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Study, study, rest… then study some more June 7, 2010

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So after I got all excited about studying daily I actually did it! Well, for four days… After that I was burnt out. I’m talking: online Kaplan lectures, reading the book, answering questions, and going over rationales… then reading some more. Yeahhh… not to mention my internal clock is set to wake up at 6:00 (sometimes 5:30!!!) no matter what. I was studying till lunch, watching an hour of TV, reading a little more, then taking a nap till my kids got home from school. (Yes, I take naps.) After dinner, I had my Kaplan class. NOT FUN. Don’t get me wrong, studying was going well, Kaplan was great… it’s just that I couldn’t continue that pace by the fifth day! I need a new plan…

Oh, by the way!!! Here is a tip: Take Kaplan with a friend or two! Seriously! I was lucky because most of the people there were from my graduating class, so there was no initial shyness… no worries about looking stupid for giving the wrong answer. It was easier to ask questions in class. It was awesome! Contrast that to a class I had to make up with the majority students from a “rival” school. Awwwwkward. They’re nice I’m sure, but I felt like they weren’t critical thinkers… hard to explain. Unlike my peeps, they didn’t really talk through the questions… and puh-leeze, how can you NOT know that Tylenol is potentially hepatotoxic?

lmao maybe I’m a little biased…

Anyhoo…  I gotta go. It’s almost naptime. =)

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The dreaded NCLEX June 1, 2010

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The thing that nursing students fear the most… even worse than the fear of all nursing school exams combined!!! The fear, the worry, is so bad that people (me) would plunk down hundreds of dollars for a review course. Yup. It’s the NCLEX-RN.

Ever wonder why we fear the darn thing? Well, it could be because it’s a computerized adaptive test  (CAT) and that practically every review book or course instructor tells us it’s “nothing like we’ve ever taken before”. OR it could be that all our years of hard work on care plans, med cards, flow charts, research papers, examinations, etc. are riding on those 75-265 questions. AND just the fact that it could last up to 265 questions or up to 6 hours is so intimidating!!! BUT in the end it really is just a test. Sure we pay a lot to take it, we paid a lot to even be qualified to take it, and maybe even paid a lot to review for it… but ahhhhhhh!!!!! It’s just a test.

Just a test. Hmmm. I’ll let you know after  take it… (but I’m not saying when!)

For now I am sticking to waking up at 6:00 am and studying… I’ve mapped out the chapters I want to read in Saunders and the (Kaplan) QBANK tests I want to take daily. Yes, daily. It actually works out perfectly for when I plan to take my test. I just have to stay disciplined and actually study.

I know… I know… you’re thinking, “How long will THAT last?” I’m skeptical, too, but I figured if I put it out there I’m binding myself to it. Ya know?

Anyway, happy Tuesday!

Sticker Shock February 23, 2010

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BRN Registered Nurse Examination Application $75
Interim Permit (optional) $30
Public health nurse certificate $75
Fingerprinting ~$20
DOJ processing fee $32
FBI processing fee $19
Passport photo ~$15
NCLEX-RN examination registration fee $200
Transcripts ???

Other stuff:
ACLS class $50 (plus cost of book)
Nursing pin $50 (cheapest pin)
Hurst review ~$350 (?)
Kaplan review ~$499 (?)

Writing “RN, BSN, PHN” after my name… priceless?

In two months… February 1, 2010

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Apparently a new version of the NCLEX is released every three years. Lucky us, the next one is out on April 1, 2010! First thing that came to my mind was, “haha April Fools!” but of course, I’m sure there really is going to be a revision…

Darn!

A rep from Kaplan came to our class today to tell us about their courses. Prices seem a little much, but I’ve heard good things. Also, I know a couple people who did HESI instead of Kaplan. I remain undecided. After all, I am already taking a case study/NCLEX review course through my uni, plus the ATIs.

What about you? Will you be taking Kaplan, HESI, or other review course?

*edit* I think I meant Hurst instead of HESI…

Be careful what you wish for… January 27, 2010

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So… remember when I was complaining about what a dummy I was for not scheduling myself a break on Mondays? I really, really, really should have just kept that one to myself instead of releasing it into the universe, because NOW I actually do get to have a break. A THREE HOUR BREAK.

You read correctly: 3 hours.

Apparently some 5th semester students (remember we have 6 semesters) are graduating this summer… so it would be advantageous for them to take the NCLEX prep course. They want in. Unfortunately it’s not offered in the summer. And now us “regular” folk who don’t like to take summer courses have to accomodate the overachievers. Instead of 11:00 to 1:00, the course has been bumped up to 8:00 to 10:00. The room we previously had was not big enough to hold everyone. The room we would fit in is available at the earlier time. So there. 8:00 to 10:00 NCLEX review.

My next class is at 1:00. My last class is till 5:15.

 *headdesk*

I have homework… January 20, 2010

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.. and my nursing classes don’t even start till Monday.

I now have all the textbooks I ordered from Amazon… All I need is a Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN. Apparently it’s the book for our NCLEX review class. It wasn’t listed at the bookstore, but it’s on the syllabus. The same syllabus that was posted just today. Go fig. But that’s ok. I don’t have syllabi for my other nursing classes. I’ll take a look at what they have at the bookstore tomorrow. (I may just order from Amazon again.)

Anyway, I have some work to get done. I want to get ahead… because I have a feeling if I DON’T stay above water, I’m going to D-R-O-W-N this semester.

Yikes.

The semester hasn’t even started yet and already I feel behind… January 11, 2010

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131.

I should be more excited about my final semester… but I’m not. If anything I am WORRIED. I am carrying so many units! What was I thinking leaving so much upper division G. E. requirements to the last semester?!? Ugggghhhh…

That, my friend, is the sound of dread echoing in my brain.

While my friends are relaxing with their light load (by partying it up, working more hours, or taking fluff classes–one friend is taking up interpretive dance!) I will be sweating it out in my required classes. By writing, that is, no physical exertion involved.

Anyway, even the whole reviewing of critical care material (or even for NCLEX!) is slow-going. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a nursing book. Ok wait, maybe last weekend. But yeah… I need to get motivated and I need to do it NOW. I still have time to read up on stuff, that way I’m not completely mushy-brained when my preceptorship starts.

Ugggghhhh…

study aids January 9, 2010

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133 days till graduation. If I make it through with my sanity intact.

My program has us doing ATIs. The last proctored ATI exam I took was the RN-Comprehensive, which projected I will do well on the NCLEX… but I’m not satisfied. I’ve heard that ATI doesn’t fully prepare you for the labyrinth that is NCLEX. How can it?

I was at Borders today looking through all the NCLEX review materials they had. Three bookcases filled with nursing and medical books and boxes of notecards all haphazardly shelved together. There was no order. None, as far as I could tell. I looked through them… Saunders, Mosby, Kaplan, etc. Where do I start? What’s best?

I bought a Kaplan NCLEX-RN strategies book.

There is an optional case studies class I enrolled in this coming semester. It should help with content and critical thinking. Previous students have dubbed it “NCLEX prep”… I hope it lives up to the nickname.

My next step? Find a good box of pharm flashcards.