Latest Comments by brandy1017

Latest Comments by brandy1017

brandy1017 22,060 Views

Joined Jun 30, '02. Posts: 1,896 (66% Liked) Likes: 3,969

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  • 0

    What do you plan to do with the MSN? I suggest you take baby steps like the others by starting at a community college, get your science and math prereqs out of the way. Don't stop your present job at least until you know you can handle the science & math classes. You could get your CNA and get some health care experience. It won't be easy and a CNA is hard, low paying work.

    I have a family member who is a beautician and ended up working in the hospital simply to get a job with health insurance. She still did hair on the side and has her own place out of her home for that. Had to spend a few thousand dollars on getting it wheelchair accessible. Since she retired from the hospital job she is trying to bring in more hair business to offset the low social security she gets.

    A MSN is a long road ahead of you with lots of student loans unless you are wealthy and few of us are. My only concern will you have enough time to work to pay off your student loans as they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and the govt will garnish your social security and even disability if you default! Things have gottten so crazy that the Texas Rangers are planning on arresting over a 1,000 people over unpaid student loan debt even though it is decades old! Sure glad I don't live in Texas! You have to think seriously about this financially and also health wise as nursing is a physically difficult job and even if your goal is a non bedside MSN job you will still probably have to work in the trenches in the meantime. I read 25% of people 40+ will end up disabled before age 65!

    I've been a bedside nurse for over 20 years and it isn't easy. Still I personally am not willing to risk my financial future in going back to school for an NP. I regret not doing it when I was younger, although back then it wasn't as well known or as popular option as it is now. But I'm not willing to take the risk of going back into student loan debt, which is the only debt out there without consumer protections and bankruptcy options. Over 100,000 seniors and climbing are currently having their social security garnished for unpaid student loan debt!

    If you are financially able it would be better for you to take a home equity loan from your house or business to finance your education because worst case scenario you would walk away, granted without your house but you wouldn't have to worry about having your social security garnished till you die!

    If you were younger I would suggest going the military route to become a nurse and it might still be possible I'm not sure what the age cut off is. If you can do that the govt will pay for your schooling. Another option is working for the VA when you are a nurse as they have the most generous student loan repayment and tuition reimbursement in the country!

    So if you still want to proceed go with your cheapest option such as a govt community college and cheapest college for your BSN and MSN. Do you know others thru family or work that are nurses both regular and MSN and can find out more about their job and if you would really like it. Many nurses don't really like the job due to the stress, high staffing ratio's, physical demands and lack of any authority to improve things. You don't want to find yourself in debt and the end result a job you didn't like!

    I worked with one single woman who left her govt job, cashed out her pension/retirement and got her BSN and she was around 60 when she graduated. She did work for about 5 years and one time had really bad back pain but wouldn't get an MRI because it cost thousands of dollars! I guess her back got better so she could still work, but she retired after receiving an unexpected family inheritance that allowed her to pay off all her debts and retire in style! Otherwise I'm sure she'd still have to work and would have struggled in retirement because she had cashed in her retirement to go back to college. I definitely don't advise that option!

    I'm not telling you not to do it, but if you do make sure you are doing it with eyes wide open! Bankruptcy options should be restored to student loans but who knows when or if that will happen!

    PS Your GED doesn't matter. I truly believe people are smarter than they give themselves credit. I also believe that just about everyone can get a degree and do science and math as long as you are willing to put in the time and study. Also be willing to go above and beyond if necessary to do well. There are many basic study guides out there such as Math made easy to review what we have forgotten. Also you can order a solutions supplement for your math class based on what book you use, it might not be available from the college but could be ordered online that goes thru how to do the math so you don't waste hours struggling and not knowing why you can't get the right answer. I expect there are similar supplements for science classes as well if you investigate. There are many free online classes such as Khan Academy and even free online college courses that you can use for a supplement if interested.

  • 5

    Quote from CountryMomma
    I have had a coworker call out for not enough sleep. She wasn't punished... it was her PTO...

    ...but none of us felt very kindly towards her after absorbing her shift, her excuse spread through the gossip channels, and people stopped being willing to trade shifts with her, cover for lunch, etc.

