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Broward College

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by qphillip007 qphillip007 (New) New

Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone who has attended Broward College's AS nursing program (any campus) can give me a break down of the class schedule what courses I may take during the evening and those such as lectures and labs which must be taken during the day. I ask because I work a full time job and unsure how realistic doing this program during with my schedule might be. My job is pretty flexible but I'd like to get a feel for what I could be in for.

Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone might be able to provide.

Hi qphillip007,

I'm sorry no one replied. I just applied to BC a week ago and would like to know more about the schedule as well.

Have you learned anything in these past few months?

Would you care to share?

Sorry no one is responding to your questions so I'll do my best. I go to Central Campus. I'm in my second semester. The first semester is broken down into two halves. The first half is called Process I and the second half is Process II. The first 3-4 weeks are incredibly intense. There wasn't an option for online classes or evening/weekend classes. Everything was in-person. During Process I, you must take Process I lecture, Process I lab, math (for 4 or 5 weeks) and the first half of Pharmacology. The second half of pharm is taken during Process II (same instructor, same time). My schedule (if I remember correctly) was Monday lecture 9-noon followed by math from 1-3 pm. Tuesday lab 9-5ish. Off Wednesday. Thursday 9-noon followed by pharm from 5-7 pm. Thursdays were exhausting. Like I said, the first couple of weeks will leave your head spinning. Rules, rules and more rules! The math test you take is 10 questions. You can miss one question and still pass. Miss 2, and you fail. You get to retry a week later but fail again, and you aren't allowed to continue the lab portion of the program. You have to "retrack" which you means you wait for the next time Process I lab is offered and join that cohort. You essentially are held back one semester. Anytime you fail, lecture or lab, you retrack, but that also has some very strict guidelines. You can't just keep retracking and you have to take a remedial class before you pick up where you left off. The whole point of the lab is to get you ready for being in the hospital so you have to practice in the lab, over and over until the dreaded Return Demo. During Return Demo, you and your lab partner have 60 minutes to demonstrate your skills in front of your instructor. If you fail Return Demo, you guessed it, Retrack. Pass, and you get to go to the hospital for two or three days and interact with real, live patients. Process II is basically the same thing, just more advanced skills (injections, oral medication administration, tube feedings, etc), but you still have to take the math test at the start and the same rules apply: fail and you retrack. That's Process I and II. It's a TON of work but doeable. You have very little leeway as far as customizing your schedule and they are incredibly strict when it comes to their rules. Put in the work, and you'll be fine. FYI, of the 160 or so that started in my class, we're down to about 35.

Hi,

Thanks for answering. Seems intense. Maybe a 3 days a week part time would be doable. Maybe 4 days after Process I.

If you could read any book(s) before starting NS, which book(s) would you recommend? I mean academic books. I was thinking of reading Fundamentals of Nursing 8th edition.

If not a book then how else can we prepare ourselves?

I'm in my first semester at North campus & they don't suggest working more then 16 hours/week. Work should be the last thing on your mind. I went from working full time & now just the weekends (fri-sun) & it's still a lot .....passed return demo yesterday [emoji4][emoji4][emoji4][emoji173]️

Great job!

16 hours? Crap. I'm still in denial.

The handful of people that work, at least the ones I know, worked on weekends and during breaks. Other than that, there really isn't enough time in the day/week to get through the reading. The tests were every couple of weeks and usually covered around 8-10 chapters. There was one week where we were scheduled to have our lecture test, math test, return demo and pharm test. Luckily the instructors realized what was happening and they were able to postpone the pharm test by a week. The part I struggled with the most is the way they want you think about nursing scenarios described for each test question. All the tests, except math, are multiple choice, which sounds easy, however, at first glance, all the answers to a question may look like they could be correct. Unless the question states pick two answers or pick three answers, your job as the test taker is to find the "most correct" answer. They call it NCLEX style questions. NCLEX is who designs the questions for the state board exam. How they test is a whole different topic. That being said, I would look at reading some test taking guides from Elsevier or Saunders. You may not understand the content of the questions until you get into the text books, but it will help you get into the nursing frame of mind. You could also pick up a copy of the nursing lecture book by Perry and Potter and start reading that. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of what lies ahead in nursing school.

Congrats on passing return demo! That's a huge accomplishment!

