Question about credits/credit hours

Nursing Students General Students


I am about to begin an Associates Degree Nursing Program this fall. It's my understanding that credit hours (semesters) are 1 credit=1 hour of class/week. Generally, one is expected to spend 3 hours of "homework" for every hour of class time. This fall I have a 2 credit Pharmacology course and a 3 credit Nursing Theory course with lab. This course load doesn't seem hefty, yet "Nursing School" carries with it an expectation of a great deal of work, tons of study time- a general "intensity". Why the disparity? Are Nursing School credits different? When I got my bachelors degree (years ago in another field), I would take 15 credits at a time. I'm confused. Thanks for weighing in!

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

Is the lab part of the 3 hours or is it additional hours? Do you not have any clinical work? Those are also credit hours. Seems a little lightweight as far as curriculum goes.....

On the other hand, I teach a 2 credit hour course, and we spend 3 1/2 to 4 hours in lab/lecture a week, plus homework. ADN programs are only allowed to require a certain number of clinical hours, so some of the classes are given less "credit" than acutal hours put in.

Specializes in CMSRN.

That seems a little light to me too but maybe that's just me. My first semester in the ASN program was 12 credit hours and I easily studied 24 hours a week. At times there was more studying involved but I'd say the 3 hours of study time for every credit hour doesn't always ring true and it really depends on the difficulty of the class.

Specializes in Forensic Psych.

No clincals or lab? That doesn't seem very heavy at all, but I guess some programs keep the first semester light.

I think the difficult part of nursing school is studying on top of the other time commitments. For instance, I'm taking 9 credits. Never in my life have a studied 27 hours a week for 9 credits, but I nay actually have to on top of the 20 hours a week I'll be in class lab or clinical. Even taking 15 credits a semester in my last degree program, I've never dedicated 47 hours a week to school. Add that to family responsibilities or a job, and you would definitely be quite busy!

So, if you really are only in class for 5 hours and really only need to commit 15 hours a week to studying, maybe your semester won't be too bad. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. :)

Oh yes- there are clinicals too. Sorry, should have said that. What I'm gathering is that I might (for the first time) actually need ALL those outside hours to study. Thanks, ya'll.

I think it just depends on you and how much you need to study to learn something. For example, I took an A&P class (4 credits) and studied maybe 6 hours a week for that class. For a British Literature class (3 credits), I skimmed the material 15-20 mins before each class. I was able to pull off a 92% in the A&P (2nd highest grade in the class) and a 96 or 97% in the Brit Lit class.

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

Nursing will be unlike anything you have ever studied and the requirements for care plans, care maps, case studies will be time consuming. Nursing requires attention to each and every tiny detail....... which is why so many find the frist semester so hard as the study habits that brought straight A's before......aren't as sucessful with the nursing material and might bring B's and C's. At first...till you get the hang of it.

It can be over first... but I wouldn't call it light....unitl you see what will be required.

So, yes nursing school credits will require more time....they are different.

Specializes in CMSRN.

I actually probably spent about half my time preparing for clinicals. It's not a TON of reading or anything but we had care plans and assessments to complete and turn in. That took up more time than I expected.

I think the main thing to do is use your studying time wisely. Stay organized so you know what you need to focus on the most at the time. Also, don't try to read EVERY word of every chapter. Skim and try to hit the main points as outlined by your program. Absolutely check out any boxes, as those can have little things that they will pull information from.

Good luck!

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