Your School Curriculum

  1. Hi All!! First off, let me say how I love the site. Anyways, I started class last week and it is very overwhelming. I have a BS in Biology and decided that after 3 years in the real world, that it was time to get my butt in nursing school. Hehe. I am very surprised at how tuff it really is. For some reason, I thought that with my background and BS degree that this nursing thing would be a breeze. Boy was i wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have already done 7 chapters and have our first real test next week. Not to mention the 5 quizzes we've already had. But there is a problem I'm having and wanted to ask all of you. Where does your curriculum and clinicals begin???? We have started with bedmaking and bedbaths. Not only do we have to learn and read about these skills, we also have to perform and get graded on them before we can even start clinicals next month. Our clinicals don't start to mid Sept. From what I understand, most new students are reading about these, but are not required to perform them and get graded. SO, what is your school starting with?? And what is your curriculum like?? Thanks for reading, look forward to chatting with you throughout the academic year.
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    About jfpruitt

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 214; Likes: 1


  3. by   essarge
    We start our actual out of school clinicals in the field next semester (I am in a 4 year BSN program). I am a sophomore this year and this semester is when we learn bedbaths, vitals, etc. We go into the field in early December and do assessments at a senior center and then the LTC/hospital setting in the spring semester.
  4. by   KRVRN
    I was in a 3 year BSN program and we started clinicals in the 7th week of the first semester. For the first 7 weeks we had a skills lab with the mannequins (sp?) and hospital beds and stuff. We didn't actually get graded on each skill, but we did have to be signed off on the major skills (V/S, NG insertion, foleys, etc.). If we did it wrong, we were corrected, then allowed to do it right, THEN we were signed off on it. Bedmaking and bedbaths and hygiene weren't something we got signed off, I guess there's more than one way to do it (and still be correct) so they didn't bother. We practiced it, just didn't get SIGNED OFF.

    As for curriculum, we tended to have tests every 6 weeks, with some of the professors only giving 2 tests (kinda scary actually). A few gave weekly quizzes along with the tests. There was AT LEAST one term paper every single semester (in perfect APA format, thank you), often more in most classes. We had oral presentations and group projects.

    In OB class we did a follow-through paper where we interviewed and followed a woman/couple through their last weeks of pregnancy, delivery and first weeks postpartum. THAT paper was over 90 pages for me!! And I wasn't the only one!! Had a similar paper due in community health nursing where we assessed a community and its resources (THAT was a group project--caused a lot of hatred), IT was way over 100 pages. They made us attend 8 hours of AA, NA, al-anon, etc. meetings during psych. All on our own time of course--that's where all the hatred from doing those community health projects came from, we had to decide which class to do research for!

    We did very few formal nursing care plans (ewwww care plans), maybe 4 throughout the whole 6 semesters (and 4 was 4 too many for me). 2 of those were in the actual semester where we learned how to do them and 1 was with that nasty OB follow through paper.

    Yes, my nursing school was way hard and involved. But OMG the feeling when you finally put on that cap and gown!! Look forward to it guys!!
  5. by   CarolineRn
    Hi there! I'm a first semester ADN student, and we are working on vital signs in on-campus clinicals. Next week, we go out to the Health Dept. and other places in the community, and begin learning head-to toe assessments in lab, to be evaluated on the following week. After proving ourselves able to perform these basic skills, we will be in the hospitals for our clinical orientations the following week. After that, we start bed-baths, transport and bed-making. They aren't even going into sterile technique with us this semester, which I don't understand. Next semester, our clincals will be much more intensive.
    Last edit by CarolineRn on Sep 2, '01
  6. by   BrandyBSN
    This is the list for my program. Sorry if it is choppy, I cut it from the page and pasted it here. This is a 4 year BSN program.

    Fall Spring

    First Year
    BIOL 100 Biology
    CHEM 100 Chemistry
    PSYC 166 Psychology
    MATH 305 College Calculus (minimum University requirement)
    Heath Requirement
    NU 180 Intro. to Human Care
    PHYS 100 Physics
    ENG 100 English Comp. I
    COMM 170 Fund. of Speech
    HPP 307 Early Childhood Development

    Second Year
    NU 240 Nursing Theraputics I
    HPP 311 Human Nutrition
    BIOL 303 Anatomy/Physiology
    HPP 250 Life Span Development
    PHY 300 Advanced Psychology
    NU 280 Nursing Theraputics II
    BIOL 353 Pathophysiology
    Humanities Requirement
    Humanities Requirement
    BIOL 304 Microbiology

    Third Year
    NU 325 Physiological Processes
    NU 355 Gerontological Nursing
    NU 310 Pharmacotherapeutics
    ENG 314 English Comp. II
    PHRE 188 Ethics
    HIST 198 American Institutional History
    NU 385 Child/Family Nursing
    NU 375 Maternal/Neonate Nursing
    NU 221 Nursing Informatics
    NU 365 Chronic Illness
    STAT 190 Basic Statistics
    PSY 398 Abnormal Psychology

    Fourth Year
    NU 425 Com. Mental Health Nursing
    NU 445 Clinical Elective
    Humanities Requirement
    NU 410 Intro. to Nursing Research
    Discipline Directed Elective
    NU 475 Critical Care Nursing
    NU 485 Rural Public Health Nursing
    NU 470 Care Coordination
    NU 498 Professional Socialization
    Humanities Requirement
    TOTAL HOURS 129 - Minimum for Graduation

    Does that Help?

