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confusedstudent_88 3,537 Views

Joined: Jun 11, '11; Posts: 64 (5% Liked) ; Likes: 6
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  • Sep 3 '12

    I definitely needed to read something like this today! Nursing school is SO new that I'm getting overwhelmed and thinking ahead too much!

  • Jul 23 '12

    People tell me I'm an easygoing guy. I can handle 3 exams in a week, or a multiple page paper that's length rivals something from Tolkien. However, we all have our breaking points, our moments when we enter a crossroad. We can either snap, or bite our lip. This was that kind of week.

    It was the week that I had one of the most high maintenance patients in the history of creation. He seriously called for me every 10 minutes, on the minute. I started to question whether he had an alarm or stopwatch set to the exact time.

    "Is Adam there? He's needed in room 21"

    I let out a sigh that could of bristled leaves off of the trees outside. It's a hush of white noise that disquiets the static.

    The nurses around me float a grimaced hemi-lipped smirk in my direction. Our eyes lock as I peer upward from my downturned gaze of disbelief.


    Of course, again.

    Have you ever sat down to start a project, and the very second you get started, you get disrupted? It's like putting down the baby to sleep, after she's been crying for an hour, and the moment that silence darkens the room, the postman shows up and rings the doorbell.

    Chaos ensues.

    That's the kind of day I've been having. I haven't been able to chart, or finish looking up my medications, or work on my plan of care, or come up to answers to the dozen questions I've been assigned to today.

    Now I'm not one that really gets stressed, but I'd like to attempt to finish ONE thing today. If for nothing else, then just to say I started AND finished something.

    Let me go see what he wants this time.

    I stop at the door, use the hand sanitizer, and get my mind right. I clear my head, and with my melting thoughts, my face becomes blank. I can't show him that I'm irritated; I have to be comforting and strong. He's the one that could be hurting.

    Mr. Lewis, all 240 pounds of him, is tossed on his side in his bed. His gown is disheveled, his sheets and blanket thrown on the ground. He looks up at me, and says that he has to go to the bathroom.

    I knew that's what he wanted before I came in. This is probably attempt number 17 in the past 2 hours.

    I really do feel bad for the guy though. I've never really had any problems with my GI system. Sure, we've all be constipated or suffered from diarrhea, but this is different. He hasn't had a bowel movement in 4-5 days. I'm hoping it happens for him pretty soon.
    He needs to get up slowly, because due to his condition and some of the medications he's on, his blood pressure can drop if he rises too fast. He can get dizzy, or light headed, or nauseous.

    I don't want any of those things to happen, because they all require some part of him to fall, and probably fall on top of me. He's a much bigger guy than me. Big crushes not as big. That's just science.

    I help him stand, remind him to steady himself for a second, and let it all settle in. It's like embarking on some new foreign land, it's better to take in the scenery, plan your next move. We move in tandem over to the toilet where he semi-plants himself.
    Whew. Now I partly close the door and wait.


    I debate in my mind whether it's better to leave the room for a while and have him call when he's ready to get up. I've done that before, it's not that big of a deal. He's safe and fine on the toilet.

    But, I know that every time I've done that, he calls for me the minute I step out of the room. It's weird how that happens, but that's just the way life works sometimes. It's like the kid that spills orange juice all over the place right after you've cleaned the floor.
    I hear a grunt, a gurgle, and a semi-scream. Ok, now I'm a little intrigued and worried at the same time. It's important not to overexert yourself in situations like this. Some people 'over push' on the toilet.

    TMI, right? Well, it's true.

    I knock on the door and enter.

    The man looks enthusiastic and relieved. There's a glisten of sweat on his bald head.
    I think he did it.

    "How do you feel? Did you do it?"

    He nods up and down slowly, a mouth full of smiling teeth.


    I jump up and down inside my head. I want to high five him, but I know I can't. That whole feces and bare hands thing... not a fan.

    I tell him I'm really happy for him, and we sort of bond there, while in the bathroom. The look on his face almost says "Thank God that's over. I feel so bad for making you come in here every 5 minutes to help me".

    I know that sounds like a complicated look, but that's really the feeling that his stare gave me.

    I respond with a look that says "It's ok, I've never been in your spot, but I understand that it must have been really hard, and basically sucked".

