How Hard Is Nursing School?

how hard is nursing school

The nursing profession is rewarding, exciting, but very challenging. You will start facing the challenges the moment you get into a nursing school. So, how hard is nursing school? This is actually the most common question that students who wish to pursue a nursing career ask.

If you wish to acquire a nursing degree as a high school graduate or you are a certified nurse seeking a higher degree, it is very necessary that you understand what you are getting into.

Nursing schools are very challenging but may not be too difficult depending on how you commit to the program. For a nursing program, you will be required to have high GPAs and good scores in math, chemistry, biology, psychology, and other demanding subjects. While the requirements may be too high, the nursing profession is very exciting.

On the other hand, stories about the many tough tests, all-nighters, and long clinical shifts in nursing schools may keep you wondering how hard is nursing school. While these are the basics that you may know about nursing school, what about the things that nobody has ever told you?

Therefore, we have for you in this article challenges that you may face in nursing school. You will also get to know expert tips on how to combat these challenges and graduate successfully.

Why is nursing school so hard?

Over the years, aspiring nurses keep asking whether a nursing school is very difficult. The answer is YES and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the toughest degree to acquire is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Studying to acquire a nursing degree is very challenging because it will require you to learn complicated nursing concepts and practical skills. Afterward, you will apply the knowledge and practical skills to different patient care cases.

While nursing school is challenging, it will prepare you to meet the demands of the ever-changing health care field.

What is Nursing School Like?

The journey through nursing school is quite rigorous. You’ll need to learn to read a lot because your success will depend so much on it. You’ll be required to go the extra mile. To be successful, you’ll need to be ahead of your lecturer at all times, studying materials beyond what you were given in school. This will help you stay relevant always.

Also know you’ll be writing tests and exams almost every time. So, it would be good too you get for it.

Exams will be structured in ways that are considerably different from those found in the hard sciences. Nursing is neither black nor white, and as a result, tests can be particularly difficult.

Develop your ability to comprehend what is being requested of you. These exams are not designed to make you fail, but rather to force you to think in a certain way. This method of thinking will be beneficial to your nursing profession.

Here below is a structure of what you may likely find in your scheme of work;

  • Health Assessments
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing Fundamentals  

What should I expect in nursing school?

Whenever you want to pursue any academic program, it is very necessary to make inquiries about the pros and cons of that program. You can only make your findings from people who have experienced the program from learning or administering the program.

If you wish to pursue a nursing program, here are the possible things that you might face:

1. You will study a lot

Studying to become a nurse is only for strong and determined minds.

A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) takes longer (4 years or more) to complete the program. Nursing programs require many credits to pass. Consequently, this forces them to take multiple classes at the same time so as to fast-track the program.

Taking multiple classes and passing them will require you to study very hard. Studying a lot will make you get involved in all-nighters. Although nurses know better than staying up all night to study constantly is not good for a healthy living, they just cannot avoid it.

When you sleep very well at night before your exam day, you will retain all that you have studied and stay focused during the exam.

2. Burnout

As you study very hard to acquire your nursing degree, you may feel burnout. Many studies have shown that nursing students feel a higher level of burnout than students in other majors.

According to a study, nursing students in the U.K felt higher levels of stress and used negative methods to cope with the stress so as to graduate successfully. In the same study, nursing students experienced physiological morbidity (health issues due to stress) as the programs became harder.

While you may experience too much stress, do not let it discourage you from pursuing a career in nursing. Keep in mind that when you become a nurse, you stand to enjoy many benefits including greater job stability, higher salaries, personal satisfaction, etc.

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3. You may run into debt

Nursing students may not have to suffer only burnout as the issue of running into debt may be inevitable.

The cost of pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree ranges between $40,000 to $200,000 depending on the nursing school. This is actually very high for many students to pay. As a result, many aspiring nurses choose to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) because it is cheaper than the BSN.

