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