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Ladybug15 3,319 Views

Joined: Jun 14, '09; Posts: 199 (2% Liked) ; Likes: 3
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  • Mar 15 '10

    To Cardinal:

    The first two semesters you will not get a choice of where you are placed but once you start NU104 in January you can begin to request where you get to attend clinical. Here are the breakdowns of where you can be placed based on semester:

    Nu101 and 102: Yale, Griffin, Bridgeport
    Nu104: Yale, Griffin, Bridgeport
    Nu105: Waterbury, St. Raphael, Bridgeport, Griffin
    Nu201- Nu205: Ill let you know as I go through them.

    You can also request to stay at those hospitals for other semesters as long as you are able to change clinical instructors. Certain instructors are assigned different areas, and they do not wish to have one student stay with the same instructor for more than 2 semesters. And again this is just a request but they tend to place students for clinical based on your home address. So the closest students get preference.

    Also on another benefit to BHSN over other schools: The economy is tough right now and yes even nursing is experiencing it. Many hospitals are experiencing hiring freezes for new graduate nurses as many retired nurses come back into the field because of others in their families being laid off. They prefer their years of experience to the expense of training a new graduate, and for good financial reason. Last I heard the accelerated class of Bridgeport Hospital in 2010 all got offered positions in Bridgeport Hospital, whereas other colleges and community colleges do not have benefit of being a hospital based program. That being said it is highly more likely to be hired as a new graduate at Bridgeport Hospital if you attended school there as the take their own first along with of course exceptional students from other schools. No one wants to be stuck looking for a job when they have to begin paying off their loans. Speaking of loans the past accelerated graduating class all got the option to sign the two year contract and have their tuition refunded. Not bad especially when it’s very hard to find any sort of signing bonus for new graduates now, the field is certainly not what it was 8 years ago. That being said, once the economy picks up their will be a big rebound and jobs more readily available.

  • Mar 9 '10

    I had enrolled in the ASN program at a local community college in the late 1990s, but had withdrawn due to financial concerns. Back then, it had been just me to consider. Young, footloose and fancy-free, as the saying goes, I lived on Minute rice, microwave popcorn and minimum wages.

    Today, I am married, have two children under school age, a mortgage and all of the responsibilities that these entail. Ever since turning in my application to nursing school, I've asked if I couldn't make a go of it when it was only my life involved, how could I hope to with so many others dependent on me?

    These insecurities haunted me through my first week of classes. The idea that I was making a monumental mistake that would not only affect me, but my family, loomed like the proverbial sword of Damacles over my head, making me question my motivations, ambitions and decision.

    And then I put on my uniform scrubs to attend my first clinical lab. Standing in the mirror, looking at my reflection--head to toe ceil blue, white leather shoes--I remembered something I had forgotten to that point. I remembered that this felt right.

    Whenever I put my uniform on, I feel the power of the responsibility and knowledge it represents. I remember the promise of the profession contained within those clothes. More than just enjoying my previous nursing studies, I had excelled in them because I had welcomed the opportunity to feel like I had made a difference to someone. As I looked in the mirror during my first week of classes, the names and faces of patients I had worked with in my past came back to me, the countless times that someone had said, "You're going to make a wonderful nurse," and how I had swelled with pride and conviction at the compliment.

    My mother is an RN. As a child, I watched her graduate from nursing school and listened to her countless stories from the proverbial field, when she'd return home from shifts at a neonatal intensive care unit or the urgent care clinic where she worked. I saw not only how much she enjoyed her work, but how much it meant to her. It was a vocation that constantly challenged and changed her for the better, and I decided I wanted the same thing for myself when I grew up.

    In college, I talked myself out of pursuing nursing after listening to a little nagging voice of self doubt inside of my head, one that told me I couldn't possibly handle the chemistry classes needed. Instead, I studied communications and public relations, earned a Bachelor's degree, and wandered through the next five years much like a rudderless boat turned adrift to the whims of the tide.