    You had time to sleep.
    I totally understand this attitude and the errant coworker was foolish to admit to others calling in for lack of sleep. It is one thing to be out drinking and partying and choose not to sleep and another to be unable to sleep due to stress, insomnia or rotating shifts! Of course this needs to be fixed and fast.

    I admit I've called in for lack of sleep but would never tell any coworker this for the hostile attitude. I don't want to take the chance of coming in and making a mistake due to lack of sleep. I'm sure others have called in due to insomnia and stress ie the so called mental health holiday, but people see them as either weak or lazy. So be it, we have to decide if we are safe to work. If you don't feel you can safely function than call in, but you have to fix the problem so it doesn't become a chronic situation.

  • 9

    I admit I have called off due to no sleep myself. I know others who work with no sleep or get only 3-4 hours and come to work. I'm not one of them. I don't feel that is safe. I've read someone with lack of sleep is similar to a drunk person in reaction time.

    That said you have to find a way to get the sleep you need because you can't make it a habit to call in for lack of sleep. I wouldn't mention it to anyone because I doubt others would be sympathetic.

    There is a culture in nursing to come to work no matter what and just tough it out, kind of like the military and management plays on this and uses this to get staff to work overtime rather than hire more staff. When you've been a nurse for a while you realize there is a never ending shortage of staff with constant pressure to work extra. I learned pretty quick to just not answer the phone.

    As for your insomnia, perhaps talking to you Dr for a sleep aid would be a good idea. Rotating shifts are really bad for establishing a regular sleep schedule. Hopefully you can find a solution that works for you.

  • 1
    LadyFree28 likes this.

    Quote from Keracee
    My dad could only finish 2 years of college as he had a full ride scholarship for football but after his accident they took it away from him. He wants me to go to college and he offered to co-sign on my loans.
    He is well meaning but foolish. If he is on disability he doesn't have a lot of money to begin with and private loans probably wouldn't approve the loan with him as a cosigner. But parent plus loans are different, they don't care what a person makes or even if they are working, they will give any amount of loan out that the college suggests above and beyond the cost of the school as long as the parent doesn't have bad credit. It wasn't that long ago that they didn't even look at someone's credit and just gave them out like candy!

    The problem is when he can't pay them he will default and then they will garnish what little disability he has. Don't do it. Find another way to go to school.

  • 5

    Quote from Keracee
    I don't think I answered all of your questions properly. My mother is a truck driver and she's self employed so if she doesn't work enough hours then she don't bring home a lot of money. I hardly see my mom and it's been like that for 3 1/2 years now when I may just see her 1 night per week. I remember when I was 16 and underemployed and me and my siblings used to starve and had to wait until my mom came home. But it is better now that I have a job and a car.

    My plan B is to become an LPN for free at Job Corps and my plan C is to become a CNA.
    Take advantage of job corp, go the CNA and then LPN route free through them. Avoid student loan debt, especially private loans. You can do a LPN to RN bridge at a tech school over an additional year. Any way you can save money is smart, not using Job Corp is throwing money away.

    I agree with your mom saying no to cosigning. Also please don't saddle your disabled dad with Parent Plus loans how is he going to be able to pay them back! Even though he is disabled if he has a good credit history or even no credit history he would probably be approved. At this point the govt doesn't take into account a person's income or debt ratio and many low income parents are being saddled with parent plus loans they probably won't pay off in their life time, but they might find their disability and social security garnished to pay the loans. Parent Plus loans do not have income based repayment or forgiveness options like student loans have. Many colleges are putting parent plus loans in the mix to make up for the fact that the college is too expensive because there is no limit on parent plus loans like there is for regular student loans. Also because Parent Plus defaults aren't held against the college like regular student loan defaults are. Lastly the interest accumulates from day one on Parent Plus loans and they are at a higher interest rate than regular student loans.

    Your mom sounds very generous with all that she is doing to help you and the bills she is already paying for you. She is a smart woman to refuse to cosign student loans which are the most dangerous debt out there, and if you didn't pay on the loans for whatever reason you bet they would garnish her wages!

    So what are you waiting for, go to job corp and get your LPN and then bridge to RN, hopefully you will be considered independent by then, but avoid student loans and use only govt loans if you have to!

    Good luck!

