MDC Fall 2011 - PART TIME Program - page 12

Hi Everyone, So far it appears like I've only been accepted into the part-time RN program at (Miami Dade College) for August 2011 (Fall 2011). There is another LONG thread for MDC... Read More

  1. by   fem
    Hi Mwen,

    Please share with me your GPA & TEAS score. Don't be shy.
    Mine was 4.0 & a modest 81.

    Tip #1 - start meeting & collecting names/phone numbers, email addresses of part-timers (or full-timers) AT THE ORIENTATION. Naturally offer yours 1st so your classmates-to-be are willing to give you theirs.

    Even if you aren't a social butterfly, try to connect with others. It is a valuable tool to survive RN school. If you are brilliant, consider helping other less brilliant.

    Tonight was our pharmacology math class. I'm guessing 25 of 42 students failed the final exam worth 35% of our grade. I KNOW 16 students of the 42 did not pass the 2nd exam as the professors posted how many students got what grade. There were only 3 exams total + homework/participation/quiz, etc. There were a few students who had an "A" going into the final exam but feel like they flunked the final. The question on many students mind tonight is.... "did we pass this class". Or do we retake it? MDC has a 3-strike rule. In my opinion, now is not a good time to have to retake a class. It is too early on. Better try to save it for the heavier semester(s). Which I believe is 3rd & 4th semesters.

    But don't worry... maybe you will get a different professor?
    Or maybe this professor will curve the grades?

    TIP #2 - look at - Now, my class did not have a choice. Our class schedule was "handed to us". No options. But even then.... look at Why? If you have one professor who is known to be extremely difficult, but another one who is more realistic with expectations... the smart thing to do is to spend more time studying for the "extremely difficult" professor's class & a little less time on the "more realistic" professor class. Right?

    Yes. Most of my peers work. And it is a challenge to work full time and go to school part-time. Some semesters will be worse than others. I'm hoping our 2nd semester is going to be "easier" as we pick up only 1 class (the clinical) and finish fundamentals lecture. But our professor with Fundamentals Lecture is retiring in December. And we are assigned another Professor who has very low ratings on so maybe next semester will be equally as challenging as this semester.

    Failing classes is not unheard of. But guage your ability to succeed based on your TEAS score & GPA & workload (outside of school). There are some full-time students who took Chem, Chem lab, Micro, Micro lab, A&PI, A&PI lab all in one semester and earned all A's but one B. That type of student is obviously more capable than other students. (me included).

    I am disappointed that I bought the books on the required booklist in advance. Why? Because #1 you pay a premium for the brand new books & #2 - Many of my professors use older editions than what was on the required booklist.
    So, how do you know what to buy & pre-read & what to wait til you get a syllabus? Good question.

    If I were in your shoes, I would buy the "TEST TAKING STRATEGIES FOR BEGINNING NURSING STUDENTS" (not on the required booklist, but should be ... LOL). Alternately, introduce yourself to the tutoring dept at MDC. They will show you where the online "Test Taking Stagegies for RN students is". Do this BEFORE classes start, or it is difficult to get done in time when you need it.

    TIP #3 - Buy & start doing:
    1. Fundamentals Reviews & Rationales. Plenty of students use the
    Reviews & Rationales" books instead of the textbooks. I preferred "in addition to" vs. "instead of". They have the series for many RN school classes. What these books do is CONDENSE the material into a manageable workload.
    2. Fundamentals Success - book is all about sample test questions in this new "test taking style" that RN students must do.
    3. (maybe now?) NCLEX-RN 4000 is good(book? or DVD/CD)
    4. (maybe now?) Saunders Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Review (4e or later) is good.

    If you can acquire your syllabus as soon as possible. It is to your advantage! Email your professors & ask! Some reply, So do not.

    TIP #4 - Go to the bookstore (or get required booklist). If you can buy cheap textbooks (even one version older) online.. do it early & pre-read. Then if you feel you MUST have the latest & greatest versions.. you may still be able to afford it because the used ones were cheap. The disadvantage to SOME of the older versions is they do not always have the CD or clinical companions, etc. In my case, my expensive brand new textbook from bookstore did not have the DVD & my older edition textbook did. Go figure! LOL.

    Know that the first 30 days is just "getting into the groove". Once you get over your first exams in every class, you will "get the hang of it". But take a proactive approach. Those who failed exam #1 in pharm/math ... hmmm... well, let's just say, it only gets harder as time goes on.

    KNOW you will never have enough time to read every chapter in every book. I get a kick when the orientation people said, "don't get behind in your reading". My advice is "choose wisely what you choose to read". If you try to do all the reading assignments, you might make yourself crazy. I work by "syllabus topic" instead.

