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What courses were hardest in your first year of nursing?

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I know that mileage will vary from student to student, but which courses did you find the most challenging in your first year?

Is there anything you would have done differently or focused on to make it easier on yourself?

I am very close to going into my program and I want to make sure that I am prepared the best way I can.

Thank you!

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

1 hour ago, hadeskitten said:

but which courses did you find the most challenging in your first year?

You don't have a choice of courses in nursing school, unless you want to prolong your timeline to graduate. First semester is your Introduction to Nursing. The second semester classes require completion of first semester classes, third semester requires completion of second semester classes, etc.

Mental Health Nursing was my most difficult class, even tougher than Critical Care Nursing. Other classmates thought Critical Care was more difficult the Mental Health. Mental Health was third semester and Critical Care was fourth semester (ABSN program).

36 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

You don't have a choice of courses in nursing school, unless you want to prolong your timeline to graduate. First semester is your Introduction to Nursing. The second semester classes require completion of first semester classes, third semester requires completion of second semester classes, etc.

Mental Health Nursing was my most difficult class, even tougher than Critical Care Nursing. Other classmates thought Critical Care was more difficult the Mental Health. Mental Health was third semester and Critical Care was fourth semester (ABSN program).

I am aware that you don't have a choice in what classes you have. I also know that some courses tend to be more challenging than others. In our second term (first year), we have pharmacology and med surge. I am not sure between the two which is typically considered more difficult. I'd think pharm because of everything that has to be memorized with the indications vs contraindications, but I am not sure what else med surge holds. I also know that some people have said they've had to take patho and it was one of the more difficult courses.

It also looks like they are also changing some of the things here in other nursing schools close to me. Now it's Family Concepts, Holistic Health Concepts, Health-Illness Concepts.

My program starts in about a month, so I am trying to get prepared in the best way possible. It's the whole "“Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.” concept.

For pur first semester we had fundamentals, med surg 1, nursing lab and clinicals. The hardest for me was med surg. I am actually (VERY fortunately as it NEVER happens) retaking med surg as a Summer course so I can catch back up to my cohort.

I think it was just more difficult for me because I have no prior medical experience

My first semester was medsurg, fundamentals, lab, and clinical. For me, clinicals were the most difficult because I had no previous medical experience. Medsurg was my favorite. It is hard work, but very interesting. Fundamentals for me was very boring. The hardest was nursing lab. Very stressful! Check offs were very intense!! We had to have everything perfect during the procedures. Even not saying a certain phrase would be marked off. With all that said, I ended up with 3 As and 1 B. Just make sure you are organized from the start. Nursing school involves a TON OF reading...be prepared for that!! Stay focused and you will do great!

BONBON, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

I would probably say mental health or children & adolescents. Mainly because it was the first time being exposed to a nursing approach with either subject and I had a difficult time remembering the different expectations with each age group children/adolescents and mental illness for mental health. The information being taught wasn't HARD per say, it just wasn't sticking with me.

My advice is don't sweat over trying to "get ahead" before your program starts. Enjoy your time off now, you'll learn as you go. You could watch Youtube videos, however nursing school is designed to give you a foundation of nursing your first semester and helps you build upon it. Jumping into random nursing videos may be more of a waste than helpful (ie if you're unfamiliar with lab tests, diagnostics, terms, etc.)
However, if you're devastatingly bored, check out RegisteredNurseRN videos on Youtube. Throughout nursing school her videos were very helpful.

definitely Pathophysiology

Mental Health was the most difficult for me. I am finishing up my LPN block this semester. My next block is Critical Care and I am really excited about it.