  • 0

    Never heard of this. However, have heard of a young woman getting breast cancer where she kept her cell phone against her breast in her bra and they believe the radiation caused it. Also heard of policemen getting cancer from their radar devices. Don't put your cell phone in your bra. I have warned strangers I saw doing this as cell phones do give off radiation.

  • 0

    Quote from roser13
    Policy is not law. Companies can certainly make their own policies and require that employees abide by them or risk termination. Policies have nothing to do with law.
    The policy to forbid you to discuss your pay is actually against the law. The federal law allows all employees to share and discuss wages. The National Labor Relations Board enforces it and it applies to all employees not just union workers!

    That said sharing pay info among employees may lead to bad morale especially if someone finds themselves underpaid. You can find a lot of good info about salaries thru such sites as, or even!

    PS If you have the good fortune of working for a union you are told about the pay ranges for your position upfront no guessing and if you have a really good union you will know how many years it will take to reach the max!

    Also the hospital has to put its cards on the table and share its financial data with the union during negotiations as well.

  • 5

    Quote from run.for.the.roses
    HR confirmed that the hospital's attendance policy is in effect from day one, the 90 day probationary period is different, though attendance may be considered, there's a different corrective action plan for non-attendance issues. I was late twice, made a plan with my manager, and resolved the issue when we changed my schedule.
    You said yourself you are in a right to work state where they can fire you for any or no reason and you were on probation and they just decided to let you go even though they may not have followed the policy to the letter. Management always has the final say and leeway to change the terms. There is nothing you can do to change the situation now. Consider it a blessing that you don't have to work with a coworker who would flat out lie that you weren't there for report. Hopefully you were really there taking report and not socializing getting coffee. I say this because I work with coworkers that dilly dally getting their coffee etc while we are all tired and waiting to punch out and go to sleep! It is frustrating when it's quarter after and you still haven't started report because the day shift is clowning around!

  • 5
    RHC81, jitomim, LadyFree28, and 2 others like this.

    Three tardies in such a short time as a new employee under probation just isn't smart. I don't understand it. You are lucky you have a 5 minute window, where I work we don't even have a 1 minute window. One minute is 1/2 a sickday! I admit I had a habit of punching late, not by a lot, but it was a habit and I had never gotten called on it, but did after they changed the policy. Guess what I have learned to punch in early and I'm never late anymore. I don't like the policy one bit I think there should be a grace period, but I need my job and want to get a decent raise and not have sick or tardies held against me so I have learned to adapt and change.

    Starting a job as a new employee can be rough, you have to prove yourself and you may find yourself dealing with bullies or someone who dislikes you for no apparent reason, but in your case the tardies gave them ammunition against you. I think you should cut your losses and look elsewhere for a job. Hopefully next time you will fit in better and won't be targeted by a preceptor or coworker. Maybe bringing in some bakery occasionally for the staff would win you some brownie points. Also don't be defensive about age you made a comment that implied you were older and your younger preceptor. Get used to working with young workers as well as old. Try to find positives of working with younger workers. I enjoy their enthusiasm, optimism etc of my younger coworkers. We can all get along and complement each others skills and strengths to work as a team to get the job done.

  • 3

    I'm surprised you're so shocked by the conditions in LTC. All you have to do is read the news, low medicare & medicaid reimbursement, the lawsuits and even all nurses to get a reality check. LPN's are being replaced by medical assistants in office settings because they are paid $10. LPN's are the backbone of LTC. Didn't you start to get an idea in your clinicals?

    You can look for a better facility and/or go on to being an RN which is still a hard job getting harder everyday but pays more and there are more job opportunities. Grad school for NP is where the money is although you still work at an assembly line speed up the pace.

    Well at least you only invested about a year, maybe you can get your old job back and just volunteer or work part time in healthcare. I agree your training sucked but I read that's common too.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide!

  • 7
    Lucky724, canoehead, JennyMac, and 4 others like this.

    It sounds like a combination of depression and burnout. Maybe meds combined with therapy even group therapy may help. I've used both at times when dealing with anxiety and depression. I too struggle with burnout. I have some dread before my first shift wondering what's in store and try to sleep to the last minute. I only work 2 days in a row so if I have a bad night I only have to get thru one more and usually the next night will turn out ok. I reserve the right to take a mental health holiday if I need it and take as many vacations as possible even if only stay cations to get a break from work. I don't do overtime and ignore the calls begging me to work extra.

