I am a Community College of Allegheny County or CCAC nursing student in Pittsburgh PA. When I was getting started I used the posts here to help me make choices regarding my program. I thought I would share my experience up til now.
I am a daylight student, I work for a UPMC hospital and will be starting my third semester in a few days.
The job: its not fun having to work full time while going to school but I have a better approach to my patients during school than other students that don't have that type of experience. I feel more comfortable. I mean how do you get better at having to approach the most personal and private parts of a person than just doing it right? Over and over again.
School its hard, I want more information, sometimes I feel that its disorganized, sometimes I feel they expect too much and offer too little. That being said I like my program and wouldn't change it for any others (I can speak to this because I see students in clinical on my floor from CCAC Boyce, Carlow and Pitt so I know that in comparison I like my program).
Getting the job. I already had experience as a CNA and had left the field for 3 years decided to come back and lucked out walking my neighbors dog I met a women up the street that worked in HR for UPMC after over 6 months of applying and getting nowhere I was in. The lesson? keep talking to everyone you meet about getting a job as an aid someone eventually might help you.
School...I took most of my required classes before I started the nursing program. I study my head off and get C's but I am a good aid and am on my way to being a good nurse.
Perspective visit anyone you know that gets admitted to the hospital. Think about what you see and what you expect as a visitor. Listen to the person that is the patient. Keep all of it in mind when you practice.
Remember even though we are students and work hard to be nurses it is not about us, repeat it in your head "its not about me" its about the patient. Cliché or no "Patients don't interrupt my work patients are my work"
Good Luck- I hope my insight helps you.