What are the stresses and struggles of nursing school? What makes nursing school so hard? If you are reading this article, you have probably already heard from others how hard nursing is and that you have no life. Before I became a nursing student, that is all I heard from my friends and it scared me.
It’s no secret, nursing school has a reputation for being stressful and keeping you very busy. As a nursing student you will experience times where you are thinking “why in the world am I doing this….I should have done something else” and then other times you will say “I love this and can’t wait until I graduate and become a nurse”.
I definitely faced my own struggles and stresses. I remember during my 2nd semester of nursing school that I almost changed my major to social work because I was so tired of the constant stress, but ended up hanging in there (thanks to my encouraging husband), which I’m very glad I didn’t give into the pressure of quitting.
In this article, I am going to talk to you about:
- The most common struggles and stresses of nursing school
- How do deal with the stresses and struggles of nursing school
Video of me talking about the Stresses and Struggles of Nursing School
The most common struggles & stresses in nursing school
Juggling so much at one time: Nursing school requires a lot of effort. Every week you will have either an exam, quiz, clinicals, and projects due. Then managing your everyday life which includes working, taking care of children, doing chores, family obligation etc., you can become very overwhelmed. This leads you to feel like you have no life!
Finding time to study & meet grade requirements: Sometimes you may have two or three tests in one week, along with completing clinical time at the hospital and going to classes. You may find it hard to find time to study and keep your grades up. It feels like you have so much to do in such little time.
Keeping Motivated: At times you will feel so tired and overwhelmed, and it is hard to keep motivated because all you want to do is sleep and not think about another exam or spending 12 hours at a clinical rotation. Motivation at times is hard to find!
Passing proficiency exams: Many programs require that in order to advance to the next semester, you complete proficiency exams like the ATIs or HESI. This is really stressful because not only do you have to complete all of your other classes, go to clinicals, complete projects, but you have to study for an exam that will determine if you advance to the next semester.
I remember having to pass the mid-curricular HESI and I already had a full load of classes and clinicals that I was trying to pass. By having to juggle all of these things at once, I was beyond stressed.
How to handle the stresses and struggles of nursing school
Almost everyone finds nursing school to be stressful and hard. If you don’t find it stressful or ever considering dropping out of it, you are a genius. My point to you is that it is NORMAL to experience stress and struggle in nursing school and remember that everyone else around you is going through the same ordeal.
Keep organized: Get a planner and use your time wisely. Make every day to be a productive day and use your time wisely. Always be planning at least a week ahead of time and start studying in advance.
Be prepared to make sacrifices: Prepare to dedicate yourself to the program and give it all you got. Let people and family know that right now some things are going to be a little different and you may not get to hang out or spend as much time as usual, but it is temporary. Then once you become a RN or LPN you will have time and money to hang out and do things, but right now you have to concentrate.
Take one day during the week where you do not think about anything nursing school related. On this day, do what you want to do. This will help relieve stress and prevent burnt out.
Evaluate your situation: If you haven’t started the program yet, evaluate if you are in a good time in your life to complete this journey. Make sure you don’t have family or job obligations that are going to add extra stress on you, because maybe in 2 or 3 year your life will be different and you may be ready for nursing school.
Consider part-time: If you find you are too busy right now or don’t think you can handle the stress, consider going part-time. You will have fewer classes at a time, so you can take your time.
Don’t strive for perfection, just pass: I learned early that earning straight A’s in nursing school was rare. People who tend to go into nursing have Type A perfectionists personalities (like me), but in nursing school be prepared for settle for a B or may be a C. Don’t kill yourself trying to get perfect grades because in the end you are a RN or LPN (there will be no A’s or B’s after your initials)
Fun Nursing Quizzes
Below are some fun quizzes you can take to see if: