Help! I want to be a nurse! But I have alot of questions!

  1. 0
    I am in my 1st year of college and came in wanting to be a Pediatrician. Then I realized that I really dont want to be in school for that long, and i that I am not that good at math. I know that I still want to work in the medical field, so i decided that I would be a nurse (RN). I have already started on my Pre-Requesites and I am doing pretty well. I am working really hard at my math and staying on task. I just had a few questions for anyone thats also Pre-Nursing, or any students in Nursing school, or even already established nursing, so if you could answer any or all of these question, It would be greatly appreciated:
    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered?
    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse?
    3. What is the hardest class you have taken?
    4. What is the hardest part of your work day?
    5. Does Nursing have good pay?
    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes?
    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school?
    8. What is a typical day like as a nurse?
    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student?
    10. How long did it take for you to become a nurse?
    11. Up to what math did you have to take?
    12. Perks of being an RN as opposed to a LPN or NA

    Any other tips, comments, advice, would be GREATLY appreciated
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered?
    For me, it wasn't too bad at all. You definitely need to be able to do simple math without a calculator - and it can't take you too long, or you won't finish your test in time. Science - chemistry, anatomy, a bit of micro, and life science. Spelling, reading comprehension, etc. Aside from the science portion, it's your basic standardized test.
    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse?
    I'm assuming you need to be better than average?
    3. What is the hardest class you have taken?
    Thus far - my Anatomy lab is killer. The A+P lecture at my school is primarily physiology based, and we're actually applying and learning about systems. The lab focuses on memorization, which I struggle with.
    4. What is the hardest part of your work day?
    N/A
    5. Does Nursing have good pay?
    Depends on where you work and what you do. If this is a factor, you're probably in the wrong field.
    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes?
    Read, write, repeat. Note cards. Copying notes. Constant reading.
    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school?
    I'm applying in March, but the whole process is tiring. I'm worried about my essay right now.
    8. What is a typical day like as a nurse?
    N/A
    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student?
    Yes. I work 30-40 hours a week as a bartender, and it's hard even being pre-nursing right now. I know I'll have to cut my hours once I get accepted to nursing school, but it will be worth it.
    10. How long did it take for you to become a nurse?
    N/A
    11. Up to what math did you have to take?
    Statistics
    12. Perks of being an RN as opposed to a LPN or NA
    N/A
    Aransome likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from Aransome
    I am in my 1st year of college and came in wanting to be a Pediatrician. Then I realized that I really dont want to be in school for that long, and i that I am not that good at math. I know that I still want to work in the medical field, so i decided that I would be a nurse (RN). I have already started on my Pre-Requesites and I am doing pretty well. I am working really hard at my math and staying on task. I just had a few questions for anyone thats also Pre-Nursing, or any students in Nursing school, or even already established nursing, so if you could answer any or all of these question, It would be greatly appreciated:
    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered?
    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse?
    3. What is the hardest class you have taken?
    4. What is the hardest part of your work day?
    5. Does Nursing have good pay?
    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes?
    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school?
    8. What is a typical day like as a nurse?
    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student?
    10. How long did it take for you to become a nurse?
    11. Up to what math did you have to take?
    12. Perks of being an RN as opposed to a LPN or NA

    Any other tips, comments, advice, would be GREATLY appreciated
    I can only answer things that apply to me, so hopefully this helps.

    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered?

    I take mine on Monday 1/30, I can come back and let you know but I've read a lot on this site about the things that are covered and its pretty much everything that's in the practice book give or take a few things. You should take a look at some of the existing posts concerning the TEAS.

    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse?

    For the school(s) I applied to, I only needed College Algebra & Statistics.

    3. What is the hardest class you have taken?

    Chemistry was a bit difficult for me, but so was College Algebra and Spanish I & II.

    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes?

    FLASH CARDS, FLASH CARDS, FLASH CARDS! Especially for A&P, & Medical Terminology. I cant stress that enough! They work for just about every subject, they're small, convenient & you can take them anywhere.

    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school?

    Haven't gotten an acceptance letter yet, but I'm expecting one

    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student?

