Is Nursing School Hard? Top 7 Reasons

is nursing degree hard
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Embarking on the path to a nursing degree is a transformative journey filled with compassion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to caring for others. It’s a field revered for its significance and the profound impact nurses make in healthcare. Yet, aspiring nurses often face a pressing question as they stand at the threshold of this noble profession: “Is a nursing degree hard?”

This article delves into the realities of pursuing a nursing degree, exploring the challenges, rewards, and essential considerations for those who aspire to become healthcare professionals.

1. Nursing School Topics are Hard

To begin, nursing education is a challenging journey. In a hybrid or on-campus accelerated BSN program like Felician’s, the curriculum spans four intensive semesters, encompassing demanding in-person courses, laboratory work, and clinical rotations. Nursing students are tasked with acquiring the following knowledge:

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Patient assessment and care
  • Nursing research
  • Health ethics
  • Public health and more

These concepts are far from easy. One of the primary reasons why nursing school is so hard is simply because it requires time and effort to master these challenging topics. Nurses have a lot of responsibility, so it’s important that they have a strong foundation of healthcare knowledge.

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2. Fast-Paced Schedule

Accelerated nursing programs, like Felician University’s 16-month hybrid and 18-month on-ground options, offer a faster route to earning a BSN compared to traditional four-year programs. They utilize prior degrees or college credits for quicker completion. However, the shorter duration means a faster-paced curriculum. Students should adapt to the demands, manage time efficiently, and stay ahead in their studies to succeed.

3. It Takes a Lot of Dedication

Nursing school’s difficulty lies in the need for unwavering commitment and discipline. While the journey offers immense potential, the hard work required can be mentally taxing. Accelerated programs, such as those offered at Felician, provide a faster path to completion in 16 to 18 months. The short duration means that the time commitment is temporary, and soon you’ll be prepared for a rewarding nursing career.

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4. You’ll Need to Juggle Academic Responsibilities

Nursing schools present challenges because students must juggle multiple academic responsibilities concurrently. Beyond excelling in exams, nursing students must also cultivate practical skills, communication abilities, and bedside nursing expertise.

A typical schedule involves a mix of online or on-campus courses, nursing skills and simulation labs, and clinicals. These components are interconnected, gradually preparing students for clinical rotations.

While managing these diverse commitments may initially seem daunting, establishing a routine will eventually make it more manageable. If you’re considering enrolling in a hybrid ABSN program that includes online learning, it’s beneficial to read this guide on online nursing education to prepare for the online coursework.

5. You’ll Have Limited Personal Time

The personal sacrifices involved in nursing school are a big part of why nursing school is so hard. During an ABSN program, you can expect to commit more than 40 hours a week to classes and studying, which likely will require evening and weekend study sessions. This means you’ll likely have little time for personal activities.

While it’s important to maintain a balance between the time you spend studying and your personal life, nursing school needs to be number one. You’ll need to put nursing school before social activities, which can be challenging for nursing students. However, by making school a priority, you’ll be investing in your future career.

6. It Requires You to Understand, Not Memorize

Is nursing school academically challenging? Yes, as it requires a deeper understanding compared to standard college courses. Nursing education emphasizes synthesizing complex concepts over rote memorization. Diversify study methods, such as lectures, videos, flowcharts, practice questions, outlines, and flashcards, to grasp intricate topics. Nursing students must comprehend the “why” behind treatments, recognize warning signs, and deliver tailored patient care.

7. Clinical Stretch You Outside Your Comfort Zone

Clinical rotations pose a new type of challenge for nursing students. As you adjust to the fast-paced clinical environment, you may feel overwhelmed at how much you still have to learn. As you enter a new clinical setting, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable until you become familiar with your surroundings. Just remember, you’re not alone. You will learn alongside other students under the careful guidance of a professional nurse.

Also remember that in order to learn, you’ll need to stretch and get outside your comfort zone. That’s how you’ll become prepared for challenging nursing scenarios. Get used to being in the learning zone. Though clinical rotations may feel challenging at first, students often come to enjoy their clinicals more than any other part of nursing school.

Bonus Point: You’ll Need to Prepare for the NCLEX

Upon completing the ABSN program, your next challenge is the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This test requires dedicated study time and critical thinking skills, consisting of complex multiple-choice questions where you must choose the most appropriate answer based on the scenario.

Felician University’s ABSN curriculum incorporates NCLEX-style content, with students encouraged to start preparation during their program and dedicate focused study in the last semester, followed by one to two months post-graduation. This rigorous approach ultimately enhances your nursing career prospects.

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Conclusion

pursuing a nursing degree can be undeniably challenging, but it’s equally rewarding. The journey may be demanding, filled with rigorous coursework, clinical experiences, and long hours. However, the satisfaction of making a meaningful impact on patient’s lives and the numerous career opportunities in the healthcare industry make it a worthwhile endeavor.

The difficulty of a nursing degree can vary from person to person, but with dedication, support, and the right resources, you can navigate the challenges and emerge as a competent and compassionate nurse, ready to make a positive difference in the world of healthcare.

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