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Nursing school is rigorous and it is meant to challenge you in every way.  When you become a nurse, patient’s lives will be in your hands and nursing school works to prepare you for this.  It is critical to learn how to think like a nurse, which means being able to think critically and quickly.  Once you complete nursing school, you are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) and this is the ultimate test to determine if you meet the minimum nursing competency requirements.

 

Is Nursing School Hard?

Discipline is required to successfully complete nursing school.  Nursing school differs from other majors because it requires more than just classroom instruction and occasional examinations.  There is also a clinical component that you must attend to pass each nursing class.  You will have clinicals weekly and many programs will fail you for missing just one of these.  As part of your clinical experience you will be required to complete care plans for patients that you work with.  These are lengthy and are not something that can be put together in a matter of hours.  You must attend all classes because each class presents information that is critical to the total knowledge that you need.  You must also study on a daily basis.  Nursing is not something you can memorize or cram for.  You must understand how to apply the nursing process to be successful on examinations.

 

Do You Have to Be Good at Science to Complete Nursing School?

Nursing school requires a foundational knowledge of science.  You do not have to have the entire Periodic Table of Elements memorized, but you do need to understand the basic concepts of biology and chemistry to be successful in nursing.  You will also need to understand microbiology, pathophysiology and anatomy and physiology.  All of these sciences are required prerequisite courses for all nursing programs in the United States.  Depending on your school, you may take them along with your early nursing courses or before you are admitted into the nursing program.

 

How Much Studying is Required in Nursing School?

When you are in nursing school, you will need to study daily.  It is said that for every hour you spend in lecture classes, you should spend two to three hours studying outside the classrooms.  For example, if you have a three-hour medical surgical lecture each week, then you need to spend at least six hours studying for that class each week outside of your lecture.  This will help you to nail down the basic concepts and keep them fresh in your mind for examinations and clinical practice.  For clinicals, you do not necessarily have to study, but you will have care plans to complete and these take several hours to do, so you much budget your time well or else you risk becoming overwhelmed very quickly.

 

Resources

Scrubs Mag: Why is Nursing School so Hard?

John’s Hopkins School of Nursing: 7 Tips on How to Survive an Accelerated Nursing Program

American Nurses Association: How to Become a Nurse

Top Nursing Career Guides