Nursing Students General Students


i just started an adn program 3 weeks ago and i feel so overwhelmed and i don't know if i have the brains to get through the program. i am curious if others felt this way and how did you overcome it? i did all the prereq's, earned my associate of art degree with high honors, the nursing school i was accepted in had over 200 applicants and only 80 seats; so it was very competitive to get in. i have always wanted to be a nurse; i have done pca, hha, cna work for years and loved it but wanted more. i feel like i am over my head and fear for the rest of the program.

i am asking if others felt this way and how you dealt with it. all i do is study, read, and practice skills and i am just passing.

thank you for reading this.


Specializes in Psych.

Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now Scream :)

Seriously, I think at one time or another all nursing students feel this way. Mine hit second semester of an ADN program and Im sure it will hit next clinical/ class rotation. Teacher is notorious for people failing her section. How are you studying? I know people who poured over the book, trying to memorize each little thing, did worse then those who just read the chapter, did the end of chapter questions. I typically would do the end of chapter questions, and NCLEX review book questions that covered the topics on the test. I try to do 100 per week or so of the topic we are covering. I typically do 25 a night for 4 nights.

Thank you for your reply. Right now we are reading 4 books at once and anywhere from 1-8 chapters are required a week of reading. It's Fluid and Electrolytes, Fundamentals of Nursing, Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales, and Application of Nursing Process and Nursing Diagnosis. I do have a Saunders NCLEX review book, but haven't used it yet. I am just having troubles with the theory aspect of it. It's so different from all the prereq's. I might go talk to my advisor too.

I was always dreaming of being here and now that I am I'm stressed out beyond belief.

Specializes in Psych.

If the offer tutoring (free) take advantage of it, they will help you decide what important. I have the books Fundamental Success that helped a lot through the first semester. We didnt cover fluids till 2nd semester, with med-surg. The rest we covered, it was part of our fundamentals book. Nursing diagnosis are hard. I use the nursing diagnosis manual, and look up what the medical dx is and it will list nursing dx that are appropriate for it.

Don't feel like you're alone. Nursing school crams so much information into your head in such a short time, it can be mind-boggling. The good news is, after a while, the information starts to link together and you'll understand how all this stuff fits together. Don't get discouraged by the process...don't get down on yourself if you lose your great GPA (I lost my 4.0 in the first quarter of nursing school....but I'm confident that's I'll be a good nurse, anyway). Keep working hard on the book work, but especially work on the critical thinking process. Find a good study partner and bounce ideas and thoughts off each other. ...and hang in there...it DOES get better.

Thank you for the encouragement and support. It's a whole new adventure and I am trying to do my very best. I will just keep pluggin away and hope that soon it will click. I have formed a study group (four of us) to meet atleast once a week. I am going to sit down with my professor on Monday to see if he has any suggestions and ideas.


Specializes in School Nurse.

I remember feeling the same way 3/4 way thru my first semester. Just take it one day at a time. You can make it thru! At the end of the semester things will start to click and make sense to you and that helps make it easier. :)

Specializes in Psych.

I dont remember feeling as overwhelmed last semester as I am this semester. I know I WAS overwhelmed last semester though (last semester was my first) just b/c of how HUGE the time commitment was, and I dont think anyone can totally prepare you for that. Right now it is just the material. SO MUCH material. And we have our first clinical this weekend and I'm anxious because I feel like my skills are a little rusty, not having used many of them over the summer. But trust me, you are NOT alone.

Good news is you're definitely not alone, anyone in nursing school who doesn't feel like that at some point is in the minority! But unfortunately you'll probably feel like that off and on throughout nursing school. (at least i do) Its just that its all so new, its a completely new learning style from anything we've ever done before, and most of the information is new too. So its totally understandable why you (we) feel like this. You do get used to it though, it will still be stressful because of the work load but you'll eventually know more of what to expect and kinda get in the groove of things. The great thing is you have class mates and this site full of people who know exactly what you're going through, so you can vent together! I dont know what i'd do without my nursing school friends! Good luck!

I'm about to enter the 4th week of my program.. We have already taken 2 exams (which i made the bare minimum to pass on both) and I have my 3rd this week plus my first skills check off. I'm utterly and completely overwhelmed your not alone. I wonder if I can make it through this all the time! And its only the 4th week of school, which is soooo scary!

I am already having a hard time passing Chemistry, so these posts scare me! I know it gets harder, but I don't want to get in over my head either. I am a pretty overwhelmed person already. But I don't know what else I would want to do. And I feel like it would be the best career for me and a good example for my kids. And a good way to take care of my kids financially, other than my husband's income. We could maybe take a Disneyland vacation someday if I made this kind of money. I am sick of struggling and sick of stealing quarters from my husband for coffees. :)

Specializes in Operating Room.

I think the average nursing student has felt overwhelmed numerous times. This semester of mine is busy work, busy work, busy work. I'm doing 3-4 hours on assignments that are pass/fail, after I get home from a 12 hour or 8 hour clinical. Let's not forget the studying for my 3 actual classes where I also need to keep my grades up. I have quizzes that take 2 hours to do (open notes), 20 questions for 5 points. My boyfriend says, "I feel sorry for you."

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