How Hard is nursing school?


I hear from many people that nursing school, especially an ABSN program can be brutal and a life outside of school can be seriously compromised.

Right now I am taking pre reqs and enjoy it very much. I am doing well, but still have lots of time for everything. I enjoy learning, studying and synthesizing info and have a strong foundation in A&P, pathology and science.

How did you find the course load? Was it really super grueling, or was it enjoyable?



3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

I graduated from an ABSN almost 3 years ago ... and I am still recovering from it :p

But was it worth it? I think so. I entered the workforce a whole year ahead of anyone that started a 2-year program, and I felt fully prepared to take the NCLEX which I passed on the first try. You need diligence and determination to get you through that one year, and particular time management skills will help also. I graduated with honors but it wasn't easy either.

Would I put myself through that again? Never! LOL! :D

Prereqs in hindsight are like preschool. Once you're in the thick of nursing school you'll see how much more demanding it is by comparison.


15 Posts

It is difficult. I have a Bachelors in another area and am going back now for nursing. It is so much more time consuming than my other degree. The questions are critical thinking, and I could not study like I had studied for my other classes. I had to learn a whole new way of thinking and processing information in order to be successful. Clinical will take up a lot of time, especially considering commute and getting there before conference with next shift. I had to learn to balance my studies. Look at what is due each week and come up with a plan for that week and most importantly, stick to it! If I deviated at all, I made so much more work for myself. some weeks are completely doable, some weeks are so packed that I wonder if I will ever get it done, but the key is to just keep plugging along. it always comes together and I am passing with A's. Is it difficult? definitely yes. Is it worth it? absolutely yes.

iPink, BSN, RN

1,414 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 10 years experience.

I graduated from an ABSN in 2012. It was tough but time management and a great study group from first semester to the final semester was the key. We still keep in touch. I too would never go through such a rigorous program again.

I work at a Magnet hospital who now only hires BSNs, which worked in my favor because I don't have to work full time and worry about getting the required degree to keep my job.

Nursing school is not necessarily hard, it just teaches you to think differently. If you work hard and study hard, you can pass and with honors. During the program we also made sure to have a life outside. We would often schedule dinners or other get togethers after a major exam. It was great.

In the end it was worth it. I have a job I enjoy, I make more money than I did in my previous career, and I LOVE only working three days a week. Score!!!

Good luck!

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Specializes in Prior military RN/current ICU RN.. Has 16 years experience.

"Hard" is subjective when asking about school. What you view as difficult others may not. I did an ABSN and while I was busy and challenged I fully expected that. If you want to be a nurse then whether it is "hard" or "easy" makes no difference.

If you are going the ABSN route I would plan on more than likely not working due to the 21 hours a semester. However I am not you so you may be able to do both.