    He finishes up, and we travel back over the bed together. He flops himself onto the mattress, a look of triumph and reward still radiates through.

    And within a minute and a half, the man is passed out sleeping. He's silent except for the rushing sounds of air in and out of his lungs.

    The chip on my shoulder broke off and fell onto the ground right at that moment. This man changed me. He helped me work on my patience for patients. He made me appreciate the little abilities we have that we take for granted. He made me learn to work hard.

    I tilt my head to the side and let out an inside laugh.

    It's the little things that make your day.

    I think we both had a good day today.

  • May 16 '12

    you are still young so by all means go for it. However, I was a devoted pre-med for many years (which makes me an expert lol) so don't be fooled into thinking that you will be able to have a nursing job as a med school student, you simply won't have time.
    Check out SDN, (student doctor network) it is the MD equivalent. Put up your stats (GPA etc.) and people will comment and let you know what your chances look like. Also, medical school is INCREDIBLY difficult to get into. Many people spend years after their undergrad taking the MCAT, volunteering, obtaining LEADERSHIP positions, fixing their undergrad GPAs, and going through the time consuming and emotionally draining application process. Also remember that Med school may be four years but depending on your specialty, you will also have to go through internships (barely paid), fellowships/residencies (paid about the same as nurses in many cases). This means you will not start making above 100k for several years AFTER you graduate from med school.

    My point is... if you want to become a doctor make sure you are doing it because you want to be a doctor, not because you want $$$ or prestige; you will pay a very steep price.
    Hope this helps, and good luck

  • May 16 '12

    People often give (and take) advice to 'follow their dreams', or that 'education is always worth it'. If we all followed our dreams, I'd be working as a surfing instructor/ scuba instructor/ and skiing instructor. Education is valuable, but paper certificates from one university over another often don't translate into more earning potential. The reality of life is you have to eat and have shelter over your head and you need to find a job where you'll be happy so you can provide yourself with those things.

    A career is a business decision. You're deciding how much time and money to invest in preparing yourself for a job--hopefully a job that you'll pursue for a decade or more, anyway. So, you have to add up the expense of the degree, your lost income while completing the degree and residency program, and compare that to your expected earning potential when you finish.

    Med school costs (approx) $40K to $50K per year for 4 years and the average debt a graduating medical student carries is $150K. In your situation, you will probably need to take some rigorous science classes. That will take a year or two, and cost $15,000 for tuition. Do you have student loans to repay, already? If so, you may be $200,000 in debt by the time you graduate from medical school. Your residency follows which isn't highly paid. The salary escalates each year, but for about 4 years you will make an average of $50K per year--no overtime pay, no bonus for backshift or weekend. If you work 80 hours a week (not at all unheard of) you'll be making about $12.00/hour. Of course, your pay will increase once you're an independently practicing physician. Estimates vary, but you should make somewhere around $130,000 per year in family medicine. So, let's add this up:

    Two years tuition for pre-reqs: -$15,000
    Medical school tuition: -$200,000
    4 years of residency @ $50,000/ year $200,000

    Then consider becoming an RN and eventually an NP. If you do an accelerated 2nd degree program, it will take about a year to 18 months and cost $30,000. So, you'll be working as a nurse within two years from now. Nurses make somewhere between $40K and $50K per year, plus overtime. So if you work an extra 10 hours per week, you can boost your salary by $20,000/ year. After you have a couple years experience, you go to NP school and complete it in 3 or 4 years, while still working. Your employer may pick up all most of the tuition. When you finish, you'll be making somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000/ year.

    Two years BSN tuition: -$30,000
    Salary (5 years @ $50,000/ year) $250,000
    NP tuition (but could be reimbursed by your employer) : -$50,000
    NP Salary (3 years @ $90,000/year) $270,000

    My very rough estimate, and rounding and approximating salaries/ tuitions, etc, bring you to two different figures in the year 2022 (when you would finish your residency after med school). Going the med school route, you would be in debt by $15K to $50K. If you go the BSN to NP route, you'd be ahead by about $600,000. Obviously, you still need money to live during your med school years, and during your BSN years, but my comparison only takes into account tuition and salary.

    So, for about the same job description and duties, as an NP you'll be more than a half million dollars ahead in ten years from now.

