hey just browsing and saw this post. i am currently in nu104 (1st year) at bhsn, and here is a basic rundown on what to expect:
-orientation: is going to be scheduled sometime in late june. here you will get your preliminary schedule, order uniforms, and they have a book representative where you can order the book package from. the orientation is more one on one and you won’t meet many other classmates at this time. besides those books you will need to pick up a health assessment guide, drug book, and nursing diagnoses manual before you start in september. total cost of the package comes to $600 and the books will last you till you graduate. to be honest though, i don’t even use the books but i know of some students who do. it’s really up to you. best book worth getting is the brunner and suddarths med-surg book. tons of useful information and good reading for if you’re bored. also will help you on research for your clinical patients.
-nu101: you will be on clinical starting the first week. it’s pretty basic and you will just be interviewing the patient and then slowly performing more skills as you use them. you have three tests for this semester spaced every 3 weeks, they are not cumulative. by the end you will be passing out medications. the schedule looks like the following for day students.
tuesdays: lecture from 8.30-3.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 12.30)
wednesdays: 1-2 hour lab period, based on your lab group number. there are 4 lab groups (a-d) of about 25 students each.
thursdays and fridays: you will have either a thursday or friday for clinical and the other day you will have off. clinical runs from 8-1.30 for nu101. also no lunches during these days. you will be in a group of about 8 students per clinical instructor.
saturdays and sundays: off
-nu102: begins around halloween and runs till christmas. your main focus this semester will be developing nursing diagnoses and big care plans for clinicals. schedule remains the same as nu101. you have 3 tests this semester spaced 2 weeks apart, the final test is cumulative. than you are given a small thanksgiving break and a two week break after christmas, before nu104 starts.
-nu104: begins first week of january and runs till ides of march. schedule changes a bit here and so does the testing. you will have 3 tests spaced three weeks apart and one cumulative final. we also pick up an extra day of clinical.
tuesdays: lecture 8.30-4 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 12.30)
wednesdays: 2 hour lab period based on lab group
thursdays: clinical 7.30 - 2.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 11.30)
fridays: clinical 7.30 - 2.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 11.30)
saturday and sunday: off
also during this semester you will be given 2 days of clinical off as they schedule you, and also 2 days of jewish home, 1 day at the vna, 1 day of surgery, and 2 days of pediatrics. these will be on a thursday or friday and when scheduled you will simply not go up to the regular floor for clinical and report to that assignment for the day.
also some tips:
-the lecture hall can be unforgiving. temperature shifts in that room rapidly, so my advice is wear something comfortable but also bring a sweatshirt or something when the temperature drops and be prepared to take it off a half an hour later, lol.
-i saw some mentions of a voice recorder. i personally have a droid and use their voice recorder app. ain't much special but allows me to email it directly to my gmail so i can listen at home. normally though i just record the lectures and listen to them while i drive. ends up being pretty time efficient.
-i have a cardiology iii stethoscope also a gift. let me tell you the difference in quality is pretty amazing. some patients don’t have the best peripheral blood flow so it comes in very handy when i can grab a blood pressure that the nurse on the floor can't accurately get.
-instructors are all great. i haven't met a bad one yet. some have reputations but the truth is they are all there to help you to become the best nurse possible. don’t forget that. if that means challenging a student some times, than i say let them bring it on.
-clinical will be held primarily at bridgeport hospital although you may also be rotated to either yale or griffin for a semester.
-passing grade is a 75 average for each semester. my advice is you normally have three tests to get that so do as best you can on the first so you allow yourself a buffer. and if your average is a 74.9, sorry no rounding up you will fail. i saw a few kids just miss the mark. the average is based on exams only. clinical doesn’t count and is only pass/fail. don’t stress yourselves out about this though only about 5 kids dropped out per semester so far. we started out at about 120-130. the weeding process seems pretty much done at this point and those that remain are those that are going to stay. and even if you do poorly you can wait a year and try again, so you may have new students joining your class as the semester’s progress.
-you will also have a chance to join the accelerated program. you will apply at the end of nu104. in order to join you need to have all your prerequisites and corequisites done by the time you start the accelerated program in june. you will end up forfeiting your summer but also graduate that december. so i say the trade off is fair. ill let you know more about that once i apply.
-after nu104 you get a 2 week spring break. nu105 follows which is maternity, which runs through april. nu201 runs through may. than you either have summer off starting in june to come back in september and graduate in following may or class through the summer to graduate that december.
-along with clinical and exams you will need to pass a few competencies per semester. examples of these are health assessment, injections, wound dressings, catheter insertion, and a few math exams for drug administration. math exams are basic calculations and algebra, not too difficult if you’re good with math. you need to get an 80% on the math exam to pass. and if you fail any of these you will be given one more chance to complete it.
-you will need to research your patients the day before clinical. this usually involves going to the hospital the day before anytime after 2 pm and logging into the computer to get lab data, checking the patients chart, and going to introduce yourself to the patient for the following day.
-as far as patient load. you will start with one patient a day and eventually work your way up to dealing with more. they normally don't want to always overload you so expect about 2 patients once you hit nu104.
-uniforms are maroon scrub top and white pants. grab the white cargo pants if they are quite nice. not sure if they offer them for girls.
-pda/smartphone use: they dont allow it on the floor. although i dont find it useful anyways. with researching the patient and always being on the floor i have quickly memorized many of the common drugs and actions without even realizing it. if you really need to look up something quick no ones stopping you from drifting into a corner and doing fast research.
-other supplies you will need are light pen for neurological checks, a watch, and a white pair of leather shoes.
that’s all i can think of for now. hope it was informative. if you've got anymore questions either post or pm me. im usually on once a week.