The handful of people that work, at least the ones I know, worked on weekends and during breaks. Other than that, there really isn't enough time in the day/week to get through the reading. The tests were every couple of weeks and usually covered around 8-10 chapters. There was one week where we were scheduled to have our lecture test, math test, return demo and pharm test. Luckily the instructors realized what was happening and they were able to postpone the pharm test by a week. The part I struggled with the most is the way they want you think about nursing scenarios described for each test question. All the tests, except math, are multiple choice, which sounds easy, however, at first glance, all the answers to a question may look like they could be correct. Unless the question states pick two answers or pick three answers, your job as the test taker is to find the "most correct" answer. They call it NCLEX style questions. NCLEX is who designs the questions for the state board exam. How they test is a whole different topic. That being said, I would look at reading some test taking guides from Elsevier or Saunders. You may not understand the content of the questions until you get into the text books, but it will help you get into the nursing frame of mind. You could also pick up a copy of the nursing lecture book by Perry and Potter and start reading that. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of what lies ahead in nursing school.

Thank you so much for all the information. I'm going to try to find a used Perry and Potter Fundamentals book and read it before May, and maybe I'll go to the library and read some of the test taking guides you mentioned above.

Out of the ~35 people left do you know if any of them work at all?

The return demo sounds difficult. What scares me most about it is having to depend on someone else's abilities instead of mine alone.

What tips would you give to someone having to choose a lab partner? I guess you're stuck with them for each Process, and you won't know them until it's too late lol

I'm happy to answer any questions! The whole thing was a big, scary, messy process so I appreciated any help when I found it. I'm just paying it forward. Of the 35 or so people, I only know of one that works. She's a weekend server at a restaurant. There are a couple other people that were working that ended up retracking. I don't know if work interfered enough to cause them to fail and then retrack or if something else happened. And, I don't know everyone or everyone's financial/work arrangements so there may be more that work but she's the only one I know for sure. Most of my classmates that I have talked to about this have a working spouse, financial support from other family or financial aid (loans/grants/scholarships) to cover their expenses.

Return demo is tough but again, doable. I should clarify how that works. Process I return demo is done with a partner over the course of 2 hours or so. Each person gets their own scenario with their own set of skills to demonstrate. One person plays nurse, the other the patient and then they switch. For example, if I'm being the nurse, I'm the one being graded on my skills. I'm handed my scenario and the list of required skills. I read it over, ask questions on anything that isn't clear to me and collect my supplies. When i'm ready, the instructor starts her timer and I go to work on my "patient". Everyone does a physical assessment and then 4-6 other skills like changing the sheets while he's in bed, changing a bed pan, transferring from the bed to a chair, setting up a sterile field, putting on sterile gloves, etc. You can make some minor mistakes and still pass but do something big like not putting up a side rail when you switch sides of the bed (endangers patient safety) and you'll fail. Also, you must complete every task in the allotted time. Go over by even 1 minute, and it's a fail. You will get a second chance but you'll have even less leeway to make mistakes. Fail the second time, and you're out of lab and have to retrack. Once I've gone through my scenario, and hopefully passed (it makes for an awkward encounter when the first person fails and they still have to be the patient), we switch roles and do it again. This time my lab partner shows her skills and gets graded. I just hang out in the bed and pretend I've had a stroke or can't see or whatever the scenario says. Every two hours, two students should have gone through their scenarios. Return demo day is done by appointment starting at 7 am and goes until 5 or 6 at night. It's a very long day for the instructors and crazy stressful day for students.

You will be put into groups of 10-12 students and assigned to a clinical (lab) instructor. The instructor is the one that will be teaching the skills and doing the Return Demo evaluation. Each instructor has a particular hospital they go to when they take students on clinical days. Plantation Hospital, Broward General downtown and Cleveland Clinic are some of the hospitals that Central campus instructors use. The only way I saw someone change instructors was to switch with another student. I saw someone change due to a conflict with child care and someone else lived pretty far away from the hospital she would be going to and for convenience sake, she switched. Back to picking a return demo partner. You won't need to pick someone until a few weeks in so you'll get a chance to figure out who has their act together and who is clueless. We had an odd number in our group so I actually played patient twice. Everyone in our group passed the first return demo.

I just remembered, there is a "mini return demo" early on for blood pressure and pulse. You have to demonstrate, after being taught and practicing of course, how to do basic vital signs. That means you and your instructor will use one of your classmates as a patient and you will measure their blood pressure, pulse, and respirations with the instructor. Slight differences between you and your instructor's measurements are fine but if you get something like 65 heart beats and your instructor gets 75, you'll probably be asked to measure again. If you're still way off, you'd be failed. As always, two chances. Fail the second time and you're done. I have strong, easy to find pulses so I was the patient for 3 or 4 of my classmates.

