Going to Nursing School: 5 Common Fears

NursingMay 09, 2014

The prospect of going to nursing school can awaken real fears in students. Just knowing that these fears are normal help some prospective students better cope with their anxieties and even relate more to their fellow students. Here are five common fears, and reasons why they shouldn't hinder you from going to nursing school.

Failing to Make the Grade

One of the most common fears students have is whether they'll be able to pass the required courses. Some students aren't afraid of the coursework but know that they freeze on test day, while others are excellent test-takers but tend to be lax about studying. People often want to ask whether nursing school is hard. While it most definitely shouldn't be easy, since these graduates will be taking care of patients, "hard" is a relative term. Some students will find the coursework extremely difficult, and some will find it to be not as difficult. As with everything else in life, some people have to work a little harder, but that should not discourage anyone from following their preferred career path.

Balancing School, Life and Work

This can sometimes be the most difficult aspect of the decision to go to nursing school. Students worry whether they will be able to work, how they will support themselves (and their family, if they have one) and still have enough time to study. One way to assuage some of this fear is to ask for help. If you have a child, ask your family members or friends for their assistance. Talk to instructors at different schools to learn about their recommendations for supporting yourself during your education. Former students can certainly be a wealth of information for sharing their experiences and advice on how to survive what can be a demanding schedule. But most of all, know that this is a temporary phase.


Do your homework. Find out about tuition for different programs, and whether they offer financial aid and scholarships. You might even consider the long-term value in getting an associate versus bachelor's degree so that you can begin working earlier, possibly utilizing a bridge program to receive your BSN later on. If you prefer to seek a four-year degree right away, remember that it is an investment in your own future, and it is worthwhile whether or not you are able to find an employer who offers student loan forgiveness programs.

Finding a Job

While some markets may be more competitive, nurses are in demand, and this demand is expected to continue to grow steadily for at least the next eight years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists nursing as one of the occupations with the highest projected national job growth through 2022. If job stability and availability are concerns of yours, you can probably put those to rest if you are going to nursing school.

Will I Be a Good Nurse?

Well, really, no one can assuage your fears on this subject. But the fact that you want to be a nurse, and a good one at that, almost certainly means that you have the passion and the drive to become one. Good nurses are knowledgeable and helpful, but also empathetic with their patients while remaining firm about what needs to be done.

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