What is nursing school like???


:) Hello everyone. I was hoping a few of you could describe your feelings since starting school this semester. Do you have tons of homework. What is a typical classroom day like. Is it few hours lecture. Is there a lot of papers you need to write in Nursing School. Those with kids, are you coping. Sorry so many question, it's just I am now in A&P and feeling a little overwhelmed myself, wanted to get an idea of how nursing school is. Is it more critical thinking and comprehension, more so than just memorizing info. Thank you for any info you can give me! And wish luck to all of you.


71 Posts

Okay....do NOT get discouraged when I say this haha

Nursing school is hard work. There is A LOT of reading to be done. Personally, I have 3 hours of lecture a week and 7 hours of lab/clinical, but currently they are also running that like lecture....so basically 10 hours of lecture. Now I am also taking 2 other classes in order to be full time so I can keep my insurance (which is also a requirement for the program at my school...you have to have health insurance) I wouldn't be able to tell you what clinicals are like because I have not started them yet. The instructors can be very blunt and some intimidating. Basically the only time I feel as though I have a good break from nursing is when I am sleeping....and even then it is in my dreams haha. So just be prepared for a tough two years...you cannot slide by...like this week I had to score 100% on a dosage calc quiz and tomorrow I have my first practical. If you do not pass these things...you fail the course in my program. If you do well in your prereqs....you should be able to do nursing school....it is tough but I am hoping it will be well worth all of this stress in the end. Good luck to you!


202 Posts

Do not expect to have much of a life while you are in school. It is incredibly intensive. There will be times when you are on top of the world and times when you want to quit. But stick it out, it is all worth it. Being a nurse is amazing.


875 Posts

A and P is probably one of the most challenging courses in any nursing program, it is not surprising that you feel overwhelmed by it. I was a TA for both for some time, and found that a lot of nursing students got discouraged in the classes. It is a lot of both memorization (anatomy) and comprehension (physiology).

I think once you pass through that and get into regular nursing classes and clinicals you will find it more interesting, and maybe a little easier.


401 Posts

Specializes in Medical/Surgical/Maternal and Child.

Ohhh You haven't lived or died til you've been through nursing school!!!!


62 Posts

I just started my first semster out of 8, I am on my 3rd or fourth week. I do not find it that hard at all, but there is a tremendous amount of work. I am really enjoying it so far. When I am not at school or sleeping I am reading and taking notes. We get Fridays off right now, until clinicals start. On a weekend I will spend about 20 or 30 hours reading. I do not know how my classmates who have jobs do it. I can barely keep up. Just taking the time to write this makes me worry that I should be reading and not slacking off.


193 Posts

What's it like?

Find a fire hydrant...

Remove one of the caps...

Place face in front of opening...

Have your friend crank open the valve.

Just remember that you aren't required to drink every drop that's rushing past. But you ARE responsible for knowing what they all taste like 'cause it just may be on the next exam.



202 Posts

What's it like?

Find a fire hydrant...

Remove one of the caps...

Place face in front of opening...

Have your friend crank open the valve.

Just remember that you aren't required to drink every drop that's rushing past. But you ARE responsible for knowing what they all taste like 'cause it just may be on the next exam.


LOL Congrats, you just described nursing school to a T. That is just too funny. What is scary is that it is SO ACCURATE! I have got to forward that to all of my former classmates.

Specializes in Rural Health.

Each semester gets progressivly worse. 1st semester was a breeze as far as what was expected from us. This is my 2nd semester......

This semester, one class, each unit is 5-8 chapters long in 1 book and another 3-4 in another. We cover a unit in 2 weeks. We are required to do approx. 15-20 drug cards per unit. We also have to do the study guide questions for all the chapters we read. We have 2 teaching projects due and a careplan due. 2nd class. Units covering 10-15 chapters each, again we cover a unit every 2 weeks or so. Lots of extra handouts and assignments in this class. Approx. 15-20 drug cards for this class. Assessments due each unit, which are 5-10 pages long in length. 2 teaching projects due but no careplan for this class.

Clinicals are 12 hour days, from 0600-1800. We are expected to know what we are doing with the patient from giving a bath to giving drugs.

Our instructors are hard, tough and really don't care if we don't understand or have problems. We hear it all the time "take your book home and figure it out". Our program is largely self and peer to peer taught. Very rarely do our instructors actually "teach" us something.

Our lectures only cover 1/100 of what we'll be tested on. The rest is up to us to do on our own, or with friends or however we need to figure it out.

A typical week for me is 2 days clinical/class, 3 days study and 2 days work. The study days are ALL day for about 10-12 hours throughout the day. I also study before work, after work and after my clinical and class days. I spend a lot of time studying or doing work.

I have zero life outside of school. I sometimes don't even have the time to go to Wal-Mart and buy food and I have to BEG my husband and/or other family members to do it for me.

Don't let this get you down though. Despite all the work and stuff I have to do and the fact that my family goes days w/o seeing my actual head (usually covered by a book or computer screen), it's going to be so worth it when I'm done!!!

Good luck to you!!!


100 Posts

I think that though the content and expectations get harder as the semesters go on, the first semester was the hardest for me. That semester you learn all of the terminology and how to deal with patients and hospital staff. For me it was very overwhelming!


4 Posts

Hey Brandy,

I am 19 years old, but I am one of the youngest in my class. I would say 1/3 are currently raising children and they are doing awesome. I really have so much respect for them. Nursing classes are completely different than g.e. courses. Nursing isn't just about memorizing or understanding a concept. Its about taking that understanding and applying it. In that area nursing is completely different. When you walk out of an A&P class you generally know what you got wrong on a test. In NUR courses you are never sure b/c everything isn't black and white anymore. However, don't let any of that scare you. Once you are in nursing school you get used to this quickly and it isn't a big deal at all. The course load isn't wonderful either, but its something you get used to (just like the testing). I personally am really enjoying my program.

There are times when you are gonna be crazy, but take advantage of the fact that there is a classroom full of people experiencing the same things you are. The best advice I can give you is make some good friends in school, because they provide a great support system.

I remember asking the same questions last year and being incredibly nervous. Hopefully, I managed to help. This is something you really can do and don't worry about it. When you are in school you will figure things out and everyone in that class is gonna be figuring them out with you ;)


1 Article; 301 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry/PCU, SNF. Has 5+ years experience.

Like the cliche' says, it's the hardest thing you'll ever love, or something like that. It has to be hard to make sure we are the caliber of people needed to help the sick and injured. It has to be difficult to make sure this is what we want to do. It has to be stressful because what's life without stress (hint: 6' down...). But it has to be rewarding otherwise we'll wonder why in the hell we decided to put ourselves through it.

I'm into my 3rd semester of 4 and while feeling beat by the experience, it's worth it because the connections are coming together and the little lightbulb is going on more often that not. While the juggling of life and school, 5 hours lecture + 2 hours each hour of homework, 10 hours of clinical per week, 27 hours of work to keep a roof over my head, 12 hours a week doing my externship, a couple of hours lost to traffic plus trying to keep the house together and the pregnant wife taken care of, is hard, the pay-off at the end makes it all worth it. Fulfilling a dream is like mastercard says, "priceless".

And the analogy about the fire hydrant...spot on! Couldn't have said it better myself. Now, back to my regularly scheduled care plan...



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