Latest Comments by mobileLPN

mobileLPN 1,685 Views

Joined: Jan 14, '03; Posts: 89 (4% Liked) ; Likes: 5

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    It's probably Summit or Alta bates. It depends on what unit you work on. I know nurses who work med-surg and ICU at both places and love it. I also have a friend who worked one shift in the ER at summit and swore she would never go back. Both hospitals are very busy, as are Kaiser-Oakland and Highland. I don't know what they pay nurses they are sponsoring for a visa. I imagine it's in the mid 40's (USD) an hour, but that is just a guess. As far as living there goes: I have lived in Oakland, and I now live in San Francisco and commute to the East Bay to work. I know several nurses from overseas who do this as well. I understand that Sutter (the corporation that runs both hospitals) often pays for a hotel in the City while you look for an apartment. Oakland has some very nice areas and some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. It does have a nice diversity to it, but it lacks the amenities of SF. Specifically, dining establishments that are open after 3pm. I guess Gertrude Stein was right when she said "There's no there there."

    Wherever you choose to live, the Bay area is awesome. Best of luck.

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    I took mine this morning at 0800. The BON had issued an RN license by noon!!! Check your boards website, I was anticipating a few days wait (or the unofficial pay-for-results after 48 hours), so I am happy today!!!

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    Just do it now!!

    SF is magic. I was able to make ends meet here on an LVN (that's LPN in the rest of the world) salary, with a very nice studio apartment. Now that I'm a new grad RN, it's even easier. Sure things are more expensive here. It's certainly worth it. This is among the greatest cities on earth. There are a few things you can do to economize, some of which have already been mentioned.

    Get a roommate, or a studio. Check out craigslist for both. Two neighborhoods to avoid are the Tenderloin and the Bayview/ hunters point. the rest should be ok.

    If you both live and work in the city, rather than commuting to the East Bay, Marin, or the Peninsula, get rid of your car. Parking alone will eat up between 100 and 200 dollars a month. A MUNI pass is only 45 dollars, and is good on all the metro, bus, and cable car lines. If you need a car, get a CityCarShare, Zipcar, or Flexcar membership.

    Eat in the ethnic neighborhoods. SF has great diversity and that means, among other benefits, good value food. A gigantic veggie burrito in the mission is less than 4 bucks!! It's easy to find lunch plates in chinatown for $5. The farmers market is your friend.

    Buy live theatre tickets at the half price booth at Union Square. Many shows open here before they hit broadway.

    SF has a wealth of museums, make friends with someone who has a membership at one or more. Memberships get the member and a guest in all year long.

    If you would like any more info, just PM me through this site.

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    Quote from Twain Harte Eric
    WOW - That was quick. Sounds like a personal dig. But I've been flamed before... I have been involved with the Red Cross in many different capacities most of my adult life. Thay are a wonderful organization that does great things. I have no bone to pick with the Red Cross. AND - I haven't been recently involved as a volunteer (and therefore attended all the classes) because I'm deeply involved in my local community as a Paramedic and volunteer on Search & Rescue. All I'm saying is... If you're a NURSE, and you want to provide NURSING help in this disaster, the Red Cross may not be the best organization for whom to volunteer.
    Thanks for the reply,
    "Always Available - Just Drop The Tones"
    Eric, not a dig at all, we posted at the same time, I didn't even see yours till mine came up. I'm just frustrated from years of post disaster "we're here to helps" Your post is right on target about nursing duties. Thanks for posting that link, It looks like that may be a great resource.

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    So... the Red Cross is to blame because they ask you to attend an orientation before sending you to a disaster area, and that they ask you to wait your turn with the other 1/2 million spontaneous volunteers? I see.........

    While far from a perfect organization, the Red Cross has learned a few lessons in over a century of responding to disasters. #1: Do not send volunteers without an orientation to a disaster area. This will make the disaster worse.

    #2: If you want to be a good steward of the donated dollar (and you do) then you don't pay to train, transport, house and feed a volunteer who can only stay a week. By the time you get there and figure out what it is you are doing, it's time to go home. There are obviously plenty of people who can give three weeks.

