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Godsgirl73 BSN, MSN, RN


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Godsgirl73 has 23 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN.

I've been either an Advance Practice RN or Family NP since I first graduated from nursing school with my BSN in 1997. I have worked in a variety of settings ranging from remote outpost nursing to urban emergency departments. I took a few years off from nursing to raise my children - so I actually have 18 years of professional experience, not 23! - and have since returned to the workforce. I love being a nurse! I love the variety in nursing and am thrilled to be a member of this great profession!

Godsgirl73's Latest Activity

  1. Godsgirl73

    Return to NP Practice

    I'm a R.N. and former N.P. who let both my licenses lapse in order to be a stay-at-home-Mom when my kids were young. (I was unable to find a NP position that was less than a 0.75 FTE, which wasn't an option for our family.) Prior to letting my licenses lapse, I had worked as an R.N. in extended roles for 11 years, and as a N.P. for the final 6 years. I regained my R.N. license 2 years ago, and am currently in good standing with my licensing body. Now I am interested in reinstating my N.P. license, which I originally received in 2007. (I practiced as a N.P. until 2012.) In my jurisdiction, there is no current "pathway" to return to N.P. practice after a lapse in license. Inasmuch, my registering body has recommended that I seek out N.P.s who are currently practicing to get some suggestions from them as to the best route for me to return to practice. I have been advised to draft up my own "pathway" to return to competent practice. Once I have developed a pathway, I will be presenting my case in front of a committee who will then determine if my pathway is viable or not. I realize the route back to N.P. practice will likely be a challenging one and am not at all expecting to "get away" with doing nothing. That said, I have always worked advanced practice, first in extended scope in rural hospitals, outpost nursing, or extended-scope emergency nursing, and then as a formal N.P., and I feel that some consideration should at least be given based on my former education and experience. So, for those of you who are practicing NPs, what would you recommend someone in my situation do in terms of returning to competent practice? I believe I should update my pharmacology as there are many new drugs since I last practiced as a NP. I feel pretty confident in my understanding of pathophysiology as the human body really hasn't changed while I wasn't practicing. I'm going to suggest that I do both adult and a pediatric practicums, as I am hoping to return to Family NP Practice. (That was my previous designation.) What else would you recommend? I'm from Canada, and while I know there are differences between Canadian and American NP programs, I welcome any perspective as I want to ensure that I've considered as many factors as possible. Thank you!!!
  2. Godsgirl73

    Hearing loss, please help

    I realize this is an old thread, but is your response meant as a joke? If not, this is incredibly unprofessional and unhelpful "advice". To the OP: I recently returned to nursing after a five-year lapse with a "new" hearing loss and hearing aids to boot. I was up front about my hearing loss and hearing aids, and honestly, nobody was all that concerned. The doctor I worked with had a very quiet voice and learned quickly to speak up a bit when talking to me. I, in turn, learned to face him when he approached so I would know when he was speaking. He was a very quiet speaker according to the other staff, and they also had trouble hearing him at times. But I still had to take responsibility for my part in being able to hear him, regardless of whether or not he had a quiet voice. Yes, it's true that the time to have spoken up should have been when you were hired, but you technically can't lose your job if you choose to disclose your disability now. If I were you, I would start letting people know about your hearing loss as soon as possible. Then they will understand why you are making mistakes, or fumbling rather than just think you're not "getting it" all the time. I'd rather people know I'm hard-of-hearing than think I'm stupid. It's far more professional to treat your hearing loss than it is to ignore it and jeopardize your patients' well-being and your license.
  3. Godsgirl73

    I nearly lost my cool this morning...

    This ^^. Exactly. I'm not a school nurse but am currently working in pediatrics. Sometimes it surprises me how little parents (and other adults) know about raising and/or caring for children. When I started my career 21 years ago, it seemed like people had a lot more common sense than they do now. OP, I'm sorry that happened to you! Good for you for maintaining your composure!
  4. Godsgirl73

    Resigning well?

    To each of you who responded, thank you for your comments. I handed in my resignation with four-weeks' notice this past Monday. My supervisor took it remarkably well. She congratulated me immediately and told me that my new job sounds like a perfect fit. My colleagues have been surprisingly supportive. The doctor I work with is a little bit disappointed, but he also took it well and thought my new job sounded too good to pass up. I'm thankful everyone has been so gracious as I don't handle overt conflict well. Now I'm just praying, literally, for an LPN to apply for my position.
  5. Godsgirl73

    Resigning well?

