Mailbag Monday: Struggling in Nursing School

failing nursing school

Occasionally I get email from a reader (love you guys!) and I realized the questions and concerns are things that many of you in nursing school (or hoping to attend) are probably sharing. Each Monday (provided I have something in my in-box) I will post a reader question or comment for all to enjoy. And don’t worry…your full name will not be used…your secret is safe with me!

For this first Mailbag Monday, we have this heartfelt note from a nursing school student in Michigan.

I just wanted to seek your advice on something. I am struggling a lot with comparing myself to other students. I don’t consider myself “book smart”. Although, I do feel confident in clinicals. I don’t learn as quick as most students. I can’t just read something once and bam- understand it right away. I tend to be very hard on myself when I barely get a B on an exam when the majority of the class gets A’s. I feel like I work my butt off and get B work out of it when I feel like I put in A work. I practice NLCEX style questions like crazy, take detailed notes, ect. I’m just not sure how to go about solving this. I wanted to see if you experienced anything similar with comparing yourself to other students and any other study tips you may be able to offer?

If you can identify with our anonymous student in Michigan, I first want to say that I am so sorry you are feeling this way. We all fought like feral cats to get INTO nursing school and once there it can be really hard to NOT compare yourself to other students. Let’s face it…nursing school is tough, but there’s absolutely no reason to feel like you have to compete against anyone. The MOST important thing is that you feel confident that you know the material and can safely take care of patients.

As for having a difficult time studying…that’s a doozy. The amount of content covered in nursing school (and the pre-reqs, too!) is enormous. I was the same way as our friend in Michigan…I usually don’t grasp concepts the very first time, which is why I developed a study system that exposed me to the material repeatedly and in various formats. I’d read it, write it, record it, listen to it, draw it, quiz myself on it, teach it and THEN I’d have it down. I write in detail about my study method in my book, “Nursing School Thrive Guide” and provide a ton of resources here that are sure to help. I do hope this is useful for you….and good luck with school, everyone!

Be safe out there!

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