    Fundamentals Lecture is strictly scantron tests with this "new type of testing style = critical thinking" Fundamentals Lab is "hands on". No scantrons. It is skills performance. Some of the students have a "hands on" type instructor for Physical Exam & Health Assessment. Others have scantron-type tests "critical thinking style". All depends on the professor for "hands on" or "scantron".

    Pharm/Math is all about pencil & paper & calculations. No scantrons there.

    LAST TIP FOR THE DAY: Consider getting advice on "how to succeed MDC Nursing School from students who have succeeded before you". Personally, I think this is better than listening to what the Professors have to say about "how to succeed".

    Ok, I've written a book (right?) If you are still reading, I'm impressed.
    I've got to get up early and prepare for an exam on Saturday.
    Last edit by fem on Oct 27, '11
  2. by   fem
    Your first exam in Fundamentals Lab Skills will be Vitals. (BP, pulse, Temperature, etc). Buy a stethoscope & BP cuff. Watch a you tube video. See if you can take your husband/wife/dog's BP. Ok the dog's BP was a joke. Did you laugh?

    Watch - I fumbled ... thought I'd bought the "right watch" to do Vitals. You really need a watch that has a sweeping second hand.(no digital) You read it for 30 seconds. Your professor might do one minute. You also count the persons' breaths (without them noticing).

    Vitals exam - you are teamed up with another classmate & you take their vitals with professor watching. They even have a dual-earpiece stethoscope so they can verify you are getting your BP numbers accurate.
  3. by   Mwen
    Wow!! Thanks so much Fem! Good stuff! Hope you did well on your Pharm Math exam.

    GPA 3.5, TEAS 89%

    I'm going to get started with procuring some of the material you suggested. I have a friend who just graduated from BCC, I'm reaching out to her for her books.
  4. by   fem
    Your TEAS score alone indicates you will be more than fine!
    Are you sure you don't want to do the accelerated program?
    Many of the students with TEAS scores that high take full-time program or accelerated.

    You won't need much coaching or help.
    Maybe if I'm lucky you will coach/help me?! LOL.

    Today I hear RUMOR that only 8 of 30 full-time students feel like they passed the Pharm/Math exam #3
    (final exam). I'm pretty sure they will still use the same textbook next semester. Half our class had the 9e, half had 10e. Medical Dosage Calculations by Olsen, Giangrasso, Shrimpton.

    But again, with your wonderful TEAS score. You can feel less pressure now. Unless maybe you are working 60+ hours a week and trying to do RN school?

    There are students who got low 70's on TEAS and got in RN school.
  5. by   Mwen
    Sure hope you did well on your Pharm/Math exam!!

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! Sure hope you're right. A bit nervous about juggling work, home (2 kids) and school, but I'm determined to do it.

    BTW, what is the uniform policy? I suppose scrubs would be required for clinicals, but are there uniforms required for lectures? Labcoats?

    Also, do the profs allow lectures to be recorded?

    I tried taking my "dog's" vitals today... LOL!!! Actually, my husband's. I certainly need more practice

    What do you mean by "the online Test Taking Stagegies for RN students" in the tutoring dpt. Is this is a program that is only available in the tutoring dpt at MDC?
  6. by   fem
    I flunked my pharm/math final. Had a very good grade going into the final. But flunked the final. There were items on the final exam that we had not been exposed to thus not able to practice. Example. the term "ppt" was not in our textbook or any handouts prof gave to us. Yet we not only needed to know what it was, but how to interpret the data. The textbook gave us simple problems on how to calculate mLs as it related to flow rates & drip rates. Yet the final you had to decipher the MAR (medical administration record) and figure out the proper numbers to pull from it in order to do the calculations. Again, not at all anything from the textbook, nor handouts. If I had been exposed to it & practiced before seeing it for the 1st time, I could have passed. C'est la vie. That being said, I estimate maybe 15 of 40 students passed the final exam. One student who had same professor in full time program said she thinks 8 of 40 passed the final exam. After all said & done, I passed the class. I attribute it to doing well on the 1st 2 exams & homework assignments. 5 people of 40 failed the class & will have to retake the class.

    As of now, part-timers do not do clinicals til Semester 2. So you don't have to buy the zip up shirt/jacket (I plan to wear a lightweight t-shirt underneath). But it is meant as a shirt. It covers the hips. It is pure white with teal strips on the short sleeves. It has MDC emblem on it. Must buy at bookstore. Buy your white pants anywhere. (not at bookstore). I found a style that is comfortable & I like & will be wearing for clinicals 2nd semester.

