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Prepping for graduation! March 27, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Mommy stuff, Student Life.
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I got a letter to confirm that my graduation date is this May! That is assuming the completion of in-progress classes.

What a relief! I was a little worried, some of my classmates were too. I think it’s natural to worry. I mean, there’s the excitement of being in your final semester, and the dread that there’s gonna be one little thing to hold you back. I noticed my GPA and tried not to be too disappointed with it. I wonder if I can still salvage it to graduate with honors… I suppose I can ask my adviser. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to ask, yeah?

I turned in my transcript request yesterday. It will be sent out to the BRN after my degree posts. (Yay!) I have to get my fingerprints done and passport-type photos taken. I plan on mailing my application to the BRN this Monday. (Or today… are post offices still open on Saturdays?)

Let’s see… I’ve gone ahead and ordered invitations to the main graduation ceremony and to the pinning ceremony. So exciting! All I need to do is buy my cap and gown… and order my GK honour cords and stole!

I am so close to the finish line!!!

When I started this program 3 years ago I thought to myself, “Three LONG years!!! Am I ever gonna finish? Will I make it through???” It hasn’t been easy. There have been sacrifices. I’ve many times had to choose between my kids and study time, till I finally decided I could balance them if I just let go of my straight-A mentality. I’ve had two relationships that couldn’t survive nursing school… but I’ve found this year I am actually less stressed without a man in my life. (LOL!) There have been some friendships that I lost due to drifting apart, but that’s life… I’ve also made new friends through nursing school to balance me out.

The most important thing about these past years is that I finally figured out what I wanna be when I grow up. I want to be a nurse! A damn good nurse. I was a little iffy at the beginning… wondering what was this thing that I was taking on? Am I nurse-material? Talk about going in on faith! (Don’t people usually have these things figured out before they dive in? LOL apparently not me.) Now… I am so glad I went for it! Even with all the doom and gloom of the economy I am still optimistic about this profession. =)

Anyway, I’m on spring break… sort of. I won’t be going out of town or anything exciting since I have a few papers (yes plural: paperS) due the week after break. I’m sure I’ll be on here trying to get away from writing… by writing. (Don’t ask me how that makes sense…)

Happy Saturday!

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not quite in the fetal position… February 25, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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Is it spring break yet?

If I can offer any advice to anyone out there still in the early stages of their nursing school experience or perhaps still taking their prerequisites, DO NOT put off your other graduation requirements (read: GE classes) till the “easy” semester. That’s what I did… yes, the workload for nursing is not much this time around (hence “easy”) and while all I wanna do is focus on studying for NCLEX and rack up more preceptorship hours I can’t. I also really wish I could’ve signed up for advanced assessment or any other class related to my major. But nope. I have to use my “extra” time expanding my knowledge in areas non-nursing.

Let’s just say I’d rather patho or pharm all over again than have to write all these fluff papers… or do projects with people I don’t even know…

Yeah, it’s like that.

/rant

Testing 1-2-3 February 11, 2010

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So my senior project (a.k.a. community service hours) is at the skills testing lab. Yes, I willingly chose to be one of the testers for the new nursing students. It’s a nice skills refresher, actually… and I feel like I can make a difference. I remember how scary it was on testing days and even scarier when your tester looked mean. I try to smile. But not too much (they might think I’m crazy). I always try to tell them what they did great before I tell them how they screwed up. Most of the students are prepared, but others… ahhh… not so much.

Here are some things to remember on testing day:

– Have all your supplies ready–put them all in a big ziploc baggie if you have to. That way you don’t waste precious time rummaging through your supply bag or backpack for stuff. The clock is ticking.
– Actually bring your stuff. That includes nursing staples like a watch with a second hand, black pen, and stethoscope.
– Introduce yourself to your tester. (We don’t bite. Usually.)
– Talk loudly enough for the tester to hear you, if we don’t hear you verbalize something we can take off points.
– Don’t talk too loudly that nobody else can be heard. It’s annoying.
– Don’t chew gum. Do I have to explain why?
– Know where to find peripheral pulses. You should know by now.
– Know how to do an assessment. Practice on a friend if you have to.
– Know how to do the skill you are testing for. Really.
– Unless told by the instructor, you are treating the whole patient/mannequin. If you see a ginormous wound/dressing, assess it… even if it’s Foley day.
– Do not fight for every little point. If you have a valid concern or you didn’t understand something, please point it out. But if you argue with me for that 1/2 point I took off because you didn’t DO what you were supposed to… I’m going to nitpick other things.
– Do not talk about me in the hallway afterwards. Chances are I can hear you.
– Practice! Practice! Practice!

The end.

Leave no man behind! February 10, 2010

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What I remember most about the time leading up to nursing school is how hard I worked for my grades in my prerequisite and lower G.E. classes.

How hard *I* worked.

Sure there were lab groups and some group projects in the sciences, but for the most part work was done solo. I didn’t dare help someone else reach for that A… it was a race to the top! With an impacted nursing program, they only took the students with the top GPAs.

