Bluegrass BCTCS Nursing Students - page 2

by Neoma

7,779 Views | 19 Comments

Hello, I've applied for the fall 2008 semester. I qualified for the rolling admission, but know that's no guarantee of acceptance. Any current or former Bluegrass students willing to given an idea of what to expect? Also, are... Read More


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    Neoma- the state of KY requires the 120 hrs of preceptorship after graduation.

    http://kbn.ky.gov/education/pon/entry/internship.htm
    Here is more info from the KY BON.

    This is actually a good thing, because it guarantees you precepted hours as a new grad, and prevents facilities from just throwing you out there to swim alone.
    Neoma likes this.
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    There is actually two 120 hour "preceptorships" that you have to do to become a RN. One of the requirements to complete the ADN program at BCTC is to complete a 120 hour preceptorship which is done the last semester of your 2nd year. It's basically the last thing you do in school before you take finals and graduate. At the begininning of 2nd year they will give you a form to fill out and ask which two "specialities" you would prefer to do your preceptorship at and will try to match you with that, although it doesn't always work out that way b/c of limited available precepting nurses at the hospitals in lexington. I put that I preferred a Med/Surg unit, Women's health (I liked my OB rotation) or the ER, preffereably at CBH (central baptist) which was my # 1 choice to work at after graduation (even though it didn't work out that way since I'm at UK now...lol) But anyway I got placed on 5 East at CBH which is a telemetry unit (they get a lot of older pts with multiple health problems including heart problems and need constant heart monitoring = telemetry. (Telemetry is considered a "speciality" and you have to go through extra training on how to read and interpret EKG strips and pts' heart ryhthms and what to do w/each one). Anyway I had a really good preceptorship and my nurse was awesome. She taught me a lot and wasn't intimadating at all.
    Another requirement to graduate is taking the Kaplan Review Program for NCLEX (the state boards test) and costs $ 285 But it does really help. The last week of class before finals you have to attend 4 days of Kaplan reviews from 8a-5p each day where they teach you stratagies on how to answer questions as well as hundreds and hundreds of practice questions. You also get a 600 + page review book which basically sums up 2 years of nursing school. They state that you don't even need to study any of your past notes or books from school, that you will only need to study that book (cover to cover) in order to prepare yourself for boards. I think that the book is the best part of the "program" and it does a good job explaining everything (although beware, sometimes it assumes you know certain facts and doesn't explain them so if you don't know a certain term or whatever, you might have to use a medical dictionary to refresh yourself).
    Now once you graduate, you are considered a RNA = registered nurse applicant until you pass NCLEX and complete (another) 120 hour preceptorship/internship which is what I was referring to in my first posting that I am working on to get my RN license. You have to meet both of these requirements in order to get your license and if you don't you basically are nothing more that a nurse's aid or nursing tech!!

    I know that this is becoming a long posting but I would like to pass along as much info as possible and try to prepare you for school, and I'm sure you don't mind as long as it becomes helpful/useful info
    Now perhaps most importantly for you coming up is to prepare you for the begininning of school. Prepare yourself: the first few weeks can be a little overwhelming: they throw you a lot of info and complicated schedules. Not only do you have your main nursing lecture on Tues & Thurs, but you'll have campus lab on Mondays, Media class (which is usually programs on the computer or watching videos). Now your schedule you signed up for doesn't include Media, you will sign up for a class (one day a week) after you start school. You also have Skills Practice where you practice skills you learned in campus lab that monday. For example, this is will you will learn skills like taking vital signs, inserting a foley cath, NG tube, starting and maintaining IV's and fluids, etc. For each skill you will have time to practice on your own, as well as on campus before you have to check off with a teacher demonstrating you can perform that skill. You will have 2 separate chances to pass that skill and if you fail the 2nd time you will be kicked out of the program (but don't worry, very few % of people acutally fail both chances and have to leave). The last type of "class" on your schedule will be your clinical days, at first it's usually a few hours on tues or thurs afternoon and then a full day wed or fri - depending on your particular schedule.
    Finally what I highly recommend you do if you haven't already done this summer is read and work on your Math book you had to buy - it's Math for Nursing and teaches how to do drug calcuations. I think you should have gotten in the mail along with your paperwork saying they want you to read and do certain chapters in that book (it's like 10 chapters) before school starts. I know it seems like a lot of work but you will be better off if you do that, or at least get a big chunk of it done. It prepares you for ProCalc, which is a math test you have to take every semester of school and you have to pass it with a 100% accurracy or you fail out of the program. But don't worry they give you as many chances as you need to pass but it really does help to study and practice before school starts b/c then you will be so busy and bogged down with other stuff, it makes it hard to learn and concentrate on the math.
    I know this is extremely long and full of info but it should really help prepare you and give you a peek at what school will be like. I hope it helps Good luck with school, I'm sure you;ll do great. Like I said before if you have any more questions or need help with something, I don't mind at all to help so let me know. You can contact me via email. Talk to you later
    Last edit by BBFRN on Jul 12, '08 : Reason: Deleted email address
    ky_grl82, GCTMT, and Neoma like this.
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    Thank you both. I knew we had to do the 120 last semester, but I didn't realize about the 120 after. Although, that's a good thing in my opinion. That was one of the things that was tickling the back of my mind and worrying me; would we just be thrown out by ourselves right after we graduate. That was a scary thought for me.

    The only things they've told us so far is which uniforms and supplies we had to have; which immunizations or titers we had to have proof of, and what the estimated costs were for each semester. That was included with our acceptance/welcome packet. I received that towards the end of April. It mentions that we'll be receiving another packet with more information that would also include our orientation day, but I haven't heard anything. So at this point, I've bought my insurance, bought my uniforms and supplies, ordered my books although they aren't here yet, and gotten my titers done.

