jensfbay 4,890 Views
Joined: Oct 19, '06;
Posts: 81 (4% Liked)
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I work night shift in CCU. Before I began NP school (I go full time), I dropped to per diem, but I average 24 hours a week. I'm on my husband's insurance, so that helps. I also have two boys (11 and 16) who demand a great deal of my time as well. It helps to be per diem because I can make my schedule depending upon what I have to do. So far it has worked out beautifully. I don't think I could work full time with my personal level of demands. Good luck to you!
I completely disagree with taking an office job. The work you would do there will not prepare you for an FNP job. There are things like immunizations that you would learn better, but that's easy to learn while in school. The things that are hard to learn like picking up on subtle assessment changes you will learn in the ICU and not in an office. I have never seen a nurse in primary care responsible for doing a complete head-to-toe assessment. You would be responsible for this in the ICU. You also aren't going to learn medications or labs in an office. As an ICU nurse you are expected to know all of the medications you are giving and why, in addition to being able to interpret the labs of your patient and know when to call the MD or NP. Although you will learn a lot of stuff that you won't use as an FNP, that background will still help you a lot more than working in a primary care office. If you work in an ICU for a couple of years and then want to transition to an office while you're in FNP school, that would be fine, but you will lose your basic nursing skills if you only work in an office.
I am taking full time grad school classes (ranges from 9-12 credits), and couldn't possibly afford my house payments if I didn't work. As it is, I take all the loans I can get, the (minor) tuition reimbursment from my work, and though I'm hired at .6, I usually work 6-8 shifts per payperiod.
It's all very well and good to not work if you can afford it that way, or not take loans if you can swing it some other way, but those options woudn't work for me
My advice before you give up would be to not give up. Some people just aren't good at them and that is ok. But You will learn that you will have good runs and bad runs. Maybe you'll sink 2 or 3 in a row, and then miss 2 or 3. It's just how it goes, sometimes. My advice. Warm packs, if the patient is mobile enough, have them hang the arm off the edge of the bed, low, for a few minutes, this allows blood to pool to the extremity thus "puffing" up the veins. Tourniquette a couple fist squeezes, if they can. Look and feel, don't feel with a glove because you wont feel anything. A big one, I tell all my students, don't stick them if you don't feel or see anything, that would just be silly. Constantly mess with your own hands and arms, not actually sticking, but feel where your veins are, see what makes them puff out and what makes them hide, chances are your patients will be similar if not the same. Also, chances are where you have a big vein, your patient will have one in that GENERAL area too. Lastly, if you don't see or feel anything, there is no shame in calling the vascular access specialists, if you have them, and having them use the ultrasound machine to find a nice deep big vein.
As far as the poke, find your spot, try not to go anywhere it is bifurcating or if you are so blessed to be able to feel valves, obviously avoid those. Stabilize the vein, hold a finger or a mental spot of exactly where that sucker is if it isn't visible. Another good trick keep the corner of your skin cleansing pad right at the point you want to insert, this way you won't lose your spot. Have everything prepared, stabilize the site with one hand, and insert the needle at a moderate angle, the angle depends on how superficial the vein is, and this I can't really describe in words, you kind of just get a feel for it. If there is no flash back right away feel free to maybe advance a very little bit, or pull back a very little bit and slightly reposition and re-advance, be patient, do this until you get blood. Don't give up after the first 30 seconds. Sometimes it takes some finesse and a whole lot of praying . Don't give up, keep practicing. The only way to get good at them is to do them, and try.
I am a PNP who went to work right out of school in a Developmental Peds clinic. About 4-5 yrs in, I came to the conclusion that using DSM dx and psychotropic med prescribing (particularly off label in children) was not training I was provided in my PNP program. In the unfortunate event of an irreversible reaction to an atypical for example, I would have difficulty in attesting to a formal educational program that prepared me to Rx these meds. Therefore I continued to work and it took me a solid 3 yrs to finish the Post Masters. This was due to the large number of clinical hs
required in the Preceptorship portion.
Although it took me a while to get through, it was the best thing I ever did and would
do again in a heartbeat. Also your potential job opportunities double being dually
certified. I've been in the same job for 14 yrs and can see no compelling reason where a doctorate degree would be useful to me.
I hope the information I provided was helpful. By the way, I have no prior psychiatric nursing background. I hated Psych in RN school (maturity).Luckily i was able to get mostly ALL my Preceptorship hrs (365) in an adult psch ER so that I could really experience it.i've found that one can plan all you wish, but there is NO substitute for maturity in getting a feel for where you should put your energies educationally.