    I definitely wouldn't recommend it. Some schools make you sign a waiver stating that you wont work.

    I hope I helped even the SLIGHTEST bit.
    Aransome likes this.
  6. 1
    Maybe you should talk to a counselor at your school to get the exact details you need for your school. Every school is a little different as far as requirements etc

    Best of luck
    Aransome likes this.
  7. 0
    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered? My school did not require me to take the TEAS!
    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse? In school, I had to take a clinical mathematics course. A lot of schools just require college algebra, and some allow you to test out if you are good at math. My clinical math course just focused on dosage calculations and working with IVs. It's good stuff to know. You will be using those formulas a lot as a nurse if you would like to check and double check dosages of medications!
    3. What is the hardest class you have taken? Probably clinical math. I suck at math, and I hadn't taken any math classes in over two years. It also was difficult because it was always on the back of my mind, not my primary focus. I was so focused on my nursing classes that it was difficult to care about my next math class. Plus, my teacher made it so you could NEVER miss a class. At the beginning of class, we had a 10 pt quiz and 80 pt homework due EVERY class.
    4. What is the hardest part of your work day? I'm in school, so I will tell you about clinical. A lot of clinical was just working like a PCA or CNA does. We gave baths, made beds, helped with meals, etc. It is difficult because you are sort of an assistant for the patient. You only have one patient at first, so they will definitely take the opportunity to make you do whatever they want you to!
    5. Does Nursing have good pay? It varies by location. I would say that nurses can expect to make $40-60,000 a year. This sounds pretty good, but a lot of people complain that it isn't enough for the amount of work nurses have to do.
    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes? Study right after class. That's when the material is already fresh in your memory. Also, don't procrastinate. Study every night for a few hours. For example, if you just took a test and are beginning to learn new material, start studying what you learned that day, then every night just add on to it. That way you won't have to cram later.
    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school? Keeping up science and math grades.
    8. What is a typical day like as a nurse? It depends where you work, and I would say that there really is no typical day. In hospital settings, I'm willing to bet that nurses see something new almost everyday! Usually nurses do rounds for patients, hand out meds, and much, much more. They also sort of act as a supervisory role for PCAs and CNAs that are caring for the same patients.
    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student? YES! It is highly recommended that you don't attempt it if you are working full time and going to nursing school full time. If you absolutely MUST work full time, finish all of your pre-req courses before starting nursing courses. Then look into an evening/weekend or part time program. It was hard to find time to study as much as I had to working 13 hours a week!
    10. How long did it take for you to become a nurse? N/A
    11. Up to what math did you have to take? In high school I took up to pre-calculus. I am in an ADN program, so I only had to take the clinical math class that I mentioned earlier.
    12. Perks of being an RN as opposed to a LPN or NA: Well I would say that RNs and NAs really aren't anything alike. NAs have to do more of the dirty work, and basically just support RNs so they can do the more major tasks that NAs can't perform. NAs only have to go to school for 2 or so weeks as opposed to 2-4 years, however they make significantly less money. In some places, NAs barely make over minimum wage. RNs and LPNs aren't really that different I would say. LPNs can't start IVs or anything, but they can do a lot of the stuff RNs can. They go to school for about 18 months. They make less money, and a lot of LPN jobs are getting phased out, especially in hospitals. You will find them more in nursing homes. Some people say that the associates degree RN is becoming the new LPN because most hospitals require RNs to have their BSN.
  8. 0
    Math really depends on what level of nursing you want to attain. General rule of thumb is at least stats. If you need remedial math that will mean 4 math classes. If you want to go to graduate school you should consider taking college algebra instead of stats.

    Hardest class I have taken thus far is Economics 519, Economics of Health. Okay so that is not required for nursing school but it was a tough one. Anything business or law is a challenge for me. Physiology, chemistry and microbiology are all challenging but they are also fascinating classes.

    The most challenging part of getting in for me has been managing full-time work, family and school. If I can do it with all of that, anyone can. It requires a lot of determination and a willingness to put aside absolutely everything else in your life. Forget that party Friday night for the next few years. You have to put school before everything else, unless you have children and they always come first.

