lisaannjamRN, RN 6,188 Views
Joined: Sep 8, '09;
Posts: 62 (40% Liked)
; Likes: 49
Congratulations on starting Excelsior. I have to say I absolutely love it. I graduated as an LPN in 2009 and started on Excelsior right away. Two of my friends from LPN school went the College Network route. I did not.
What I do is download the free Content Guide from the Excelsior website. The content guide tells you what books you will need for that particular exam. I order my books through the Excelsior book store. The great thing is they buy them back when I finished with them.
I then follow the Content Guide, religiously, and make sure I read and understand all the concepts listed. After I study for about 3 weeks, I register for the actual exam on the Excelsior website and then order and do the EC Practice exams. I feel they are invaluable with giving you a feel of how well you know the material. And I have seen actual questions from the Practice exams on the real exams. I have gotten all "A"s and "B"s and only have Health Differences 3 and Transitions yet to take.
I also ordered MYStudyGroup101 and use the material to quiz myself. But I will say, in my opinion, making sure I study the material from the Content Guide, and using the EC Practice exams, are really what has helped me be successful.
Since I am not going the College Network route, I don't want to say anything negative about them. I am sure the fact that they consolidate the study material is helpful to people.
Best of luck with your studies!!
First of all let me say, I am so very sorry to hear of your experience. I am a recent grad, and when I think of the people who were dismissed from my class, they were dismissed after ample warnings. Some were dismissed for medication errors, but only after they received an oral warning, and then written warnings which came with points attached. If we received 10 clinical points for things such as missing clinical days, med errors or if the instructor felt the student was unprepared for post conferences, the student was automatically dismissed. And I can tell you my instructors really thought long and hard before assigning a student points or dismissing them from the program. And even then, the director of the program had some say in it, as assigning clinical points can be a subjective thing.
Did you have any kind of point system? Can you talk to the director of the program regarding your dismissal? Can you be reinstated to the program in a future class? Some people who were dismissed from my class are returning to a future class. They had to meet with a special board at my school and discuss where they felt they went wrong and what they would do to be successful in the future. I wish you all the best with your situation. I hope it can be resolved. Three years is a long time and a lot of work. Good luck!
Thank you ALL so very, very much for your insight and wisdom. It means more to this new nurse than you could possibly know. I can honestly say that while on the Dementia Care floor, the aides are so over-burdened, that functioning as one of them, while also performing all of my nursing duties, IS interfering with my nursing abilities. And the other nurses who work on this unit, who have much more experience then me, have the exact same complaints and worries. It is not a matter of "helping out" with the residents. That is absolutely no problem. But my Administrator has made this "her baby", as she quoted to me the other day, and is bound and determined to make this work. The nurse on the Dementia Unit of 17 residents has 2 aides and 1 LPN who must be LPN and aide on the 7-3 shift. I have found one nurse is out on permanent disability and like I said the others have fled. I feel this is unsafe for the residents. I will inevitably miss something important by being so caught up in making beds and serving lunch, while giving out morning and afternoon meds. I plan on looking for other employment. I don't feel this is safe and I am not comfortable with it. I've got to go with my gut.
That was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. As a new nurse, I plan on printing it out and reading it to myself on my to and my way home from work at my new job. I was called to be a nurse. And now I just need God's strength and guidance to help me help others. God bless you!!!
I couldn't agree with you more...it truly is about the resident. Ironically, I was supposed to be the charge nurse on the dementia unit yesterday and one of the two aides called out. So, I was told by my Administrator that I would work as the aide for the shift and she would have the Assisted Living nurse do my meds. Well, I worked right along side the aide and did all the bathing, feeding, toileting...heck we even painted nails and baked a cake. And I managed to get the meds done as well and didn't have to take the Assisted Living nurse away from her hectic word load. I will say this...we DO need more help to provide quality and safe care for the dementia residents. And I talked to my Adminstrator about that yesterday.
And you are right, I was able to assess things I would not have otherwise seen if I hadn't toileted and bathed the residents. I, in no way, think I am above it. As a new nurse, I have to learn to do both. And I am sincerely working on it. It will take time.
Thanks for you advice!! Hope you have a great day. And in my opinion, I can tell your residents and staff are lucky to have you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspectives. I plan on doing my best for the residents at all times. Have a great day.
Wow...thank you all so very, very much!!! I really appreciate your perspective. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
Thank you so much for your replies. Being so new, your comments truly help give me perspective. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that for me. I am excited about Exclesior!! Thanks so much!! Have a great day.
Thanks, Katrenia04! You are young and yet so wise. Your words truly help me to make an informed decision. Best of luck in your nursing education!!
Sierralee, thank you for your reply. I am currently working on my R.N. through Excelsior and hope to get through it in a year or so. I agree with you, I don't think it would take me very long at this job to completely burn out. I work three 10-hour shifts per week, which gives me ample time for Excelsior. I figured I could handle this for 3 days a week and just work really, really hard on my R.N. There is a lot of turnover where I work, and now I know why. What a shame, they lose really good, caring people by understaffing. But I notice they have a HUGE budget for activities and flower arrangements. The place is gorgeous, but what does that mean when they don't provide enough staffing for proper care. Oh well...I am not gonna change the system. I'll just do my best until I get my R.N. Thanks again!!!!
