I start PCN in the spring 2011, and would like to get a heads up on what to expect and any tips. Also, does it really matter which order I take the level III courses?
When do you plan to study? Will it be after the kids goto sleep? I think that you may be setting yourself up for failure if you try to work full-time, raise kids, and goto nursing school. There are definately a few people who can do this, but most students need more time to study and do clinical paperwork because there is a large volume of material that is covered plus you need time to learn and practice your clinical skills. You also need to build a strong foundation in Basics and Pharm and a good chunk of it needs to go into your long-term memory. Then when you move on to NAC1, teachers will expect you to recall what you previously learned and will build on that. At Charity, I know several students who are getting foodstamps and have state childcare assistance because they cannot work and goto nursing school and have moved back in with their parents. You just need to really look at all of your options and see what you can work out. I wish you the best.
Last edit by su9032 on Mar 4, '11
: Reason: typo
Ok, now you are getting more realistic. Just get the idea of full-time work out of your head, it's really just academic suicide trying to balance that with a family. One of the A&P instructors is in nursing school and has no children and she is just getting by because she just doen't have time to get the paperwork done and study.
Part-time work may be an option, it will still be very difficult. You could try working up to the first test and see how you do, then decide if you wanna quit. Better yet, get some time off the first month and see if you can handle it. Most students are overwhelmed the first semester. Also, you could do some things to prepare yourself better like take medical terminology prior to starting. I didn't do that and it would have helped. Also, seriously review your A&P info, especially the nervous system and A&PII. You can also goto the library and get a head start on the videos to familiarize yourself with the material.
There isn't much paperwork the first 8 weeks of Basics, but once clinicals start, you have paperwork so that will cut into your study time even though you learn when you do the careplans and stuff. Once you get to NAC1, it will be really hard to work because you have careplans due almost every week and then you need time to study.
My class started with 230 students. After Basics, only 58% moved on to NAC1. Now in my 3rd semester, we are down to about 120 students which includes students who failed in the class above us and the LPN's who transition over from the LPN to RN program. So more than 1/2 of my original class is in the class behind us or they failed out because they did not pass Basics the second time. You just don't want to repeat Basics because that's a lot easier than what's to come.
You may be different, if you are super efficient, disciplined, and focused and remember most of what you hear in class, u may pull it off. Just trust your gut. Did you make a 95 on the TEAS and have mostly A's on the pre-reqs, then it is possible. However, if you made a 75 on the TEAS and have mostly B's and C's, it will probably be really tough. Remember the lowest C at Charity is a 77. Most people do worse in nursing school than they are accustomed to gradewise because of the volume of material and because of the NCLEX style test questions. An A student will usually make B's and possibly C's, etc. Now lots of students have children and they are very determined to succeed and they do. They just know their limits. What you are going through is totally normal. You and your husband will have to make some sacrifices while you are in nursing school because it's so consuming. It will be worth it in the end though and your husband will like it when you are making $50,000 (hopefully) your first year on the job.
Last edit by su9032 on Mar 5, '11
: Reason: typo