What Is The Hardest Class in Nursing School?

Being a nursing program student is not an easy journey. The field has a lot of competition; the whole studying process is challenging and tough from the very second you cross the threshold of the school and till you pass the final exam. Let’s be honest, the process of becoming a nurse wears you down, devours every free minute you have, and gives you a hard time in general.

When mapping up your class-and-home studies schedule, it’s important to follow the combination of hard and easy classes. Such diversification will help you to avoid burning out and score higher at the end of the academic year. It raises a natural question, though: which classes are hard?

In fact, there is no univocal answer. Whether the class is difficult or not depends on many factors. Sometimes, its complexity is defined by professors’ requirements, their teaching styles, or the amount of homework they assign. Personal strengths and preferences may be a determining factor as well. Oftentimes, nursing program students struggle with the course simply because they find it boring and not to their liking.

However, there are some classes that make the majority of nurses-to-be break out in a sweat. What are those and why they cause so much frustration among students, let’s find out.

nursing students in a class

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Although there is no single course that can be objectively called the hardest, Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology is famous for giving a good deal of trouble even to the sharpest and the most promising minds. As a matter of fact, only half of students nationwide make it through this course. Other 50% either entirely drop the class or receive a failing score upon completing it. 

The necessity to memorize the abundance of complicated scientific and medical terminology poses a great challenge for the majority of nursing program students. Quite frequently, they have to spend hours on end cramming for this course alone. And the fact that your future studies and professional progress depend on how well you performed in this course doesn’t make it any easier.

In other words, a nursing school student taking an anatomy class has no other option but to study hard for the course, which can be a tall order even for the most diligent individuals.


“I had Pathophysiology during my freshman year at a nursing school. Gosh, it was like a bolt out of the blue,” reminisces Alex Clayton, a current Pro-papers medical expert. 

Physiology tells you how human body works, Pathophysiology explains how it works when it doesn’t. While some nursing school students see no trouble in learning this subject, others pull their hair out trying to memorize tons of information. Whichever the case is, the course definitely has its complexities. Not only do students have to understand well human anatomy and physiology, but also be well-versed in peculiarities of different diseases and their influence on human body. 

Nevertheless, students recognize that no matter how challenging and perplexing the “patho” course is, it doesn’t make it any less informative and impactful. “Another good thing about this class was that it taught me critical thinking and proper studying. I continued using these principles even after becoming a full-fledged nurse,” confides Alex.


Working with kids might seem the most rewarding job in the world. However, for some nursing school students, it’s just not meant to be. 

When it comes to children, these little ones require a different nursing approach. Medicine administration is different, plus an extra set of peculiar children’s diseases (like impetigo, RSV or congenital heart problems) make the studying process more complicated and tedious. 

However, sometimes the reason for this class to gain the reputation of the hardest one can be trivial – students just don’t like working with children. 


In a nutshell, pharmacology studies drugs and medications, as well as their impact on human body. Although for some it may sound a breeze at first glimpse, in reality it gives many nurses-to-be the willies when it comes to cramming for pharm course.

To pass the exam, students have to answer a set of questions about a certain drug that include its qualities, like onset, duration and half-life, as well as adverse effects, expected outcomes, and compatibility with other drugs and substances. The subject requires a lot of detailed memorization work that makes even the best and brightest shed a tear while studying. 

A Right for You Nursing Program Is Half of the Success

In fact, all nursing classes will require you to learn a great deal of facts, oodles of new terminology, difficult nursing concepts, as well as plenty of hands-on skills. Memorizing all that is not something anyone can do. 

But in the end, human lives and soundness will depend on how savvy you are as a nurse, so being well-trained makes sense. No doubt, nursing programs are not a walk in the park. But not impossible either. The tough classes are not designed to take you down or undermine your confidence, but to prepare you as best as possible for the nerve-racking role.

To succeed, you will need a good deal of persistence and discipline, as well as loyal course-mates to study with and passionate about their work professors to explain you all the ins and outs of the course. Much depends on the school and the exact program you choose, too.

“I really recommend others to use a nursing program guide before making the final decision about the school you want to enroll. For me, this choice appeared to be life-changing”. 

At school, you may struggle with the classes that were mentioned, or find other courses to be the hardest for you. But in the end, it is your motivation to become a nurse that will drive you forward. And a properly picked up program can make this road a bit more enjoyable. So, don’t neglect any information you may collect.

We’ll help you decide!