  • May 15 '12

    Oh, yeah, definitely... if I were you I'd get my prereqs that hadn't been taken already out of the way, take the MCAT and push through. There's plenty of places where the wash-out factor is high if you truly aren't meant to be a doctor, but you're young and if that's your dream, your goal, go for it. Just remember all the people who have done it before, and know that if they can do it, you can!

  • May 15 '12

    Why do you think you want to be nurse? Why do you think you want to be a doctor? Have you written pros & cons? Can you shadow a doctor, a nurse and a nurse practioner? Have you read extensively about both (all) professions?

    You're young enough to do whatever you want. And you're right: it is a big decision. Regarding being worried you won't make it: talk to an academic advisor, better yet, someone from your B.A. program who knows you well. Does that person think you have what it takes?

  • May 15 '12

    Good luck! Nothing is could always just start taking your sciences and see how you do. Nursing school will still be there if you find it to be a bit too much!

  • May 8 '12

    I got accepted!!!! !!!

  • Feb 6 '12

    [FONT=comic sans ms]Just wanted to update everyone on my last month of the application process. Well, I had my MEPS physical on Dec. 16. I was actually very surprised that it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess it was pretty laid back and quick because it was Friday and there was only a handful of us there. I was the only female Officer candidate there and out by about 10:30am. Things went smoothly and I didn't need any additional waivers or work-ups.

    I thought the CNO interview was never going to come. I really wanted to have everything done before the New Year. MY INTERVIEW WAS TODAY! It went pretty well (at least I think it did). It started off pretty rough but ended on a nice note. It was laid back, very informative, and helpful. The Lt Col was so nice and sweet. Not intimidating at all. It lasted for a good amount of time, but I received so much from her.

    Well, to cut this short...the board meets on Jan 3rd and the estimated decision release date is Feb 24th. So now the wait begins.

  • Jan 23 '12

    I for one, am an example of a future DUAL ROLE APN. I will be graduating in a few weeks from Nurse Anesthesia school. I am also a Nurse Practitioner (been working as NP in ED in California for a few years until I decided to move to go to NA school). Since this thread, I didn't think there were a lot of dual role NP's out there...i.e., NP + CRNA (maybe there are a handful of them). I was determined to function in these 2 roles (NP/CRNA) and I will soon manage to make it work.

    A few months ago, I had offered my services as an NP to the anesthesia group that also signed me on as a future CRNA. I will be providing my NP services in the Pain Management clinic where these group of doctors are managing patients with chronic pain. Hiring an NP is new to them. I will be the first NP in their group and they have given me a tremendous opportunity to develop this role as I see fit. I will be working 2 days a week in Pain Management as an NP, and 3 days a week as a future CRNA.

    Being that I will also work for them as a future CRNA, the docs all felt that having me there as an NP as well, will help extend the continuity of care to those patients in the pain clinic that may also present for surgery at some point in time. I will also be helping them see new patients, follow-ups, consults up on the floors, performing nerve blocks and trigger points, and most importantly for them...having my prescriptive privileges (for those med refills). Oh and let's not forget, that hiring an NP is way cheaper than hiring a pain management doctor. PLUS, since I'll be seeing a majority of the in-house pain consults, it'll free some of the docs from doing this, abling them to perform more of the profitable anesthesia procedures up in the surgery suites. CHAAA-CHIIIING!


    Well, it's not that I was bored and wanted to SPEND MORE MONEY ON TUITION. I truly believe that having these 2 APN roles are invaluable. (Primarily for me...since it has been a long-term goal of mine.) Especially in a setting wherein an anesthesia group also provides pain management services (rural areas). OR, even as an independent provider for anesthesia and pain management.


    I just didn't want to. I wanted to become a nurse and NURSING got me to where I am now. This is an exciting point in my career and if I help pave the way for other APNs out there who may someday want a 2nd, or 3rd and 4th APN degree...then, more power to all of us!

  • Jan 4 '12

    What year are you graduating? I am applying for the NCP as well. I filled out my paperwork starting in June of this year. I didn't get my acceptance letter until the second week of November, but by that time I had already done my interviews and physical at the clinic at Great Lakes. I don't know of any fitness tests we have to do before we graduate from nursing school. I am pretty sure you will just have to be within standards at the physical. I hope that helps. Good luck with everything! I know how time consuming this whole process is.