    The only time you are required to wear particular clothing in the 1st semester is ... you MUST wear a lab coat in lab. It does not have to be a MDC emblem on it. It should be white. You MUST wear closed-toed shoes in lab. So, plan to wear this on Saturday's for sure. If I had to do it over, I would have liked to wear the same thing I'm going to wear to clinicals anytime I'm practicing in the lab. But most people wear "whatever". Example, many pockets on my pants where I can put "goodies/tools". I had read that having cargo style pockets on pants was a great idea because stuff won't fall out when you bend over (a patient, etc). So, I have the cargo style pants. I wear all white for my lab skills exams to look professional. Proper shoes, Proper lab coat, Proper pants, Hair up, etc. Low profile shoes are smart because you don't want to "turn over a heavy mannequin" while doing "occupied bed making" and twist your ankle, back or other issue. Body mechanics are taught in class.

    One student said MDC may be changing to scrubs. But as of now, our uniform is the white zip-up shirt/jacket, white scrub pants, all white closed-toed shoes (low-profile ... look at examples in bookstore), & a white lab coat.

    Some profs allow lectures to be recorded. Others do not like to be recorded. Most students ask before recording. I've seen some students record discreetly. Use your judgement.

    There is a book called "Test Taking Strategies for Beginning Nursing Students". google it. There is also an online version of "Test Taking Strategies for Beginning Nursing Students" (not sure that is the correct name of it for the online version). But your Fundamentals of Nursing Lecture class professor will direct you to the Success Center (3rd floor above library) where the tutor lab is. It is recommended that you take this "Test Taking Strategies for Beginning Nursing Students" tutorial & sample exam PRIOR to taking your first nursing class exams. IT IS A VERY DIFFERENT FORMAT THAN WHAT YOU ARE USED TO. I strongly suggest you do it BEFORE school starts. I wanted to do it the 2 weeks between my classes but the MDC campus was closed during that "vacation time". So, if you cannot find the time to get to MDC tutor lab while classes are in session now (before Xmas holiday when MDC is closed). At minimum get the book that is mentioned above and do it from front to back.

    You Asked:
    What do you mean by "the online Test Taking Stagegies for RN students" in the tutoring dpt. Is this is a program that is only available in the tutoring dpt at MDC? ANSWER: Well, "online" is probably a poor choice of words on my part. It is a .exe file. It is a software. It is a program. I heard students asking if they could buy it somewhere. But I don't know if anyone found it or not. It is not something you can copy from the tutor lab and take home with you. The software is on the tutor lab computers on 3rd floor in Success Center. You will have to ask for help to locate it in their computer. Hope that helps you.

    VITALS: Did you get the Littman Classic II stethoscope? Many RN students do. But not all of them. Consider labeling your stethoscope somehow. Engraving? Wild colors? Tape? There are little charm attachments for steths. It is too EZ for someone to accidentally grab your steth.

    In the rush of life, it is easy to lose things. If you are lucky, someone will turn it in to the security dept. But don't count on it.

    Today I'm studying for medication administration. We do not get needles to practice with in the lab. So you "pretend" which is less helpful than practicing the real thing. The only time you get needles to practice with is during class time with professor present.

    Last edit by fem on Nov 2, '11
  7. by   Mwen
    Wow Fem! Sure glad you passed the class. Does MDC allow one to report the issues with items on test not covered? If these are things that you were expected to know or will need to know as an RN, they should have been taught or at least mentioned in the classroom... Hmmm... Anyway, thanks for sharing these things...

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It is so much appreciated!!

    I'm trying to start a Spring 2012 Part Time thread but have no responses yet. We'll see...

  8. by   Mwen
    Hi there Part Timers,
    I will be starting the Part Time program at MDC in Spring 2012. Does anyone know how/if Financial Aid or Federal Student Loans work for the PT program? To qualify for either, I understand you need to be taking 6 or more credits and there are semesters when the PT program only has 2 credits?? I applied, but I'm unsure...

    Thanks guys!
  9. by   fem
    Wow Fem! Sure glad you passed the class. Does MDC allow one to report the issues with items on test not covered? If these are things that you were expected to know or will need to know as an RN, they should have been taught or at least mentioned in the classroom... Hmmm... Anyway, thanks for sharing these things...

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It is so much appreciated!!

    I'm trying to start a Spring 2012 Part Time thread but have no responses yet. We'll see..
  10. by   fem
    When I left the pharm/math final exam, I sweated for a few days before final grades were posted. I was relieved to have earned a B. I truly was worried I may have not passed the class. (Depending on how others did on final exam & depending on how Professor handled the issue). I was so relieved to have received a B.

