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mclennan, BSN 18,758 Views

Joined Sep 25, '06. Posts: 747 (58% Liked) Likes: 2,240

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  • Sep 10

    Depends on what you mean specifically by "public health." Going into "public health" can mean about 100 different nursing jobs! I was a PHN for 4 years and worked in clinics, did home visits, community health education, case management, disease management, staff education, immunization campaigns, well baby/WIC exams, elder care, HIV testing and counseling, diabetes prevention stuff.......sometimes I sat at a desk, sometimes I busted my butt in a clinic, sometimes drove all over town to collaborate with community organizations or do home visits, sometimes gave presentations to hundreds of people, sometimes worked in mobile clinics in trailers, sometimes staffed booths at community health events.

    I loved it and never missed floor nursing for a second. Just be aware PH nursing isn't just one job/position.....there are tons of things PHNs do. Good luck!

  • Aug 30

    Reminds me of when I volunteered at an AIDS hospice (well it was a group home, but in the 90s we didn't call it a hospice even though that's what it was) and cared for this wonderful man. He was 6'4 and near the end, he wasted away to only 100lbs. or so. He spent a lot of hours sitting in a deep bathtub of warm water, nothing else was very comfortable for him. One night I asked him if he'd like anything to eat or drink and out of the blue he said, "you know what I'm craving? A big, day-glow fruity island cocktail. In a big glass, with the little umbrella and garnishes and a straw. Ice cold. I miss sipping drinks like that on vacation."

    Well, of course there were several men in recovery at this place and alcohol was banned. At first I thought, I'll figure out how to make a virgin drink like that for him. I called my uncle who was an ex-bartender in his 60s. I'll never forget it. He said "to heck with that. Let's make this man a proper drink." I stopped by his house the next day and there he had a whole setup, a Thermos with the drink in it, and a hurricane glass packed with fruit, umbrella and straw. He even wrapped it all up in a box so I could smuggle it in.

    I did. I arrived & found my patient in his bath, candles lit & music playing as usual. Got a huge container of ice from the machine, and locked the door behind us. I took out the glass, iced it and poured the drink. It was a hideous bright blue and loaded with rum. I fixed up the garnishes and umbrella and gave it to him. I have NEVER seen such a blessed out look on a human being's face!

    After only 5 or 10 minutes I could see the blue drink coming out of him in the bath water. His GI was so destroyed that almost anything he consumed was passed so quickly he couldn't absorb it. I didn't say anything. I let him enjoy the cocktail. He finished about half, then handed it to me and said "you finish it. I insist." (I was not a nurse then and an off-duty volunteer). I pulled up a chair next to the tub and settled in. We sat there a long time, talking about our favorite vacations and wild times. I very stealthily changed the bathwater until it was clear again.

    He died about a month later. At the visitation I tucked the little cocktail umbrella in his suit pocket and kissed him goodbye.

  • Aug 8

    I say DO IT. Take the risk. Money is dumb. Happiness rules. Keep your RN license and pick up 5 or 6 shifts a month per diem if you really think you're gonna starve. But you won't. Not if you resist the mainstream expectations that you're "supposed" to have a new car, own a home, and breed. RESIST!!!!!

    I wish I'd taken bigger risks when I was your age, and done what makes me happy instead of listening to everyone tell me what I "should" do. ROCK the poorhouse and your parent's house. Screw nursing and help the animals. Don't be on your deathbed listing your regrets. Do these things NOW while it's easy for you. Every minute that goes by while you sit on your butt soul-searching, it gets harder and harder to change careers, move home, go to school, and take a pay cut. Money is NOTHING. Happiness is EVERYTHING. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, and a better situation to support your dream than most. GO FOR IT.

  • Jul 21

    You sound desperate, insecure, competitive and way too worried about what other people think about how you're "supposed" to be.

    As a smart, interesting and attractive woman, I can tell you right now that those characteristics are MAJOR turn-offs. Like will attract like, and unless you get over this sense of anxiety about what you're "supposed" to be doing, you'll only attract women who are similarly desperate, insecure, competitive and vain. And you'll fail at relationship after relationship or have zero luck at all.

