How Hard is Nursing School?

Is nursing school hard? Yeah it’s hard, being a nurse is hard. How hard is nursing school exactly? It depends. Some people love pharm, some hate it – some people love clinicals, some hate it. What’s more important is what comes after: the career.

Here are some of my thoughts on how hard nursing school and nursing in general can be.

Not Everyone Succeeds

I knew some nursing students who were really good at the coursework, they earned top marks and seemed to have it all figured out but when we got to the nursing unit they couldn’t hack the patient care. So it isn’t all about how hard the coursework is. Either they had no social skills to interact with the patients or they couldn’t organize themselves, couldn’t recall the clinical information when they needed it or they couldn’t connect the dots from patient history to their assessment and what to do next. So yes, nursing school is hard and nursing clinicals are hard.

Nursing is More Than School

If you are thinking about nursing then think about more than just passing school. You have to be able to take care of people in the most basic ways such as food, water, toileting, sleep, and you may feel like a waitress sometimes. But all along you are assessing the patient and making judgements about their progress, making mental notes and planning your next move. Then it is on to the next patient. If you aren’t going into it “to serve” or because you feel some kind of calling, or some other intrinsic reason then you probably won’t be in it for long or you will be miserable–having spent a lot of time and money on a degree that you do not enjoy the work. But there is hope. There are a lot of jobs for nurses who either don’t like patient care or are ready to use some of their other skills in service of patients.

Nursing School Is More Than Patient Care: It Can Challenge Your Beliefs

I think you have to be very accepting of all people, all religions, all lifestyles. You have to be able to reserve judgement. Even of drug addicts who are trying to get more narcotics out of you. You have to be resistant to manipulation of psychiatric patients. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be all those things on the first day, it does come with time.

I didn’t know I would be a good nurse. I doubted I could really do it. I remember when i was first looking at colleges I left the first one and cried on the way home in the car because I was so scared. There were mannequins on top of lab tables in science classrooms and foreign drawings and words on the whiteboard. It was overwhelming and I really doubted I could handle it.

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