    I have recently returned to nursing after a lengthy absence in which I let my RN license lapse. There is a story behind this, but essentially instead of my licensing body making me take the RN Refresher course, I was allowed to return to work as a RN with a restricted license. Thankfully, I was able to secure a job in which my restrictions could be met, and they have long since been removed so that I now am free and clear to practice as a RN. My return to work went much smoother than anticipated, other than having to deal with a challenging co-worker at the outset. The physician I have been assigned to is both an excellent doctor and a kind person, and I have become friends with the rest of the staff. While the job itself is the least challenging position I've ever held, I've appreciated that as it's really been quite an effortless transition back to the workforce with minimal intellectual load. That's allowed me to focus what little time I have left at the end of each day on my children and husband. Recently I was offered a job. Not just any job, but my dream job, working in a specialty field that I am very interested in. I had been taking courses specific to this potential field after I had let my RN license lapse, and had been planning to either open my own business or knock on doors heavily this fall once the temporary position I'm in now ended. But I've been approached by a specialist who wants me to start before my current position ends, and honestly, I would be a fool not to accept this position. Not only is it in the career track I want to take, but it will also allow me to participate in research, and potentially regain my NP license (which I also let lapse in order to raise my children). Additionally, it means that I can be home with my kids for most of the summer, as well as before and after school, which has always been important to me and is the sole reason why I gave up my licenses initially. But...I realize that leaving this position has a cost. I like and appreciate the staff enough that I really want this to work for them. I don't in any way want to leave my doctor (or the other staff) in a bind. There is no employee handbook at this facility, so there is no "specified" amount of time required for a resignation. However, my initial contract stated that if the incumbent were to return early, I would receive 30-days' notice, so I am planning to give four-week's notice with the option of providing them with a fifth week if the need arises. Aside from that, are there any other issues I should be considering as far as making their transition to another new nurse smooth? I've already written out a detailed listing of my daily duties, as well as a list of "extra" things I have taken on since starting there. I'm also going to update the package I was given when I started that contains helpful job hints, essential billing/treatment codes, key phone numbers, etc. I guess what I'm asking, is how do I resign well from an organization that essentially took a chance on me and gave me my RN license back? I welcome your thoughts.
  6. Godsgirl73

    I'm an NP student - How did you choose your specialty?

    I was challenged and I did succeed. Why? Because my first nursing position involved working in 3 very small (read: less than 10 bed + emergency department) hospitals where we encountered a little bit of everything. I had the advantage of working with trauma patients, emergency deliveries, and all kinds of different "ward" nursing by virtue of working in small hospitals. I worked with some amazing nurses there who took the time to mentor me so I really did have a fairly solid knowledge base when I started outpost nursing after only 2.5 years of nursing experience. That said, even with 2.5 years of varied experience, it would likely have boded well for me to wait a bit longer before I started outpost nursing.
  7. Godsgirl73

    I'm an NP student - How did you choose your specialty?

    No. I would argue that's simply not true in most cases. There is a significant difference between the "novice" NP who has more than a year or two of previous work experience in emergency, L&D, outpost hospitals, public health, etc, versus the "novice" NP who has never done any clinical practice outside of a practicum. The former is an established RN, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience to rely on in order to accurately assess, diagnose, and treat/manage the patient's problem. The latter is a new grad, who has mostly book-learning to offer with limited experience to back it up. Don't tell me there's no difference between the two, because I assure you, there is. I've been both the "novice" outpost nurse, who worked the equivalent of a NP position, almost immediately after graduating with my BSN, and the very experienced NP. I look back at my early days of outpost nursing and shudder to think of all I didn't know. Some nights and weekends, I was the only medical person available in the community I lived in. I'm sure it was only the grace of God that kept my patients safe in some cases.
  8. Godsgirl73

    I'm an NP student - How did you choose your specialty?