It all changed after that. After you get in the program, I mean. If I’ve learned anything in nursing school these past couple years, it’s that you have to work as a team. They told us from the get-go that we should form study groups… I still remember how all of us anal nursing students took to that suggestion. (Hint: not well.) After the first exam, though, we saw the wisdom in it… so study groups were formed.

Not only study groups, but friendships! I really, honestly don’t think I would’ve made it through this far if not for my friends. They gave me a lot of support and encouragement along the way. For that I am thankful.

But here we are at the end of nursing school. Senioritis is kicking in, and it’s more important now than ever to keep each other above the water. Instead I feel like… we’ve reverted to every man for himself. Have we? After all, at the end of this semester we’ll be graduate nurses, each vying for jobs that are now scarce. Sure we want our friends to pass boards, but then again… idk.

There’s this person I’m worried about… I’ve tried to be encouraging, but nada. My other friends have taken the approach, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” and I can totally see where they’re coming from. But really??? I don’t want to see any of my friends fail.

How do you see your classmates? As friends? Or competition?

B.S. January 30, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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I went to the evaluations office yesterday to pick up my baccaulaureate degree application. They asked me if I was going to be finishing up the graduation requirements this semester. I paused. Let it sink in. Let myself process.

“Yes,” I answered finally. She handed me the application.

For a mere $35 I can apply to graduate! Yessss!!! This is so funny to me because 1) you pay to get in, 2) you pay an arm and a leg, and perhaps your firstborn so you can complete your degree requirements, and then 3) you have to pay to leave. Yes, yes… it’s the way the world works. Economics blah blah. I’ll be glad to be out of school with my BSN.

Sorry if I sound a little bitter. It’s just my school… I go to a public uni. So with the recession and the subsequent decrease in tax revenue, decreased school budget, increased school fees… I’ve basically been paying more and getting less for it. We all have.

I wonder if students in other institutions are experiencing effects of the recession. (Specifically with decreased school budgets, less classes being offered, hours being cut, teachers being furloughed, teacher’s salaries being cut, library being closed, increased fees, cutting enrollment… I can go on forever. lol)

Anyway, this was supposed to be a happy post! Ignore all that whining and complaining in the previous 3 paragraphs. Let’s party! After I turn that sucker in all I have to do is survive this semester, pay a few more fees (haha), and I’m outtie! Woot!

What do you think? What’s going on at your school?

Nursing Student Survival Pack January 25, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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I expected it to be a long ass day today, but I really had no idea. I wish I’d put together a small survival pack… in it I think I’d put the following:

– food (nuts, granola bars, MREs… jk)
– brown paper bag
– bottle of ibuprofen
– coffee, coffee, coffee
– red robin – aka: in/out cath (haha ok not really)

So basically my day starts at 11:00 and ends at 5:00. Not bad, you say? Ha! Genius that I am, I did NOT schedule any breaks in between. My classes are literally back to back!

11:00 to 1:00
1:00 to 3:50
4:00 to 5:15

Ok ok so there’s 10 minutes between class B and class C… it’s not enough! I really need to start packing my lunch so I’m not starving by the time I get home. Yikes. You’d think I’d have this student thing down by now…

What would you include in your “survival pack”?

Preceptorship Roulette January 19, 2010

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Someone posted on their FB that they got their preceptorship assignment today. A few left comments on her status that made me realize not everyone knows where they’re going to be yet. That made me a little nervous… I hadn’t heard a confirmation from the school’s clinical coordinator at all either!

I sifted through my email. My instructor had acknowledged an email I sent her (back in December) asking for further instructions regarding securing a spot in the ICU. She said I didn’t need to do any more than I already had (I spoke with the hospital’s ICU coordinator to get my name on the list.)  As far as I know, my name is on that list. I emailed her again today… just to see if there is an orientation prior to the start of classes or if anything has changed. Tomorrow I’m calling the hospital.

Technically, classes start on Thursday, but I don’t have a nursing class till Monday. I have Leadership and a case studies class. Another nursing class is online and two more are on-site (a preceptorship at the hospital and a senior project/community service).

I have an orientation in the morning for my senior project, which is basically participating in some sort of community service… I chose to help out in the nursing lab to mentor first year nursing students. Lord, help me.

My non-nursing classes are: Asian-American Communities, Visual Culture, and American Inequality. So much for an “easy” final semester. The upside is that these classes actually sound interesting. After all, I don’t wanna just fulfill graduation requirements, I want to learn. I mean, nursing isn’t everything. (Ssshhh… don’t tell anyone I said that.)

Anyone else taking non-nursing classes with their nursing stuff? What was/is the most interesting non-nursing class you’ve taken?

really, really? January 14, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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I went to get my PPD read today. When the lady asked me what semester I was in, I had to have grinned from ear to ear when I answered…

“Sixth.”

I am a sixth semester nursing student! In our program, that is the very last one. I knew this all along… but today, it really hit me. =)