Is it that bad??? Advice please!!


Hi! My names Laura & I very recently decided that nursing is what I really want to do! I met with a nurse from a hospital near me, & she just really encouraged & inspired me..

Im now enrolled & taking a prereq biology & psy 101..

As long as I pass all the classes I need, I should be able to start the nursing program in less than a year..

I am the type of person that when I go into school, I think " I better get an A in this class" instead of a lot of other people I've confronted saying "I hope I pass this"

Well, I am really bad at science.. & I have four biology classes I have to take (one prereq Bio 157, Bio 201 & 202- A&P, & then micro) ... and I really have to say I hope I pass these!

Its actually my second day of an online excellerated biology class (and Ive never taken an online class) ...

I really do believe this is what I want to do, & I know I can do this.. Its just going to take time, sacrafice & money..

I know I can do this, I just need someone else to let me know how this was for them, and if it gets any better once you get into nursing school and you know a little more what youre doing...

I know it will be worth it in the end.. these next couple of years are just really gonna suck!

Thank you for any advice!!


WDWpixieRN, RN

2,237 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.
...these next couple of years are just really gonna suck!

The first suggestion I would have is to lose this phrase from your vocabulary, particularly where nursing school is's really no better than your pointing out those whose philosophy is: "I hope I pass this". Negativity is negativity....

My advice would be that you keep your nose to the grindstone, know that you really want this, devote the time required to the studies since you point out science is not your strong suit, and stay away from folks who don't have a positive attitude about school and nursing because they are out there and will do nothing to help keep your spirits up during those tough times that DO come up while you're in school....

It is not that bad...


1,531 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

It really isn't that bad.

I agree that if you have a negative attitude, you have as good as defeated yourself.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

hi, laura!

let me give you a bit of wisdom about grades. after being in and out of formal schools for many years, getting first my aa in nursing and then my bsn, having to do continuing education required classes for various employers over the years, some of whom said our jobs were dependent on passing the classes and having to pass competency exams at several nursing jobs to stay employed i have some definite opinions and thoughts about tests and grades. there are very few tests given in the academic facilities that are not totally subjective. by that, i mean that the tests are written by humans who, without a doubt, have put their bias into them. sometimes this is done without their conscious knowledge, but nonetheless it is there. this is why you can take the same class with two different teachers and come out with a higher grade with one teacher and a lower grade with the other. that is a fact of being in school.

i understand your desire to make all "a's" in your classes. that is always my initial desire as well. however, by the time you factor the instructor's personal preferences and test writing abilities into things, plans don't seem to go the way you'd always like. you can try to pysch the teacher out, find students from previous semesters or quarters who kept copies of the old tests, etc. it's all a game. and, it's sad because the point of being in school is to learn the material. sometimes the ones who get the highest grades are the students who are able to figure out the instructors testing strategies quicker than the other students.

the unfortunate fact of schools is that they have to assign you some kind of grade because that is how the student records are maintained. that all important gpa is like a golden key that has to be achieved. with the coming of online classes i think the grading and teaching system is going to have to change. utilizing computers in the learning process do tend to bring things down to a much more objective level to some degree.

so, what i'm saying to you is that it is one thing to learn the material for a class. it is another to play the psych game to figure out what you need to know to pass the tests for that particular teacher. the first test of a class is usually the one you have to study the hardest for because you just don't know what you are liable to be asked and how it will be asked.

the other bit of wisdom you need to know about learning is that we learn best when things are repeated. so, when you are being presented material for the first time, as in anatomy and microbiology, don't be surprised if you feel overwhelmed or wonder if you'll ever be able to remember or understand it all. the more you are exposed to these subjects (and you will be in later classes and nursing studies), you will learn it even better because of the continued exposure to it. i am a big believer in having supplemental (extra) textbooks around as secondary references when i am taking a class. a second or third opinion on a subject never hurts. it also helps to repeat the information from a different author's perspective to help cement it into the cells of your brain. the more you know about how we learn and retain information, the better you will get at being a student in general.

but, let me warn you, there are always curve balls out there ready to come at you when you least expect them. one viewpoint to take is to think about how dull our lives would be without them! another is to b&m about how life is getting you down. you will find that the "winners" in this world are the ones who see life as an adventure and move on to each new experience taking learning and wisdom from previous mistakes and failure and turning them into useful positive tools. you are wanting to go into a profession where most of what you are going to be doing is interacting with many different people--some will be nice; some will be not so nice. nursing is not a profession where you can hide behind a desk and withdraw into oneself. interacting with people involves having an understanding of psychology and behavior and how to use and protect your emotions. school is one of the first places you begin to do this. all the hoopla over tests and grades is nothing compared to some of what you'll encounter with patients and coworkers as a nurse--i promise i'm not lying about this.

good luck! see you on the forums! here's a couple of very good sites on how to improve your study habits. - strategies for success, an online primer and tutorial on how to study for students from the alamo community college. - this is a study skill checklist for you to go through and inventory your study habits from virginia polytechnic institute and state university. at the bottom of the form is the link to "study skills self-help information" which is all kinds of information to help you with areas you were weak on in the checklist. if you want to bypass the checklist and just go into the information section, go to this link - how do you learn best? this site has information on strategies to help you study better based on whether you are a visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic or multimodal studier. you click on the modality that best describes you to get study advice. if you are not sure which best suits you, take the questionnaire to find out. click on "questionnaire".

shoegalRN, RN

1,338 Posts

I agree 100% with Daytonite! I am a first semester nursing student and I am currently on scholarship due to my GPA that I transferred in and let me tell you, NOTHING compared me to the grading scale and tests that I have encounted in nursing school. I am normally an A student, but now in nursing school I'll be lucky if I get a B in my classes. A B percentage is about the same as an A percentage average at the community colleges that I transferred from. So, I really have to work extra hard to aim higher for that A. And you may go in saying "I have to get an A in this class" but you will soon learn in nursing school anything over 75% is good. It is very hard for me to accept this concept, but it is slowly but surely sinking in.

I believe some people are just "good test takers" while other people are "good hands-on". I'm a firm believer that a test don't determine if you are (or could be) a bad nurse. Some people are very hands on but suck at standardized tests (hence why some people fail the NCLEX) but they are EXCELLENT nurses. Then you have the ones who A'ced their way through nursing school, passed NCLEX on the first try, but get them on the job, they don't perform as well.

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