    When I enrolled in the local community college's nursing program, I hoped that I had defeated that nagging, insecure voice. I quit my public relations-related job and worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The pay was lousy, the work was hard, but I loved it because every day I found a new challenge, something new to learn, an obstacle to overcome, an objective to achieve. When personal debt threatened to overwhelm me, I realized I had no choice but to resume work in my degreed field, and reluctantly withdrew from the ASN program. I felt like that voice of self-doubt had been right all along.

    The desire to become a nurse, however, remained. As a published author (another lifelong passion and pursuit), I found this manifested itself through my writing, which often features protagonists who are medical professionals, requiring me to research and describe nursing policies and practices in my manuscripts.

    I have been employed in the same position in my degreed field for nearly ten years. During that time, I have watched my roles and responsibilities within the company shift and dwindle. In the current economic environment, I realized that if my position were eliminated, I would have little if any employment alternatives. The strain this would potentially place on my family was enormous. Thus, I sat down with my husband, weighed the pro's and con's and decided to study nursing again.

    I could say that I want to be a nurse for the security that will come from being involved in a profession in which positions are always available, that education and advancement opportunities are relatively limitless and that areas of specialization are as boundless as my interests and imagination. But the truth of the matter is that, like my mother, I enjoy the responsibility, satisfaction and simple acts of kindness and competency that comprise the day-to-day activities of the job. I want to make a difference in the health and lives of others; I want to feel that they've likewise made a difference to me.

    From my perspective, nursing will never be just a job, but the long-term career I have been searching for. More than a passing fancy, a momentary interest, nursing isn't just something I want to be. It is what I was meant for. I do not feel that I have chosen this profession, but rather that it has chosen me.

  • Feb 24 '10

    A few recommendations from a recently graduated accelerated-second-degree student:

    * A dry-erase board large enough to chart a week's worth of assignments. (I got a 22x17" model for $17.99 at Target.) Post it in your room, kitchen, wherever you'll look at it on a daily basis. I split mine into Monday through Saturday and color-coded my schedule; tests, papers/projects and validations were red, classes were blue, clinicals were green and non-school events were black.
    * A handheld computing device of some form (PDA, smartphone, whatever; I recommend a non-phone PDA so you don't run afoul of phone-leery instructors or staff, but whatever works for you.) If you don't already own such a device, check eBay or Craigslist for deals (you shouldn't have to spend more than $100 for the device, and a used Palm will probably run more like $50). You'll need a drug book and a clinical guide at a minimum. I used ePocrates Pro ($99/year subscription, I bought $189 for two years) and 5-Minute Clinical Consult ($54.99 one-time purchase from Skyscape). I also bought Saunders' NCLEX flashcards from Skyscape (see below). Skyscape has an absolute ton of reference texts you can buy, some for short subscriptions (IIRC there was a ridiculously cheap four-month option); I rotated which were on my device depending on which clinical I was in at that point.
    * NCLEX flashcards. Our program director told us to buy a deck of flashcards at the start of the year and get in the habit of doing ten to fifteen every night. Over a year, that studying adds up and will put you in wonderful shape when it comes to taking the actual exam. I went the digital route with mine; since my Palm goes everywhere with me, I bought Saunders' NCLEX program from Skyscape and pulled it out whenever I had a few minutes to kill. In the time it takes you to play a hand of Solitaire, you can do four or five flashcards.
    * Three-ring binders, at least one per class.
    * Nursing diagnosis books. We were required to use Carpenito-Moyet for care plan reference, which we all thought was garbage (the book was not-so-affectionately called "Crapenito" in my cohort, and I learned from my mom and other nurses of her generation that it was every bit as hated in the 1970s as now ). For actual care mapping, everyone used Ackley & Ladwig to build the plan and then found the necessary citations in Carpenito to support it.
    * Your clinical clothing. Start surfing sites like AllHeart and Scrubs & Beyond now, and buy your stuff when it goes on sale. At a minimum, you'll need two sets of scrubs and a lab coat or warm-up jacket, pursuant to school policy. (I recommend three uniforms and two jackets, in case of disasters. Body substances have a special attraction for student whites, and I guarantee you'll utterly trash at least one set over your educational career.)
    * Clinical tools. Again, start surfing for deals now so you're not caught short the weekend before clinicals start. You'll need at minimum a stethoscope, a penlight, a tape measure and bandage scissors. Whatever you do, don't cheap out on the stethoscope; the single-head "nurse's stethoscopes" you see in scrubs stores don't let you auscultate anything other than static. Get a Littmann (Classic II SE or Lightweight II SE, or single-sided Master Classic II) or an ADC (Adscope 602 or Lite 609, or single-sided Platinum 615). Depending on your school, you may have to get a blood pressure cuff as well; we did, and I sprung for a Baum, but anything reasonable will do. (Most hospitals have wall-mount or rolling cuffs you can use anyway.)
    * A Facebook account. No, really, don't laugh; probably about a third of my cohort, myself included, never had Facebook before starting nursing school! We set up a group page to communicate study group times, exam questions, non-school information and the like, and it was a great networking tool. (Do cancel your games, though; I think Mafia Wars might've whacked more nascent nursing careers than the med-math exam...)

