Gateway Fast Track LPN - after 1 month-my experiences

  1. 6
    This forum has been my primary resource to find answers about what to expect as a new student @ Gateway, and one thing I've noticed is dozens of threads asking about what goes on once you actually begin block 1 - especially in regards to what might be helpful to study before classes start.

    I'm sure I'll forget some things, but here's what I've experienced in the first month...

    Lectures are once a week, and "labs" are twice a week - this could be because I'm enrolled in a summer schedule and they needed to get the hours in somewhere. Clinicals for us are 12 hours, on Saturdays, but we've been told that they avoid Saturday placements whenever possible.

    Grading - 76% is passing, 75.9% is failing, and they don't do rounding. Attendance - you get to miss ONE lab or clinical per semester. My clinical instructor said if you're really sick, come to clinicals anyway and she'd try to find an "alternate" assignment if at all possible, that didn't involve patient contact.

    225 points for quizzes( 9 quizzes total), 75 points for the final. No points for clinical or lab time, it's either pass or fail.

    There is a medication math quiz, 10 questions - not part of your grade, but you can't pass meds until you pass the test. At least one clinical instructor has her own test, you must pass both tests to pass meds with her. You get three chances to pass, after you take the quiz twice, our instructor makes you wait and review for a month before your third and final try. Not sure what happens if you fail 3 times - I doubt it's good.


    Quiz number one was 15 questions, it was given 2 weeks into class, and covered 13 chapters. Yeah, you read that right - get out your reading glasses. We covered a ton of material very quickly, but it was primarily CNA-type material, and for fast track, you already took a CNA class. Things like vital signs, ROM, Scope of Practice, PPE.

    Quiz #2, 25 points - covered 22 chapters (a couple of different books) , and a couple of electronic modules (evolve, EDGT, etc) - The eight "rights of medication" (look up the five rights, then add, - right to refuse, right documentation, and right supplies).

    Quiz #3 was 30 points, and ONLY covered 11 chapters... ... medication/biology, etc...

    I'm not trying to scare anyone, this is what I experienced, and FWIW, the quizzes weren't easy, but you aren't likely to fail if you did the reading. My average is currently 85%, and I have no background in healthcare at all.
    As you can imagine - they're looking mostly for concepts, not factoids.

    Clinicals so far have been a blast for me - I got a great instructor who told us on the first day that we'd walk out of her clinicals with almost every single proceedure on our chart checked off, if they did that proceedure @ this facility, and so far we seem to be on track. I did clinical #2 last week, and so far, I've been checked off on accuchecks, passing meds, wound care, and foleys.

    For some instructors you need a care plan every single week, and my instructor said we only need 3 for the semester, but they better not be cut-n-paste plans. They have to be well thought out, specific (customized) to the client, and you need to be able to explain why you're doing what your doing to the instructor. I haven't turned one in yet, and the patient I picked week one went home Saturday, so I get to start over...

    As for what you'll experience in month 1 - it could be WAAAAY different... I've already experienced some instructors that do a great job of putting you to sleep or confusing you. I hope that isn't who you get, but understand they are out there.
    juliusmyn, koalakoala, Lizzyru, and 3 others like this.
  2. 55 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Yep, that sounds about right...LOL!! I just finished the program in May. Curious to know who you have for instructors. PM or email me if you get a chance.

    Something I didn't figure out until Block II, and improved my scores from B's to A's, is use Saunder's to study for quizzes, finals, HESI, whatever. I installed the CD and just did NCLEX question after NCLEX question. Helped IMMENSELY!!!! I also purchased the Evolve HESI-LPN study guide and used that as well. Gives a more condensed version of the info in your text books. Sometimes makes things easier to understand. Not so wordy. There is also a CD with that one with practice questions...VERY helpful. I would also get a 2nd NCLEX book from another publisher (Lippincott, etc) to study from as well.

    Good luck!
    Marlene39 likes this.
  4. 0
    Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. I will be starting the same program in August and this is a great snapshot of what to expect. I suspected the reading would be that intense. Do you work full time too? I work 50 hours a week and need to work that much, unless I win the lottery
  5. 0
    Wow! Thanks to both of you for the info! Foley's the first month? Yikes! I've watched a lot of them, but didn't realize I'd be doing them so soon. Any needles in the immediate future? I do accuchecks a dozen times a day, but I'm thinking IVs and blood draws are much more tricky. When does that start?

    Rzwzzy, you mentioned that they avoid Saturday clinical placements but what does that mean? I have re-arranged my schedule to allow Saturday clinicals and don't have another day during the week that I can do them. I'm starting in August and my schedule isn't terribly flexible at the hospital. Congrats on the 85%! I know that is quite an achievement based on my other friend's reports. Hey even a "C" means continue, right? So a "B" must mean blasting through! Please keep the updates coming. I really appreciate knowing what is coming up. You should do a blog report...

