I'm only finished wth my first week and I'm not saying that it's easy but I mean I'm not in a fetal position crying my eyes out. With the exception of fundamentals, all of my other nursing courses are once a week, so I feel that gives me optimal time to read. Sometimes the way a nursing program is structured is how people deal with it. Not to say a program is easier or harder, but even the things people have mentioned like giving out a book list and syllabus before class can make a big difference. We all have the same syllabus regardless of professor. So why their teaching styles might vary, they're teaching the exact same material, all students are responsible for the same amount of work, we have the same amount of homework assignments. Our exams aren't packed in together, they are all departmental so unless you're the course coordinator, the professors don't even get to see the exam. We get an exam blueprint the week before the exam to know what areas we need to have covered.
My fundamentals professor told us today he thought that the first semester was actually most difficult because you don't know how to take critical thinking exams with application questions. All of our tests are set up this way from the very beginning. Yes the content does get more difficult as you go on in your semesters but you've got the foundation of thinking critically. In first semester, you do not have that, you're so use to knowledge questions that you don't even know how to answer an application question (quoted from my pharm professor). The clinical skills may not be difficult but that's only for one class, we're still responsible for the other three classes.
These are the most elaborate syllabi I've ever seen to be honest lol and can honestly say it's the first time I actually paid attention to all the content on one. None of them are under 10 pages and they explain what we were suppose to read, what we will do in class, readings for next class and then there's a section of questions we should be able to answer by the time we're done reading. If we can't, then we need to reread. We're not required to lug our big giant books around because we're expected to have be responsible for the work at home so there's no need to look at a textbook in class.
Oh and also remember that not everyone is taking the same courses in their first semester. Some people only have classes that last for a certain amount of weeks (not even talking aout accelerated programs), people are using different textbooks ect, so many factors. I believe someone posted their first exam is like 15 chapters, the most chapters on any of my exams are about 6 or 7. Just remember, your experience, isn't the only experience. I've also made personal changes to help me keep better track like typing notes while reading instead of handwriting them.