What are the requirements to gain admission into nursing school? Actually, they differ from one school to the next but all have certain main pre- requisite classes (nursing experience) that are required for students to take. These include courses in Anatomy & Physiology, Social Sciences, Biology, English I & II, Psychology, Life Span Psychology, a Pharmaceutical course and a Chemistry course. Most nursing schools require a grade of C or better for each of the above named courses.

If this isn’t enough stress, the student must complete the Nursing Entrance Test prior to getting their name on the nursing school admission list. Consequently, for the associate degree nurse, the entire program can be expected to take up to three years to complete. The up side of this is that many four year degree granting institutions offer a one year curriculum to graduating Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) for completion of a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It is quite likely, that when the ADN graduates and finds employment, that the hospital where he or she is employed will pay their tuition for their Bachelors Degree completion. All of this sounds very enticing to many who wish to pursue nursing careers.

The nurses pay is also an incentive to enroll in Nursing School, though it should not be the main reason. Hence, with the occurrence of the mass lay offs from many of the automotive industries, those without jobs are entertaining the thought of going into the field of nursing. There is a huge influx of people who are in the nursing program or who plan to enroll in the nursing program ranging in ages from 32 to 52. Many of these students bring with them a vast life experience base. Therefore it is not surprising to find nursing students that have one or two Bachelor Degrees, previous careers in engineering, science, secretarial fields, emergency medical technicians and teachers.

This type of cross section was not the norm twenty or thirty years ago, when most of the nursing students were in their early twenties. There are quite a few current nursing students that are holding full time jobs and juggling kids and spouses needs. The responsibilities that the new nursing students must bear become at most unbearable when actual nursing school begins. So, the nursing student is faced with a stressful road map right at the beginning.

Why are nursing classes so difficult? Time and time again nursing students have said the same thing, which is, “how do you study for these tests?” The frustration for the nursing student culminates when they get a poor score on their exam. Usually this low score is in the C range, which is a failing grade for most Nursing Schools. When a student gets a 79 on an exam, they know that they have to make up those points on the next test. Worst case scenario is that they go into the final with a grade of 79% or 80%. Final exams are always much harder than the exams throughout the semester. So, when a student goes into the final with a failing grade or on the cusp of failing they become unnerved. Most nursing instructors will tell their students not to take the final if they have below an 80% and just drop the class instead of chancing a failing grade.

With nursing courses ranging in the 5-10 credit hour brackets, one can imagine how much a grade point average could be affected by a failing grade. Yet, nursing students do it all the time. They sit for the final exam and throw caution to wind. The results are that some of them do indeed pass, while others fail. Those that pass the final start the next semester with renewed stress. The nursing tests are what put so much stress on the students.

Although clinical rotation can also be very grueling, most student nurses will agree that it is the nursing tests that they fear. Nursing students must be prepared to handle the stress ahead of time. Friends and family should be aware of how much stress that their loved ones have to endure while in nursing school. They can assist by helping with the children such as picking the kids up from school, or bringing over dinner a few times a week. Just being there to listen to their concerns and offering a shoulder to lean on can help a great deal.

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