    PediRN2b, I've heard that about doing Nclex questions instead of regular studying from other students and I'm already starting to look at them. When are you starting block 3? Are you working as an LPN in the meantime? Also, was the Saunders book part of the package from the bookstore or did you purchase it separately? I've got the new one on order for October, but figure I will need something before then to study by. Congrats on graduating!!

    Also, where have your clinicals typically been for block 1? I live in Mesa near Dobson and 60. Are they very far away? I'm looking at the 6:45am start time and thinking I'm not such a morning person.
  6. 0
    Quote from micajoieLAc
    Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. I will be starting the same program in August and this is a great snapshot of what to expect. I suspected the reading would be that intense. Do you work full time too? I work 50 hours a week and need to work that much, unless I win the lottery
    I'm lucky - the wife has a good job, so I'm able to go without work for now at least, but there are quite a few who are working in the program, and it is do-able. The big thing is not get yourself over-worried about the material early on. They only get to ask a couple of questions per chapter, so don't get caught up trying to remember Florence Nightingale's birthday and favorite color, even though it is in the textbook. Everyone I talked to before the first test was baffled as far as WHAT to study, there was just too much material to know everything that fast.

    Quote from pediRN2b
    I installed the CD and just did NCLEX question after NCLEX question. Helped IMMENSELY!!!! I also purchased the Evolve HESI-LPN study guide and used that as well. Gives a more condensed version of the info in your text books. Sometimes makes things easier to understand. Not so wordy. There is also a CD with that one with practice questions...VERY helpful. I would also get a 2nd NCLEX book from another publisher (Lippincott, etc) to study from as well
    LOL - I went a little crazy with my ipod touch and loaded over 9,000 nclex questions on it. It's hard for me to just pick up a book and read, but the nclex practice questions, especially when formatted for the ipod - are kinda relaxing, like doing a crossword puzzle - for me, anyway...
  7. 0
    Hey guys...thanks so much for the information. I too am starting in the August co-hort. I have a couple of questions?

    rzyzzy - do you find the IPOD touch a handle tool in school/clinicals? I have heard from many others that it is especially handy for clinicals to look up medication/procedure information very quickly. Any thoughts?

    Also, do you guys recommend buying the bundle of books in the bookstore or price them out and buy them individually since we have some time to do that thru the summer? I have friends who bought them outside of the bookstore and saved quite a bit of money....any thoughts on that?

    Congrats to you all who have made it thru the program so far or already started. And congrats to all of us who made the fall co-hort.
  8. 0
    Quote from mitenz
    Hey guys...thanks so much for the information. I too am starting in the August co-hort. I have a couple of questions?

    rzyzzy - do you find the IPOD touch a handle tool in school/clinicals? I have heard from many others that it is especially handy for clinicals to look up medication/procedure information very quickly. Any thoughts?

    Also, do you guys recommend buying the bundle of books in the bookstore or price them out and buy them individually since we have some time to do that thru the summer? I have friends who bought them outside of the bookstore and saved quite a bit of money....any thoughts on that?

    Congrats to you all who have made it thru the program so far or already started. And congrats to all of us who made the fall co-hort.
    Let me see if I can answer your questions...

    Don't worry about Iv's @ all - they're part of block 2...needles... Yeah, we covered those in the second week I think, and there are some gel-pillows that were "perforated" then as well

    Foley's - @at my clinical site, they don't do many, so when one comes up, the instructor wants to get someone checked off if possible.

    Saturday clinicals... The director of the LPN program spoke at our class, and she said, they try to avoid setting up clinicals on Saturday, but that in block 2 it happens, because you need a peds and an ob rotation, and sometimes thats all they can find.

    Clinical sites... For us, this term, the citadel in Mesa, Lifecare(s) in Scottsdale and Glendale, and they were thinking of the VA downtown, but said the paperwork was a big hassle, so they canned it. (I guess they require their own background check).

    Books - the saunders nclex book was in my bundle - including a cd with practice questions...

    According to the evolve rep, when you buy your books @ the bookstore, you get a "discount" off of the textbook that makes the "electronic" version (which is included in the box) "free". It's likely anything you buy used will not come with the electronic version, although you can buy JUST the electronic version, if you prefer that.

    Personally, I really like the electronic (downloadable) version of the books - so much so that so far, I've done all of my reading on my laptop. Laptops are allowed in class, and you'll find a laptop, even a big one - is lighter than your textbooks. Lots of people have those little "netbooks" - I love them, but I'm too cheap to buy one since I already have a laptop.

