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What is the hardest part about being a nursing student?

I'm a senior in high school and will be attending college in the fall as a nursing student. I'm just not sure what to expect or what it will be like. #nursing #college #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care


There is a lot of reading and memorizing. You have to be focused and have as little distractions as possible. You must be able to work well under pressure. Confidence is a must. You have to believe in yourself and have the ability to complete tasks assigned to you. Also know that completing nursing school is an attainable goal. Don’t judge your performance by your classmates. Every learns and understand differently. Study groups help a lot. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Regina McCarey

Exactly what Regina said! I will be a senior BSN student in the fall. It will be hard reading all the chapters assigned, sometimes it will be anywhere between 5 and 15 chapters before the next class. You will need to learn to skim; and take notes on what is most important. Oh, and finding time to study ahead of time. Try not to study just the weekend before, even if you week was busy. Good luck! Sydney Russo

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Shanna’s Answer

There are several things that are difficult about being a nursing student. In the order you might encounter them:


  1. How to Organize Yourself and study in a way that is effective for you. Methods that you have used to plow through high school and even Pre-Rec’s frequently fall apart in Nursing school. With most schooling your reward is equal to your effort like running on a track. Nursing school is more like scuba diving. Total immersion across every possible learning method- visual, audio, tactile, immersive, group projects, team dynamics and so on.
  2. Asking a patient to see their bottom or to take off their clothes for an examination for the first time. It’s hard for everyone. If you sound like you are uncertain or embarrassed the patient will start to feel the same way. So Own It because you are the Nurse. Most patients want a competent nurse and part of making them feel that is to appear confident.
  3. There is truth to the statement that Nurses eat their Young. Nurses in clinical sites can be horrible to students. I had several really awful experiences- but it made me a better nurse and a nurse who is always happy to have a nursing student with me.
  4. All of the answers are at least half correct, and if you ask an instructor a question the answer is almost always “it depends.” Test questions usually give a patient, a disease, and a scenario. Then you have multiple choice answers. All of the answers are at least partially correct- only one answer is COMPLETELY correct for the patient you have been given. If the patient is different but the scenario and disease are the same- a different answer might be the right answer. This is how the licensing exam is written which takes us to #5
  5. Nursing School has less to do with how to be a Nurse and more to do with how to pass the NCLEX licensing exam. The statistic that is available on any nursing program is their pass rate. Not the number of students who start the program AND graduate AND pass the exam. Only the number of graduates that pass the exam. For example my cohort started with 100 students. Of that 100 only 32 graduated. But those 32 students all passed the NCLEX- so the school posts a “100% Pass Rate!!” When 68% of our class didn’t finish the program.


Shanna recommends the following next steps:

Get a job as a Nursing Assistant. It is hard work that doesn’t pay well, but what you will learn about how to be a good nurse, how you interact with patients, and the type and variety of diseases and symptoms you learn about is priceless. Particularly try to get a job in the Hospital- and tell everyone you are a nursing student. Your nurses will start calling you in to see “cool stuff” that most of your classmates never get to experience.
Interview the nursing schools you are applying to. Don’t feel like you are asking them for a favor by applying- you are going to give them about $18 thousand dollars over 2 years- you are doing them a favor by applying. Things to ask- What percent of their cohorts on average graduate? What do they do when they identify that a student is struggling? What sort of help is available? What is their grading system- A-D, or Pass Fail? What percentage of the grades are test based? (I do not recommend pass fail programs- usually you have to get 75% on a test or be dismissed from the program making every test feel like an elimination round.)
As soon as you start Nursing School go to the Students with Disabilities office on your campus. Ask to be tested for your learning style. When you know your best learning style you are ahead of the game.. (and it’s almost never what you think it is!) Then based on that information you can request accommodation from your program like recordings of lectures if you are an auditory learner, or copies of Power Points if you are visual and so on.
Before you apply or start a program take 1. A “Study Skills for College Students” class. And 2. A writing class that teaches APA format instead of standard MLA format. This will help you immensely with your assignments in Nursing school if you can learn APA before you Start.
Don’t decide “what kind of nurse” you want to be before you start. Be Open. You are going to experience a whole spectrum of jobs you didn’t know were Nursing. It is supposed to be hard. It is REALLY hard- but it’s also very amazing and fulfilling and you will make life-long friendships. And at the end you get to be a Nurse which is the most amazing job ever!

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Usha’s Answer

Nursing is really hard job
Have to be prepare with mentally and physically

Hi Usha, What would you say is the hardest part of the job? Any insight you can share would be helpful Gurpreet Lally

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Kaleah’s Answer

-Work life balance- you have to commit to school, set routine for school work and studying.

-Pick good study partners- determine how you study the best- listening, note taking, flash cards.. if group not as determined, may need to find new group.

- May need to reduce or eliminate work to be able to focus on school.



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Lizette’s Answer

Be prepared to cry at times and also having that sense of accomplishment of helping others. If you are doing it for the money its the wrong career to pick. Nursing School is not easy and being a nurse is not easy but with perseverance it can be done. One thing being a nurse open many opportunities. Know that first day of school you will receive a ton of books. Reading is a must even after you are done with school you are constantly reading about new technology, evidence base research, nursing is constantly changing. At first you are scared but this is understandable because you don't know anything. Even after you leave school it will feel like you don't know anything. This is a good thing because you will constantly search and learn. It is the people who think they know everything that usually don't last because of their ego. My point is you are always learning. If you don't know at least know where you can get that information from. Don't just say ''I don't know". There are quizzes and exam and not enough time to study. Time management is the key, have a planner. You tube how to take notes in nursing school. If you have test anxiety, learn how to control your anxiety by deep breathing exercises. Dolots Nclex questions. I hope this help.

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Irene’s Answer

For me during my exposure in hospital. I saw many patient in different scenarios, how the medical staff work. The worst thing is I dont know what to do, if something unexpected happen because books is different from actual setting.


-im from ph-


Irene recommends the following next steps:

I suggest, go visit some hospital and observe. Assess if you can deal with nurses life. Although it needs a lot of hardwork to be competent but if you are happy and contented, things will go easily.
For school work- exams, case presentation etc.. I know you can pass that all. Just organize yourself. Need to read in advance and have time management. If you have peers with the same goal as you, then study together.
Remember that we are dealing with lives so there is no room for errors. Stay focus.
Learn to SMILE. You will need that in the near future.

Really truth Usha Nepali

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