  7. by   nrsbaby2be
    Hi Caroline, thanks for the info. You are in the same program I am hoping to get into next fall.
  8. by   Katnip

    I'm in my junior year of a BSN program. We don't start clinicals until next semester. This one is all the nursing fundamentals and working in simulation labs with "smart mannequins" (I can't spell it either. We were told today that our school has the only sim labs of its kind and we will be well prepared for next semester. I wonder how many other schools say that.

    On our first day of class we had to take a drug dosage calculation test. We were told to get a book and learn it, then pass with 90%. Haven't gotten my results yet. Did anyone else have to do that?
  9. by   BrandyBSN
    We had to pass with a 96%, but we also went over a lot of it in class. I am not sure we could have done so well if they would have thrown the text at us and said "learn-it, pass-it". I got exactly a 96%, i messed up using the body surface charts.. thoughs can be tricky

    I for one, am TERRIBLE at math, so i always carry a calulator, and I'll tell you (even though it is embarrassing) that I have a REALLY BIG PROBLEM with division, and even more so with division and decimals. We had to take the test without calculators, and I took longer to finish than anyone else.

    The best way that I have found is to try to get all drug calcs into ratios. For some reason, my mind works with ratios.

    Dont sweat it though, im sure you did great.

    As far as the mannequins, i think the smart ones are computerized? We dont have those, but the med school does, so we got to play with them before we did cadaver disection.

    As far as the test though... Its a pretty important concept, and I would request my prof to go over the material with the whole class. Everyone needs to get it down solid, even if the pass the test, its still a good idea to compare with the group

  10. by   Katnip
    I just found out today that I passed the drug calc. test. They don't give us our scores, just pass/fail. We weren't allowed to use calculators on the test, but will be allowed to for clinicals. They said the reason they do that is the NCLEX never let anyone use them. Now, though, rumor has it that in October, NCLEX will allow use of calculators. Sure hope so!

    I'm like you when it comes to division. I can get so confused about those decimals.

    I'm glad our school did not require calculus. I don't know if I would have done it, I'm such a math-phobe.
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    Calculus sucks! I got a C.... brought down my GPA!!!! grrrrr

  12. by   KRVRN
    We had to do a drug calc quiz before every semester's clinical staretd. We had to pass with 100%. We weren't allowed to use calculators during the quiz...don't quite understand that one. It got hard when were were figuring dosages for heparin drips with all those zeroes in the problem. I seriously doubt I'll ever have to do a drug calculation without the benefit of a calculator.
  13. by   craff1
    yeah, let me jump on that bandwagon, I'll have a calculator in my pocket at all times, and won't apologize for it. I'd rather use it that kill someone w/ an arithmetic error. We can't use a calculator for our test either. Our teacher gave this lecture where she whizzed through different dosage calculation methods faster than anyone could take notes. Basically, they expect you to have this knowledge already, even though this is an overview of nursing (nursing pre-req). A lot of class members were overwhelmed, as they haven't taken chem yet. I'm thankful I took probolem solving for chemistry instead of the class everyone else takes (it's the prep for chem 1A which is pre-med, nurses take 2A). We spent all semester doing dimensional analysis. Brandy, it was interesting reviewing your program. I'm in CA, I'm not sure if our state school is very different, but the ADN program requires a lot of that stuff as pre-reqs. The nursing classes in the BSN are only 1 semester longer than the ADN. (So what do they do the other 1 & 1/2 years?) I could do the BSN program because I have a BA degree, but I'd have to take that darned Chem 2A and 2B, and that would take another year. Also, I want to take Chem 1A, 1B after nursing school, so I don't want to waste time on a lesser class to get into nursing school. And CSUS wouldn't take my Chem 3 class because it has no organic component. If it weren't for the chem, I'd go for the BSN, but I'm not getting any younger!! There are some new negotiations going on between the junior college system and the state u, talk of matriculating ADN students into the 2nd year of the BSN program. This would be great for me. Also, they're considering offering ADN's a 2 year masters in nursing if they already have a BS/Ba in another subject, so I could skip the BSN. So many options, it's confusing. I have Nursing 90, (overview of nursing), P&A first semester, and Medical Language this semester. I just found out that I can take 3 of my classes on-line at the Junior College level. This will help me take my prereq's faster because I don't have to be at school another 2-3 nights/week to take these units. Others may benefit from online classes as well, it's something I never considered before.
  14. by   NYCRN2
    I just took an passed NCLEX this past month and there was indeed a calculator program that could be clicked on for use for any of the drug calculation questions, which was great since I had two of them.

    My nursing program didn't allow the use of calculators which really added to your stress level unnecessarily during our dosage tests. I always thought it was so ridiculous that you couldn't use a calculator, but whatever, I got through it, I survived nursing school, and now I'm finally an RN!

    On a final note keep practicing your dosage math and reviewing your meds because you'll need it when you go for your first job. I just took the nursing pharmacology exam for my first job and talk about tough! It was more stressful than NCLEX! Lots of very difficult math questions with critical care meds and lots of mcg/kg/minute questions. Thank god I was allowed to use a calculator!

    Anyway, I passed it and now I'm finally starting work here in NYC at a very prestigeous teaching hospital next week and I can't wait!
    Last edit by NYCRN2 on Aug 31, '01