    I suggest you re-frame the way you look at women altogether. Physical attraction is great, sure, but if you are only basing your interest in women on that to start with, that's part of your problem. A BIG PART. Women are much more about their looks. I would hope you'd find their mind, thoughts, sense of humor, compassion, value systems, and goals in life MUCH more interesting than whether or not they are "okay looking." You sound dreadfully old-fashioned and shallow. Sorry to be harsh but sometimes it is necessary.

    Smart, funny, driven women like a man with quiet confidence, who isn't worried about what others think of their status in life, who takes care of himself and is well loved by others.

  • Jul 13

    Wow. LOL

    I've worked with NPs for years in many different settings and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE started out cleaning up POOP! AND put in at least 3 to 5 years (some longer) working shifts on hospital floors in Med Surg. They all lived to tell about it, too.

    If you search the forum you'll find many a new grad getting schooled hardcore by experienced nurses after they complained about POOP. I have 4 sets of letters after my name and 6 years experience and working on my Masters.....and I would jump right in and clean up POOP if it needed to be done. That's what nursing MEANS. And EVERY NP I know would do the same. Their understanding of nursing is what makes them successful NPs. They'd never leave a patient laying in their own POOP.

    Most FNP programs are fiercely competitive and will require some experience in Med Surg - and yes, cleaning up POOP. Because that happens on units that are short CNAs and that happens in nursing, period. If I were on an admissions committee of a FNP program and read this -knowing you'd applied - I'd LOL and tell ya to come back when you've had experience and some understanding about what nursing means.
    Sorry princess. And good luck.

    P.S. POOP

  • Jun 19

    Please don't flame me to death,

    But I have to ask: why do I get the impression so many new grads don't think beyond the hospital? These days, probably 2/3 of nursing jobs are non-hospital. Public health, community clinic, ambulatory, SNF/LTC, school/campus health centers, municipal county/state, case management, utilization review, worker's comp, insurance companies, occupational health/OSHA, V.A., home health, hospice, palliative, infusion pharmacies, private duty agencies, and telephone triage centers.....ALL need RNs and are more likely to hire new grads than the big fancy hospitals.

    I only say this because I see so many of you talking only about hospital jobs and "dream jobs" in hospitals.

    If I were unemployed as long as some of you have been, I'd have let my aspirations about a "dream" hospital job go a long time ago. Even when I graduated back in '06 & jobs were plentiful I still put a few years in the LTC trenches before I even attempted applying to a hospital. Do your schools really tell you to expect a full time, well paid hospital gig right out of school? If so, I am really sorry.

    My company hires new grads as inpatient/telephonic case managers. I know it's not the glitzy world of ICU or ER's a NURSING JOB.

  • Jun 19

    I've been employed as a BSN RN in L.A. since 2007. It really is a tough market here, everywhere in CA, for ANY nurses including new grads.

    I've done stints in Public Health, ambulatory day clinic, home health, and now I'm in case management. I am on a couple of hiring committees and regularly review resumes and interview potential RNs.

    I just wanted to stop by and offer hugs and support. I have lots of good advice and insight into "systems" but only wanna give it if asked

    Everyone hang in there. Hopefully 2013 will see the market loosen up a bit!

  • May 25

    I can assure you with 10000% accuracy and truth that I am a full time MSN student at WGU. The two classes I've completed both required posting to a message board as part of the class content: reflective exercises and critical thinking commentaries. My mentor has told me she and other faculty check these boards, and our participation is a small part of the overall grades. Many components of the course state: "share you thoughts on the message board & respond to at least one other student's posting." This is not the "community" boards I'm talking about. SMT2 and NFT2 both required this, in addition to the Tasksteam assessments. Which weren't hard either. And for the record, I've never even been on their Facebook page, because I don't do Facebook - period.

    The course message boards are chock full of people who ramble on and on about their military service, sparkling work history, children and struggles, often more so than the course topic at hand. It gets pretty tiresome.

    Overall it's a good deal for the price. I'm doing it to get the piece of paper I need to get the heck away from bedside, for the cheapest price. I am sorry so many of you can't swallow the truth: most college education, anywhere, in any form, are exercises in BS, requiring little critical thought, intellect or real pedagogy these days to pass. They want your money, you want the degree, they make their process almost impossible for that NOT to happen. Regurgitate the words they wanna hear in your little papers, use APA correctly and you'll get your Pass grade. Same thing at any school. College has been and is, pretty much a joke in this country for decades - with the rare exception here and there. Come on can't be that naive. It's all pretty meaningless hoop-jumping.

