delaneyjaney, BSN, RN 2,910 Views
Joined: Nov 14, '10;
Posts: 59 (14% Liked)
; Likes: 8
Staff Nurse, CCU; from
L&D, Med-Surg, CCU
Remember a few things. You are there to do your best to help the patient...but, don't blame yourself, sometimes people die.
Sometimes families can be a pain in the butt but, think of what they are feeling and going through with their loved one in an ICU. They are not at their best during this stressful time.
Offer help to others and they will offer help to you. Even though you have your patients, it doesn't mean a group of you can't function a bit like a team. Tag teaming helps with bathing and turning for example SAVE YOUR BACK NOW so you are not a cripple later.
If you have time, make rounds with the doctors, including looking at X-rays. You can learn so much, even when it's not your patient. I love to listen in when doctors were teaching residents and fellows.
I am in the final year of the AGACNP program at UCONN and it's excellent. It is a brick and mortar program with excellent faculty and they find all your preceptors for you. Some of the didactic classes are offered online. They have contracts with all the best hospitals in the state and that's where they find your clinical placements.
shibaowner - I have been interested in their program as well! How did you like it? I can only imagine the stress of having to find your own preceptor, so the fact that they find them for you was probably a huge plus.
Were your "online" classes streamed lectures from the live class? That would be a good trade-off. I am just afraid of learning via power point slides :/
Your core np classes are the most important, so a school that offers a mix of online and in person is desirable. I personally think research classes can be taken online. On site clinical classes starting at advanced health assessments and onward will help you tremendously and you will feel better about the quality of the education. However, if you are able to go to a brick and mortar only, go for it. Good luck to you!
Absolutely have no regrets. I have better hours, better lifestyle, and the pay isn't shabby either. I have a lot of autonomy at my job- this will vary on your own institution and specialty though.
Docs on the other hand work 60-80 hour weeks in school and residency for years only to get out at the other end having six figures in debt and a society that is increasingly putting pressure on healthcare costs to come down...no thanks. I have the utmost respect for physicians and their obviously superior knowledge base, but I like where I'm at just fine.
Moved to student NP forum
Well done. That's good researching. I just wish this very basic information was more transparent; even in the late 90s, you could go to barnes & noble and pretty much figure all this kind of stuff out about most colleges/universities in about 30 minutes. Perhaps, it's because of the glut of online programs and online advertisements that pretend to be full of information until you realize it's some sort of blogsvertisement; or because you live in a state like CA where the tuition is changing practically every semester for CSU and UC schools and/or programs are getting axed or morphing from onsite to online or vice-versa.
My spreadsheet was also specific to just a few programs that I felt met my specific academic needs.
The first thing I had to do was create a list of schools that met my academic requirements (online, able to select preceptors, good reputation, etc.).
Once I had a short list of schools, I researched the specifics of the programs from a time standpoint, number of semesters, how much work I felt I could do during each phase of the program, etc. I also researched the cost per credit and number of credits. Combining all of this information I was able to get an estimated cost for the program. I used this to determine not only the direct but indirect costs for the program. Of course, with each individual having their own set of variables (pay rate, hours of work they are willing to do, age, etc.) these kinds of spreadsheets are really vary individualistic.
"It only took me 8 tries, and I finally passed the NCLEX - let me share my expert advice with you now on how to do it."
"ICU/ED/NICU/Flight nursing are the most coolest/beatest/glamorous nursing specialities ... whyyyy would anyone want to do med surg/psych/rehab/school nursing? That's not TRUE nursing."
ENOUGH already, people. We all work hard.
I don't understand people who need the help of strangers to make simple decisions like, "Should I work days or nights?" Which do you want to work?
I did brick and mortar and found a lot of it redundant - lectures particularly that were available by PPT prior to class - I didn't see the need to go to a class to have a teacher read out slides I could read in the quiet of my own house. I did find the small group classes, assessment labs, simulations etc very helpful in person. I went to Pitt.
The VA is a good option for an RN and future NP who is a veteran, as they would give you hiring preference. They would pay for your NP education, too. There is also a terrible shortage of NPs in smaller cities and rural areas. For example, I got hired 2 months after graduating as an NP in a city of 100,000 people with a low cost of living, and am getting paid top dollar. So please consider areas where the need is greatest.
If you are willing to relocate there should not be a problem finding a position as an AGACNP. The dual degree has some advantage should you decide to work ED or just to add to your knowledge base. Also, if you are using the post-9/11 the free ride is a nice way to complete school without any debt. I worked PT after separating and with the living stipend money was a non-issue.
I'm also in Pittsburgh (Hey ghillbert) and almost all inpatient/specialty NP jobs prefer ACNP - and there are multiple postings for each health system. A big part of why I chose ACNP.
I earned my BSN at one of the best nursing schools in the world and then straight into the MSN NP program. Many of the top nursing schools such as Hopkins, UCLA, Yale, etc. do not require RN experience before earning an MSN. I graduated with my MSN in Dec 2016 and had a job offer by Feb 2017. During my MSN studies, I did not see any advantage by students with RN experience, even in physical exam skills. In fact, there are a couple of studies on this. One study found that students with RN experience had worse academic performance and were less likely to graduate from MSN programs. Another found that students with RN experience had poorer clinical skills. I am an Adult and Geriatric Primary Care NP. I would say if you want to be an acute care NP, then the RN experience would be valuable. Personally, I really wanted to do Psych and got a job doing that at a clinic and they are providing me with an intensive 6 month training program. So, don't worry about the lack of RN experience. Good luck!
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