I feel like I'm not learning much! HELP!!!


I am in an accelerated 2 year Associate degree nursing program and I don't feel like I am learning much of anything or retaining the information that is thrown at me. I am at the top of my class and yet I still do not feel as though I am getting what I really need. I only have 1 year left and I am very concerned for my future. I am worried about the NCLEX and the fact that I will probably look like an idiot when I do get a job. I am only going to have a year of clinicals under my belt and I don't feel like that is nearly enough time on the floor. Maybe I'm just not giving myself or my school the benefit of the doubt. But I am genuinely concerned! I feel like the teachers spoon feed our class and we aren't learning anything. Any thoughts? I need some help or reassurance. I am a year into this program and I don't even know meds, levels, and many other very important things. PLEASE HELP ME!

Specializes in IMCU. Has 12 years experience.

Never heard of an "accelerated" 2 year program for an ADN. I think you will find that 2 years is the normal completion time for ADN.

Ask your school to show you evidence of their NCLEX pass rates. Is your school actually accredited?

As for what you are learning...I got advice on this forum to purchase the Saunders Comprehensive NCLEX review book. Get one and look at the topics you have already covered in your first year.

You said you don't think you are learning OR retaining much. Can't help you with retaining but much of my NS "learning" has been done by reading the approved textbooks.

NamasteNurse, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 680 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, LTC. Has 8 years experience.

You are a year into the program and don't know meds?? How is that possible? I have found that most of the learning is done by you by yourself in nursing school, and well, in school in general. The teachers assume this is "adult ed" and you are on your own for the most part. Get a dosage calculations book and work in it. Get a pharmacology book and get started. (Still baffled about the not knowing meds comment...) I agree with DolceVita as well, find out what the NCLEX pass rates are and if the school is accredited, although I would think you already looked into that before you signed up.

On a happier note, my classmates say a lot of the same things you are saying and we graduate on january 7th! They don't feel ready either. And I can tell you, because I am an older student with a teaching career already behind me, you never feel ready for a job until you get in there and work it! My first year teaching in a real classroom, all I could think was "well we didn't learn THIS in school!"

How are your grades? If they are good, you must know more than you realize. How much do you study? Honestly? How are your skills? How are you doing in clinicals? Let me know how you are feeling, I bet you are going to be fine.


I am a straight "A" student and my skills so far have been pretty good. I have checked off on everything we have done so far. My only complaint is that I am not in clinicals yet to utilize my skills I have been learning. The school is accredited and we have a 93% first time pass rate on the NCLEX. However, after I signed up they changed the program around. Originally I was supposed to be in clinicals for the whole 2 years, but now we are only in clinicals for 1 year which scares me. I have yet to start clinicals...we start those in January. I can't wait!

I know different categories of meds like NSAIDS, Beta Blockers, anticholinergics, etc...but I still don't feel comfortable. I study about 20 hours/wk...which isn't that much...I should really be doing a lot more reading. We just did IV starts last week, which I feel is a basic skill that we should have learned months ago. I just feel like our school is behind schedule. I have a few friends at different schools who are light years ahead of our program. They have learned all kinds of skills and actually got to practice on eachother. We just read about it and practice in the sims.

-I don't know, maybe I'll feel differntly after clinicals start:)


286 Posts

Oh jeez, 1 year of clinical? How many days a week?

2 days/wk. I think we do 2 days of lecture and 2 days of clinicals for the next year.

NamasteNurse, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 680 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, LTC. Has 8 years experience.

I guess it's just the way your school does the curriculum. My program is a one year LPN program and we are going sooo fast! We started in January and were in our first round of clinicals by the beginning of March! Now we go three days a week on the floor and two in class, the pace is nuts! We do all the skills we've checked off on in the hospital, meds, foley's, NG tubes, you name it. It seems a little scary and I hear your frustration, but it sounds like you are doing really well. hang in there.


40 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

wow! the whole 2 days of clinicals for only a year has kinda freaked me out! where i go, they threw us into clinicals after 6 weeks of "boot camp" fundamentals. i am curious what classes you are taking now. when i was taking fundamentals, pharmacology and dosings were pretty much up to us to learn on our own. in fact, most things are just "touched" on in class and you are to fill in the blanks with your off campus time.

i am finishing up semester 3 of 4 and posted a similar item stating i didn't think i knew anything. in all honesty, i do know things but i don't have the experience that it takes to make everything fall into place all at once. i was told by an instructor "that is why you are in school" and that the majority of the learning [e.g. having all the pieces fall into place] happens on the floor when you are out of school.

have faith in yourself, in your instructors and in your program. remember that you only get out as much as you put in and you have "hired" your school to teach you what you know. take advantage of that and ask ask ask ask as much as you need.

good luck! ;)

WOW, thank you so much! I feel a lot better after reading that. I felt a sense of ease! Thank you for your comments! I appreciate it.