HOW HARD IS NURSING SCHOOL COMPARED TO OTHER DEGREES: Nursing school is meant to help you become the best nurse you can be. Is it hard? For sure. How hard? That ultimately depends on you.

Nursing is rewarding and fulfilling while nursing school is a definite road you have to cross to get there. Studying nursing is very challenging, it is not for the faint-hearted, nevertheless, this should not deter you from pursuing your dream, as it will be worth it in the end.

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Going through nursing school can be difficult especially because of the various demands you will need to meet to complete your program. However, there are still other degrees such as engineering or other STEM majors that rank higher based on the level of difficulty.


Comparatively, the level of difficulty of Nursing with other courses is not easy to narrow down, this is based on the fact that each program is unique and has it’s benefits as well as challenges, nonetheless, nursing is surely not a walk-in the park.

Keep on reading to find the answers to these questions and decide for yourself if nursing is the right career track for you.

Below are some of the reasons nursing school is considered hard compared to other degrees

Reasons Nursing School Is Difficult


Nursing is highly competitive due to the huge demand for nurses globally as well as the limited intake of students by institutions for the program.

Due to the restricted number of intakes, nursing schools require higher test scores to narrow down the students offered admission, which eventually leads to long waitlists and this can be intimidating for others that might not be able to meet up with the higher CGPA.

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In addition, there is a high rise in nursing educator shortage which affects the number of students enrolled in nursing programs in institutions. The shortage is largely due to the increasing number of educators who are close to the retirement age as well as the poor remuneration they receive compared to other advanced nursing specialties. The resultant impact of this is a wide gap between the number of faculties available and the number of students enrolled in the program. To address this, lots of aspiring nurses have to be turned down; a report revealed that more than 75,000 qualified applicants were denied admission because of the nursing educator shortage.

Stressful Clinical Postings

Student nurses are usually posted to hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, public health agencies, and community or rural areas to get hands-on clinical experiences that can aid them in practice and likewise help them meet up with the clinical requirements to successfully graduate from the nursing program. While some students might consider this stressful, due to the hassles of shuffling between classes and clinicals, others find it exciting.

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Moreover, students are placed under direct supervision during clinical posting to aid them in acquiring critical nursing skills like setting IV lines and also help them get the most out of their clinical experience as they will have to handle patients directly when they begin practice fully, in other words, they are responsible for the lives and wellbeing of patients, so they have to deliver at their best always. Therefore, the scrutiny can lead to feelings of tension and anxiety in the students.

Passing The Professional Qualifying Examination

The licensing examination nursing students have to write in their finals to become registered nurses to be able to practice is one of the most challenging phases of nursing school because it is tough absbrequires a whole lot of effort to pass.

Different countries have their professional qualifying examinations, nevertheless, the majority of students still have their share of the fear and pressure of acing the exams. This is because it is a pivotal phase that determines the next course of events in their career.

Projects And Difficult Assignment With Deadlines

Nursing school is also tasking due to tons of projects and assignments students have to turn in with short deadlines. This is usually tough because they have to juggle this with classes, clinical postings, laboratory requirements, and some other pressures of nursing school.

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However, it can be helpful to take this in a positive light as the majority of these projects and tasks are usually given to prepare students and also help them gain additional knowledge for practice.

Passing Individual Courses

Many students struggle with difficult coursework, such as advanced scientific concepts, and require lots of studying to be able to catch up. Additionally, they have to learn and memorize loads of new things all of which are essential to building the foundational knowledge for other advanced courses. Therefore, missing one might means the risk of having difficulty when you need those knowledge or experience later on.

Tips On How To Successfully Complete Your Nursing Program


While nursing school can be daunting, here are some of the tips that can be beneficial in completing the program successfully;

Prepare Well To Meet The Required Criteria For Admission

Although getting into nursing school can be hard, preparing ahead of your admission can give you leverage over the long waitlists and limited intakes.

You can find these tips helpful; studying well ahead to meet the required GPA for admission, volunteering to gain valuable experience, enrolling in courses to boost your GPA, and going for the easier track to get admission easily, for example, the LPN pathway.

Turn In Assignment And Projects Early

Ensure that you do not leave projects or assignments close to the deadline for submission before you begin to work on them as this will help you to do an excellent job that can boost your grade. in addition, you also get time to focus on other important things like studying.

Have Regular Study Time

With several difficult courses you have to take, this cannot be overemphasized, the best way to handle this is to schedule a regular study time so that you would have covered the majority of your courses well ahead of time before exams. Reading when exams are close can set you up for failure due to lots of difficult things you need to read in a short period. So, it is essential to prepare ahead for exams rather than cramming.

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Moreover, you can use effective methods to study and get things right for example, using mnemonics and abbreviations to remember things can save you time and also help you learn faster.

Know Your Strength And Weakness

Knowing what you can do best and where you need help is very crucial so that you can know when and how to seek help to complete your program successfully. This will also help you to identify the need for extra lessons and tutorials.

Manage Your Time Effectively

With clinical hours, classes, projects, assignments, exams, tests, and the need to juggle work with classes for some, you need an effective time management strategy to be able to stay atop your game. Otherwise, you might lose your footing, get drowned in the huge demand of nursing school, or at worst fail.

Have a Good Relationship With Your Peers

One of the beautiful things about nursing school is that its challenges push students together for bonding, team spirit, and becoming support systems. Therefore, it is important to get along with your peers because you need all the support you can get from them to successfully achieve your career goal of becoming a nurse.


Nursing school can be intimidating, likewise your career because of the unique experiences you will face. However, the satisfaction you get from making a difference in patients’ lives, helping them have better care outcomes as well as the various scope of practice you have as a nurse can make it all worth it.

Everyone’s journey through nursing school is different: some find it easier, while for others, it’s painstakingly hard. It’s not a career path for the faint of heart, but in the end, if you’re passionate and driven, you’ll not only survive, but you’ll thrive in nursing school.

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Written By Mayowa Racheal Popoola
RN, Content Writer


Abdullahi Suleiman a Certified Registered Nurse based in Nigeria, an Entrepreneur and Also a Blogger, passionate about Community Development and Cosmetic Nursing

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