Some studies suggest that the stress levels of students in nursing school are higher than those enrolled in medical school. Why is nursing school so stressful? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, we can tell you the most common stressors we’ve seen among our ABSN program students and how you can triumph over them.
Our 16-month ABSN program comprises four full-time semesters of fast-paced nursing curriculum. It’s a hefty workload that often causes students to feel overwhelmed. Having to balance coursework, exams, skills labs, and clinical rotations simultaneously with personal and family obligations can intensify these feelings, creating a fear of failure. But these are ways you can avoid feeling stressed:
The sheer volume of information nursing students must learn, absorb, and retain often takes them by surprise, especially those who are accustomed to learning by memorization. Nursing students must be able to think critically and synthesize concepts. After all, memorizing the term “renal failure” and its associated complications isn’t enough. It’s necessary to understand how the kidneys work and how they influence other parts of the human body. Here are some strategies that can help you avoid this stress:
Starting the second semester of our ABSN program, clinical rotations can be a major source of stress for nursing students. Not only is there a fear of the unknown, it’s also common for students to be afraid of doing something wrong. Here are ways you can use nursing simulation to boost your clinical confidence and avoid stress during nursing school:
It’s pretty common for nursing students to have test anxiety. After all, nursing school exams are very different from those administered in other fields of study. Nursing questions are rarely straightforward, and most are complex multiple-choice questions where every answer is correct, but one is more correct than the others. Students have to think critically rather than pull from memorized content. Here are some things you can do to keep test anxiety at bay:
Not only is nursing school challenging, our 16-month ABSN program requires a lot of time and energy to be successful — some compare it to working a full-time job with frequent overtime. So before jumping too far ahead of yourself, take a good look at your personal, family, and financial obligations to make sure you’re in a place where you can handle the stresses of nursing school.
But whether you start nursing school in a few months or a few years, just remember it’s completely normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed by the curriculum. You may even find yourself wanting to give up — but don’t! Go ask a registered nurse about his or her nursing school experience. There’s a good chance you’ll get a response along the lines of “it was extremely tough but well worth it in the end.”
After all, nursing is a highly rewarding and growing profession that offers job security and good pay. It also gives you the flexibility to work in various capacities and in all types of settings, from airplanes to hospitals to schools.
Want to know more about why the stress of nursing school is totally worth it? Contact our highly supportive admissions staff to see if our 16-month ABSN program in Downers Grove or Maywood, Illinois, is a good fit for you.
We’d like to acknowledge some sources for this post:
Haws, Jon. “How to Slay Nursing School: Forget Study Tips, Go for Strategy.” Dec. 19, 2015.
Independent Medical College. “Evaluation of Factors of Stress Among Nursing Students.” June 2, 2017.
Tagher, Gannon. “Nursing Students are Stressed … So What?” Sept. 26, 2017.