  • Jan 4 '12

    I feel the same way and I plan on getting my CRNA as well. Don't let anyone tell you, you can't or discourage you....just prove them wrong because life is too short. Goodluck!

  • Jan 4 '12

    I get so tired of people talking down to others for wanting to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist. I want to be one and I don't care who have a problem with it. Yes the money will be good, but it's also a dream of mines. There it is I said it. I do very well in school and I have the grades (well so far) to get into anesthesia school and I plan on doing it. Instead of discouraging me cheer for me please and I will do the same for you.

  • Dec 4 '11

    Let me start by saying that I rarely write reviews on products but rely on the people who do. I used this website to prepare for my interview and found it to be BEYOND helpful in securing an admission to a CRNA program here in S. FL.
    Here's what I remember from my interview and how I prepared.
    First, I went to Hugo Boss and dressed the part for interview day. Had a haircut a day or two prior. I arrived an hour early and let them know that during my interview. They seemed to appreciate that!
    The evening prior I spent going over information and leased a couple JAMA articles from the local library in case they asked me if I had read any recent research.
    That morning I went over my 12-lead stuff and some emergency drug info. over breakfast on campus. I stayed away from conversing w/ the others in the class b/c of their nerves (It was bad in there...). I stayed as cool as a cucumber and befriended one guy.
    Upon calling me for my turn, I made small talk w/ the person taking me to the room in case she was to interview me as well. It turned out I was interviewed by 7 individuals at a rather large table.
    LEAD your interviewers.......Every question that was asked was because of something I would say that would lead into the next question......I have experience w/ balloon pumps........Tell us about how a balloon pump works or the waveforms associated with it....etc...
    I lead them to talk about things in my particular field that I felt most comfortable about.

    Here's some of what I remember:

    Question 1: Tell us about your charge RN experience...

    Here's a diagram of a Heart, tell us about the insertion of a Swan, what are normal pressures for different chambers of heart, and how to tell if in the PA.

    A few troubleshooting questions about SVR numbers, what they mean and what would I do if they're hi or low.

    Diagram of EKG strip and asked to identify Bigeminy and what I would do about it. They want to know that you'll do a 12 lead first to r/o MI.

    ABG report and what to do about it.

    How have I prepared for CRNA school.....I've been taking classes at a community college and working on paying off all debt. Put babymaking on hold pending admission.

    Any other questions? I chose to ask about the phd program they'll be instituting.
    Also threw humor in there that I picked up on here and asked them when I'll be starting and they laughed!

    All in all, about 15-20 minutes. Make eye contact, project confidence, show body language interest!!!!

    Good luck!

    P.S. Thank you allnurses.......Couldn't have done it without you!

  • Dec 4 '11

    Here's my list of non-clinical interview questions. These came from hours of searching this and other forums, questions from friends in programs, and the first seven were directly from my first interview.

    As for clinical questions, they tend to focus on your area of supposed expertise - MSICU, CVICU, NICU, etc. For me, clinical pt scenarios were given with vital signs, ABGs, and gtt settings. For this type of questioning, you need to know your stuff, period. Learn your CCRN material thoroughly. I call the Kathy White Fast Facts books "my bible". Study it.

    Hope these help -

    What do you see as your role? (The interviewer would not elaborate - as a student? as a CRNA? as what????? I was forced to guess and gave a stupid answer.)

    What would you do if you received a bad review that you felt was untrue?

    What are your strengths/weaknesses?

    Why did you choose this program?

    What would you do if you didn't get in?

    What would you do if you saw a fellow student with drugs? (They went into a complete scenario with the "fellow student" even being threatening.)

    What was your last difficult pt? What made it difficult and what did you do?

    What is the role of a CRNA/What do you see as your role as a CRNA?

    Why did you choose this program/What do you know about this program?

    What are your career plans?

    How do you relax if you're feeling stressed?

    What are the your two most important achievements as a nurse?

    Why did you choose this career field over other advanced practice fields?

    What attributes make you suitable for this career field?

    Why should we choose you over other prospective applicants?

    Why do you want to be a CRNA?