I'm happy to answer any questions! The whole thing was a big, scary, messy process so I appreciated any help when I found it. I'm just paying it forward. Of the 35 or so people, I only know of one that works. She's a weekend server at a restaurant. There are a couple other people that were working that ended up retracking. I don't know if work interfered enough to cause them to fail and then retrack or if something else happened. And, I don't know everyone or everyone's financial/work arrangements so there may be more that work but she's the only one I know for sure. Most of my classmates that I have talked to about this have a working spouse, financial support from other family or financial aid (loans/grants/scholarships) to cover their expenses.

Return demo is tough but again, doable. I should clarify how that works. Process I return demo is done with a partner over the course of 2 hours or so. Each person gets their own scenario with their own set of skills to demonstrate. One person plays nurse, the other the patient and then they switch. For example, if I'm being the nurse, I'm the one being graded on my skills. I'm handed my scenario and the list of required skills. I read it over, ask questions on anything that isn't clear to me and collect my supplies. When i'm ready, the instructor starts her timer and I go to work on my "patient". Everyone does a physical assessment and then 4-6 other skills like changing the sheets while he's in bed, changing a bed pan, transferring from the bed to a chair, setting up a sterile field, putting on sterile gloves, etc. You can make some minor mistakes and still pass but do something big like not putting up a side rail when you switch sides of the bed (endangers patient safety) and you'll fail. Also, you must complete every task in the allotted time. Go over by even 1 minute, and it's a fail. You will get a second chance but you'll have even less leeway to make mistakes. Fail the second time, and you're out of lab and have to retrack. Once I've gone through my scenario, and hopefully passed (it makes for an awkward encounter when the first person fails and they still have to be the patient), we switch roles and do it again. This time my lab partner shows her skills and gets graded. I just hang out in the bed and pretend I've had a stroke or can't see or whatever the scenario says. Every two hours, two students should have gone through their scenarios. Return demo day is done by appointment starting at 7 am and goes until 5 or 6 at night. It's a very long day for the instructors and crazy stressful day for students.

You will be put into groups of 10-12 students and assigned to a clinical (lab) instructor. The instructor is the one that will be teaching the skills and doing the Return Demo evaluation. Each instructor has a particular hospital they go to when they take students on clinical days. Plantation Hospital, Broward General downtown and Cleveland Clinic are some of the hospitals that Central campus instructors use. The only way I saw someone change instructors was to switch with another student. I saw someone change due to a conflict with child care and someone else lived pretty far away from the hospital she would be going to and for convenience sake, she switched. Back to picking a return demo partner. You won't need to pick someone until a few weeks in so you'll get a chance to figure out who has their act together and who is clueless. We had an odd number in our group so I actually played patient twice. Everyone in our group passed the first return demo.

I just remembered, there is a "mini return demo" early on for blood pressure and pulse. You have to demonstrate, after being taught and practicing of course, how to do basic vital signs. That means you and your instructor will use one of your classmates as a patient and you will measure their blood pressure, pulse, and respirations with the instructor. Slight differences between you and your instructor's measurements are fine but if you get something like 65 heart beats and your instructor gets 75, you'll probably be asked to measure again. If you're still way off, you'd be failed. As always, two chances. Fail the second time and you're done. I have strong, easy to find pulses so I was the patient for 3 or 4 of my classmates.

This is so exciting! I don't even know if I got in yet, but with a prereq GPA of 3.8 and a cumulative HESI score of 95% I think I'll get in.

Have you had any bad luck with stethoscopes? I got my EMT license a few years ago and I remember that even after I bought a 2nd "better" one, I still couldn't hear very well. I don't know if it was a matter of not enough practice/focus, or the stethoscope itself. My hearing is normal btw.

WadeWilson, you sound well on your way to getting in! I don't remember my GPA, but my HESI was 93% and I had 8 points awarded for the admission process which ended up being more than enough to get in. The range of points the school will consider may change depending on the make up of the applicants but if I had to guess, you'd still be fine even if they were more restrictive than my group. By the way, they are more concerned that you have a decent GPA than a high HESI score. In fact, the HESI didn't even figure into the points, it was just a requirement to pass to be considered for admission.

I have a Littmann Classic III stethoscope. I've been very happy with it. The cheapie, generic ones they sell in the bookstore are garbage. The couple of people that I saw buy them had to replace them in a couple weeks because they either couldn't hear anything from them or they literally broke apart. At this point, I think everyone in our group has some variation of a Littmann. The cheapest version, the Littmann lightweight is completely adequate and won't cost you a car payment. I haven't seen a different brand used by any of the doctors or nurses I've seen in the hospital. Littmann's are sold on lots of websites so look around for a deal. I bought mine from Amazon because I have Amazon Prime and could get free, 2 day shipping.

Yeah, I had the cheap stuff.

I can't wait to start NS.

Thank you so much for the help. I'll pay it forward in the future :)