How hard is nursing school?

How hard is nursing school?

By Josephine Reid

Time management is one of the biggest challenges in nursing school, you’re going to be pulled in multiple directions between coursework, clinicals and studying. School life can be difficult as well if you're juggling additional personal, social and family responsibilities on your plate. To succeed you need to be able to use your time wisely and maintain a schedule.

There are several strategies to make the best use of your time.

Scheduling time to focus solely on school work, even if you don’t have anything that needs to be done immediately that day can hold itself as greatly beneficial — the time can be used to work ahead or review NCLEX questions.

You will also need to have a very strong grasp of the material so you know not only the answer, but why answers are correct. Understanding the rationale behind answers will help with the format of NCLEX testing as well. Because you have so much to learn, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed initially, but as time goes on, the training wheels will find a time to come off.

The life of a nursing student is a busy one and it can be easy to get caught up in what you’re doing and forget to relax. Keeping your social life in tact will make the nursing journey much better. It doesn’t seem like much, but taking the time to relax and appreciate the little things will help you recharge. Time off will keep you from getting burned out by nursing school.


Nurses are also able to continue their education past a bachelor’s degree. Additional nursing credentials can be earned at both the master’s and doctorate levels. But learning isn’t all about acquiring formal education in a classroom setting.

It is natural to be a little unsure of yourself before taking on a new challenge. It is important to remember that succeeding in nursing school is not impossible—if you put in the work, get organized and are willing to sacrifice some of your free time in the short term you'll be on your way to a gratifying career.

There is definitely a human aspect to the job. You’re going to work with many people of all age groups day in and day out. Sooner or later you’ll meet a special patient who will tug on your heartstrings. But remember, they are in your care because they are ill or even possibly dying. Although, you want to do everything you can to help him or her, you also have to know when it’s time for their family – and you – to say goodbye. You won't be able to save everyone and unfortunately, that's a part of what being a nurse is all about.


Ask A Nurse

My question to you is how were your grades in high school...and did you do well in the sciences, were you inclined to academics?

There is a lot of studying and learning involved in nursing programs, more basic for LPN, in depth for RN. And the prereqs for RN can be difficult for someone who is not academically inclined. Grades are required to be high for admittance to the upper level nursing courses, I hear. This was the same when I went through school 30 years ago.

I did LPN first and worked my way through RN school. I don't regret it, family needed the income. It is hard to work full-time through RN school but many facilities will accommodate a student and even help with tuition reimbursement, in return for a period of employment following graduation.

If you like academics, can go to school 4 yrs, and know you want the RN credential, consider a 4 yr degree (BSN). It affords you more opportunities to advance/move into other areas of nursing should you wish.

If you want bedside nursing a few years sooner, consider LPN (quicker) or ADN (RN pay, faster than BSN). - As told by MM81 on

I'm Josephine Reid and I work at headquarters in Los Angeles. I have a B.S. in Retail Merchandising and Business from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I like to keep a beautiful balance of a creativity and business mindset.