    I don't know if you know or not, but in the packet it says we have to have had a TB test done within six weeks, but I had to have one for my CNA class too. I just finished it Thursday. When I went to have it done, they asked what I was getting it for and told me I had to have the two dose series, which I did. They told me I wouldn't need another one for a year. I don't know if they'll accept that, or if I need to go ahead and get another one done before classes start. I'm leaning toward getting another just to cover my assets. lol

    Thanks for all the help and advice.
    Maryann
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    You're fine with your TB test. As long as you have proof it was done, within the past year that is all you will need. You don't need to have another one done. I used to work for a dr's office in lex which required a yearly TB skin test be done so I used that for school.
    As far as after you graduate, no place will just "throw you to the wolves." Most hosptials require you do at least 6-12 weeks of orientation before you are allowed to have your own patients (and not be under the supervision of an another nurse). You will get a lot of experience during your clinical rotations so you'll have an idea of what it's like to work in a hospital after graduation. Do you plan to stay in lexington after you graduate???
    Also as far as completing your 120 hours and taking boards: it use to be required that you complete the hours before you can even take NCLEX, which was a bad idea b/c the questions on NCLEX are text book questions and are different than the "real world" experience you will get working your 120 hours. They just changed it the week after I graduated this May that you can take NCLEX anytime now and don't have to wait to finish your hours. They did this b/c so many people were failing the test b/c they had been working and forgotten the text book stuff. I highly recommend you study for NCLEX and take it fairly soon after graduating, like a month or 2 after graduation. That way you can get it out of the way and don't have to worry about it interferring with your hours. Also if you fail NCLEX and have already started your hours, they make you start them over. Just a suggestion
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    Thank you for all the advice. I guess I'm just getting nervous the closer it gets. I'd really like to work at UK when I graduate - I know that's probably a bit premature to even really think of at this point, but I like to plan things out when possible. UK or St Joe. Those are the only two hospitals I've had an experience with - one grandchild was born at St Joe, and the other at UK. I really liked the way they both took care of the mommas and babies.

    I'll definitely keep in mind what you said about taking the NCLEX soon after graduation. I had thought along those lines anyway in that it seems as if you'd have a better chance with everything fresh in your mind.

    Good luck with your new job! I really appreciate your posts and answers.

    Maryann

    Quote from Serendipity318
    You're fine with your TB test. As long as you have proof it was done, within the past year that is all you will need. You don't need to have another one done. I used to work for a dr's office in lex which required a yearly TB skin test be done so I used that for school.
    As far as after you graduate, no place will just "throw you to the wolves." Most hosptials require you do at least 6-12 weeks of orientation before you are allowed to have your own patients (and not be under the supervision of an another nurse). You will get a lot of experience during your clinical rotations so you'll have an idea of what it's like to work in a hospital after graduation. Do you plan to stay in lexington after you graduate???
    Also as far as completing your 120 hours and taking boards: it use to be required that you complete the hours before you can even take NCLEX, which was a bad idea b/c the questions on NCLEX are text book questions and are different than the "real world" experience you will get working your 120 hours. They just changed it the week after I graduated this May that you can take NCLEX anytime now and don't have to wait to finish your hours. They did this b/c so many people were failing the test b/c they had been working and forgotten the text book stuff. I highly recommend you study for NCLEX and take it fairly soon after graduating, like a month or 2 after graduation. That way you can get it out of the way and don't have to worry about it interferring with your hours. Also if you fail NCLEX and have already started your hours, they make you start them over. Just a suggestion
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    I never thought an Internet thread forum could be so beautiful. I am not even in the nursing program at BCTCS, yet, nor have I even applied for it. At this point, I don't even have my CNA license, yet. Still.............this is great information to me to know. It is great to hear other Kentuckians on here, and to know other BCTCS'ians. Basically, all the healthcare experience I have is 5 months working as a CNA back in 1997. Over the years I have entertained the thought of going to school to be a nurse (went and got a 2 year IT degree, instead, that didn't do anything for me on any level), but always backed away from those plans because I was hearing impaired and some people told me that I was *too caring* to work in the healthcare field, that my emotions would get in the way. I'm planning on getting my CNA license and working (not sure if I want to work in a nursing home again) to save up for school and applying to take classes next fall semester. Maybe I'll take classes this upcoming spring semester.

    Hugs,

    Aeron
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    I don't think there is such a thing as being "too caring" in the nursing field. In fact I think you have to have a certain level of caring and empathy to work with and help sick people. So don't let what other people have said to you in the past hold you back. Even though I'm new to nursing (just graduated from BCTC in May and have worked at UK hospital for 2 months) I definitely think I made the right choice and love my job (even if it's really hard and nerveracking at times)!!!! Nursing is a great field to get into and can be very rewarding so if you think that's what you want to do...don't hold back. Good luck
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    I am hoping to get in to BCTC Nursing Fall, '09.
    Last edit by GCTMT on Nov 14, '09
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    Well good news, and not so good news. I took my PAX-RN exam, and did well, I scored in the 86th percentile.
    Last edit by GCTMT on Nov 14, '09
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    Bumping this up from the depths. I am a mother of two looking to change careers and about to try to get into BCTCS. I have a BS from UK already in animal sciences and took alot of nursing pre-reqs before graduating. I am taking Microbiology this semester since I took the class last back in 2001.

    I am a UK employee and hoping to work while attending since I am in research and have a flexible work schedule that allows me to study while I work. Plus this allows me to have 6 free credits a semester.

    Will have a BS give me a leg up despite a crappy GPA (2.87)? I screwed up in my earlier college years and dropped a whole semester, but all of my college work from returning to school to finish my degree was good. I am hoping they can answer some questions at the orientation since they were not helpful in responding to my emails other then to tell me to go to orientation.


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