Well, some people find it extremely difficult, I didn't. However, it is ALOT of work and will pretty much consume your life while you are in the program.
I teach nursing at the local community college and here is how they work it. Regular colleges are different and there are programs where you can go evenings/weekends (that's what I did-still difficult because we condensed semesters from 16 weeks to 8! And went yearround):
First, you need to take all your sciences and most of your general classes before getting into the actual nursing program. It is extremely competitive so you need to get a great GPA, last year the cutoff for acceptance was 94%
This adds another 1.5 years generally to get all that done. But it really is impossible to do all at the same time anyway with our program.
When you start clinicals, you have them 2 days per week, but you can be assigned day/evening/and weekend, so if you have kids you have to have a flexible babysitter. On the other days, you will be at the school full-time in the lab or in classes. So it really is a 40hour week. There isn't much flexibility there. Summers are off, but many students end up having to take a dosage class, CPR classes, and work in the medical field for experience (good ideas, but I would probably take the summer off and take a breather!)
The classes are difficult, there is TONS to memorize! So if you are thinking about school, start doing something towards it now. Take a science course(make sure it will transfer first), take a medical terminology course, pharmacy course, dosage course, read nursing journals and do the CE credits in them, volunteer/work at a hospital.
If you are thinking about becoming a midwife, you will have difficulty during your ob rotation. I found it better and I recommend to my students to just hang in there, don't argue with everything (you are the bottom of the food chain) and get through it. If you want to make change, you can do that when you graduate!!! (Or when you teach, like me
That's a pretty long answer! Google nursing forums and you will find one, I think, allnurses.com where there is a HUGE board full of nurses in every specialty and several for students. hang out there and listen to learn more about the realities, I do and it's great for me.
Good luck! Don't let the hard work scare you off, but be prepared to put your heart and soul into it.