What makes Nursing school hard?

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I've always heard Nursing students complaining and losing sleep.What makes it so difficult? Is it the work load? Clinicals? I have a 7 month old and will be returning to school when she's 1 and a half yrs old.I graduated with my Associates degree in Liberal Arts last year so I have most of the liberal arts courses completed.I plan on apply to a ADN program.I took a look at the outlined courses at the school im interested in and it seems like I will only need to take a Nursing course and maybe one Liberal Arts course every semester.Will that make things easier for me? Plus I can chose to go just once a week for the whole day.I will not be working.What do you think?

CDeniseGo

50 Posts

At my school, you do not pick your own schedules, then there is the infinite amount of work and extra activities that you must participate in, the faculty, and the point of having a family/home life? It is just a lot to manage.

aaeluv

7 Posts

I'm watching this because I am in the same situation as you. i have a 5.5 month old girl and plan on going back to school for nursing...i will be doing that this upcoming semester because i have 2 classes i need to complete before applying to nursing. i am debating between the ADN and the accelerated BSN and i was hoping i'd start nursing school in the fall 2010 which will make my daughter a year and half almost also. so will have to see i guess

Goingthere

182 Posts

The people...and learning time managament.

gillytook

207 Posts

Most programs will not let you take just one nursing class at a time. In each semester they are usually all require to be taken at the same time. Even with all my core classes completed before I began the nursing program, there were weeks when I was snowed under. Just the reading alone can be very time consuming. With research and everything, care plans can take 10+ hours each week alone.

It is doable, especially if you have a good support network around you. Develop good time management skills. Learn flexibility. Just learn to study smart focsing on those areas you have not grasped yet. Have some portable way of studying that you can carry with you to take advantage of those free moments such as waiting in the grocery line or while you are getting you hair done. I had a PDA with NCLEX questions divided by topic. They are now available for the smart phones/iphones.

I start nursing next month and I've always heard that nursing is harder then A&P so if I think A&P was seriously hard....then for me nursing is going to be crazy! Like someone else said, it's a lot of reading and studying....much like A&P. I have 2 kids and I had just enough time do study constantly for A&P...now I'm getting into the hard part, so it's going to be worse once I start nursing....I can't imagine, lol. I'm scared yet excited! Good luck to you! And thanks for asking this...I look forward to continue reading the responses.

IceStar817

1 Article; 38 Posts

I've heard other students in my class saying that being organized and prioritizing school work is the most difficult thing to deal with because of the workload and the lecture/clinical schedules that you'll be dealing with. That's why alot of my peers recommend not working alot of hours during the school year.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

102 Articles; 27,612 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

In my opinion, the work is not very hard. However, there's plenty of reading, studying, and care plans for which I have full responsibility. In addition, most nursing programs adopt a tougher grading scale than other majors. Here's the grading scale used by the nursing program that I presently attend:

93 - 100 = A

86 - 92 = B

77 - 85 = C

Below 77 = failing

Specializes in hospice, ortho,clinical review.

Honesty you're going to get varied opinions. Some take to science classes easily, others have to work harder.

I went into school w/a 4.0 gpa....upon graduation it dropped to 3.4 I had to take co-reqs w/the nursing classes as I didn't complete them all before and since it was included I thought that'd be a great way to ....um no! I'd never recommend doing that.

As commuter above said, that was pretty much our grading scale, I'm not sure if you were aware most nursing schools do have a variation but none that I've heard of follow the "standard" grading scale.

And yes, it's all the projects that keep accumulating each semester (a new thing gets added to what you already do) at first can be very overwhelming but you find your groove and get through it.

It's a second career for me and by far this took the most emotional toll of anything I have done.

There's pressure just knowing that tests add up to make or break you. I've never fortunately been on the end of just hanging on, I maintained B's all through the nursing classes, but sometimes it was tough. It didn't come easy for me.