Thanks so much for your reply, Caliotter3. This is my very first job and most of my clinical experience was in the hospital, so I had no idea if this was normal practice. I have had other job offers, but as I didn't know if this was a common practice, I didn't want to give up too soon. Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.
I am a brand new LPN grad, a brand new LPN in LTC, and brand new to allnurses. I love this site! It has been so comforting to me as a student and now as a new nurse. I have a few questions and would really appreciate any feedback.
Does your LTC facililty expect you to work as an aide to cover a shift when an aide calls out? I am brand new on my job (3 weeks) but I hear the aides on the phone when an aide has called out for a shift trying to get someone to cover. They first call all the aides, who usually say they can not come in to cover. And then the aide starts calling the nurses to see if they can come in to cover the aide's shift. They do pay the nurses their LPN salary to work the shift as an aide. This is on an Assisted Living floor and the aides are not certified. I was really surprised when I heard the aide, not my administrator, calling nurses to come in to cover. I think the aides burn out because they don't have enough help and they rely on the nurses to help them, rather than the nurses being able to delegate some responsibilities to the aides. P.S.- the nurses' are overwhelmed and overworked as well, but try to take on as much as they can because there just don't seem to be enough aides for all the resident's many needs.
Also, when I work my shift on the work on the Dementia floor, I am expected to give my early morning meds, shower and dress 3 people and get them to breakfast. In the afternoon, I am to "toilet" 3 or 4 residents and either help with making beds and replacing towels in the rooms, or help clean the tables off after lunch. My first day was rough. I did my meds, and got my first resident showered and dressed and I heard a resident screaming, he had fallen. Of course, I immediately went to him. In between helping the aides, I had meds, assessments, calls to the MD, dressing changes, speaking with families, incident report, 24-hr report, my shift report and nursing notes. I have to say they have 2 aides on for 15 dementia residents. These aides must shower, serve food, clean up, do activities, toilet...all of it. So, I dont' believe the aides are lazy, just overwhelmed and need and expect help from the nurse on duty.
Being completely new to this field, I am asking...is this a normal practice?? Thanks so much in advance for any feedback!!!!
Thanks so much for the encouragement. I got through my first day as charge nurse, and I am happy to say I made it through. I will look at this experience as "paid clinicals" until I have completed Excelsior. And I will give those residents all the love and care that I possibly can in the interim. I do have a question for you, if you don't mind, as you worked in LTC. Did your LTC facililty expect you to work as an aide? And I mean actually work as an aide. If they are short on aides, and they are not certified in the Assisted Living or Memory units, they call LPNs and ask them to cover their shifts. The LPNs do get paid at their LPN rate, but I was wondering is this a "normal" practice. Also, when I work on the Memory Care floor, I am expected to give my early morning meds, shower and dress 3 people and get them to breakfast. In the afternoon, I am to "toilet" 3 or 4 residents and either help with making beds and replacing towels in the rooms, or help clean the tables off after lunch. My first day was rough. I did my meds, and got my first resident showered and dressed and I heard a resident screaming, he had fallen. Of course, I immediately went to him. In between helping the aides, I had meds, assessments, calls to the MD, dressing changes, speaking with families, incident report, 24-hr report, my shift report and nursing notes. I have to say they have 2 aides on for 15 dementia residents. These aides must shower, serve food, clean up, do activities, toilet...all of it. So, I dont' believe the aides are lazy, just overwhelmed and need and expect help from the nurse on duty. When I am on the Assisted Living floor, it is mostly meds and treatments for 30 residents. Thanks so much for reading this (if you have time...lol lol). Is an LPN working as an aide normal??? Thank you!!! God bless!!!
There is such wonderful support here. Thank you all so much. I hate to know that others are going through the same stress and difficulties that I am, but isn't it also nice to know we are not alone. This is a common experience. I got through my first week, being trained on the Assisted Living and the Memory Care floors. I am going to be the charge nurse for the Memory Care floor this coming Sunday. My Administrator came down for report on a few residents, and I took that opportunity to ask her the many questions I had. She asked me what my comfort level was (regarding being the charge nurse on Sunday). And I was honest with her. I told her as long as I knew she or another nurse on Assisted Living was there to answer questions for me, as they know these residents, I think I'd be okay. I realized she is there to help me. I just have to ask for the help. Each day gets a bit less scarier, and I do fall in "love" with the residents a little more. I realize that I have the love and the clinical skills that they need. I imagine it will get easier as I get to KNOW the residents a little more. I am currently starting Excelsior for my R.N., but I need the experience and am bound and determined to get through this.
Congrats on starting Excelsior!! I recently got my official evaluation, enrolled and started buying books and registering for exams. I am super excited too! I am REALLY happy that I am not going to have to re-do 24 credits that I had from cc. There is so much great advice here. I am so grateful! I am a brand new LPN (just started working in LTC). I am supposed to be working 3 shifts per week and am planning on doing my Excelsior work the remainder of the week. Good luck!!! Wish you all the best. This is such a great site. Nurses ARE just the best aren't they??!!!
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