    Immediately after the exam, there were many "hot" students. Many were going to complain to chairperson, etc. But the smart thing to do (which they did) was wait and see what the actual grades posted were. As it turned out, only 5 of 40 did not pass the class. And apparently those odds are good. I've heard of other professors being willing to flunk 20-25% of the students (and get away with it ... with the superiors).

    I've tried from day one to get an answer from MDC about their graduation rate. But they avoid the question. Give circuitous answers. They just want to tout their NCLEX passing rate. Which is good to know. But that info doesn't tell you your chances of getting THROUGH RN school in order to take the NCLEX.

    Back to the SURPRISE Pharm Math final exam: So, I was on good terms with the Prof & asked if we could review my exam so I could make sure I learn the things I did not know how to do on the exam. I am quite sure I will need to know how to do them for future classes. Prof was kind to me and spent an hour reviewing the items I found challenging. Prof also told me that this type of exam will be common in my future at MDC as MDC expects you to be able to APPLY THE CONCEPTS GIVEN NEW INFORMATION. But it is difficult to apply concepts under test conditions when you have not been exposed - in advance - to the material. JUST MY OPINION. There are other students who were able to do this. So, perhaps it is just a challenge for me? You may not find it problematic!

    I think we had 12 A's, 14 B's, 9 C's, 4 D's & 1 F for the class.
    Again, from hearing the students talk after the exam, I am confident MANY students failed the final exam. Some worse than others.

    YOU ARE WELCOME for the info. I was so thankful for those before me willing to share any tidbits of what to expect, how to survive, etc... it is only fair I do the same & pass along my experiences.

    Part time blog Spring 2012 - Good luck. I found that not many people posted. Which is fine. SO LOOK FOR THE FULL-TIME BLOG, TOO FOR SPRING 2012. Not everything applies, but still it is helpful.

    BE WELL. And using my friends new lingo... UBF = You'll be fine.

    P.S. We just had our medication administration exam. (injections, oral meds, etc)
    Many students were "shaking like it was 20 degrees outside". It was the hardest exam in Fundamentals Skills Lab... as you cannot practice injections during lab practice hours.... as the professor must be present while practicing with needles (during class time). So be prepared accordingly. Probably the hardest part wasn't the actual injections, but finding the right meds, knowing what they were for, & doing the appropriate assessment bedside before injecting the mannequin / Patient. You have a 20 minute timer ticking fairly loudly which doesn't help, either. Be sure you know "HAMs" = high alert meds which require assessment prior to giving meds. Also requires signature of 2nd RN.

    OK. I probably have said too much. LOL.
  11. by   on eagles wings
    LOL FEM I was going to text you to see how you did in your med admin test... good thing I came here first. You are too funny! I am glad you passed! I told you you'd do fine :P
  12. by   EMMUNOZ
    Hello all!!I am waiting on acceptance to part time program fall 2012. Does anyone have any books or copies of notes/handouts they would be willing to sell? Good Luck!
  13. by   fem
    It is a bit of a surprise this thread is still open.

    yes, I graduated from MDC.
    Great GPA. who hoo! No retaking classes. Who hoo! Passed NLEX 1st attempt 75 Questions. Who Hoo.

    In retrospect, here are my opinions about RN School:
    MDC was a Better Choice than Broward College or expensive non-State accredited schools.
    Be Professional & Courteous to All Faculty.
    Be Thankful for those brilliant yet very kind professors. Yes, I found a few!
    Be thankful for the difficult professors (helps you prepare for the real world).
    Study like it is more important than breathing.
    Make time for distraction & recuperation (movie, exercise, dance, etc)
    Take One Day At A Time.
    Advise from students ahead of you is often helpful.
    if you can work part-time (non-RN position) in an acute care facility prior to graduation,
    ... it paves the way for employment at that hospital.
    Start trying to figure out your personality type & interests. As there are many options once becoming a nurse.
    Be helpful to those struggling or retaking classes. No need to be denigrating or critical.
    Understand the class pass/fail rate. (We lost about 50% of classmates at Med-Surg & Pharm).
    ... We started with about 42 and about 14 were still together at the end.
    ... Some changed to full-time & grad early, others fell behind & hopefully grad later.
    Once you graduate, don't think you are "all that"... You have just enough info to begin learning in a hospital.
    Often the ADN is enough to get employment at some hospitals.
    Other Hospitals require BSN to be considered for employment.
    Seems like plenty students intend to work full-time & go for the BSN part-time.
    The BSN seems to be the wave of the future. (Can get a job subject to finishing BSN in 2-3 years)
    Keep your grades up if you intend to go for BSN or beyond. Even some employers have a minimum GPA requirement.

    and finally, remember, opinions are like doorknobs, every house has a bunch of them.