    Like many of the other posters, I'm going to address the accelerated NP program first. As a former NP, there was a significant difference between the students I preceptored who had actually worked as nurses for any length of time, as opposed to those who were direct entry BSN-MN-NP. Those who had at least 5 years of nursing experience prior to doing their NP typically did quite well in their NP programs. Those who went straight through the BSN-MN-NP stream didn't pass their preceptorships in most cases. Unfortunately, my own experience and that of numerous NP colleagues suggests that direct BSN-to-NP is not generally successful, regardless of whether or not one is a mature student. Sure, age and prior career experience can definitely bring something extra to the table. But at the end of the day, if a nurse hasn't solidified his or her basic nursing skills, which I would argue is typically the case for most new nurses, then they certainly aren't ready to perform ADVANCED assessment skills, nor are they ready to provide accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. I don't believe any of the nurses who have responded to the original question are eating their young. It seems they are being honest about what kind of advanced skill level and critical thinking is required from a NP. Now, to answer your original question, I, too, found what will soon be my specialty after many years of nursing and life experience. In all of my previous nursing and NP positions, I can honestly say there was a calling to do the kind of work I did. I truly believe you will know when the time is right. Trust your instincts.
  9. Godsgirl73

    Can new grads get jobs in public health?

    I can't speak to how things are in Ontario, but having worked in B.C., the Yukon, Nunavut, and Alberta, I can say that the route to getting into the field of public health nursing seems to vary by jurisdiction. A friend of mine who graduated with her BSN in Alberta 2 years ago did her final two preceptorships in public health but was unable to secure a position there, so she is now working in a hospital. On the other hand, I was able to secure a job in public health (communicable disease control) in B.C. many years ago having had no formal public health training. However, I did have PHN experience from outpost nursing in remote communities, so perhaps that helped. I think you could potentially increase your chance of getting into public health nursing by doing a few clinical placements in that area, and see if you can do your final preceptorship in public health. Additionally, you could get your name and face known by volunteering at your local public health office. Let them know that you will do anything and everything as a volunteer! That would also give you the chance to see if public health is *really* the place you want to work. A lot of people think it is, but once they get there, it doesn't meet their expectations. In terms of doing your masters after working in public health, why not? If you have your BSN and meet the program requirements for doing a masters, then it doesn't really matter what your nursing background is. At least, that was how it seemed with my colleagues when I did my MN. I can't see a reason why doing public health nursing would preclude you from taking your NP in the future. In my cohort, which was the NP stream of the MN program, I know there was at least one former public health nurse. She seemed to do just fine in the program! My one caution to you is this: Get a few years of experience before taking your MN or NP. As a former NP, I preceptored more than one NP student who went straight through from their BSN to their MN-NP. Not one of them did well in the NP program. They hadn't ever had the chance to solidify their basic nursing skills as they had no work experience, so when it came time to perform advanced assessment skills, they justweren't ready. I'm sure there are exceptions to my experience with BSN-to-MN students. But honestly, take your time to get grounded in basic nursing skills first. Then, once your are competent and confident, pursue the advanced education! As you gain experience, you will know which path you should take! Good luck!!! Nursing is a wonderful profession!
  10. Godsgirl73

    How do you deal with someone trying to get you fired?

    Hmmm. I agree with the above posters. This sounds like a toxic workplace. Having been through a recent experience with a colleague who was hell-bent on making my life miserable, the one piece of advice I can offer you is this: Do your job and do it well. Do it to the best of your ability. That way, whether you willingly choose to leave your workplace or are forced out via being fired or laid off, you have a hope of getting good references from the few honest staff with integrity who work at your facility. Another thing you could try is to show your supervisor/in-charge person exactly what items you are bringing in your bag at the start of each shift and taking with you when you leave. That will potentially eliminate speculation from anyone who may be trying to tarnish your reputation. However, it should never really come to that. If the staff don't trust you, for perceived or real reasons, even offering "proof" that you're not stealing or bringing in contraband items may not help. I agree with the other posters that perhaps it is time to start looking for a new job. You don't need the stress of working in a hostile environment. In the interim, do maintain a professional attitude, regardless of how the other staff behave. That will go a long way, even if only for your own peace of mind. Good luck!!!!
  11. Godsgirl73

    Msn degree and working full time

    I did my MN/NP while working FT, but that was before I had a husband and kids so my time, when not at work, was MY time to do with as I chose. There were other students in my MN program who worked FT, had small children, and pursued their MN studies at the same time, so it must be possible. I imagine it was really difficult, but it was definitely possible.
  12. Godsgirl73

    Why parents! Why?!!