    Good pay is all relative. I would not be satisfied with LPN pay and I would not get out of bed for CNA pay. With a BSN in the state where I live I should start somewhere around $28 an hour. There are always ways to increase your pay in nursing with shift differentials, adding certifications to your resume, and so on.

    CNAs do the dirty work and that is just all there is to it. If you want to make $10 an hour changing adult diapers then go for CNA. In my state LPNs are only used in clinical work and LTCFs. I have no desire to do either. The plus side of LPN though is that there are many accredited LPN-RN bridge programs you can do online. LPN is a good foot in the door, so to speak. You have to know that every state seems to use CNA/LPN/RN/BSN differently. When I lived in MS there were loads of LPNs in the hospital setting. In my current area LPNs are not employed in the hospitals.

    I am not currently working as a nurse but I work in an NICU in an HIM capacity and I see what really challenges them as far as the hardest part of the day. Death is always hard, but the death of a newborn is especially emotional. Also dealing with parents can be a challenge. Dealing with anyone in a highly emotional state is a challenge. I joke that it isn't a day in the NICU until you've wanted to punch someone, and that is sadly the truth.

    The TEAS covers basic nursing information including math, the sciences, pharmcology, and English (there is that grammar issue again). There are many study guides online that you can purchase for pretty cheap. I have not taken it yet but have a study guide that I am reviewing.

    If you focus on school you can do it. Good luck!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jan 31, '12 : Reason: Personal attack; TOS
  9. 1
    1. I never had to take the TEAS, so hopefully someone else can answer this question.


    2. The math required is very basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) with VERY basic algebra. I'm pretty much math-illiterate and if I can do it, anyone can! If you're going to go into nursing research, statistics come into play.


    3. The hardest class I took was probably Nursing Research. A lot of the information didn't make sense to me and I really didn't have any interest in nursing research, so that made it very difficult for me.


    4. From a nursing school perspective, I would have to say trying to balance school, work & friends/family. From a nursing perspective, it really just depends and there can be so many factors. Some days the off-going nurse will get NOTHING done...getting multiple admissions at the start of the shift...being short-staffed...demanding family members....doing everything possible for a patient and not being able to get something under control (for example, pain)....etc.


    5. Nursing does have good pay, but keep in mind that nurses aren't "rich" or anything. It's good money and it pays the bills. Pay depends on where you live, too. States with a higher cost of living (such as CT) will pay their nurses more (up to $40/hr starting) compared to other states with a lower cost of living. I live in Texas and the pay varies greatly on the area you are in because Texas is so large. Cost of living here is cheap and there is no state income tax. I started out at $23.50/hr + shift differentials because I work nights. With that, I'm making nearly $30/hr as a new grad.


    6. Flashcards! Buy them in bulk. Also re-writing my notes really helped, as tedious as it can be sometimes! I am also a highlighting fiend and liked to color-code my notes by highlighting.


    7. My program looked at your science GPA - they factored in biochemistry I & II (with labs) and microbiology (with lab) when I was admitted; later they changed it to biochemistry I & II (with labs) and A&P I & II (with labs). You pretty much had to get all A's to get into the program, maybe a B+ in a class. The admission criteria changed every year, though. They averaged out everyone's science GPA and then the school decided on a cut-off point. That cut-off point is what changed every year.


    8. Busy! lol. I work night shift on a progressive care unit - we mainly have patients with cardiac problems such as chest pain, heart failure and heart arrhythmias but we receive patients with all sorts of diagnoses. Other common ones are respiratory distress, asthma exacerbation, COPD, pleural effusion, tamponade, renal failure, dehydration, DKA, electrolyte imbalances...the list goes on. Our nurse to patient ratio is 1:4, sometimes 1:5 if we are short-staffed. With that said, a typical day varies on the day and the area you work in. Some days I will admit are absolute chaos and other days are like smooth sailing. As an RN, I am in charge of my patients' health - I keep a watchful eye on them throughout the shift. I perform head-to-toe assessments, give them their medications and do A LOT of patient teaching. I am responsible for reporting any changes to the physician. I also help clients with their basic needs - toileting, grooming/hygiene, emotional/comforting needs, etc. There are A LOT of things that you do and can do as a nurse. It's amazing.


