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libnat 5,079 Views

Joined: Apr 4, '09; Posts: 288 (28% Liked) ; Likes: 161

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  • May 28 '09

    Quote from Bx_RN2B
    If more people in the class felt that this was a problem then they should have went collectively as a group to administration and addressed their issues in an adult fashion.
    Actually, depending on where you live, this is not necessarily a good idea. Nursing instructors are in great demand, and administrators aren't going to get rid of them for trivial accusations of favoritism. I had a clinical group in which 9 out of 10 students thought it would be a good idea to make a group effort to get rid of an instructor. They went as a group to the school administration to file a report and be interviewed. The two that were deemed the rabblerousers were booted out of the program, and the other 7 spent the rest the semester being watched like hawks by TWO instructors instead of one. No error was too small to be called on, and of course, 2 additional students ended up flunking out. The remianing 5 couldn't believe it when the instructor was unwilling to write letters of recommendation for them.

    Lynch mobs are not a good idea.

  • May 26 '09

    Going to try and answer your questions using your post as a guide. However, I noticed your name is TopazLPN, just so you know the Navy does not use LPNs, the Army does though. Anyway, your questions.

    How much control do you have over your work schedule?
    That depends, just like anywhere else when you are new, you are subject to the scheduling officer. You can request things, but don't expect to get extra special treatment.

    How many shifts a week/month do you work?
    In most units you work 12-hour shifts, although some areas do 8s, especially if you are a clinic nurse. You work 3 during week and 4 the next, so you work about 14 shifts a month, that's not an absolute though. generally it's 14-15 a month.

    Do you alternate between night and day shifts?
    Most places yes. How many of each changes form place to place. Right now, my wife is doing 6 weeks of days and 6 weeks of nights. I've worked in places that were 4 and 4, 8 and 8, it just depends on your unit.

    Is your pay hourly or salary?
    Everyone in the Navy, actually military, is paid a salary. It is based on your rank and years of service. You also get paid for housing, if you don't live on base, and a stipend for food.

    Do you have to work overtime or on-call?
    In short, once you join a military service, including the Navy, they own you. Are you scheduled for a 12 and the next shift is short, you could stay for an extra 4 and then someone may have to come in early. There is no protection in the military like the civilian world. There is a loose regulation that a nurse can't work more than 16 hours without at least 8 hours to sleep. My wife got caught by a flood while we were in Italy, she worked for 48 hours with about 10 hours sleep, they couldn't get anyone in. I got caught by another flood and was there for 32 hours, like I said they own you. On-call you better believe it and no there is no extra pay for that.

    How much down-time do you have as a Navy nurse?
    What do you meant by downtime? Do we have days off, sure. If you think about it, we only work half the month, we have every other weekend off and get 30 days vacation per year. If you really break it down, we work about 6 months out of the year, unless you're deployed then you work for 6 months to 1 year straight. It depends on your perception.

    How long are you stationed in one place/what is a typical length of tour/billet? When do you get to travel overseas? Does the work compare to civilian jobs or are you a vaccination machine?
    Tours of duty/ billets are 3 years in length. You can extend at a place, buit you have to have a great reason why. you can go overseas after your first tour. You are by no means a vaccination nurse. We have fully functioning hospitals in the Navy, we do it all and then some.

    What kind of opportunities to advance your career do you have?
    Tons of ways to do it. Your guaranteed your first 2 promotions, after that you have to start working for it.

    Can you change units or specialties?
    This is an ever changing thing in the Navy. We all technically start as Med-Surg nurses, jack of all trades. From there you can specialize, I came in to the ER back in '97 and have never left critical care. Spent 2 years in an ICU, but I'm ER all the way. It's getting harder to do that, but if you get/ have a certification in a particular area, that helps.

    How competitive is it to become a critical care Navy nurse?
    You want to be an ICU nurse, then you have to speak up and tell someone. Is it going to happen tomorrow, no, but it will happen. the Navy is in need of critical care nurses so the more they have the better. Remember, there's a war going on, so critical care is a premium.

    Will the Navy pay for you to get your Masters as an NP or a CRNA?
    Yes, I'm currently in school getting my master's as an ACNP and CNS. However, the Navy only recognizes/ uses certain NPs, I'm not one of them. So I'll be a CNS as far as the NAvy is concerned. I'll do the NP thing on my own time, but the Navy's paying for it, same with CRNA. My fulltime job for the last year has been to go to school and I'm getting paid for it the whole time.