    So...I'm *that* nurse, the one who sends her child to school on ibuprofen so that, at least for the first half of the day, I can work my shift and at least pretend that my child isn't sick enough to need me to stay off work. I'm also working as a pediatric nurse right now, and have 15-years of family/all-ages nursing and NP practice behind me. I have always advised parents to keep their kids at home if they have a fever (more than 38.5C). However, I also know the reality of being a parent who takes too much time off work to care for sick children. It's like being caught between a rock and a hard place. I returned to nursing this past September after a 5-year lapse. My son got his first illness of the school year exactly 1.5 weeks later. I took 2 days off to care for him, for which my manager was very supportive. Then he got sick with a fever 3 weeks later. So I and my husband each took 2 days off to be with my son that week. My supervisor was good about it; however, she wasn't able to obtain coverage for me for one of the days, which was problematic for the doctor I work for. (I work in a small office where there is only one nurse per doctor.) Since then, my son has had a fever lasting a few days every 3 to 4 weeks. Both myself and the pediatrician I work with feel he likely has a periodic fever syndrome because other than a elevated WBC count, his labs are normal. But honestly, if I took time off every time my son has a fever, for the duration of his fever (3-6 days), I don't think I would still have a job to return to! My husband has definitely been fantastic and taken half of my son's sick days, but the reality is that neither of us can be off work as often as my son has a fever. Unfortunately, we don't have a back up person to take our children when they're sick, or we would definitely choose that option! So I guess what I'm saying is that most parents likely know that they're making a poor choice in sending their child to school with a fever, but sometimes, work dictates how often a parent can miss work. It's a sad reality. I never thought I would be the mom who does this. But right now, I have to be and I know I'm not the only parent in that boat.
  13. Godsgirl73

    Difficult Colleague, Advice Needed

    Oh dear. No, I didn't mean it for this section. How do I change that? Unfortunately, the clinic I work it is non-union, so there is no counsel there.
  14. Godsgirl73

    Difficult Colleague, Advice Needed

    I returned to work after a 5-year lapse in nursing this past week. I am working in a specialty clinic setting that is an area I have some experience in, but there are definitely some things I am unfamiliar with, so I see this as a wonderful learning opportunity! I let my RN and NP licenses lapse. Therefore, I have returned to work with a restricted RN license, which means that another nurse is required to provide some supervision for a certain number of hours, and, upon completion of those hours, she is required to complete a report to my licensing body stating that I am a safe, competent nurse. The problem is this: The RN who is to provide supervision to me has apparently been watching every move I make, monitoring what I say, and then presenting her greatly modified interpretation of my words and actions to my boss. Yesterday was my 5th day. I got called into my boss' office on arrival yesterday, and spoken to about the need to improve my interpersonal communication skills. My boss said that a few people had complained about my interactions with others. I asked her if she could give me specific examples in order to help me know what areas I should be working on. She then gave me four specific examples of circumstances, which were, in fact, not at all how they occurred. The first example is this: Another colleague had given me an information packet she made up with some tips about how to do some parts of my job that I am unfamiliar with. When she handed me the packet, the way she had written things out didn't make a lot of sense to me, so I said to her, "This isn't intuitive to me at all. Do you mind if I make some additional notes?" However, what my colleague TOLD my boss I said was this: "I don't need your packet and I'm going to make my own." Then I allegedly threw the packet on the floor. Hmmm. Very different. I've been publicly using the packet, and adding to it all week. A second example was that I was talking too much about being an NP, and I was "Lording it over the staff". A physician confirmed my behavior to my boss. However, the situation wasn't quite that simple. My colleague has spent much of our lunch hours asking me about working as a NP. I did answer her questions. Often these discussions were held in front of the doctor I am working with, so of course, it could easily appear to him that I am always talking about working as a NP. He definitely wasn't wrong in stating that as far as lunch time conversations go. But I feel that I was set up, as I wasn't seeking out opportunities to speak about my past positions. I was simply answering my colleague's questions. My boss then told me that I'm not being a team player, that everyone in the office knows I used to be a NP, and that I don't need to keep reminding them. A third example was that I questioned a particular practice, saying "I'm curious as to why you do [this]. I've never seen it done that way before." What got back to my boss was that I said, "I don't know why you're doing that. You're doing it wrong." The fourth example is this: One of my lovely colleagues asked if I needed any help, to which I responded, "No thanks (with a smile), but you'll be the first person I ask when I do." What my boss was told I said was this: "No. I'll let you know when and if I need help." After my meeting with my boss, I went directly to the colleague in this last situation and apologized to her because I felt so terrible that my wording was possibly poor and/or misunderstood. She had no idea what I was talking about or how my boss knew, and then said, "but I know who might have told her, watch your back." So now I'm left with the question of how to deal with this. I feel like I'm in high school again. I recognize the behavior of this nurse, nice to my face, and backstabbing to my boss. I've done a tonne of reading since yesterday on interpersonal communication and will definitely seek to utilize some of those techniques more often at work. But what do I do about the lying? I know I can't change my colleague; I can only change me. But what's she's saying about me to my boss is untrue. I understand that she could be feeling threatened by my presence as, until my arrival, she was the only RN in the clinic, and, she has always "ruled the roost" so to speak. It's a long story, but I know of this nurse through two previous jobs, so I've heard numerous stories about her behavior. I knew she was a bully going into this position, but this position is the only one I was offered, and I want to work as a RN again, so I took it thinking that things would be fine and I could be professional enough to not let these kind of issues bother me. Now I'm not so sure. For now, I'm not going to confront this nurse, and I will continue to learn my new job, offer and accept help when needed, and do what I love best, which is nursing!!!! But I'm thinking should this lying continue, the next time I will be forced to confront her as she is potentially damaging my reputation and my license. I'm thinking I will say something like this: "[Nancy], it seems that one of my colleagues may be saying untrue things to [the boss]. Since you've been here for such a long time, I'm wondering if you have any advice to offer as to how I can best handle this situation?" Does this seem like a good idea? Bad? I'm now second-guessing everything I've said and done this week, which is probably silly. I've worked as a nurse for 9 years and a NP for 6, and I've never had a real complaint about my professionalism. I realize there is ultimately something else going on here that is beyond my control, but my current impulse is to just not speak to this nurse, which, of course, I can't do! And I'm contemplating leaving the office every lunch hour to get a real break from the situation; however, I also recognize that to do so could make me look like less of a team player as the staff generally sit at their desks to eat their lunches. I want and need this job! The MD I work with is very, very good and I stand to learn a great deal from him. With the exception of this one colleague, the other staff members I work with are all extremely competent, kind, and professional. If anyone has been through this and has any insight/advice as to handle this situation, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you!
  15. Godsgirl73