    My own enrollment specialist is Mormon, and he himself told me over half the staff at HQ are Mormon. They're physically located in Salt Lake City, for crying out loud! That's not ignorance. That's the truth and I think it's great! You don't believe me? Ask them yourselves. If you have a problem with that, it is YOU who is ignorant, not me.

    Funny how many get their knickers in a twist because someone thinks differently than they do. Fine nurses you must make!

  • May 25

    I just started the MSN in Nursing Ed Oct 1st. Here are my impressions, pros & cons:

    1. Pro: one of the few accredited, well-regarded NON-PROFIT schools out there that isn't out to suck up Pell/Fed financial aid

    2. Pro: designed to be SO easy and user friendly, a monkey could pass with a degree

    3. Pro: high Mormon quotient on staff in SLC, so SUPER friendly customer service

    4. CHEAP.

    5. Con: all grades are pass/fail so there's no GPA and your credits won't transfer to most brick & mortar/terminal degree programs that aren't WGU. True story. Very sad. Think hard about if you're going to pursue more schooling after WGU and where. WGU at this time provides a "letter" to schools explaining their "pass=B" policy but most won't accept that, they want letter grades and GPAs. BEWARE of this. I hope they modify this practice sometime in the future, because when all these WGU students decide they want to get DNPs and PhDs at non-online schools they'll be essentially SOL.

    6. Con: the quality of writing from other students is pretty atrocious. Painful, sometimes, to read the message boards. And, as it is in most of our sad society, people have a propensity to use the boards and assignments to a) brag about themselves b) talk a lot about their religion. It gets tedious. I don't really give an R.A. about your decorated military service, your many sparkling professional achievements, your children or your church. Just write what the assignment is asking and get it over with.

    7. Con: many scholarships won't fund online degrees. This might change, but there are growing pains in the academic world caused by the advent of online education. Scholarship entities are struggling to keep up. I had a heck of a time begging for money, because so many refused to fund online degrees. I thank the vulture-capitalist, for-profit schools for that, *cough* U of Phoenix *cough* DeVry *cough* what?

    TONS of students doing WGU are also parents, so a lot of their stuff panders to that. It's keenly felt by us non-parents, believe me. If you aren't "struggling" with or "juggling" work, school and kids you won't be able to identify with about 99% of other students. I wouldn't point this out if it wasn't always presented as if these people deserve medals for their choice. Sorry, you chose parenthood, work and school. You're no more special or stressed out than anyone else. It's great you belong to a big club and have people to talk to, but remember not everyone is the same. I sometimes wish WGU didn't sell themselves so hard on that angle!

  • May 20

    You guys are making me tear up. I love knowing some of us still do this extra stuff. It means SO SO much to patients and families. Back when I worked LTC I also caught crap from co workers because I would use down time to do gentle manis, foot care, hair-dos & makeup for the ladies, and help the guys with a halfway decent shave w/hot towel & slick their hair back. I also used to wash eyeglasses - actually wash them with soap and water. You'd be amazed what that can do. Don't EVER apologize for this stuff as long as it doesn't disrupt your work or others work, and KEEP it going!!!

  • Apr 19

    I love nursing caps and wish we could bring them back. There is NOTHING to distinguish us for our education and hard work any more in any dignified, unique way. Now everyone wears the same stupid, unflattering pajamas and you can't tell nurses, MAs, aides or housekeeping apart.

    I'm not a fan of the huge, elaborate caps, but a low-profile, simple one would be great. Patients would love it. It would make us stand out. It would be a dignified, familiar way to distinguish us nurses from other staff. If infection control is a concern, then issue disposable ones. Don't be ashamed to like nursing caps. I'm only 39 and been a nurse for 6 years, and I never got one! I say let's bring em back!!!

  • Apr 19

    I love nursing caps and wish we could bring them back. There is NOTHING to distinguish us for our education and hard work any more in any dignified, unique way. Now everyone wears the same stupid, unflattering pajamas and you can't tell nurses, MAs, aides or housekeeping apart.