    As a new nurse entering the Navy, what kind of additional support/mentoring/training will be available to me while I am still new and learning? Are new nurses welcomed by other navy nurses?
    Unlike the civy world, we don't really eat our young, we need them. We have all been in the position a new nurse has been, so there is A LOT of mentoring done. There are only about 3,000 Navy nurses, so it's pretty elite and we are proud of that. Therefore, we make certain that all nurses are at the same standard, lots of support.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions. Been a Navy nurse for 10+ years and counting.

    LCDR Dan

  • May 23 '09

    It's ironic that my OP just keeps getting confirmed by the responses that I"m getting.

    I am just sitting here smiling, shaking my head.

    Jack, as I sit here and think a little more about the criminal aspect, you are right. I'm not sure I did anything criminal until after I was addicted. I don't know the statistics, but one definitely cannot say that there is not a criminal aspect to alcoholism. There is, in both, they are alike - just like I said in the OP. I like the way you explain the scientific findings of an addict/alcoholic.

    I just wish that the sentiment was a little kinder to me when I was reaching out. I admit, there was a slight setback early during my recover until I realized I would have to do the 12 steps on my own. It worked out pretty good, and thank God for online resources or I would have just been sitting at home wallowing in my misery and thinking it was my own fault they didn't want me there. Thankfully I realized early on that it wasn't.

    I'm not sure that there is anything that can be done besides education of the general public. Even then it doesn't really matter. What is it all for? I don't know,, so I just keep trying. Right now it is my turn to try and help the recovering nurse. I have never differentiated the nurses by the substances they are recovering from, and I honestly believe that each one of them are in the same boat and need help none the less.

  • May 12 '09

    It seems to me that if you are going to discipline an employee for an infraction you should have concrete and specific incidents to back up the need for discipline. "Borderline rude" or 'bad attitude' doesn't describe an incident. Now if they have an actual incident with specifics, then they might have a case. I also think that people ought to work it out among themselves first before dragging administration into it. Maybe those lodging the complaint did try to work it out before hand, but OP makes no mention of it. There are always two sides to every story, and it would be interesting to know the other side.

    I really don't think we should all ask 'from which bridge?' when our employer says 'go take a flying leap' just because it's a tough economy and we are 'lucky' to have a job. Some jobs aren't worth having.....

  • May 12 '09

    The most important thing is to maintain a positive outlook. One of the definitions of courage is being aware of personal weaknesses, fears and uncertainty, yet forging ahead anyway.

    Believe in yourself.

    Everyday upon arising, look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I can do this!" then, take it one day at a time, one week at a time, one test at a time. Take the opportunity now to hone your study skills and strategize for that challenging first semester ahead.

    Another key to success in nursing school is don't get behind. Stay up with your reading assignments, papers, and projects. Plan ahead by mapping out the semester for each course, noting when each assignment is due.

    Don't procrastinate.

    Waiting until the last minute often proves disastrous in nursing school. This takes discipline, but everyday, do whatever it takes to "stay on top."

    You are probably aware of this from earlier college-level courses, but for each hour of lecture, it generally takes three hours per week of intense studying. This is especially true in nursing school. Don't ever, ever get behind in your reading or comprehension of a topic.

    This leads to a third key to success in nursing school: make sure you fully understand the subject material.

    Don't be discouraged.

    If you are unable to understand a subject the first time around then take the initiative right then to seek out the instructor and do whatever it takes until you fully comprehend that content. Write out difficult material in your own words. This really helps with understanding, and it causes you to look at the content from many different angles.

    You will need a thorough comprehension of the content material in order to do well on the examinations. Nclex-type nursing examinations are a culture shock for new nursing students, even those entering the program with a 4.0. Nursing tests are unlike most tests, in that you, the learner, will be tested on a higher level. Instead of merely asking for regurgitation of "knowledge," you will be asked to apply and analyze the material on the tests.

    Here is an entire thread on successful test-taking strategies, and another with excellent resources on nursing math. Make sure you book mark these for later use!

    Purchase a nclex-style review book.