    #3: This disaster will need volunteers for a long, long time, months to come. If you can't give 3 weeks now, maybe you can next month.

    Also, please understand that disaster relief nursing is not usually ED/Trauma nursing (there are a few exceptions). It usually ranges from checking incoming shelter residents for lice to helping replace meds lost in the flood. If you want to do trauma care, join an NDMS team. But guess what, they also require you to join and drill BEFORE a disaster strikes.

    Many of the folks rushing to volunteer now, also wanted to volunteer after Hurricane Andrew, The OKC Bombing, 9/11, The Tsunami, etc, etc.

    Guess What!?! That was the time to get involved! The people who took the time ( a few days of classes) then to become trained volunteers are already deployed on this disaster. Don't blame the Red Cross because you waited till after you were needed to make yourself available.

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    on eagles wings likes this.

    As a 15 year vet of Disaster relief ops with several organizations, I have some points you might consider.

    License issues are handled by exceptions built into most states Nurse Practice Acts specifically for emergency use. It's also been noted that FEMA is a federal agency, and like the VA, all that is required is a valid license from ANY state. While the American Red Cross is not a government agency, it was chartered by the US congress and that carries certain quasi-governmental benefits.

    Please do not go to the disaster area unless you are affiliated with one of the agencies mentioned in this thread. An earnest desire to help often results in spontaneous volunteers getting in the way more than providing actual aid.

    Cash, even a little bit, is by far the best thing you can send to relief agencies. It doesn't rot, it doesn't need trucks to carry it around, it doesn't need to be warehoused, and best of all, it allows agencies the flexibility to deliver exactly the needed aid at the needed time.

    Also very important. If you cannot go to this one. THERE WILL BE MORE!!! I promise that this is not going to be the last major disaster to befall America. Soooo, when the next one happens, will you be ready to help? Call your local Red Cross NOW and start the process of becoming a trained disaster volunteer. Nurses may want to ask specifically about volunteering in the Disaster Health Services function. Find your local chapter at

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    Quote from LPNtoRN
    I'm not too sure on myself about a lot of things, but I am certain a new grad LPN, CMA or CNA is not going to be competent, even though they have passed tests and a clinical, to practice as a registered nurse. I know many have done it, but I have said this before, passing the CPNE does not make a person competent to be a nurse. California aparently feels the same way, as do a number of other states. EC graduates have now been banned from the state as a result of CNA's and CMA's a surgical techs with no nursing experience going through Excelsior's program and causing a lot of problems. This ruined it for everyone else, and EC can blame no one but themselves. The CPNE is a very structured and basic test, you study hard enough you will pass, likely the LPN's who failed did not fail from inexperience but were either unprepared or it or the stress level was more than they could handle at the time (or both).

    You and I are in agreement on the need for LPNs to have experience before attending EC. What I don't understand is why CA didn't just do what WA, KS, and OK have done and require some precepted hours as a GN. It seems they wanted to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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    Quote from copnlpn2
    Thanks for the recent info!

    Yesterday I spoke with an highly skeptical EC nursing advisor who told me that IF my school was "really" accredited, which she really doubted was the case :angryfire , I would receive credit for 9 to 12 hours of my LPN course work. What ensued was a flurry of phone calls on my part - and with good results!

    I found out for sure that my LPN school (at a technical center in Oklahoma) was indeed nationally accredited. As proof of it's accreditation, I will soon be receiving letters from my school's administrator and from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

    My next battle will be regarding IV certification. Students in my LPN school had to be IV certified to graduate. After moving from Oklahoma to Ohio and got an LPN job at a LTC/Skilled facility, I told the DON I was IV certified but she wasn't sure if my certification was "good enough" for Ohio.

