Can You Do Nursing if You Have Anxiety?

Can You Do Nursing if You Have Anxiety?

Becoming a nurse can be immensely challenging, but the journey isn’t always glassy sailing. Many aspiring nurses jostle with anxiety during their studies, fueled by demanding coursework, high-stakes exams, and the emotional keenness of patient care. This begs the question: can you succeed in nursing school if you have anxiety?

This article delves into the convolutedness of anxiety in nursing school, exploring its root causes, unique challenges, and effective coping strategies. We’ll equip you with practical tools and resources to navigate the demanding nature of this program while nurturing your mental well-being.

What is Anxiety in Nursing School?

Anxiety is a run-of-the-mill controversy faced by many nursing students. The knackering coursework, long study hours, and high-stakes testing can provoke stress and apprehension. Additionally, clinical rotations and patient interactions add performance pressure that can heighten anxiety. Fears over making a mistake that could harm a patient are common. Imposter syndrome and comparing oneself to peers can also contribute to anxiety.

Furthermore, the financial burdens of nursing school may add worries about debt and finding work after graduation. Without proper muddling along skills, anxiety can negatively impact learning, test performance, and overall well-being. Nursing students need to recognize anxiety symptoms early and utilize stress management techniques, social support, counseling, or other resources to prevent anxiety from becoming overwhelming.

Why Is Nursing School So Hard with Anxiety?

Nursing school is notoriously tricky and anxiety-provoking for many reasons. The heavy course load includes many high-stakes exams with tricky question formats that keep students on their toes. Additionally, accelerated programs cram classes and clinics into a shortened timeline, leaving little time for recharging. Clinical rotations add more obligations, often with extra homework.

Occasionally, students encounter unsupportive hospital staff. Long shifts lead to exhaustion and soreness. Exposure to complex patient cases involving violence, abuse, or unfairness takes an emotional toll. Extra uncertainty surrounds nursing during the pandemic, with fluctuating surge needs. Together, these factors create a pressure cooker environment.

Moreover, studies show that around half of nursing students report moderate to high stress, and about a third develop depressive symptoms. The demanding workload, high stakes, lack of time, and emotional challenges conspire to make nursing school an anxiety-filled experience for many.

How to Succeed in Nursing School with Anxiety

Many nursing students battle anxiety due to the demanding nature of the program. Burke suggests two standard profiles: recent high school graduates encountering post-secondary education for the first time and adult learners juggling responsibilities with their studies.

While both groups face unique challenges, the latter may have more experience managing time and resources. Regardless of background, developing self-awareness and self-care practices is vital for students. These skills not only equip them to handle personal anxiety but also prepare them to identify and support patients experiencing similar mental health concerns.

Moreover, succeeding in nursing school with anxiety can be challenging, but with the right strategies and support, it’s possible. Here are some tips to help you navigate nursing school while managing anxiety, including:

  • Be prepared
  • Identify and use resources
  • Study, review, and practice
  • Recognize it is time-limited
  • Take time to relax
  • Practice self-care
  • Practice positivity

Be Prepared

As a nursing student, you should be prepared for the demands of your education. Baxter emphasizes being ready for the heavy course load. Though she played clarinet as an undergrad, she spent most of her time studying in the library or her room. She says many students underestimate the required work and urges them to read the syllabus carefully.

Unlike her music-significant friends, who practiced 8 hours daily, Baxter only practiced clarinet for 2 hours daily since she needed more time to study. Burke also stresses the importance of having a plan and being prepared for the challenges of nursing school. She says that thinking of it as a journey and planning with the right resources and mindset will help students feel more confident.

Identify and Use Resources

Most universities, colleges, and nursing schools offer a variety of resources to assist students be more successful. Therefore, it is essential to use online and on-campus resources that can assist in lowering anxiety levels, such as nursing apps, counseling, and study coaching.

Moreover, you are not born knowing how to study effectively. In addition, what may have worked in high school may not work with a more significant workload in college. Therefore, use the program’s coaching and tutoring to lower your stress and anxiety in nursing school.

Identify what works for you and use it. It may be music that inspires you or reaching out to a friend who will be encouraging and emphatic. Moreover, it is vital to be intentional and avoid people or situations that cause stress.

Study, Review, and Practice

One proven way of lessening anxiety is to be prepared for classes, labs, and exams. The more you know the information, the less you’ll experience. Therefore, practice and practice some more.

Moreover, the more you study, review, and discuss the material you are learning, the better you can grasp it. Things that seem very hard can be broken down into manageable steps.

Recognize it is Time-Limited

Although nursing programs are demanding, they are also self-limited. In other words, you may be going through a rough semester, but a college semester is limited to 15-16 weeks. Therefore, not all semesters are as tricky, and the program lasts 2-4 years.

Furthermore, it is crucial to see the light at the end of the tunnel and keep your goals in sight. In addition, realize that your nursing program is just one chapter in your life.

The anxiety can be managed, and it’s essential to ask for assistance. However, remember you are not in this alone, and many people have been able to enter and succeed in these programs.

Take Time to Relax

The demanding nature of nursing education can be irrefutable, and constant stress can negatively impact mental and physical well-being.  Therefore, divvying up dedicated periods for relaxation allows students to recharge and maintain a healthy balance. Engaging in activities such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies can help quieten anxiety.

This intentional break from academic unsparingness fosters a more resilient mindset, enhances focus during study sessions, and ultimately contributes to better academic performance. By recognizing the significance of self-care and engulfing moments of relaxation, nursing students can navigate the challenges of their education with greater ease and maintain their well-being throughout the demanding journey.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is a foundational resource that you should use every day. Take the time to get quality sleep, exercise, and make good nutritional choices. These steps help lower your stress level and help you feel more balanced.

Remember that nursing school anxiety is not uncommon; working with patients at some of the worst times in your life is also stressful. Therefore, the self-care strategies you develop in nursing school to lessen anxiety can assist in the workplace.

Moreover, don’t forget to breathe. Take a few minutes and practice deep breathing exercises. In addition, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, and get some sunshine. This will help you succeed in nursing school and set you up for future success as you begin your career in nursing.

Practice Positivity

Maintaining a buoyant mindset can significantly reverberate your wherewithal to cope with stress and navigate the challenges of rigorous academic and clinical demands. By cultivating a positive outlook, you can enhance your resilience, focus on your strengths, and approach provocations as elbow rooms for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles.

This involves acknowledging achievements, no matter how small, fostering a supportive network, and adopting self-care practices to promote mental well-being. Embracing a positive perspective enhances overall mental health and bestows a more constructive and successful learning experience in the demanding nursing field.


While nursing school’s demanding nature can fuel anxiety, it doesn’t have to hinder your success. By actively managing your anxiety through self-awareness, practical strategies like regular study and relaxation, and readily available resources, you can confidently navigate this journey. Remember, you’re not alone in this – embrace support, and most importantly, believe in your ability to thrive. The rewarding career of a nurse awaits you! However, if you are looking for the highest quality nursing essays and nursing dissertations, you can place your order here

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