    I highly advise purchasing a good nclex-style review book. It will be worth its weight in gold, I promise! I recommend the current Saunders Comprehensive NCLEX Review, but make sure you purchase one with questions broken down by subject matter. This way, when the lecturer is going over a certain topic in class (such as fluid and electrolytes), you can review the questions in the nclex book. Test taking is a skill just like anything else - you will get better with practice. Make sure you go over each question by examining each of the answers and rationales. Make sure you understand the rationales (why the answer was right or wrong). Doing this will greatly improve your test-taking skills and your comprehension of the course content material.

    Again, congratulations! Hopefully these three key pointers for success will prove very helpful to you in the exciting journey ahead.

  • May 11 '09

    Wait a minute here, how am I not acting like an adult? I am doing everything the right way. It is not my fault that I have been put in the situation. I have a FEDERAL job lined up. The FEDERAL job is my future, my manager is NOT. If you would have read my 2nd post you would see that I clearly stated if it were up to me, I would have liked to give a one month notice to my manager, but then I would owe 1600 to my landlord since he will only go every 2 months with me. I am not going to screw myself. I gave my 2 weeks notice, that is all I am obligated to give, especially given that I am an AT WILL employee.

  • May 8 '09

    Quote from Wife of Spinner
    Take a look at how smoking pot doesn't impair parenting abilities.
    I would venture to guess that a vast majority of parents who smoke pot would never do something like this. I seriously doubt that someone who never had the urge/drive/whatever you want to call it to abuse their child would suddenly get the urge to become abusive from being stoned. Repeatedly pulling out this extreme case and implying that smoking pot MUST impair parenting abilities is illogical. If you posted a video of a drunk hitting her child would that mean that anybody who drinks alcohol MUST have impaired parenting abilities? Of course not. If you are against pot smoking, that's fine, but you do not promote your cause by being illogical.

  • May 4 '09

    Here is the official HIPAA website, for anyone who is interested.

    Here are a couple of pertinent excerpts of the rules:

    "What Information is Protected
    Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all "individually identifiable health information" held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The Privacy Rule calls this information "protected health information (PHI)."12
    “Individually identifiable health information” is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

    • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
    • the provision of health care to the individual, or
    • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,

    and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.13 Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number)."

    The following identifiers of the individual or of relatives, employers, or household members of the individual must be removed to achieve the “safe harbor” method of de-identification: (A) Names; (B) All geographic subdivisions smaller than a State...All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to the individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death..."

  • May 2 '09

    as a nurse who was a tech for many years in the ER as well as on the floors, i can appreciate a CNA/PCT who is concerned for the patient and reminds me that they need pain meds. i'm not perfect, and i usually have 7 or 8 patients, so yes, i might have not jumped right on it.

    i like to treat the techs i work with the same way i would have liked to have been treated when i was a tech. i pull them aside and have a little pow wow before each shift, telling them who needs accuchecks, who is getting golytely, who needs a nightly weight, who is on isolation and who might be on the call light every 5 mins for pain meds. i also tell them i will help do anything they need help with--turning, changing diapies, taking out trash, etc. i remember that phone ringing on my hip 200000 times while i was knee deep in your body fluid of choice with sweat pouring down my face and watching the nurses look over at me from their computer like "go do your job and answer the bell". i remember that feeling and it sucks.

    i try my best to advocate the importance of each player on the team i work with each night. if the CNA is my first line of eyes and ears to any change in the patient, why the hell would i brush them off? a good tech to me makes or breaks my shift and i appreciate them saying to me "hey, i know you were just in there, but now room 312 is acting weird. can you come back and check it out?" even if it's nothing, i'd rather be alerted than not, and have the patient code because the CNA was afraid to tell me because they thought i would get mad.

    the techs on my floor have a whole wing to themselves, which include 20 patients or so, and i can see the other side of the fence where the patient on the bell every 5 minutes hinders your job. i can't expect them to go in every patients room who is having pain and make them tea or give them a back rub until i can get there, because i cannot expect this reasonably of myself unless i am having a really good night.

    i dunno. devils advocate i guess.
    i suppose if you feel the tech is being condescending or something, privately pull them aside and say "i appreciate you wanting room 502 to be more comfortable, but please tell them that i will be there as soon as i possibly can and that you have made me aware they have pain." maybe that will open the lines of communication a bit more... perhaps the tech feels that her insight on the situation is not valid or something? i don't know.

    our jobs are all hard and our patients almost all the time are so difficult and of high accuity. so working together and communicating is key for me.