    I've never pushed the issue since LPNs at our facility don't get a pay differential for doing IVs, just the extra responsibility/headaches. But now that I want to become an RN, I want the matter resolved so I'll know now whether I have to take an entire "Ohio approved" IV certification course or my IV certification is "good enough" for Ohio. (I'd still take a refresher course since it's been a few years since I used my IV skills). Anyone come across this issue before?

    Wish me luck in my endeavors!

    NLNAC accredits nursing programs only. They do not accredit a college for gen ed requirements like Human Development and Anatomy and Physiology. The agencies that accredit colleges for these classes are Middle States and North Central Associations of Colleges and schools. Even within these organizations, schools can be accredited differently as Vo-techs and colleges. A good test would be for you to take your transcripts down to your local community college and ask if they will give you credit for those individual classes (and not just for having LPN status). If they will not, it is unlikely that EC will either.

    As far as IV certification, I had the same problem. My LPN program in OKC included IV certification. Most states I've traveled to just accepted that. California was different. I had my transcript indicating IV therapy training sent to the CA LVN board. They sent me a letter stating that it didn't count because the training wasn't done by a CAli. Licensed RN!! Like that makes any difference in the world! So I had to jump through the hoops to get IV certified for CA.

    Good luck with your studies.

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    Quote from copnlpn2
    Talked with an EC rep yesterday (still trying to decide whether to enroll with EC) and asked which of my LPN courses would be accepted toward my RN degree through their program. He said "probably none because you went to a vocational school and they are rarely accredited."

    The vocational center where I graduated in Oklahoma is indeed accredited (I checked and had it verified) and told him so. He still couldn't tell me which of my classes would count toward my RN degreee and said any of my classes that counted would be determined by an advisor once I was accepted and enrolled in EC and after I paid the $895 enrollment fee.

    I'd like to get an idea what to expect before I sign on the dotted financial obigation line, not after I've forked out money from my humble savings account.

    My LPN classes were the following:
    LEVEL 1:
    1) Nursing Concepts I - 36 Theory hrs., 24 Clinical Hrs.
    2) Body Structure & Function - 90 Theory hrs.
    3) Nutrition - 12 Theory hrs.
    4) Growth & Development/Life Span - 18 Theory hrs., 24 Clinicial Hrs.
    5) Nursing Principals & Skills - 90 Theory Hrs., 90 Lab hrs., 96 Clinicial hrs.
    LEVEL 2:
    1) Pharmacology - 27 Theory hrs., 18 Lab hrs., 72 Clinicial Hrs.
    (We had to be IV certified to graduate from our school)
    2) Med-Surg Nursing I - 42 Theory hrs., 18 Lab hrs., 72 Clinical hrs.
    3) Maternity & Child Nursing - 39 Theory hrs., 48 Clinical hrs.
    LEVEL 3:
    1) Mental Health - 30 Theory hrs., 24 Clinical hrs.
    2) Med-Surg Nursing II - 144 Theory hrs., 12 Lab hrs., 224 Clinical hrs.
    3) Nursing Concepts II - 12 Theory hrs., 64 Clinical hrs.

    I graduated with honors and am a member of the National Vocational Honor Society. I've also taken a college-level Psych class.

    I am asking my question to better determine just how much my RN degree will cost me. I don't care overly much for paying out $895 without knowing all the details - like how many more classes I'll to take and budget for. (Anal retentive, I know!)

    Sorry about the length of this post but I thought that by giving complete info on my prior classes, it might expediate informed replies from past or current EC students. As always, I appreciate the help!


    Because these classes were at a vo-tech, even a great one, they will be lumped together under "LPN Training" which will let you skip NC-2. They are not college classes unless one of the local colleges has agreed to grant credit for it. If that is the case, you will have to send the transcripts from the college that grants the credit. Colleges are accredited by different agencies than Vo-techs. (The NLN accredits both, but for different reasons) I too graduated from a vo-tech (or Technology center, as they call them now) in Oklahoma, and this was indeed the situation. To get this from the horses mouth, call EC and ask to speak to a nursing advisor.

    Realize that EC offers exams for the Human Growth and Development and Anat and Phys that you can take for a lot less than taking the classes.

