The perceived difficulty of nursing school depends on the individual and their knowledge base. A person who was a PCA at a hospital for 5 years prior to nursing school will have an easier time in nursing school due to their medical knowledge base from their job as compared to someone who worked at Wal-Mart for 5 years prior to nursing school. Maturity level, how easily you can comprehend new information, study skills, time management skills, and the ability to prioritize school/personal life all play a factor in your nursing school experience.
For example, I failed an ASN program in my early 20's due to internal and external personal factors. I continued to work in the healthcare field for the next 20 years. I decided to go back to school for my nursing degree and got accepted into the ABSN program at the same school. The ABSN program was far more rigorous than the ASN program. Despite that it was a tougher program, I easily passed the program due to extensive healthcare knowledge, maturity, a completely different mindset towards college, and a supportive girlfriend. I graduated with a high GPA and passed NCLEX at 75 questions. The same person going through two nursing programs with drastically different outcomes.