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How Hard Is Nursing School? And, What Can I Do to Survive?

how hard is nursing school

Struggling in nursing school? 😟

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It’s a question we all ask before we start anything new: how hard is it going to be? It’s easy to ask that question when we start a job, start college, start nursing school or anything else. Is it hard?

It’s a good question, but ask the wrong people and they probably won’t give you the nicest answer. Want a real answer? And want to learn how you can survive it? Then you have come to the right place.

Defining Hard

Talk to people who are in or have finished nursing school and you are likely going to get about a million different answers to the question, “is nursing school hard?” I have heard answers that run the gamut, including:

  • It was harder than getting a BA in undergrad.
  • It was a breeze. I didn’t study at all.
  • I had to put a little effort into it.
  • It was definitely tough at times depending on the professor.
  • I don’t know why people complain. It was so easy!

The problem is there is no one answer to the question because it all depends on your definition of what is hard and what isn’t.

Some people walk into their classes and struggle from the get-go. Some people don’t have to do much studying to get through school. And it has nothing to do with intelligence. There are just some things easier to grasp for one person and more difficult for another.

The most important thing to remember is this: you can get through nursing school. No matter what one person or another may tell you, you can get through it. So, instead of focusing completely on how hard it may be, let’s turn our attention to things you can do to survive.

Willingness to Study

To begin with, you have to be willing to study. There’s just no two ways about it. Either you study or you may have trouble. Nursing school is no different from school in any other situation. You get textbooks. You hear lectures. You will be tested. Be prepared to put some time into studying.

Now, that may mean you have an even tighter schedule at home, but it is worth it. Believe me. When you are done with nursing school, you will be proud of your accomplishment and you will be able to move into a quality career.

Rules to Remember

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard for getting through nursing school is to follow two very important rules. And, honestly, they are actually the key to making nursing school easier on you. You want to get through without a big headache every day, then remember this:

First rule: you don’t talk about fight club…wait, that’s the wrong set of rules.

  1. Your instructor is always right.
  2. Want to get through and pass? See rule number one.

If you make sure you don’t try to buck the system, argue with your instructor, or prove them wrong in any way, then nursing school can actually go smoothly for you.

Make Sure You Have Family Time

When you enter into nursing school, you will find that your life gets very busy. You have to juggle school, studying, a job if you are working, and family too. It may seem just too hectic. And, it can stress you out very easily.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, always schedule family time. Do not neglect your spouse and/or children. It may be hard at times to do this, but it is vital for your own sanity that you spend time away from the nursing school and studying.

On that same note, you need to schedule time for yourself. Go for a walk, relax in your favorite park, read a book, play a sport, engage in a hobby. Do something so that you can ensure you are giving yourself time to relax and de-stress.

Know You Will Take Difficult Tests

Many people have indicated that tests are extremely hard in nursing school. And, they won’t be easy. But, there’s reason for that. Your instructors are giving you difficult tests on purpose. This is the best way to prepare you for the NCLEX®, which is very difficult.

How can you get through these very hard tests?

  • Study
  • Find a Study Partner
  • Look for Easy Ways to Remember Things (Mnemonics, Flash Cards, etc.)

The more prepared you are to handle those hard tests, the more you will be ready for the NCLEX®.

So, is nursing school hard? Yes and no. Yes, it can be difficult. No, it doesn’t have to defeat you. Keep that in mind and look for ways that you will be able to weather even the biggest nursing school storms and you should have no problem getting through to the end.

What tips do you have for surviving nursing school?

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