Good Luck! Chris
Ultimately you need to decide what area you are most passionate about. I am in a PMHNP program. Marketability is, in part, due to your location. Are you able to relocate after graduation? Do you feel drawn to FNP vs PMHNP? Have you considered getting your MSN as FNP then adding a post grad cert in pysch? Or, vice-versa? You mentioned enjoying the clinical side of nursing...ask yourself which aspect do you enjoy? I think you can create exactly what you want. This is a great place to brainstorm.
I graduated WGU in Dec 2015 1 week before having a baby. I took a year off to be with him, and today received an acceptance letter from UTA for FNP starting in February. It is absolutely possible.
Thanks for your insight. Were you ever worried about being labeled a "job hopper"? A lot of the baby boomers I've talked to are all about company loyalty, staying for the same job years and years, but now? These same nurses I hear complain about benefits being slashed, seniority being devalued and retirement being uncertain. How were you able to work that many jobs (in nursing, I'm guess?) without the stigma of hopping around? Did you ever feel as though you were a "jack of all trades, but a master of none"? Did you ever find your "dreeeaaammm job"? Did you find going to grad school hard with children?
Sorry I am asking you so many questions, but I value your wisdom and life experience as I am getting started in this wonderful world of nursing.
I think a lot has to do with personality and I can use my sister and I as examples.
My my sister defines perfectionism, and introversion. She is not warm nor persuasive, as she's lacks that inherent or learned ability to meet people where they're at. She's driven, razor sharp and focused. She's been drawn and has excelled in PACU and as a CRNA. She best deals with people who are asleep and wanting/needing someone who knows their ***.
I'm nearly 100% extroverted. I love people. Especially the elderly. I was always lousy at mingling at cocktail parties but I can sit and share stories all day long with the seniors. I'm also a paperwork nerd. When I was in nursing school and working as an Extern, my hospital asked if I wanted to be cross trained in clerical..um yeah sure. I loved it, it was like playing school. When I was a SAHM, I was always looking for something to get involved in and fix, like I would have loved being a life coach type of thing if I were qualified for it. Unlike my sister, I am not a machine, I do best in spurts. Oh and as a kid, I didn't know a stranger and easily made myself at home anywhere (mom should have reined me in a little.) I have been a career home health nurse case manager since 1988 and I swear I was born to do it.
We both have been very satisfied in our work, I don't think either one of us has called it a job, it's what we do, what we love to do.
I dont know if that makes sense or just sounds like gibberish but hope it helps.
I am 59 years old and am about one year from getting my FNP, and about 2 years from my DNP. Age should never be an issue for doing what you want to do...
Thank you for this. I am a 40 year old RN with 15 years of bedside experience. I also have two young children, 3&5. I got accepted to a DPN Fnp program here I Washington but decided to defer due my inability to find adequate childcare. I'm hoping to go fall 2018 and I'm afraid that my studies will prevent me
From being a good mother. I'm scared for not being able to be there for them in the future. Thanks for the encouragement.
Sure, why not? I became an APRN at 48
The University of Rochester School of Nursing offers advanced pathophysiology online (as well as in class). I took it online as a non matriculated student before applying for admission to the NP program there. We had to do 3 case studies, a weekly study guide (done as a group of 3-4 students), and weekly exams. There was also a private facebook group where we had to post and reply to others about clinical things which related to what we were learning. The course was awesome, and the professor was exceptional.
Before I applied to anesthesia school, I took advanced patho and pharm with Liberty University online. The classes are 8 weeks long I believe. Pretty good courses too.
Often, these on-line discussions are populated by people who simply, for whatever reason, need to vent. Therefore, it seems that opinions here tend to shift toward the negative.
I will tell you that I make approximately $39.00/hr. not including shift or weekend differentials. I take home about $2,000-2,500 bi-weekly (depending on overtime, call-offs, etc.). I have worked as a staff R.N. in several different states (TX, GA, MN, CA, to name a few) and as a traveler. I can tell you that, while I haven't always made as much as I would like, I have never failed to make a more than comfortable wage -- even as a new graduate.
I have a lot of sympathy for those who make a poor wage as a nurse. I believe their stories because, when I was traveling, I met them. Usually, nurses who make very low salaries (<20.00/hr.) live in rural, Southern areas with very few health care employers. Frequently, they have only one hospital for the region. Employers in these areas do not hesitate to take advantage of their positon, and nurses there are chronically under-payed and under-appreciated.
Whether by choice or circumstance, the nurses who tolerate these conditions cannot re-locate. They are, or at least, they feel stuck.
But, let me shine a little light on this situation for you. If you are mobile/willing to re-locate or live near a large metropolitan area, you will be payed a comfortable wage with excellent benefits.
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