Is It Hard To Become a Nurse?

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Dec 27, 2023
A young female woman nursing student massages her temples as she studies for the NCLEX

There’s one question that people often ask when they consider pursuing a career in nursing: Is it hard to become a nurse?

The short answer is yes. From mastering human anatomy to understanding complex medical terminologies, becoming a nurse is no walk in the park.

In fact, it’s more like a marathon. You have to put in the work before stepping up to the starting line.

The reality is that becoming a registered nurse (RN) requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. While getting your license takes a lot of effort, nursing is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling career paths.

Why is it hard to become a nurse?

Several factors make pursuing a career in nursing challenging.

Here are four of them.

1. Education requirements

Becoming a nurse requires at least a two-year associate’s degree or four-year bachelor’s degree.

To get into a nursing program, potential nursing students need to meet certain prerequisites, such as:

  • Having a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Completing certain courses in biology, chemistry and math
  • Having a minimum grade point average (GPA)
  • Passing an entrance exam or achieving acceptable ACT scores
  • Submitting letters of recommendation and personal statements

They also need to pay for books, supplies, tuition fees, and other expenses related to their education.

2. Coursework

Nursing programs are rigorous and challenging, requiring nursing students to learn a lot of information quickly.

They must attend lectures, do assignments, study hard, write papers, and take exams on various topics. They also need to keep up with the latest evidence-based practices and research.

3. Clinical hours

Nursing students must complete a certain number of clinical hours in different settings, such as:

  • Clinics
  • Community agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes

They need to apply their knowledge and skills in real-life situations. They must also interact with clients, their families, and other health care professionals.

4. Licensing exams

To become a registered nurse (RN), nursing students must pass a national licensure test called the NCLEX-RN exam.

Test prep may include reviewing coursework, studying from review books or online resources, and taking practice tests.

How can nursing students overcome challenges?

Here are some tips to navigate through the challenges of nursing school:

  • Develop practical time management skills: Make a schedule that balances study time, clinical hours, and personal commitments. Stick to it as much as possible.
  • Seek support from peers and professors: Connect with other students to share notes, study together, and provide emotional support. Don’t hesitate to ask professors for help or clarification on complex topics.
  • Take care of your health: Nursing school is mentally and physically taxing. Prioritize self-care by eating well, getting enough rest, and taking breaks when needed.
  • Use available resources: Many schools offer counseling services, tutoring, and other support programs. Take advantage of these resources.
  • Stay motivated and focused: Remember why you chose to become a nurse and stay committed to your goals.

Is becoming a nurse worth it?

For many individuals, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

Nursing provides:

  • Competitive salary and benefits: Nursing is a well-paying career with competitive wages and benefits. Additionally, nurses often have flexible schedules and various shift options.
  • Growth opportunities: Nursing is a field that encourages lifelong learning and growth. Nurses can pursue higher degrees or certifications, take on leadership roles, and specialize in different areas of practice.
  • Opportunities to impact others: Nurses can positively impact clients’ lives, whether it’s through education, emotional support or hands-on care.

Do I have what it takes to become a nurse?

Some common traits of successful nurses include:

  • Compassion and empathy: Nurses must have compassion and empathy for others because they often deal with patients who may be going through difficult situations.
  • Communication skills: Effective communication with clients and other health care professionals is essential.
  • Attention to detail: Nurses must be detail-oriented to accurately assess client needs, administer medication, and document information.
  • Physical and emotional stamina: Nursing is emotionally and physically demanding, so it’s important to have the stamina to handle challenging situations.
  • Critical thinking skills: Nurses need strong critical thinking skills to make quick decisions in emergencies.
  • Ability to work well under pressure: There are high-stress situations, and it’s important to maintain a calm and composed demeanor while providing care.

Make your nursing journey easier with SimpleNursing

Becoming a nurse is challenging but leads to a career that makes a difference in people’s lives.

And that’s a reward that’s hard to beat. While having the right qualities and skills is important, having access to quality resources and support is also crucial during your nursing journey.

SimpleNursing offers a variety of online study materials, practice questions, and video tutorials designed

specifically for students. Our platform allows you to study at your own pace and access materials anytime, anywhere.

Join our community by signing up for a free trial, and let us support you on your journey to becoming a nurse.

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