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • Feb 14 '10

    hey just browsing and saw this post. i am currently in nu104 (1st year) at bhsn, and here is a basic rundown on what to expect:

    -orientation: is going to be scheduled sometime in late june. here you will get your preliminary schedule, order uniforms, and they have a book representative where you can order the book package from. the orientation is more one on one and you won’t meet many other classmates at this time. besides those books you will need to pick up a health assessment guide, drug book, and nursing diagnoses manual before you start in september. total cost of the package comes to $600 and the books will last you till you graduate. to be honest though, i don’t even use the books but i know of some students who do. it’s really up to you. best book worth getting is the brunner and suddarths med-surg book. tons of useful information and good reading for if you’re bored. also will help you on research for your clinical patients.

    -nu101: you will be on clinical starting the first week. it’s pretty basic and you will just be interviewing the patient and then slowly performing more skills as you use them. you have three tests for this semester spaced every 3 weeks, they are not cumulative. by the end you will be passing out medications. the schedule looks like the following for day students.

    mondays: off
    tuesdays: lecture from 8.30-3.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 12.30)
    wednesdays: 1-2 hour lab period, based on your lab group number. there are 4 lab groups (a-d) of about 25 students each.
    thursdays and fridays: you will have either a thursday or friday for clinical and the other day you will have off. clinical runs from 8-1.30 for nu101. also no lunches during these days. you will be in a group of about 8 students per clinical instructor.
    saturdays and sundays: off

    -nu102: begins around halloween and runs till christmas. your main focus this semester will be developing nursing diagnoses and big care plans for clinicals. schedule remains the same as nu101. you have 3 tests this semester spaced 2 weeks apart, the final test is cumulative. than you are given a small thanksgiving break and a two week break after christmas, before nu104 starts.

    -nu104: begins first week of january and runs till ides of march. schedule changes a bit here and so does the testing. you will have 3 tests spaced three weeks apart and one cumulative final. we also pick up an extra day of clinical.

    mondays: off
    tuesdays: lecture 8.30-4 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 12.30)
    wednesdays: 2 hour lab period based on lab group
    thursdays: clinical 7.30 - 2.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 11.30)
    fridays: clinical 7.30 - 2.30 (with 1/2 hour lunch usually around 11.30)
    saturday and sunday: off

    also during this semester you will be given 2 days of clinical off as they schedule you, and also 2 days of jewish home, 1 day at the vna, 1 day of surgery, and 2 days of pediatrics. these will be on a thursday or friday and when scheduled you will simply not go up to the regular floor for clinical and report to that assignment for the day.

    also some tips:

    -the lecture hall can be unforgiving. temperature shifts in that room rapidly, so my advice is wear something comfortable but also bring a sweatshirt or something when the temperature drops and be prepared to take it off a half an hour later, lol.