    When I was going thru a particularly tough time and have had that feeling of wanting to walk off the job during a really bad night I wrote down on the calendar whenever I had a good night to remind myself it's not always bad. I watched a coworker quit without notice and then struggle to get another job and it really was about the stress and overreacting and thinking the worst. If I had known what the person was going thru, I would have encouraged her to stick it out.

    I totally understand how you feel and I'm a shy person by nature so I don't engage a lot with patients unless they open up to me and start a conversation. I was just thinking how I've changed over the years I used to be more of a perfectionist and interact socially with patients and families more than I do now. I know some of it is burnout, but if someone wants to talk I'll listen. Usually in those situations the patients do all the talking and I just listen. As to the rude, obnoxious patients or families I just tune them out. I walk away rather than tell them off and just ignore them and spend as little time as possible with them. I don't feel bad about it either, my motto is people are impossible to please so why lose sleep over it! I've occasionally been fired from a problem patient and I have to say it is a wonderful, liberating feeling to not have to deal with the rude jerks!

    When I'm off work I'm happy, relaxed enjoy my time off, spend time with family and pets and hobbies. I can't say I enjoy the job most of the time it is frustrating the alarms really get on my nerves and some of the PCA's have a chip on their shoulder and do the bare minimum. I've already accepted I can't change people and I can't motivate them to do their job! I just have to do mine to the best of my ability and move on.

  • 2
    A&Ox6 and MJB2010 like this.

    Quote from Sully64
    I am the only one in my department on a committee, and I am the only one with a specialty certification which I earned this past year. And sadly, on my unit, being on time is pretty rare although I agree it is a normal expectation. We have really poor attendance, and a lot of call outs.
    This may help you stand out, but it doesn't guarantee a great raise! Given the budget constraints most workers get the same lowly pay say 2% rather than 4% since other workers will have to get a 0-1% raise to balance it out. It probably makes an employer feel bad to give someone no raise so it is easier to give the same raise to everyone.

    Use your experience and certification on your resume to find an even better job and then negotiate a real pay raise! Or use it to climb the corporate hospital ladder if a management job becomes available. The committee work probably looks good on a resume as it shows you are an engaged employee. Try networking with your fellow members for a better job opportunity.

    Put your profile on linked in and you may find other employers will come to you for offering a better job! I've witnessed this happen to others thru linked in..

  • 1
    oldpsychnurse likes this.

    Your 2% raise is common. This is the wage stagnation of America's workers and without a strong union it is unlikely to change. People think merit raises are all about rewarding the good workers when in fact its really about saving money. The philosophy behind merit raise is budget for a 2% across the board raise and then give a stellar worker 4% and even this out by giving another worker 0%. So the only way to get a 4% is to be a favorite. On top of this some places give the older experienced workers even less for the same eval score to save money. We have no power to change this other than voting with our feet or working for a good unionized employer if you have that option.

    Some places have clinical ladders where you can get a little extra raise, but these are usually one time raises that come with lots of hoops to jump, first to get the raise and then to keep it. Where I work the raise is conditional on meeting all the ever changing requirements with the constant threat of demotion and pay cut if you don't keep up jumping thru the hoops every year! No thanks, that hassle is not worth it to me!

  • 9

    Part of the pen name I had for myself when I was a child and dreamed of being a writer! But I guess I do most of my writing on here and no longer have the desire to be an author. My dream job now would be a hybrid gardener/landscaper and interior decorator! Nursing is my day job to pay the bills!

  • 4
    billswife, LadyFree28, Ruby Vee, and 1 other like this.

    If you are applying for a high level management job multiple job interviews come with the territory. Even if you are just applying for a floor nurse position multiple interviews are becoming more common. Your graduate degrees and living in a big city might be working against you as they may think you are overqualified and want to know if you will fit in and stay in a small town.

    Your diploma crack is funny. Diploma nurses are pretty smart, smart enough not to overpay for a degree, maybe even smarter than you with all your grad degrees. I sure wouldn't want your student loans! Think of what you could have done with all that money!