NP wanna be

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    Okay, so I need some words of wisdom, encouragement or a reality check. I'm 50 years old and I truly want to complete my NP degree. I'm working on my BSN and will be done this time next year. I hope to start NP school Jan 2103. I will be 51. My job is great for going to school but I feel I am so lacking in clinical experience. I've been out of the hospital setting for 7 years. I do very routine patient care in a small detention center. What can I do to better prepare for the rigors of NP school? I can't pick up a part-time ER job so forget mentioning that. I work FT and have 2 kids. What resources will help me get back up to speed academically? A new NCLEX review book? NP study guide? I need to wrap my brain around all the things I've been so removed from. The old adage use or lose it comes to mind. Anything you'd recommend to get me up to speed? Thank you all for this forum. I am passionate about this but I can't turn back the clock.
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    Why do you feel you are not up to speed academically if you are finishing up your BSN? If your classes are rigorous and you are doing a lot of writing, and your instructors are holding you to academic standards in your writing, then you should be fine in that area.
    Doing routine care in a detention center- what do you mean by that? Is that like doing urgent care and/or primary care? What kinds of things are you dealing with? I would imagine that working in a detention facility would be excellent preparation for being an adult NP, or the adult portion of FNP.
    The three "core" things for APN studies are patho, pharm, and physical assessment- if you did those fairly recently for your BSN studies, then you are ahead of people like me who have been out of school for a long time and just now starting an MSN. Same with all the nursing theory stuff which is going to be huge in my MSN program.
    So maybe you are ahead of the game and just don't realize it.
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    It sounds like you are on track. You might want to get the Margaret Fitzgerald study guide book. I think it is 30 some dollars on amazon. It is a great study guide and has helped me through NP school. BTW, I am close in age to you. I love that people are involved in academia at all ages!
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    Thanks guys. I think what I mean is my work isn't very challenging most days. I do have a LOT of responsibility when it comes to patient care and assessment. However, I don't know how to read EKGs (we don't do them); don't know much about cardiology, neurology, etc since I left the hospital 7 years ago. I guess I just feel like I've forgotten so much A&P, etc. I'm going to order that study guide. That's a super idea. Thank you for your support. I just needed to share with someone and this forum feels like a whole buncha friends.
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    I am hard on myself too and have high expectations. People keep reminding me "you're not supposed to know that stuff yet!" As in, I'll learn it in the classes in due time.
    As far as EKG's go, there is a neat feature on Medscape where they send out interesting ones and it's sort of like a quiz/challenge thing. If you don't subscribe to Medscape, do so! It's free, there's a ton of info on there and they send you emails on whatever topics you sign up for. It's a great way to stay current.
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    Thank you...I'll do that! I am hard on myself. I guess I'm not sure what I should know already vs what I'll learn as I go. So many nurses have ER/ICU backgrounds when they go to NP school so they are light years ahead of me. I'll see what happens and try to prepare as best I can. Thank you again!
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    Really you will learn what you need to know from school. We did cover EKGs in patho, but really weren't tested on it, it was just part of our cardiac chapter. If you want to do primary care, a lot of hospital experience wouldn't help you anyway. I really don't think you need to worry about trying to study much ahead of time. Pharm, patho and assessment are the hardest classes. It would be pretty hard to review pharm and assessment stuff without knowing how the class you will take is structures, but you definitely could get a patho book and start going over some of the chapters if it makes you feel better If you know what school you want to attend try to find out what book they use. You know every patho class will cover Immunology, cardiac, renal, pulmonary, neuro, GI, GU/STDs, so you could read those chapter. No matter what practice setting you end up in, a strong patho foundation will only help you.
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    Gotta repeat, Margarette Fitzgerald. She is an awesome educator. I have continued to work full time while in NP school but it is almost impossible. I also have ridiculously high standards. This scares me sometimes but I expect the best from myself. I also have 3 teenagers and can attest that this can be done but it is not easy by any means. I also educate myself outside of school. I am searching for a class on radiology and increased patho although I am not finding anything I can afford.


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