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The dreaded NCLEX June 1, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Uncategorized.
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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!

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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!

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

Dx: Sinusitis February 19, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in General, Student Life.
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Last weekend was brutal. Right after my hospital hours on Friday I came home, showered, barely ate dinner, and crashed on the couch. My body was just so tired of me pushing it while it was telling me to rest, so rest I did.

I’d been “sick” for a couple weeks by then. I saw a doc on Thursday (not MY doc ’cause she was off that day) who told me it was “just a cold” and gave me a list of OTC meds I could take to relieve symptoms. (Gee thanks.) I went in to the hospital feeling ok the next day, though I was on Tylenol and Sudafed to kill my sinus pain. By the end of the day I wanted to take a tube, stick into my face, and attach it to suction. (Note: Don’t actually go and do this!)

So back to the weekend… I slept early Friday (was in and out during the Olympics’ opening ceremony–it was gorgeous btw!). I slept most of Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, I was starting to get better. By “better” I mean I didn’t feel a need to sleep all day. (Thank goodness for the 3-day weekend!) 

Tuesday, I went to see the doctor. MY doctor this time. She actually listened to me list my worsening symptoms over the past 2 1/2 weeks. Imagine that. Listening to the patient. (I love my doc!) She prescribed me some antibiotics for the sinusitis, told me my lungs don’t sound like it’s gotten to bronchitis yet. YET. She also gave me a script for prednisone to help relieve the inflammation and allow me to breathe better (I have asthma normally controlled with an inhaled steroid, but lately have been needing my rescue inhaler too). I’m to continue the Tylenol and Sudafed, PRN, and take guiafenesin (an expectorant) to thin out my mucus. Yum.

Today, I still have sinus pain, but it’s bearable. I contacted my preceptor last night and asked if I should come in today, and she told me to rest. I wonder though if it’s due to me being sick (protect patients) or me being on prednisone (protect me). Maybe both? Anyway, I’ll have to make up those hours…

As it is I’m playing catch-up with my homework because, as you know, when you’re a nursing student there’s no time to be sick. *sigh*

Today’s tip: Don’t get sick.

Ready… or not. January 28, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Mommy stuff, Student Life.
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114

I have my paperwork turned in: health clearance, BLS card, malpractice insurance. I even have my badge. My scrubs are clean and neat, my shoes ready to go. I should be able to start my preceptorship tomorrow. BUT I’m putting it off till next Friday.

Why?

My daughter has a really important test tomorrow and I just have to be here in the morning when she wakes up; make sure she gets a good breakfast (not some sugary mess she sometimes sneaks by her grandma lol); and give her lots of hugs and kisses and tons of encouragement. =)

Kids first.
Career next.
Me last.

Some of my classmates don’t understand… but then again, they don’t have kids. The other part of me feels like I’m letting myself down. After all, I got all my stuff ready right away. I had a head start because I took initiative by getting in touch with the right people. I have a site and a preceptor (and a designated day–every Friday), while others don’t even know where they’re going. And now I am choosing to put it off… doesn’t seem to make sense when I put it that way. All I know is that I can make up those hours for my preceptorship. Can I make up the hours I lose with my daughter?

Just some thoughts this morning.

Be careful what you wish for… January 27, 2010

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115

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*

You Never Know January 26, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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116

Any place you go there’s always at least one person that tends to rub others the wrong way. Especially Even nursing school. Lucky for me I’ve dealt with difficult people my whole life (thank you, family) so I can pretty much get along with anyone. One of my former study mates (“former” only because he graduated early by combining his 5th and 6th semesters) was known as the smart ass of our group. He used to annoy me and another mate during class. I’m the shrug-it-off or laugh-at-myself type, so it didn’t bother me too much. My friend, however, took it to heart… she was irritated at the mere sight of him.

Anyway, long story short: you cannot judge a book by its cover! Or sometimes not even by the first few pages, either. Smart Ass (and I say that lovingly) was a real big help recently. I almost expected he would be too busy to answer a text from me, but he surely did. =)

I had been worried about which ICU floor to choose, who to pick as a preceptor (or more importantly, who to avoid), etc. By taking me seriously when I went into panic mode, he made me feel so much more at ease with the whole ordeal. It all worked out just fine last week.

It would’ve been easy to write this guy off as a douche. Seriously. But he really is a nice guy after all. You just never know.

Has anyone surprised you?

Nursing Student Survival Pack January 25, 2010

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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”?