Nursing students learn how to toughen up


  • Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele. Has 29 years experience.

It takes a lot of determination and heart to finish nursing school. It's not for everyone.

How do I toughen up? How do I keep from giving up? How do I stop from crying?

These are questions that new nursing students ask themselves.

For those already in school, what is your take on it? Is it as hard as people say it is?

Do you have any tips for new students?


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87 Posts

Maybe it's because the program is accelerated, but it IS as tough as they say...and then some!

You will cry, go ahead and let it out, it can be a good release every now and then. Find your support system. Don't fall behind, you will never catch back up. Eat healthy and maintain your exercise routine-don't take the first semester or so off. Don't fall behind.


312 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Don't fall behind--you'll never catch up---what true words those are.

I think you have to be committed to the point of exclusion of much of what you used to do in life, especially if you aren't a naturally good student. It takes time to write those papers, memorize those values, learn those drugs, prep for clinical.

One thing I've seen in some younger students is that when something isn't easy, they stop. Like the assignment to bring XX information to class, but it is not on the internet. Full stop? Heck no. How else can I get that? Library, medical school library, BON, etc. Persistance persistance persistance


83 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

I fell behind and it's killing me! Listen to your fellow nursing students and never fall behind! :cry:


30 Posts

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!!! i always fall behind but im always lucky enough to cram and catch up! i dont plan to push my luck this time around!

MedRN11, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

Yes, nursing school is really about as hard as they say it is.

The best thing I ever did in nursing school was really work to get ahead at the beginning of the semester. I really pushed to get As on my tests/work because I lived an hour away from school in an area that has bad winter storms - that way if I had to miss something or couldn't get to school, it wasn't a tragedy or killing my grade.

This really helped with pharmacology - we had tests once a week on Friday, so I'd study the chapter(s) in depth the Saturday and Sunday before, then just do flashcards through the week, and do a quick re-read of the chapter(s) on Thursday. If I'd tried to cram, I'd never have made it!


236 Posts

Yup! Well every extra moment of studying pays off tho $$. I was hoping to be someone clinically that was good enough to be able to frequently have an impact and I have gotten my wish. I rather enjoy the art of 'practicing nursing" versus just going through the motions...I believe you're only as good as the knowledge you managed to master...and their was a heck of alot of that. Many can memorize facts and figures...not sure everyone graduates able to apply what they have studied to the various situations we encounter. That sets those who can critically think apart from the rest of the pack.

I used to email professors over breaks and summers for reading lists and what chapters we were starting with ect to get a head start. i often didnt get to as much time as i wanted to read..and often felt like it wasnt enough.

I used to read my texts while sitting on public transportation back and forth to work and home and school until i got my car finally about 1.5 years in. I used to sit on my lunch breaks at work reading reading reading...if i got my CNA assignment done early and had a few extra minutes I was ...yes, you guessed it READING! WHAT a journey that was. I thought it was a Living He L L at the time!..hehe...especially when your in the midst of that and dont even know if it will work out for you in the end!...when you havent had a free day to just RELAX and do nothing for months..when you see 7 dollars in your bank account to eat for a week because instead of taking an extra shift at work you stayed home and studied so you could keep your grades where they needed to be. Sometimes I couldnt even get all the money together for my texts until midsemester..that was really something trying to keep up those times!

I guess I am in a nostalgic mood tonight :)


1 Post

As they told us the first day of school: "This will be one of the hardest, but most rewarding things you'll ever do." I agree. It's tough. I look like a zombie. There are bags under my eyes. No matter how much I study, I'm never ahead. My dating and social life went down the toilet. The only people I hang out with are the other nursing students I'm studying or carpooling with. Hahaha.

Anyone who's going to be a student: Keep organized! That is the only thing that has kept me afloat. That and never let yourself fall behind. I can't imagine how people do this while working full-time and managing a family!


1 Post

I have 2 semesters to go and still haven't gotten organized and ahead of the game. I hate how I just can't start studying instead of just flipping the Lewis' pages and thinking I can remember all the brief passages I read on the day of the Exam. I got a B last semester and that was the EASY one... Now I'm so scared it's blocking me from wanting to study harder. It just gets progressively worse but my brain insists in telling me I'm going to be fine! ughhhhh

Thank you for all your awesome and inspiring posts! Cheers to great nurses


10 Posts

It will be extremely hard but so rewarding when you graduate. You will have many moments where you will ask yourself if this is what you really want. But you will also have moments when you make a patient feel better or even smile and realize it is all worth it. Form a study group and be there to motivate each other. Study as much as you can and become bff with coffee! You can do it :)


7 Posts

I'm overwhelmed and stressed from my pharmacology class alone. I've been getting tension headaches everyday and I was starting to question weather or not I'm cut out for this. I still come to the same conclusion though, that this is something I HAVE to accomplish bcs I'm doing this not just for myself, but for my kids too.