    Return to work after 4.5 year lapse?

    I thought I would give you a bit of an update since my last post was 3 months ago. Through a rather bizarre series of events based on knowing the "right" person and being in the right place at the right time, I was offered a temporary F/T nursing position beginning next week! I'm very, very excited about this because the position fits my lifestyle in every way I could have wanted. It's a Monday to Friday day position with hours that make commuting via public transit very accessible. Because it's starting at the end of September, I've had the blessing of being able to help both of my children adjust to the school year before I will have to start work. Even though I was offered the position late in August, I was able to secure out of school care for both of my children. I don't really think I could have asked for something better. The physician who has offered me my dream position has decided to hold that position for me until I have my restrictions lifted, AND have enough practice hours to be able to maintain my RN permit next year. (The hours with the physician who initially offered me the job are very PT in nature, so even if I was able to work with him now, I would have had to secure another position in order to obtain the hours I require to maintain my practice permit.) It seems like things are coming together nicely. It's all a little surreal. I'm a little bit anxious about starting work again, especially full-time, as my children are in low elementary grades, and FT work means that I will only get to see them for about 2 hours a day once I account for the length of my work day and the commute to and from my job. They've never been to daycare. I'm also anxious about the job in general. One of the nurses I will be working with is known to be extremely critical, and I'm very aware that 5.5 years off of nursing will have put me behind in some areas. I'm auditing a course that is specific to the area that I will be working in, so hopefully that will help me to recall some base knowledge and skill about the population I will be working with. It will be interesting working as a RN, as I haven't worked in that capacity for 12 years. I hope to regain my NP license one day, but for now, I'm grateful that someone was willing to take a chance on me. I hope I will be an asset to their facility!
  16. Godsgirl73

    Return to work after 4.5 year lapse?

    I actually hadn't paid any attention to where nursing jobs are at at all until the last few months, after the specialist offered me a job. Since then, I've had a rude awakening. Do you think taking an IV certification course and ACLS will improve my chances of getting hired? I've noticed that in at least 50% of the posted positions in my area (near Edmonton), both of those courses are coming up as either "preferred" or "required". Are there any other courses you (or anyone else) would recommend?

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