    -i saw some mentions of a voice recorder. i personally have a droid and use their voice recorder app. ain't much special but allows me to email it directly to my gmail so i can listen at home. normally though i just record the lectures and listen to them while i drive. ends up being pretty time efficient.

    -i have a cardiology iii stethoscope also a gift. let me tell you the difference in quality is pretty amazing. some patients don’t have the best peripheral blood flow so it comes in very handy when i can grab a blood pressure that the nurse on the floor can't accurately get.

    -instructors are all great. i haven't met a bad one yet. some have reputations but the truth is they are all there to help you to become the best nurse possible. don’t forget that. if that means challenging a student some times, than i say let them bring it on.

    -clinical will be held primarily at bridgeport hospital although you may also be rotated to either yale or griffin for a semester.

    -passing grade is a 75 average for each semester. my advice is you normally have three tests to get that so do as best you can on the first so you allow yourself a buffer. and if your average is a 74.9, sorry no rounding up you will fail. i saw a few kids just miss the mark. the average is based on exams only. clinical doesn’t count and is only pass/fail. don’t stress yourselves out about this though only about 5 kids dropped out per semester so far. we started out at about 120-130. the weeding process seems pretty much done at this point and those that remain are those that are going to stay. and even if you do poorly you can wait a year and try again, so you may have new students joining your class as the semester’s progress.

    -you will also have a chance to join the accelerated program. you will apply at the end of nu104. in order to join you need to have all your prerequisites and corequisites done by the time you start the accelerated program in june. you will end up forfeiting your summer but also graduate that december. so i say the trade off is fair. ill let you know more about that once i apply.

    -after nu104 you get a 2 week spring break. nu105 follows which is maternity, which runs through april. nu201 runs through may. than you either have summer off starting in june to come back in september and graduate in following may or class through the summer to graduate that december.

    -along with clinical and exams you will need to pass a few competencies per semester. examples of these are health assessment, injections, wound dressings, catheter insertion, and a few math exams for drug administration. math exams are basic calculations and algebra, not too difficult if you’re good with math. you need to get an 80% on the math exam to pass. and if you fail any of these you will be given one more chance to complete it.

    -you will need to research your patients the day before clinical. this usually involves going to the hospital the day before anytime after 2 pm and logging into the computer to get lab data, checking the patients chart, and going to introduce yourself to the patient for the following day.

    -as far as patient load. you will start with one patient a day and eventually work your way up to dealing with more. they normally don't want to always overload you so expect about 2 patients once you hit nu104.

    -uniforms are maroon scrub top and white pants. grab the white cargo pants if they are quite nice. not sure if they offer them for girls.

    -pda/smartphone use: they dont allow it on the floor. although i dont find it useful anyways. with researching the patient and always being on the floor i have quickly memorized many of the common drugs and actions without even realizing it. if you really need to look up something quick no ones stopping you from drifting into a corner and doing fast research.

    -other supplies you will need are light pen for neurological checks, a watch, and a white pair of leather shoes.

    that’s all i can think of for now. hope it was informative. if you've got anymore questions either post or pm me. im usually on once a week.

  • Feb 11 '10

    Where is all this "dirt" talk coming from?? Someone earlier mentioned their light coloured scopes getting "neck dirt" on them...maybe instead of limiting your scope colours, you should just shower regularly?

  • Oct 20 '09

    I am taking it online this semester. Im not sure if you are familiar with online classes but here at Georgia Perimeter College they are all very similar. You have 3 timed exams which they give you plenty of time to complete. The exams are very easy in that I did not read one chapter that was included in the last exam yet I made an A this is because if you get the text it gives you an online book, where you can just type in the question and poof it tells you were most of the words come from in the Quizzes a bit harder and assignments are usually the clinical questions at the end of the chapters. Online classes in my opinion are easy A's only problem is that you really dont have to study which is good but you walk away not knowing much lol. The lab portions is a separate class here, which is in class.