Charity - PCN - starting next semester

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    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?
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  4. 0
    OK, since nobody responded to me, I will answer myself:

    Take Maternal-Newborn first and Pediatrics second if you want clinicals to correlate to the lectures better. However, there is A LOT more paperwork for maternal newborn so you will have less time to study. In contrast, take pediatrics first if you want less paperwork in the beginning so you can have more time to study.

    PCN is way more condensed than NAC1. The material is a little easier, but clinicals are 8.5 hours a day twice a week and lectures are 4 hours a day twice a week. The class notes are very good so that helps. Also, the notes were posted almost 2 weeks before class started so utilize your break and study them. The first week, you will go all day from 8 -4 and then the second week you will be in clinicals and then a test the following Monday. We had 3 tests and 1 final with 2 weeks between each.

    Good Luck.
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    Did you work at all through your basics or pharmacology courses I am hoping to be in either this fall or next spring and i hear so many different feelings on wether you can work and raise kids at the same time. I have to work a full time job to make ends meet and I am fearful on what might happen when i start. Any suggestions?
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    one question.. how are you gonna do to study? I mean you have full time job, and a kid? you have to be super woman!!!
  7. 0
    KRP1413,

    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
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    Oh to answer your question, I have not worked throughout nursing school because I am a single mom and have a toddler who was 15 months old when I started Basics. I'm also living with my parents and rent out my condo because I cannot afford to live in it. I have a good support system between my son's father and my parents, but I'm still burning the candle at both ends. I made A's in all my pre-reqs, but I made a B in Basics and and A in pharm. It was very stressful for me that first semester. Then, I made a B in NAC1 and again, I was totally stressed out, and I am getting a C in PCN because it is condensed into 8 weeks and we have so much paperwork that I don't have enough time to study. I currently have an 81 average. This class has been my favorite, but it was also the most draining because there was no downtime.
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    I really have considered everything you all have mentioned and a full time job would set me up for failure and I couldn't live with myself if i worked so hard to get in and then just fail out. So I am considering just working part time on weekends in bar/rest to make what I make now. My husband works full time and I have two children that require my attention and time so just wondering if anyone has done it because it does seem impossible. I am going to take out loans and hope for the best with a part time job. I just don't want to lose my house either.
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    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
  11. 0
    Thanks for the advice I just hate the fact that I am putting so much pressure on my family I know its worth it in the end but it takes a toll on you. I did okay in A&P 1 and 2 with b's and c's so I understand what your saying I took too many hours along with those courses and it kicked my butt. I hope to start learning more of the style they use in nursing school and will refresh on a&p. I have taken med term and med term advance passed with A's in both. I am going to take the pharmacology they offer at delgado to help me the first semester. I know it will be difficult so I will be preparing for the next 10 months to get a head start. Thanks for all the insight.
  12. 0
    No problem. Nursing school definately effects the entire family. Your husband needs to understand that it will be a stressful 2 years, but fortunately each semester is only 3.5 months long so you will have breaks in between where you can do more with the kids and with the household responsibilities.

    That's a great idea to take the pharm at Delgado and retake it at Charity along with Basics. You want to go in with the best foundation possible and it will also help you with clinicals. Also, you want to do whatever you can to ensure that you only take each class once after you start at Charity.


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