Is Nursing School Hard?

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Is Nursing School Hard? - woman sitting working on laptop

Nursing school is hard to pass—if you’re not prepared for the time commitment, determination and planning you’ll need to be successful.

If you have a passion for helping people and are committed to your nursing education, you should be able to earn your BSN in as few as 12 months through the St. Thomas Accelerated BSN program. This post explains why nursing school is hard to pass and shares tips that will help make your nursing school experience as smooth as possible.

It’s worth mentioning that while nursing school is hard, it’s also a fulfilling and well-respected career path. By enrolling in an ABSN program, you’re helping to close the nursing shortage and change lives.

Applying to Nursing School

Your first nursing school challenge starts before you even start your coursework. Because our 12-month ABSN program in Houston allows you to earn a second bachelor’s degree in nursing on an accelerated timeline, we do need to make sure our students are ready to hit the ground running through a set of certain academic requirements.

In addition to holding a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university, to be eligible to enroll in ABSN@UST, you must:

  • Complete the prerequisites for the program prior to enrollment, which you can do through our university—allowing you to get familiar with our intuitive online platform
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (including a 3.0 GPA for all prerequisite science courses)
  • Earn a score of 80 or higher on the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) Admission Assessment exam
three students writing on a chalkboard

Preparing for the First Semester of Nursing School

One reason people think nursing school is hard to pass is because the first semester of nursing school tends to be the most challenging as it’s full of new things. As a new nursing student, you’ll be introduced to new concepts, hands on labs, and many other new experiences. This can seem like a lot to acclimate to, but luckily there are things you can do to make your transition into nursing school as smooth as possible.

To prepare for your first semester of nursing school, you can:

  • Talk to an admissions counselor to determine a start date that will be advantageous for your goals, gain support and get any questions you have answered
  • Buy a planner or download an agenda app to schedule time for homework, studying and stay on top of deadlines
  • Get to know your fellow ABSN students—after all, they will be experiencing all same the new ideas and challenges and can offer support

These tips will help you get a head start on being successful in your first semester of nursing school. Because nursing is a profession that saves lives, the curriculum is rigorous to prepare you for the fast-paced and ever-changing situations you may face as a nurse. Is nursing school hard? Yes, it can be. In fact, our ABSN program has such high standards that it is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The CCNE is a body that evaluates nursing programs to be sure they meet strict guidelines for quality and give students the appropriate education to become skilled nurses.

After all, you wouldn’t want an underprepared nurse who passed any old program caring for your loved ones.

As such, our program is challenging enough that your reputation as a St. Thomas nurse reflects confidence, capability and pride.

With that in mind, let’s dive into what you can expect from your time in our ABSN program, also known as ABSN@UST.

What to Expect from The St. Thomas ABSN Program

ABSN@UST has a nursing curriculum that combines online coursework with hands-on learning. While the ABSN program may be demanding, with the right level of commitment you can graduate ready to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and start your career as a nurse in as few as 12 months.

University of St. Thomas nursing student using computer

In any nursing program, grasping nursing school coursework can be tough at first. This is especially true in an accelerated nursing program as there’s a lot of material to cover in a shorter amount of time.

While nursing school is hard, we do our best to support you and help you become a competent and enthusiastic nurse. ABSN@UST does this by immersing you in hands on experiences in skills and simulation labs. These labs allow you put the information you’ve been learning in class into action in a low pressure environment. You’ll practice your nursing skills on lifelike manikins and role play with your peers to understand different symptoms and reactions you may encounter in the field.

The ABSN program also provides opportunities for real-world learning during clinical placements.

Here, you will work alongside professionals at top healthcare facilities in the greater Houston area. It’s during this part of your accelerated nursing education that you will gain experience serving diverse patient populations and have access to a variety of specialties so you can see what you may be interested in.

nursing student with binder standing with instructor

These experiences combined with your ABSN coursework can prepare you to enter the field as a practice ready nurse following graduation.

Now that you know why nursing school gets a reputation for being challenging, you can decide if an ABSN program is right for you. While nursing school is hard, it’s also one of the most trusted professions and offers a comfortable salary and flexible schedule.

Perhaps best of all—it’s rewarding. As a St. Thomas nurse, you’ll change lives and know you’re making a difference.

Make a Bold Call for Your Future

If you’re ready to kick off your journey toward becoming a nurse, the first step is a conversation with our admissions counselors, who will help you determine if you’re right for our program.

The admissions counselors at ABSN@UST are here to answer any questions you may have about our 12-month second-degree ABSN program. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you start your nursing journey.