You also watch people around you drop like flies. Some deserved yes, b/c they didn't take it seriously, others...it's really heartbreaking....you become bonded. There's no way to honestly explain it until you go through it. It will change you no matter who you are. I don't know of one us that graduated this last June that wouldn't say it did not change us and the toll it took on our personal lives. You could tell that from the graduation speeches.

Our last 6 weeks were especially intense. We had 5 weeks to complete 200 hours of preceptorship (meaning you could have one emergency so that was stress too) along with essays that were due, projects including teaching projects along with designing more posters, and the endless clinical assignments that didn't stop even though we were taking on 5 patients at the end. So yes it can be stressful just with the juggling.

I missed much of my son's last 2 years, he's 16 now. Yes we always made weekends family/us time b/c that balance was of utmost importance, but I still had to miss out on much.

Best you can do is read up here and go in with eyes open. I did that for 2 years before starting and I was still shocked at was the tipping points at time, there's no way to explain until you see it for yourself.

Good luck!

runtagua

84 Posts

School starts for me in three weeks. I imagine it will be lots of work. We had several reading assignments for the first day of class - 13 chapters in the fundamentals book, 5 chapters in the pharmacology book, 2 chapters in the skills book. Tons of terminology and abbreviations to memorize, as well. So, if this is any indication of what a weekly reading assignment might be, I imagine it will be pretty hard (to keep up with).

Also, the medical math we either have to teach ourselves or take the summer course - either way, they don't teach it to us as part of the program, but we'll be tested on it - have to pass that one or you're out.

No chance of us just taking one nursing class a semester. I can't imagine how they'd fit it all in if we could. We have to follow the set curriculum - they tell us what to register for and we do it. I have taken all the other required courses already, and the nursing classes will be 3.5 days a week.

I have an almost-six-year-old. He'll be starting first grade in August (a week after I start). I do plan on working a little bit - I have too.

So, yeah, I don't think it's going to be a piece of cake. But I think it will be doable - just a crapload of work.

TessaMae

292 Posts

IMHO...its not that the work is more difficult than any of the pre-req's its that unlike other classes there aren't any other grading opportunities than the 4 exams and one paper (at least not at my school) Each exam is worth 22.5% and the paper is 10% and its a 9 credit semester...our exams have 75 questions so a month of school is condensed down to 75. So you end up studying hundreds of pages of material inside and out and doing hundreds of NCLEX questions to try and learn it all. If a nursing course was set up like A&P and we had assignments, quizes, and "gift" grades I'm sure that my grade would be higher...but not so sure I'd be a better nurse...if that makes any sense at all. The hard work (and 4.0 that went down the drain) is so worth it in the end. I have 2 kids and nobody to help out other than my husband who has to work a ton so I can be in school and I just find a way to make it work. Good Luck!!! Oh if there is any way to get those liberal arts classes out of the way now while you are waiting to start that would be a great idea because it will certainly lighten the load!

I've always heard Nursing students complaining and losing sleep.What makes it so difficult? Is it the work load? Clinicals? I have a 7 month old and will be returning to school when she's 1 and a half yrs old.I graduated with my Associates degree in Liberal Arts last year so I have most of the liberal arts courses completed.I plan on apply to a ADN program.I took a look at the outlined courses at the school im interested in and it seems like I will only need to take a Nursing course and maybe one Liberal Arts course every semester.Will that make things easier for me? Plus I can chose to go just once a week for the whole day.I will not be working.What do you think?

Chelley076

10 Posts

I'm starting my 2nd year of an ADN program. Don't be fooled by the printed schedule! The schedule is just you basic core schedule. It does not include all the extra time you need to schedule in the skills lab practicing skills. Also, preparing for clinicals literally takes hours the night before! What makes nursing school so hard is not really the material as much as it is the consumption of time. You need to be really, really organized with your time. Especially, with a child! I have an 8 year old and that is difficult! But I think a young child will be more challenging. During school time, I know that my child really feels my absence and my inablity to spend as much time with her as usual! I try to make up for it in the summer! And thankfully she is old enough that she can somewhat understand that it won't always be this way! Good luck with everything!!!

Michelle Willerford

Elsevier Student Ambassador

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