    As far as the ipod-touch, I love mine, and my clinical instructor allows them, and so does my site. Some people have said their instructor or clinical site didn't allow them. FWIW, I suspect those sites that didn't allow them think people are texting in the hallways.. Discretion and good communication with your instructor might help that..
  9. 0
    Quote from marlene39
    wow! thanks to both of you for the info! foley's the first month? yikes! i've watched a lot of them, but didn't realize i'd be doing them so soon. any needles in the immediate future? i do accuchecks a dozen times a day, but i'm thinking ivs and blood draws are much more tricky. when does that start?

    yeah, you are thrown into the fire pretty much day 1. accuchecks and injections (subq, im, tb) are block 1. ivs and blood draws don't come until block 2. you will be a pro with ppds and lovenox injections by the time block 1 clinicals are over...lol!

    rzwzzy, you mentioned that they avoid saturday clinical placements but what does that mean? i have re-arranged my schedule to allow saturday clinicals and don't have another day during the week that i can do them. i'm starting in august and my schedule isn't terribly flexible at the hospital. congrats on the 85%! i know that is quite an achievement based on my other friend's reports. hey even a "c" means continue, right? so a "b" must mean blasting through! please keep the updates coming. i really appreciate knowing what is coming up. you should do a blog report...

    during both of my semesters we had 3 groups to choose from. unfortunately, for block 1, none of the clinicals were on saturday. all 3 groups were at different sites and our clinical days were monday. however, in block 2, one of the groups was a saturday, and that was at banner t-bird.

    pedirn2b, i've heard that about doing nclex questions instead of regular studying from other students and i'm already starting to look at them. when are you starting block 3? are you working as an lpn in the meantime? also, was the saunders book part of the package from the bookstore or did you purchase it separately? i've got the new one on order for october, but figure i will need something before then to study by. congrats on graduating!!


    actually, after much emailing and much frustration, i got 2 invitations this very morning...lol! i got into pc and cgcc. i opted to accept the cgcc offer. this after i had been told by mcc, pc, cgcc, and scc that they had no spots open for fall. i start 8/23...yeah!:d
    i opted not to get my lpn license, as i had hoped to get right into block 3.
    yes, the saunder's comes with the book package. my guess is that will be the 2009 4th edition, not the new edition you ordered. if you already ordered that one, purchase one from a different publisher. lippincott and kaplan are both good. i would just go into barnes and noble and look in the different books and pick one that has a lot of questions. some aren't as good as others.

    also, where have your clinicals typically been for block 1? i live in mesa near dobson and 60. are they very far away? i'm looking at the 6:45am start time and thinking i'm not such a morning person. :d
    last year our clincals were at the citadel in mesa, heritage court in scottsdale, and another lifecare center in glendale. i live in queen creek so glendale off my radar. i went to heritage court, it is right across the street from scottsdale osborne hospital. citadel is like power & broadway. so, in your case you could pick either one. if those are the choices, that is. could be different now.

    good luck! you will love the program. it is hard but soooooo worth it. i really enjoyed my time at gateway. wish i could have gotten a spot there, but haven't heard back from them yet and you gotta' do what you gotta' do.
  10. 0
    Quote from mitenz
    hey guys...thanks so much for the information. i too am starting in the august co-hort. i have a couple of questions?

    rzyzzy - do you find the ipod touch a handle tool in school/clinicals? i have heard from many others that it is especially handy for clinicals to look up medication/procedure information very quickly. any thoughts?

    also, do you guys recommend buying the bundle of books in the bookstore or price them out and buy them individually since we have some time to do that thru the summer? i have friends who bought them outside of the bookstore and saved quite a bit of money....any thoughts on that?

    congrats to you all who have made it thru the program so far or already started. and congrats to all of us who made the fall co-hort.

    hmmmm....good question. personally, i opted to purchase the books individually through barnes and noble. i ended up saving a little over $100. however, there is a downside to that. the evolve lpn case studies that come with the book box can only be ordered through evolve. i had to call them directly to order it. was only like $23 and i had it w/in 3 days of order. also, there is a thing in the book box from evolve that allows you to access all of your books online. this is only available with the book box. would have been nice to have, but not absolutely necessary. most people in my class never used it. there were some cool things associated with it though. would have been nice to have in lecture. instead of lugging all the books around, could just have a laptop with all the books downloaded. so, you have to weigh that perk against what money you would save purchasing the books elsewhere. personally, looking back, i wish i would have just purchased the book box.
  11. 0
    Thanks for the answers so quickly...you guy's rock!

    However, I now have one more question. The paper I received from Gateway LPN program said clinicals are on Saturday? Am I just confused or is there a chance we may be able to do them another day of the week? Man, that would be sweet if that is the case, but not getting my hopes up =) It's only two semesters, so it works either way, but it would be nice to do during the week.

    Thanks again you guys for your input....it helps alot. I am sure you know all the anxieties while you are waiting to start! Congrats to you both again!


Top