I finally got my acceptance letter in the mail. I thought I would be more excited actually. I was at first but now I have officially recognized that my life from here on out will never be the same, that can be good or that can be bad! I am just beginning my journey of becoming a nurse. I took this route ( LPN first then RN) because I can get nursing experience sooner and with me having to work FT, I was able to get into the LPN program much faster than the RN program. Once I graduate next year as an LPN ( if I survive!!!!) I will only have 6 classes left before I can apply to my school's LPN-RN bridge program. The bridge program is only 3 semesters rather than the 4 for RN's going straight through. I can't wait to get to that point. Now, my question is, now what? What should I expect now that I have made it into the LPN program? I know I have to get a background check and they recommend that we get a dosage and calculations book to go over that prior to starting ( I know LPN's typically don't do IV drip rates but my school requires that we do) . All of this I know based on the website the school has for LPN students, we don't have orientation to go over everything until 11/21. I'd just like to prepare sooner rather than later. Class starts 1/13/14. Where can I start for a background check instead of waiting until orientation? Any advice thus far for me?
Sep 30, '13
Girl I'm doing the same thing. I'm doing LVN program first then RN. I want to have experience when I put my resume in for RN positions. Anyway I start Oct 21st. I actually had my background check done a month before starting. I've been just trying to study to get a leg up on everyone else actually
Sep 30, '13
That's good! I am going to try that too...start studying as much as I can now. Congratulations!
Sep 30, '13
want the background check done with a specific place that they can log in for access to verify its authenticity. It would be best to wait until orientation just to make sure you don't pay twice for the background check. Do you know if your school requires a physical or vaccines done prior to starting courses? Maybe start gathering your health records or get titers done while waiting? Or research where you will need to buy your scrubs
, or what books you will need. Then you can start purchasing things here and there because it can really add up. I start an RN program in Jan/14 and there is like $1400 worth of health stuff, supplies, background and drug, and so on. Thankfully we got our orientation packet early so we could start knocking some of this stuff out early.
Oct 18, '13
I graduated LPN school this past April and the best advice I can give you is to be prepared to study hard. And I do mean hard. Nursing school will be one of the hardest (if not the hardest) thing you ever go through. When I was in school, we would go to school for six hours and then come home and study another six hours. Tests every day for months and you had to have an 81 or above on everything to pass. But it is doable! And if you have a job, you need to quit if you can. Have three backup plans for anything that can go wrong lol especially if you have kids. Not trying to scare you, as I said, it is very doable. But it will be an experience that's for sure!
Oct 20, '13
First thing I would suggest is trying to find someone with last years books to borrow or buy used. We had 27 books handed out the first day for a grand total of 1,500.00... Good lord try to save that money if you can. I picked up the required scrubs, lab coat, and shoes prior to the first day. Our CPR cards and TB tests had to be up to date. Our immunizations have to be up to date. We were required to get a flu shot and we needed to have health insurance too.
There are apps in the app store for android and iPhone that can help you at least get a feel for how the questions will be worded and how to weed out the wrong answers to get the most right one. Search things like "nursing student, lpn, lvn", etc. There are many on there that are free. Even the ones for RN help some.
As for math, I love math. All you need to do is memorize the formulas and plug in the correct numbers.
Desire/Have x Supply = Amt to Give
Volume (mL)/Time in Hrs = Flow Rate (mL/hr)
Volume (mL)/mL per Hr = Infusion time (hrs)
Volume (mL) x Drop factor (gtt/mL)/Flow Rate (gtt/min) = Infusion time (mins)
Volume (mL) x Drop Factor (gtt/mL)/Time in Mins = Flow Rate (gtt/min)
That's pretty much all you need to do the med math besides understanding the conversions. If you want, I can scan and email you the hand outs I have for all the math. I have the formulas and the metric, apothecaries, and household conversions. Just let me know.
Oct 21, '13
Disclaimer: I'm in an RN program... but the beginning stuff should be pretty similar.
First off, you need to start gathering your certificates (like CPR) and your immunizations together. Expect that they may require a 2-step PPD test instead of a 1-step unless you can prove that you've got a couple years of negative results. Doing med math is actually pretty easy, once you get used to looking for the right things and just plugging them into the right formula. Any good med math book should have many examples of med math for you to do.
As to books, background check, and the like, expect that they'll have specific info for you at the informational meeting. Especially for the background check, they'll want to use a service that you probably fill out some stuff, upload your info (and probably your immunizations), and your certs to. It will probably be a specific service and they'll give you the exact instructions for you to use to get things going so that they can review all the results.
They may have you purchase malpractice insurance, and it'll probably be through a school selected vendor, so expect there'll be a fee for that somewhere along the line.
For a lot of what you'll need to do, just wait for the meeting as they'll spell out exactly what they want you to do. Consider that this is essentially the beginning of school. Failure to follow the directions and get things done on a timeline they want will result in problems for you down the line.
Congratulations on getting accepted to school! It's going to be a long but interesting program.
Oct 21, '13
I envy those students who already had a few years experience in the medical field, such as CNAs. It seems that most of the CNAs had a lot less difficulty when they finally got into nursing school.
Despite straight A's, I flunked out of an RN program my first semester. No matter how hard I studied, I simply had a lot of difficulty understanding the content and memorizing all that was given to us.
I went into a CNA program for a few months, and that really helped me a lot. I had difficulty getting into another RN program, and opted to enroll in an LPN program. I studied hard and worked hard. I was in a car wreck halfway through, and had to recover from several broken bones.
Despite all of the obstacles and setbacks, I graduated from the nursing program as the #2 student. I was very proud of that, especially after flunking out of the RN program.
Now after getting the LPN license, I am having trouble finding work where I live because they all want to hire someone with a year or two of experience. I wish that while going to school that I had at least worked 1 or 2 days a week as a CNA. I believe I would not be having so much trouble right now trying to land that first job out of nursing school.
Oct 21, '13
I think a lot of the reason why people that have had some experience seem to do a little better is that they already have some idea of what they're expected to do and how to do it. Those of us that haven't spent as much time doing the basics of nursing will have a rougher time. In my case, I have about 7 years experience working with patients... but not as a CNA. It's not Nursing, so I suspect a lot of my experience will be not be considered. Consequently, I'm very good at accurately assessing patients rapidly and confidently, but while I can make a bed, I'm not that great at it. I know that I'm not good at everything and that's OK. This just makes me value those people that are good at those things I'm not so good at even more.
I, like you, hope to find a nursing job soon after graduating school.
Dec 6, '13
Thanks so much for all of the advice! I am purchasing some used books, so far, I have been able to save at least $200 doing that! I currently work at a hospital doing pre registration and I am hoping that HR will consider me for a CNA position once I have started my clinicals so that I can get some additional nursing skills outside of school. I have worked in the medical field for 5 years but I do not have any experience dealing with patients in a clinical setting.
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