  • Apr 17 '09

    First off, I'm sorry this is happenning to you.

    It has happened to me, and other classmates that I know. I agree wholeheartedly with Intuition, keep a diary of what is happenning. Make sure that it is factual info, not just "she doesn't like me". Stick to the facts, such as "she practices favortism, and here is the evidence", sort of approach. Advisors and school boards need evidence in order to find a person guilty of anything, not just subjective "she hates me" sort of stuff.

    Hang in there. Talk to her advisor if you can, noting that you feared retaliation if you brought it to her. I disagree with others saying you should go to her. I have practiced that approach, and it blew up in my face because my teacher only used my approaching her against me later. Do what you feel is in your gut, and if it's to go over her head, just do it with SOLID EVIDENCE.

    I also feel it helps if you remember that it's not you. If this teacher is reacting harshly to you despite your best efforts, and if your best efforts are correct, it's her, not you. Too often on these boards older nurses (and younger ones) advise nursing students to take abuse silently, do what you have to do and get out of nursing school.

    My question to that attitude is: how am I going to be a courageous patient advocate when I can't stand up for myself?

    If you feel you are being treated unfairly, you do not have to lie down and take it, no matter what anyone here or anywhere else says. Remember that you are a human, and you deserve to be treated like one. Just get some solid evidence, and make sure to point it out to those who can help you, be it filing a formal complaint, talking to her advisor, etc.

  • Apr 15 '09

    You've got to be kidding if you believe that the recession has miraculously reduced the need for nurses.

    No, what has happened is that against any safe recommendations, hospitals have increased the patient to nurse ratio.
    Recently, I was offered a fairly well paying position as a travel nurse in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Having family in the area, I was very interested...until I was told that in my position as a PM Stepdown/Tele nurse, I'd have 7 patients! Well, I had just come from a horrific 6/1 PM Stepdown/Tele travel job which nearly made me leave nursing altogether. So, I turned down this dangerous (and should be illegal) position.

    I bided my time until I found the position I have now....4/1 day, PCU. Of course, I'm a travel nurse and can go where the jobs are, where the pay is good and the ratio right... and I have saved enough to sit out any low offers.

    Without being condescending, I have to say that after being in business for 30 years prior to going into nursing, I find nurses to be rather meek in their demands for money and better conditions. What is the problem? You and I are the force that drive medical care...aren't we? So, demand better pay and conditions...or leave...en mass.

    For me, I chose travel nursing so I could dictate my conditions. (The only reason I took the 6/1 ratio was that my son lived in the area and I wanted to visit with him for awhile...He lives 1500 miles from where I normally work>). I won't do that again...I'll just visit for a week or so and not make myself miserable for 3 months.

    Cheers to all Nurses...They are the backbone of Healthcare and the ones who keep the patients safe...and should be paid more than the local plumber, carpenter, contractor, garbage man, etc...

    Think about leaving...think about organizing...think about having sick call in days, think about DEMANDING more pay. Do you believe that if you did you'd be fired? Who'd replace you? GET together, go to management and do not let them push you around. You do NOT have to be obnoxious... just be empowered by each other.


  • Apr 14 '09

    this is a conversation btwn me and nina.

    Hi Davaion,

    I wholeheartedly thank you for your kind words and for your open-mindedness.

    Absolutely, a lot of what media had been spreading about me had been taken out of context and shamelessly misquoted and misinterpreted. At first I wanted to enter a dispute to have the newspapers correct themselves, but then decided it's not worth it; those who know me and/or actually read my blogs with an open mind, will see that I hold life and freedom sacred, and encourage others to live their lives to the fullest and in continuous self-improvement.

    Granted, the blogs are written in an unorthodox language and with plenty sarcasm. One may think that this is how I communicate with others on daily basis, but those who know me in person, will vouch otherwise.

    What really shocked me in the newspaper was the statement that I wrote "diatribes against Christians and blacks". First, the ignorant assumption that I was writing "against" someone, then the despicable proposal that I was talking about a specific race. I'm not sure how the reporter assumed that it was blacks I was writing about, but that assumption may well reveal his own biases. Having a very large multicultural, multiracial family, 99% of whom are Christian, with everyone embracing each other's differences, I would be hard pressed to write "against" someone I love. My parents, who voted for Obama, may not understand why I voted Libertarian, nor we can come to an agreement on many issues, but despite that, we are family, and we are extremely close.

