Just starting out


I just started my first semester of prereqs for the nursing program. I'm taking Science of Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology and Liberal Arts Mathematics. Three of the four classes are express session classes (which means a regular semesters' worth of work in just six weeks).

I'm only in my second week of school and I pretty much cry nearly every day. I feel so far in over my head. I'm not stupid, but I definitely feel like it when I sit next to people in class who are already coming to school in their scrubs but can't even pronounce "mammogram" correctly. I switched from being halfway done with an AA in Anthropology to the RN program because the economy is so bad that I'm scared I wouldn't be able to ever find a job with just an AA in something as broad as Anthropology. Before these classes I never cried because I didn't understand the material. I live with my boyfriend and he just tells me everyday how worried he is about me- I've only been doing this for two weeks!

I also forgot to mention that I go to school from 9 am to 3 pm and then work from 5 pm to 10 pm... so there's no time for tutoring and hardly enough time to get homework done or study.

Am I just taking too many classes at once? Should I slow down?

What amount of classes did everyone else take at one time?

Please no "advice" on eating healthy and meditating, I do that stuff anyway, I'm asking strictly about courseload.



980 Posts

with 3 accelerated classes, you are taking nearly the equivalent of 7 classes at once and working 25 hours a week? That is a bit much. I'd recommend either scaling back on the classes or work.


97 Posts

I agree. You are simply putting too much on yourself at once. With Summer classes I would have only taken 2 at a time. This is actually the first summer I have had off in 2 yrs. Something will have to give a little ...be it work or school. Good luck and remember it is a marathon, not a sprint.

I ditto the others, that is a lot for summer session. I did 3 last summer, I don;t work, my hubby is a teacher and has summers off, so he took care of the kids, and I was still overwhelmed! Luckily they all ended at different times (4,8,10 weeks) so I could breathe a little more after week 4! Are you able to cut back at work? You have 4 weeks left!

I agree that you need to cut back. I can appreciate the desire to get everything done quickly, I think we've all gone through that. You are taking some hard classes, and it's not only important that you pass, but that you learn the material. Also, a high GPA will give you more opportunities to apply and potentially be accept at more places. Good luck!

That is WAY too much especially if you are working. In my University 7 credit hours is a full load for summer. I think you should drop one or two classes if you can.


6 Posts

Unfortunately I am not supported by my parents while in school so I have to work, 25 is the least amount I can work to still afford living expenses. At the school I go to you have to be a full time attendee, which means 12 credit hours, to get the full amount of the Pell Grant, which is what I need to have the prices of my classes covered. I'm pretty much forced to try my hardest since the drop and withdrawal dates have already passed since the class semesters are so short... I guess I'll just have to do my best for the next four weeks.

The Mathematics and Psychology class are great, I have no problem in those areas, but the Science of Nutrition and Anatomy and Physiology classes are teaching the EXACT same material... and given that I don't understand it at all I'm not doing well in either. In fact I'm pretty sure I'll fail both. Does anyone have any advice for studying and understanding all the chemical mumbojumbo?

Thanks again to everyone that replied! Seems like there's no real secret to the nursing program- just don't overload oneself.

Specializes in Former CNA &PCT.

Go to youtube and search for videos that will help in clarifying some questions that you may have. Have you taken any previous courses in chemistry or biology? Those are usually pre-reqs for the courses you are having difficulties in.


905 Posts

Usually [always?? but maybe not] full time is 12 credits during the fall and spring, not during the summer. Full time is a matter of how many hours per week. Since summer terms are usually shorter, you get more hours per week for the same number of credits resulting in fewer credits to get full term.

If you have checked and it really is 12 credits or nothing, I'd take the nothing. I don't think you lose pell status by taking the summer off. So I'd Drop the classes, work full time (preferably more) so I could take the classes at a reasonable pace later. A reasonable pace is one that allows 2 hours of study time per hour in the classroom and still allows time for a good night's sleep.


6 Posts

To flysbyemerald08: It's so funny that you replied with that, we were actually talking about it in the Anatomy and Physiology class this morning about how ridiculous it is that chemistry and biology are NOT prereqs for that class. It definitely should be because obviously anyone will have trouble with Physiology having no background knowledge about chemistry.

To Saysfaa: I'm not sure how it works in other states, but in Florida if you want to be considered a "full time student" you must take 12 credit hours for the whole semester. I have four classes that are 3 credit hours each.

It's not necessary to attend summer classes to keep financial aid, I was just excited to start the program and get some classes knocked out of the way. I feel much better than I did about this whole thing since I've been getting feedback on this website, though. Thanks!

If you fail the class, and you retake it, will the new grade overwrite the failing grade where your GPA is concerned? If this is the case and you have anything less than a solid B in the class (or dare I say A?) then I would fail the classes and retake. You DO NOT want a C. I repeat, C's are BAD. GPA is one of those things, once you lose it, it is VERY hard, long, and expensive to recover. I don't have financial aid, so I dont know the in's and out's, but don't they give you a 2nd chance if you don't make the grade, and put you on probation for the next semester? If this is true, then I would definitely fail the class if I was getting a C or less.

As for study aids I have two computer programs which I HIGHLY reccomend (they work on Windows XP, Vistas and 7)

"The Chemistry of Life" ISBN 0805330631

"Interactive Physiology 10-System-suite" ISBN-13 9780805361179 *or* ISBN-10 0805361170


91 Posts

The IP Suites are VERY helpful!!! OP what university do you go to? I have never heard of a university requiring 12 hours in the summer. for us, Fall/ spring 9 hrs min for pell grants 12 hours is full time. over the summer though only 6 hours are required to receive a grant