far, but it's getting harder to keep. Next semester I am taking A&P I, chem and a math class (the one prior to statistics). I know...taking the 2 sciences in one semester is going to be brutal...already accepted that. I have been an EMT for almost 6 years, so I have a little bit of a background. I am also a certified EMS instructor, so it even goes a little it further.

My question is how hard is A&P exactly? I get so many mixed answers. Some say it's just killer, but others say with my background that I won't have a problem at all. I drive 2 hours one way to school every day, so 4 hours of driving a day total, and I work two part time jobs, as well as doing the EMT thing when I can and have 5 kids. Yeah, I know...but I make it work somehow! I know that micro is going to be challenging for me, because I actually hate science. I am not as worried (I hope) about chemistry, but just from what everyone says, I am a little frightened about A&P. Can anyone who has taken it give me an idea how hard it is? Especially anyone who had a medical background prior to taking it? I am amazing at memorization, which a lot of people say it's all about. So, if it's really about that, then maybe I don't have to be worried so much. Thanks in advance for all the help!

I think that you should do great in A&P! It is memorization, but APPLICATION is key. I am currently in my first semester of nursing school and that's what I have learned. You can "memorize" all you want, but if you don't know how or WHY something works the way it does; your going no where. You sound like you have a good foundation and pretty determined I'm sure your going to do great if you keep working like you have been! I even took pharmacology, micro, and patho all at once and got 2 As and a B in them before nursing school! It can be done :) good luck to you!


Has 100 years experience.

Hi Crazy

Fellow Paramedic here. I've learned that, unlike EMS courses, healthcare courses should not be rushed. It takes time to sink in and to apply that knowledge takes more time.

Have you ever noticed how EMS students can learn something very fast, excel at it for a few weeks and then be puzzled by it a few months later? I believe it's due to rouge memorization. A very bad way to learn in this field.

I suggest you lighten your load. Get the terms "Hard" and "Difficult" out of your vocabulary. Replace it with "Challenging" You'll be more inspired to find a way to complete that challenge.

Don't forget you have a lab component in addition to the lecture material. I found I had to stay after class and come in during open lab to make sure I knew the material up,down,forward,backwards and sideways. It's not hard, it just requires time to do so. Time is like money, you don't have much of it so you need to know how to spend it wisely. You might want to work as an EMT but do you NEED to do it to complete your RN? You NEED to complete your A & P to complete your degree.

You have a slight advantage with being an EMT; and if you have a good memory you will be set to receive A's not only for A&P, but also chem and statistics as well.

In my opinion, the lab tests/practicals are all about memorization. The class exams are all about application. I find you need to have good reading comprehension along with the memorization. Your course load doesn’t seem too bad if you make sure you have plenty of time to study. I took Micro and A&P I over a short summer semester and made an A in both while working full time with two little ones. So, it’s very doable. :yes:

windsurfer8, BSN, RN

Specializes in Prior military RN/current ICU RN.. Has 14 years experience.

I would say it does not matter how "hard" it is. It is required to become a nurse. You want to be a nurse you must do it and do well. Train your mind to welcome challenge instead of fearing it. It is what it is. You can do it, but you will have to work for it. How bad do you want to be a nurse? Study..and if you have a bad test..that is when you look inside yourself. You either learn from mistakes or let them defeat you. I welcome mistakes because it teaches me how to do it correctly. Good luck.

I think the degree of difficulty in any class depends on the teacher as well. I have some things to remember in A&P, but we have practical questions as well. My instructor makes us think.


Specializes in Critical Care; Recovery. Has 2 years experience.

I found A&P to be relatively simple. It is mainly memorizing facts, which I'm good at. The information learned will be vital to understanding patho and how drugs work in the body. Make sure you really pay attention and keep your A&P textbook, you'll likely need it again in thee future.


Specializes in LTC.

I love A&P. It is definitely my favorite thing to study. I'm sure that makes a difference, but I find A&P to be very easy :)

OBigdog26, MSN, RN, NP

Has 8 years experience.

I went to a public university for my AnP course and it was a challenge. Made a C in AnP 1 and a B in AnP 2 and still managed to get into nursing school.

I enjoyed Micro more and aced the course.

Study hard and take good notes. Good luck

Sent from my iPhone using allnurses

I think it is different for everybody. Where I live, we take anatomy and physio separately. What makes anatomy tough is the sheer amount of memorization needed to pass the class. I had to commit MANY hours studying, so that is what made the class tough. For me, Physio is far more difficult because it is physio. Whereas anatomy was factual learning, physio is both factual and conceptual. On top of that, I have a professor that turns his multiple choice and written test(s) into riddles. He is TOUGH and has moved us passed memorization to really thinking critically through what we have learned. As much as he drives me crazy, I absolutely am so grateful that he has helped me be a better student. Anyway, I received an A in anatomy, and I have a high B in physio. I would say both are tough, but doable is you are willing to commit! Good luck!

Nienna Celebrindal

Has 12 years experience.

I thought A&P and chemistry were tough but doable, for me micro and stats were the worst, ugh shoot me.