    I'm not a fan of the huge, elaborate caps, but a low-profile, simple one would be great. Patients would love it. It would make us stand out. It would be a dignified, familiar way to distinguish us nurses from other staff. If infection control is a concern, then issue disposable ones. Don't be ashamed to like nursing caps. I'm only 39 and been a nurse for 6 years, and I never got one! I say let's bring em back!!!

  • Mar 22

    I think every nurse aged 55+ who has had this happen should all get together somehow and write a letter/synopsis/report about their collective experiences. Publish it professionally, and send it to unions, professional nursing organizations, nursing media, the AARP and prominent nursing leaders asking them to address this issue!!

    It is happening far more than what's reported. I understand the generational shift that's affecting all professions generally. I understand the complications this presents to management. What I don't understand is the total and utter lack of training, preparedness or mechanisms in place to deal with the widening age gap in the workforce. I have seen managers, time and time again, prioritize the bottom line over the value of experienced nurses. Rather than develop constructive ways to utilize their knowledge - or learn new techniques to effectively handle the conflicts between older and younger employees, they'd rather just fire them, or worse, passive/aggressively pressure them out by making the work environment so uninhabitable they have no choice but to quit. It's not just happening in nursing. It's happening everywhere.

    That being said.....oldsters, my advice to you is to keep up with the changing technology, be tech-savvy, and don't be a high maintenance chestnut. Just do stuff the new way they want you to, stop clinging to paper and old protocols. Don't eat your young, and don't perpetuate the old stereotypes. Don't give those managers any excuse to start honing in on you. Every time I've seen an older nurse get canned it almost ALWAYS starts because of these issues. I hate to see it go down that way, but I find a lot of older nurses are so stubborn about learning new things, they practically invite the scrutiny that starts the process of termination. So stay flexible, stay informed, learn that software without complaint and nurture those youngins! You are our ROLE MODELS!

  • Jan 24

    I am a case manager RN. I also have a good relationship with my hiring manager and know why she hired me so here ya go:

    1. BSN. Most medical groups, insurance co.s, hospitals get better reimbursement and accreditation if CMs have BSN.

    2. Some experience in Public Health, health teaching, discharge planning, chronic condition management or something along those lines. Lots of states offer PHN licensure to BSNs whose program curriculum included community/public health that meets requirements. If you can get it, get it. My hiring manager, and 3 or 4 other CMs in my department were PHNs for some years before becoming CMs - she says that pretty much nailed why they hired me. Highlight any nursing experience in which you developed therapeutic, long term relationships with patients and followed them through chronic illness. Any telephone triage expertise or training is valuable too.

    3. Get certified as a CM either by the Commission for Case Manager Certification or the ANCC Case Manager Board Certification. I cannot emphasize this enough.

    4. Be prepared to sit in a cubicle all day calling patients, to wear business clothes, to earn salary instead of hourly, and go to lots of meetings. It is a far cry from working the floor, the clinic, or 12 hours in scrubs. And it's not always better, it can be just as crazy busy, complicated, stressful and the grind of 9-5, M-F isn't the paradise you might think. We have had a couple of CMs who came straight from inpatient, bedside shift work nursing leave after 5 or 6 months because they missed working with patients and having those 3 or 4 days off a week. And, they missed overtime pay.

    5. On the upside, it's very autonomous, independent work that actually uses nursing theory heavily, and really sharpens your critical thinking skills. Docs love us. Patients love that they don't have to come to as many appointments and have a go-to advocate. Case management is gonna be a big thing, it saves everyone money and increases patient satisfaction scores big time. And, the pay is great IF you have the experience and certification!

    Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Jan 14

    The point of research is to gather data to test theories. Research findings are disseminated into practice and policy. The best researchers are those who develop theories and data collection methods based on and informed by their knowledge of the practice their research will impact. Get some practice under your belt to create a credible foundation as a researcher.

    Plus, most nurses are bitter, cynical and clever. We will detect your inexperienced, ivory tower dreck a mile away. When I read published research I can SMELL the academic hack who never wiped a butt or flushed a line like rotten fish. Trust me on this one. Go work.