    As of caring for patients; nursing had not been my choice until I joined the Army and worked as a medic, and saw how much difference I could make in people's lives. Nursing/medicine is not a pretty profession and takes a strong stomach to perform. Strong stomach is something I happen to have, along with profound compassion for people's pain. I've hugged my patients, I've cried with my patients, and I have been as gentle and caring as I could be. I do have my opinions about some common medical problems, but they are being put aside when I face a person who needs my help.

    As of babies being born, my mother told me over and over again that when I was born, I was so ugly (had an umbilical cord nearly strangle me) that she cried for days
    Yep, my own family is that blunt, which doesn't preclude enormous amounts of love. I won't even relay what I loudly commented when my own son was just born

    Again, I thank you for your wishes and for your very kind letter. I hope more people will be as accepting and open-minded as you are.

  • Apr 13 '09

    I am part of a transition program (1 year) for LPNs, medics, and RTs. I am a medic. We have to achieve a 78% by the end of the semester to go on. If you fall below that, you are on academic probation which means you get an IEP done by the teacher (Individual Education Plan). We have to pass our med comp with a 100% each semester with 3 tries each. If you fail the first time, mandatory tutoring with drug dosage coach (a doctor on staff). We have clinicals like everyone else and we have to pass with 100% each semester (basically this is achieved with no med errors, not being late, etc.) If you fail an exam, mandatory test review with the instructor. Skills pass with 100% each time, one retake allowed. We also have NCLEX prep with ATI with a mandatory Level II required to pass to the next semester. We are given practice ATI all during the semester to do at home and I find it very beneficial.

    Our grading scale is 78-83 (C), 84-89 (B), 90-100 (A). We also have online quizzes and discussions which are pretty easy to pass with a high score, but they ONLY apply to your overall grade if you have a 78% in the class at the end of the semester. So, you can make 100s on those all semester long, but if you don't have a 78 by the end, none of them count. They round only to the nearest 10th, i.e. 77.6 will become a 78; 77.59 will remain a 77%. Our NCLEX pass rate is 98% first try.

    For those people who say lowering the standard means worse nurses...who are you to say that only A or B nurses will make good nurses? Do you think this is done in medical school??? If everyone in a program makes A's, the program is too easy. If everyone is making C's or failing, there is something wrong. I am a straight A student and always have been in my ADULT life As a young person, well, we won't go there! I am now 40 y/o, have a family, work FT, and go to school FT. I have quite a bit about responsibility, and about earning what you put in.

    82% is rather high, I believe. But, to the person earlier who said it's all 'relative' is absolutely right. One person's 70% may be another's 80%.

    For the person who said she didn't want an RN to take care of her who only knew 82% of the material...really? So it's okay to have an RN who knew 83% of the material? Do you want the RN who knew 100% of the material? Who is that? Is that you? Impressive if it is. You probably won't have an RN to take care of you.

    It may not be the passing rate that is the problem. Is there enough support for students? Tutoring? Mandatory reviews? Good teachers? I think it's good what you are doing. I would try not to focus so much on the percentage, but on the whole picture of your program. Good luck!

  • Apr 9 '09

    I want the nurse that "gets it".
    Nursing school, NCLEX and the first year on the job will let you know who "gets it", not the pre-reqs. I do agree that the pre-reqs are foundation material, but I think a lot of this is being overblown.

    I find RMP to be very helpful and I use it for every class. It's pretty easy to tell which students are bitter and which have a thoughtful view point. If the words stupid, evil, egotistical, made me give up my major, impossible or of the like show up in a review, I know I can disregard it. I also take into account the number of reviews a professor has. If there are less than 10, then I know I need to take everything with a grain of salt. But when a professor has over 40+ reviews, you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    Of course, I would always take the word of somone who has actually taken the class over RMP, but I also ask a lot of questions and it's pretty obvious to tell who is just bitter and didn't apply themselves vs. those who really applied themselves.

    I still recommend RMP to people and always rate my professors at the end of the semester. It has not lead me astray as of yet, but I don't rely on it 100% for my decision process. I do find it to be a useful tool.