    9. I never worked full-time as a student. Once I started nursing school, I immediately opted for a PRN position. I worked as a PCNA (patient care nursing assistant) and then got a job as a nurse tech a few months later. If nursing is the route you want to go, I highly recommend trying to get a job as either a CNA or PCT (patient care tech) or nurse tech. As a PCT/NT you will be able to do more, but CNA experience is also invaluable! As an NT, I was responsible for doing vital signs on patient, helping them with their basic needs (meal times/feeding, helping clients to the bathroom, helping to clean up incontinent clients, grooming/hygiene), intake & output, blood sugars and patient transfers. In addition, I was also allowed to draw labs (except from a central line, we weren't allowed to touch those), start IV's, do tracheostomy suctioning/care, insert foleys, administer enemas and do dressing changes.


    10. I went to a 4-year BSN program at a university. I highly recommend going to the BSN route if feasible and able to financially. Many hospitals are pushing for BSN-prepared nurses now. Keep in mind though, just because someone has their BSN doesn't make them "better" than a nurse with an ADN (2 year degree). The pay is the same, too. What makes the BSN different is that you get your nursing theory and research.


    11. I only had to take statistics as a prerequisite.


    12. Being able to make a difference every day is truly amazing


    I wanted to elaborate on tas026's comment on RNs & NAs. Yes it's true that NA's do more of the dirty work, but that still falls under the RN's job description. Some days I feel like I clean up more poop now than I did when I worked as an NT! CNAs do more than just "change diapers" - they're not just glorified butt wipers, you know! And neither are RNs or LPNs. I really appreciate all of the CNAs I work with - they can really make or break your shift. It pains me to see nurses out there who refuse to do "dirty work" because they think "I'm an RN, I'm above you so I don't have to do that anymore." That stuff is often delegated to the CNA because they cannot do things like administer medications, but I try to pitch in whenever I am available. Always treat your CNAs with respect!
    RN Sam likes this.
  10. 0
    1. How hard was TEAS, and what was covered? Did not have to take TEAS (yessssss)

    2. How much math do you really need as a nurse? A lot. You will plenty of practice in your pre-reqs and through nursing school.

    3. What is the hardest class you have taken? A &P was my hardest prereq class and Nursing Inquiry was hardest class in nursing school. Med Surg I and II were not that bad for me because of how thorough our Pharmacology class was.

    4. What is the hardest part of your work day? I was just hired as a new nurse in the pediatric operating room! There is so much to learn...

    5. Does Nursing have good pay? The pay will allow me to live comfortably. As a new grad there is little room to negotiate pay. I make in the low $20s per hour.

    6. What are your study habits for remebering material covered in classes? Learning to apply concepts has helped me. Picturing patients with the topics covered also helps.

    7. Most challenging part of getting into nursing school? Getting into nursing school. The wait is terrible. Been denied many times before I was accepted.

    8. What is a typical day like as a nurse? Advocating for your patients from the time you clock in until the time you clock out.

    9. Is it hard to work full time and be a nursing student? Depends. I was in accelerated program and did not work until towards the end part time. Nursing school requires a lot of your time.

    10. How long did it take for you to become a nurse? 16 months. NCLEX Thursday. Not bad.

    11. Up to what math did you have to take? College Algebra and Statistics. But in nursing school took MANY math tests.

    12. Perks of being an RN as opposed to a LPN or NA? Started out as a nurse assistant. I wanted to move up and become all that I can. RNs get lots of discounts! Never considered any LPN programs. Because I have another Bachelor's degree I said why not just get another Bachelor's in Nursing? You have to do what is best for you.


    Best of luck!
    Last edit by RN Sam on Jan 31, '12 : Reason: oopsy
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    CNA Sam, that is exactly what I am going to work towards. I also have another Bachelors in a different field and I am just beginning my CNA class next week. There is so much work around where I live for CNAs. Nothing at all with my other degree Its been a rough ride with that one.
    Last edit by ecugirl06 on Feb 1, '12 : Reason: frown face


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