Bad news, worse news (Utica CPNE)

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    Bad news: had a car wreck on the way to the CPNE. The other driver was talking on her cell phone and rear-ended us. It has been a complete night mare and I don't feel like going into detail, but its going to take weeks to resolve and result in us having to drive back to Utica at least one more time.

    Worse news: failed the CPNE in Utica. The clinical examiners and clinical associate were all awesome. They REALLY want you to pass and will do everything that they can to help you. Of course, there is only so much they can do since this is a test.

    Gory Details:

    Despite being a bit shaky, I managed to fly through my first few lab stations. First I had IV drip, which was great because it is the easiest station to me. Then I had IVP which I was terribly worried about but managed to pass. Next on to SubQ. Cake despite a few silly but easily correctable mistakes (discarded too much regular insulin, dropped the NPH vial). I actually thought that I might make the labs without repeats but I hit the wound station and I think I was WAY too keyed up.

    First, I spilled water on my sterile field. Started over. Then the glove package folded back against my sterile glove. Got new gloves. Didn't like my packing but thought I might have dropped my hands below my waist when I discarded it so I started over AGAIN. I knew the next packing wasn't right, but I also knew that I wouldn't be able to use the technique I practiced for months and I couldn't remember the others. I just finished it, took the fail, and knew I could practice back at the hotel (I brought all my lab stations just in case :-). I swear by the end, I could hear the Benny Hill theme in my head, it was that bad!

    Failed my first adult PCS as the pt had a thin sports bra on and I listened to lung sounds over the bra. It must be skin on skin, period. Stupid mistake. I was in good company; at least 5 out of 6 of us failed the first PCS (I'm not sure about the 6th) and all of us admitted we did something stupid. Failed my second adult PCS by confusing my second pt's pain assessment with the first. I think I had a mini stroke or something .

    I posted because I didn't want to be one of those people who say they are taking the CPNE never to be heard from again. I'll be signing up for a repeat in Utica ASAP. I'm actually dreading the travel and expenses (another 3 grand, ugh) more than the actual CPNE. Too far along to give up now though!
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

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    Your right, you've come to far to give up! It's nice to read a CPNE story that doesn't bash the testers but simply explains what mistakes were made. That tells me a lot about your character and gives others hope in taking the CPNE too! Will be looking forward to the post from you that says you passed!!
    natnat122 and tnmarie like this.
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    Sorry to her about the car incident and glad you are ok!...you are being smart by swallowing what happened at the cpne and going home to get ready to tackle the beast again. You can and will do this! Remember nerves are the biggest thing that gets to us and can def cause confusion or minor mistakes. You at least got to experience it and now can focus on what to do! Good luck and I'm praying and rooting for you!!
    natnat122 and tnmarie like this.
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    This has definitely got me worried. You were so prepared and I definitely made note of your CPNE prep tips from your previous posts. I felt like if anyone would pass this monster the first time around, you would. I do think though that your unfortunate series of events leading up to the test may had you rattled (understandably). Then when it was actually showtime, your nerves may have behaved in a way that you hadn't expected. It just goes to show you, you can be as prepared for this exam as can be, one's nerves can still get the best of you! This scares me, since I'm an anxious person by nature. Any tips on how not to fail this exam due to nerves?
    tnmarie likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from CLUVLPN
    This has definitely got me worried...
    I did not intend for this to scare people. I will tell you, I am sure that having the wreck caused me to fail. EVERYONE is shocked that I failed. Even the CA and CEs seemed surprised and even mentioned something to the fact that based on my lab performance, they were not expecting me to fail. I think most people would agree that I couldn't have done more to prepare, and that fact is well documented throughout various nursing forums. I'm actually thinking about filing a claim against the other driver to have all fees and expenses reimbursed.

    The number one thing I can tell you for nerves is: prepare, prepare, prepare! Grids are also SERIOUSLY a life saver. I literally had the b/p cuff on my pt and was about to take b/p and realized that I had not checked the pt ID as I was going through my 20 minute check in my head. Since I technically had not performed any pt care yet, I was not failed. Then I forgot to palpate the abd but went back and did so after the respiratory assessment. Again, I realized it after going through the grids in my head. I've been in the medical field for over ten years now and have probably done assessments thousands of times and STILL needed the grids to get me through!

    So my advice: don't have a wreck right before the CPNE and you should be fine if you prepare, prepare, prepare and use grids . I was hoping that the fact that I've been trained to perform medical care while being shot at would get me through and I KNEW that if I cancelled, I would lose the fee regardless. I just didn't see not even trying after coming all this way and going through all the wreck drama.
    natnat122 likes this.
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    Quote from brandi45805
    ...It's nice to read a CPNE story that doesn't bash the testers but simply explains what mistakes were made...
    I can't say enough about how awesome the examiners and clinical associate were. I know they want you to pass because after I failed the CE was giving me all these tips and advice for next time and the CA was telling me to come back to New York ASAP. They said they may can even work me in when we come back to get my SOs car.

    I hope to find out when I test again next week; if you are testing in Utica soon, I may see you there.
    natnat122 likes this.
  10. 1
    So sorry to hear this I have been thinking about you all weekend. The wreck would have done me in too - can't image how I would have made it through since the CPNE is enough stress. Sounds like you have this, so glad to hear you are going back ASAP -Good Luck!!
    tnmarie likes this.
  11. 2
    I failed my CPNE the first time also. I went back 3 months later, and had no repeats of anything. I'm sure the car accident rattled you, you will pass next time. What I did when I came back, I would lay down and go over my pcs in my mind, and correct the mistakes. Yes the Grid is a true life saver. Good luck
    tnmarie and natnat122 like this.
  12. 1
    Thanks for sharing!!
    tnmarie likes this.
  13. 1
    I can not believe you had such bad luck on the way to your CPNE. I can't wait to see your post when you go back
    and pass. You must have been so shaken up after being hit from behind like that - I don't know if I would have even
    been able to get through the labs after that.
    Good Luck to you!!
    tnmarie likes this.


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