I am really excited right now and just wanted to talk about this...
I applied in February to Pre-health sciences and rpn programs and was waitlisted for rpn and accepted into Pre-health sciences with a 4.09/4.2 average in my academic upgrading / adult education courses.
Just this weekend I went to my college's Open House to find out if I wanted to hold out and try and get my RN degree or my RPN and without a doubt I found out that I wanted to become an RN. I've spent the last couple of months waiting and not sure on what decision to make so it's wonderful to know absolutely what I want to be..
At the openhouse, I found out that 1600 applicants applied to 300 seats in my program (phew, glad I got in) It was a fairly basic presentation outlining the courses, course hours, work etc.. But at the end there were a couple of students that would take us to the program labs we were interested in going into.. (paramedic, respiratory therapy, Registered nursing collaborative program, rpn. etc)
I went to the registered nursing and practical nursing sim labs, they are the coolest thing. There are these mannequin people and beds lined up like a ward... a nursing station.. the vital sign machines hooked up.. The mannequins actually breathe, you can watch their chest go up and down! You can feel their hearts beat in the chest, or pulse in their wrists. They have one that can give birth(noelle), a baby mannequin, toddler mannequin.. men and girl mannequins. As far as I know, you can give them needles, iv's, care for their wounds, chest tubes etc. They have trays set up with a zillion little things, (iv bags, masks, needles, gauze and a million other things that I don't know what they are) The sim labs are really interesting... They eased my concerns about whether or not four years would drag on after my prehealth program.
As well in the sim labs, they had nursing teachers and nursing students.. I talked to a 2nd year nursing student who came in the program from prehealth sciences for probably 20 minutes just asking her questions. She told me about her clinicals, the coursework etc and how much she loved her program. I asked her about her favourite times.. She told me she loved the "first times she got to do..." things like give needles etc.. They get to see a surgery at one point during clinicals and she told me that was by far her favourite part. During the surgery she got to stand on a stool and look over a open heart surgery and that it was amazing. As far as specialties, she didn't like her mental health clinicals, wasn't too interested in palliative/longterm care, but she was leaning towards being a scrub nurse or cardiac nursing.
I asked her the difference between rpns and rns, she said she wasn't really aware of the technical differences, they get to do much of the same things but rpns she was told work with stable patients while rns are able to care for the more complex, unstable ones.
For me, this consolidated any doubts about becoming a nurse. The sciences, medicine and interventions are SO interesting, I love the fact that it is hands on and I have always loved helping people. The openhouse has pushed me towards the path of becoming a registered nurse and has instilled me with excitement about the program. (Labs and clinicals ahhh !!! :heartbeat) It was informative and has made me passionate about my road to becoming a nurse. It will serve to motivate me in my next year of pre health sciences which I have decided to take. Before this I wasn't sure if the 3 extra years were worth it, and not motivated to try my hardest in the program.
If your college has an openhouse, go to it. If you are not a hundred percent sure, GO ON A TOUR, ask students of the program and research! Call them up and ask for a tour. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
I wanted to tell about my experience to people in hopes that they will be just as excited as I am about the -school process- as well as the professional nurse part.
Good luck to all my fellow pre nursing and pre health sciences students and see you (figuratively) in the fall!