Physiology and Nursing School


Hi, everyone!

I have a question for everyone who has already been through nursing school. My college separates Anatomy and Physiology, unlike a lot of other colleges I've seen. I took anatomy over the spring semester and earned an A. I'm taking physiology right now as a summer course, and it's a lot of info. for just 8 short weeks, especially since I also work 30 hours/week! I have been able to maintain an A so far, but it's definitely been a lot of work. I know nursing school is going to be incredibly tough, but I'm curious about something. Taking into consideration the fact the Physiology summer courses cram 16 weeks worth of info into 8 weeks, how would you say nursing school compares to taking physiology over the summer?


547 Posts

Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

Nursing classes are completely different from science classes. If you follow the syllabus, complete assignments, and study what your instructor has told you there is no reason not to get an A in undergraduate science classes. Nursing classes involve a lot more learning outside of the class, whether it be from clinical or from using critical thinking to determine an answer rather than what you can recite from a book. I never really had to use much thinking in my bio degree science classes other than for graduate courses (I took some 5000 and 7000 classes electively my senior year) and my undergraduate thesis.

I had the same exact question as you, and I'm not sure how to answer it in a way that makes sense.

Like the PP, I also have a Bio degree. My A&P were 400 level classes and asked much, much more of us than the average human A&P. So I can only speak for my experience.

I do not use my brain nearly at the same level in nursing school as I did during my first degree. My Bio classes constantly asked me to adapt and apply my knowledge to answer questions and solve problems. Nursing school has made me a test taking robot, and I feel like thinking outside the box and taking risks is discouraged. And this is coming from someone with straight A's, not someone who has done poorly and is bitter about it.

Short answer: I felt much more academically challenged during my Bio degree. Nursing school is 50% busy work, and 50% learning how to answer NCLEX style questions.


14 Posts

Has <1 years experience.

I want to start off by saying your science courses are definitely WAYY more memorization than your nursing courses will be. Nursing you should have a pretty good background in your science courses because now is when all those courses, especially A&P comes into play.

You may have some memorization in your Nursing courses with maybe lab values, but pretty much nursing you have to be a critical thinker. You have to be able to adapt because you can have one professor teaching you one thing, but the following semester one who tells you that it's not that simple. You can go to a hospital for clinical and their lab values are different from the last one you were just in.

Just be prepared to critically think and don't simply memorize because things will constantly change on you and if you work with concepts then it makes nursing that much easier to get through!

The biggest piece of advice: be prepared to do as many practice questions as you can!

Good luck!