Here's the meat of the pinning ceremony speech i gave this August. I was in a Bridge program so we did the ADN in a year, but you'll get the idea.
Let me try to explain what we have been doing for the last year.
After taking pre-reqs for 1-3 yrs, we applied to the program, and through some sort of strange collegiate algebraic formula we were given the opportunity to attend the PSC transition to RN program.
On day 1 they sat us down and told us to tell our family's we would be gone for a year. We did, and you didn't believe us. This is what we did with our time on the Island, I mean on campus.
We spent 6 hours a week in a classroom staring at Powerpoint slides till our eyes were as dry as two golfballs, while trying to write everything down that Ms. Thomas and Ms Courtney said. Everything was of course testable.
We also listened for keywords like "Know this, you might see this again, etc" and if something was in bold italics and on more than 2 different slides you could bet that would show up on a test, as well as any kind of reflex, syndrome or disease named after a French or german doctor.
Hopefully the day before lectures we skimmed the 20-30 required reading chapters so we would have an idea of what they were talking about during class. Actually reading the chapters would be impossible to accomplish in the time allotted. I think I would be a third of the way through with the Med-Surg book if I had actually read every word of the 70 or so required chapters in that book..
In our SPARE TIME we would be in the lab,for anywhere from 3- 16 hours a week depending if a test was coming up. We played with dolls a lot in the lab, they call them manikins but they are dolls. The Theory is that the more time you spend in the Lab the less you will scare a real patient when it comes time to do that foley, injection, or trach suctioning
Which Brings me to CPE's-- Clinical Practical Exam, this is a test of eye-hand coordination, time management and the ability to spit out little safety tidbits like " I would check the ID band," while going down a mental checklist and trying to remember which hand is clean and which is sterile. The CPE is usually the day before a written exam. Just to amp up the stress level.
We also had clinical's where we would spend what seems like 4 hours with patients, 4 hours with the chart and the next three days trying to fill out the 20 or so worksheets. I am going to miss Nursing Care plans
Preceptorship is similar to clinicals but we spend quality time with one nurse throughout her shift, caring for her patients while she quizzes us about medications, and comments on how glad she is, that she is not precepting.
Just when you think you might catch a breath there is usually some Major Clinical paper due that consumes large amounts of paper, printer ink and time. It's as if they are graded by their shear weight, who has the time to read 50 pages per student?
And the Tests, it seemed they are always given the day before another assignment is due, and they cover all the material we didn't look at while we were studying, I'm convinced that at least 5 questions on each test have no right answer.
After doing all that , here we are today. Standing before you as Graduate Nurses.