The downside is that most hospitals no longer hire ADNs as new graduates. So, you will need to acquire a higher degree like the BSN thereby prolonging the duration of study, stress, and money too.

On the other hand, you will also pay for housing, books, medical supplies, and licensure exams. All of these need money to finance the costs.

4. You will make life-long friends

A nursing school is a unique environment to make friends and build connections. Studying in a nursing school will give you the opportunity to collaborate with people on the same career path. While you study and network together, you will certainly make friends.

Making friends is good but the likelihood of disagreements is a downside to this. Some nursing programs may require students to live, work, and study with each other. This can create an avenue for cliques and bullying.

Before going to a nursing school, ensure that you have a friendly, positive, and focused mindset because it will help you to avoid distractions that may lead to disagreements with fellow students.

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Tips on Getting Through Nursing School

Tip 1: Take care of yourself

While pursuing your nursing degree, your major priority should be your health.

No matter what degree you are earning, it is an extremely stressful time, even for the best students. Getting sick will keep you from moving forward with your studies.

There will be times where you will have to stay up late to cram for exams or write papers – and you may even have to work graveyard clinical hour shifts, which will mean catching up on sleep during the day.

Make sure that you are drinking enough water, nourishing your body with healthy food, and sleeping appropriately when time permits. That way, when you do find yourself burning the midnight oil to prepare for a big test, you will still have energy reserves to get you through and prevent yourself from getting sick.

Tip 2: Be time conscious

If you are getting into nursing school to pursue an ADN, DNP, or even BSN, keep in mind that you are entering the busiest years of your life. So, you need to plan yourself before getting in so that you can have time for yourself while pursuing your degree.

It is advised that you use a planner to arrange your activities from classroom lectures to clinical practice, as well as family and social life. If you fail to do this, your time will manage you thereby leading to constant frustration. The frustration that you will experience may have a negative effect on your studies. So, learn to manage your time very well.

Tip 3: Have the right attitude

Having the right attitude goes a long way in helping one to achieve an aim. To face the challenges and stress in nursing school and come out with flying colors, you will need to have the right attitude.

Begin by writing down the reasons why you are getting into nursing school and how it will impact your future career. Whenever you feel stressed out or frustrated, think about the reasons and it will motivate you to continue striving in order to successfully complete your program.

READ: 10 Best Nursing Trade Schools in Georgia

Tip 4: Nursing school is temporarily exhausting

The challenges that come with studying in a nursing school do not last forever. As you pursue your degree, you may no longer have time for yourself because of your studies. From the endless weekly tests to presentations, projects, and clinicals, your social life may be gone. However, you will get your time back the moment you complete your degree.

Ensure to let your family and friends know that you may not always be around for certain activities or events because your education is your top priority at that moment. You should also let them know that it will not last forever because you will fully get your social life back once you graduate.

Frequently Asked Questions on How Hard Is Nursing School

Is nursing the hardest degree?

The Guinness Book of World Records reports that the toughest degree to receive is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) because the program comprises hard tests and exams as well as long clinical hours.

What GPA do I need for nursing?

For a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you will need to have a minimum GPA of 3.0. If you wish to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), your GPA should range between 2.0 to 2.75. Institutions may consider your grades in pre-requisite courses too. Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements. A higher GPA and grade will increase your chances of getting into the program.

Is the first year of nursing school hard?

The first year in nursing school may be difficult for some students while others may find it easy. Many factors contribute to the difficulty that first-year students find in nursing school. One of such factors is the experience of the faculty staff administering the program.

How do I pass nursing school?

To scale through the hurdles of nursing school and graduate with excellent grades, do the following:

  • Budget Plenty of Study Time. Studying for nursing tests takes time. …
  • Find Some Example Nursing Questions. …
  • Use A Study Group. …
  • Study with a style that best suits you.
  • Put Facts On Repeat. …
  • Create mnemonic devices.
  • Make the Facts Relatable. …
  • Practice NCLEX test questions.

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