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    Quote from luv4nursing
    NLN is national league of nursing

    enjoying the input, keep it coming
    PS my last day of LPN school is Friday and Im SOOO EXCITED! :hatparty:
    I need a rest for at least a few months anyway so that will give me some time to make up my mind what is right for me. One thing impacting my decision will be where I get a job....if its in a clinical setting versus home health then Id be more likely to go with EC.

    Also, I like the explanation of evaluator versus instructor...makes perfect sense. The traditional program wouldnt be so hard, while with EC Id surely be sweating bullets. Just thinking of how I felt with my clinical instructors watching over my shoulder in the beginning of LPN school gives me chills! lol
    You are smart to consider all these things. Several times during my EC studies, I wished I had attended a traditional program. This was especially true during the CPNE. Old fashioned clinicals would have been cake compared to that stress.

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    Quote from littletigger56
    I have just the CPNE to complete and I now I find that 4 local hospitals will not hire any EC graduates with their RN.They say they are ineexperienced and dont possess the needed clinical skills. Also the only site left in California was Long Beach and they wouldnt renew their contract with EC.(EC didnt notify any of the students in California) I feel EC was deceptive. Although I plan to finish I am disappointed in the EC program. I have met several Califorrnia EC students that have no nursing experience or knowledge but have passed the required exams.No wonder EC has gotten the bad rap they have.

    Where are these hospitals? Name them. Did you hear this from them, or from some of the "Califorrnia EC students that have no nursing experience or knowledge but have passed the required exams"? I have several offers from all over CA. As far as the Long Beach CPNE site being closed, how is that relevant? The majority of EC students will have to travel to their CPNE. I went all the way across the country for mine. EC has never once guaranteed a specific CPNE site to anyone, and they are certainly under no obligation to make a general announcement when they close or open one. When you are qualified to take the CPNE, they will find you a place.

    I too have met inexperienced EC grads. I have also met traditional program grads who couldn't distinguish between an IM and Sub-Q injection (Hired right into the ER from a BSN program!). However, the vast majority of grads from both programs are functional AT THE NEW GRAD LEVEL.

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    Just finished Excelsior last month. I already have several offers.
    One recruiter was like "Oh wow, you're pretty hardcore to do that program".

    Just be aware that not all states recognize excelsior. Most do, so call your board of nursing and check before you enroll.

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    Remember, you can always work at VA, IHS, USPHS, and US military facilities. Cali has many of all of these. The BRN has no authority over these federal facilities. The contracts for the military bases are particularly lucrative. All that is required, is a valid license from ANY state

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    EC itself doesn't do background checks. They do advise students that have criminal convictions that they may not be eligible to take the NCLEX. You should call your state board of nursing and ask them about your particular situation. They may have you produce documentation detailing the charges and terms of probation, and that it was successfully completed. Most boards seem to be pretty reasonable about this kind of thing. It seems doubtful that they would prevent somebody from taking boards for an offense like you described.

    Something else to consider, is that if you are using a 3rd party loan company to finance your EC education, they will probably run a credit check as well.

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    All the other major hospitals in Portland need nurses. Read the article in the Oregonian from a few weeeks ago. It discussed how Salmon Creek has attracted thousands of applicants because of its "new" status. Everybody (understandably) wants in on the opportunity to be a part of something like that. The same article discussed how other hospitals will see their staffing problems worsen because of staff heading to the new facility. If you must live and work north of the Columbia, (As a Portlander, it's easy to forget that side of the river is capable of supporting life) try SW Washington Medical Center. They are a Top 100 hospital and a very busy Level 2 trauma center. They have the busiest ER in the PDX area and in some years have been the second busiest Trauma center on the west coast. You can view the Oregonian employment classifieds for free at As of today, there are 540 RN openings posted.

    As an aside. I have worked in California, as well as the Pacific Northwest. I've found that while Cali has the highest pay, they have the lowest standards, and narrowest scope of nursing practice. Give me Oregon anyday.