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Vanillanut DNP, RN, APRN

Emergency, Internal Medicine, Sports Med
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Vanillanut has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN, APRN and specializes in Emergency, Internal Medicine, Sports Med.

Vanillanut's Latest Activity

  1. Vanillanut

    Anyone Else Torn on Specialty??

    Have you considered Women's Health NP? (WHNP) This would give you the women's side of things and the nurse practitioner side of things, as opposed to CNM. Alternatively you could go FNP, but I suspect you might need another cert or so to be competent in L&D.
  2. Vanillanut

    GI Bill and NP Program

    Hi there, I am/was an ER nurse who went back for BSN-DNP, specializing in Family practice. I understand the anxiety around choosing a specialty, especially coming from an acute area of practice (and from what I'm gathering, likely wanting to stay there?) I should also mention I am a spouse of active duty navy x 15 years, and am using the GI bill myself. I chose FNP because it's the most marketable, I can treat across the lifespan. In my program, there are at least 50-75% of the FNP program are ER/ICU nurses, who chose FNP for the same reasons as I did. If we want to pursue a post-grad certificate in acute care, it'll be short and sweet and I can work virtually anywhere. I say: If you are undecided which clinical area you want to work in: FNP If you are 100% certain you never want to treat kids, and you mentioned you want to stay in an acute setting- take ACNP If you're 100% certain you don't want to treat kids, but aren't sure of your desired area of clinical practice: FNP (as opposed to AGNP) ACNP really ties you to a hospital or outpatient center. For myself, I was tired of working all hours of the day/night and was looking forward to getting on "normal" hours (or at least daylight hours). I would also consider where you want to live. Larger cities require more site-specific quals whereas the more rural towns flex a bit more (FNP's often work as hospitalists, for example). I am now 8 months away from finishing with my DNP- I write my AANP exam next month. Considering you're a single guy without dependents, get your DNP. It doesn't matter all that much in terms of clinical practice, but as more and more DNP's enter circulation you're quals will be somewhat lesser then others (if only on paper). If you don't want to get the DNP, then I'd go after PA instead of NP. Shorter, you'd likely stay in acute if you wanted to, less liability as no independent practice, etc. Lastly- go to a brick and mortar school, not online. I did, and I am very glad I chose this way. Some people elect for online for cost or convenience, but if you can afford the brick and mortar (thank you GI Bill, and thank YOU sir for your service) then do it. Happy studying! PS- 80K a year is way, way low even for a new grad NP. Average is at least 90-100 for starters. I purposefully omitted CRNA info, as I know you said no to that one- those guys make 120-150K.
  3. Vanillanut

    What supplies needed for FNP school :)

    I also agree on the study space. Having your own space to work, where others know "she's doing her schoolwork, and not just surfing the net" is priceless. Set it up really nice because you will be spending a LOT of time there! My program is very paper-heavy and I spend a lot of time writing. I invested in a $300 office chair designed for high use (5-10 hrs/day sitting) and it's been the BEST. I'm also considering other ergonomic supplies (foot rests etc). It sounds somewhat lame- I didn't even realize office chairs had sit ratings until I bought one- but SO worth it when you are comfortable. Background music helps with ambient lighting. In terms of other stuff, I got myself a Samsung galaxy note 10.1 and LOVE it. I have a laptop and a smart phone and let me tell you, it makes life a lot easier. Taking notes is a breeze! I just pull out my S pen, bring up the powerpoint the professor is teaching, and make notes directly on the slide. Then, I just shoot up my files to the cloud, for later use on my laptop if needed. I also use PERRLA and although it has some quirks, I'd say its worth the money. I've heard Refworks is good also.
  4. Vanillanut

    MUSC BSN-DNP Fall 2013

    I was actually strongly considering that school myself, but I don't think I will apply there as I am funding my education through the GI Bill (military resource). The GI bill doesn't include the DNP in their list of included programs, so I will skip it.
  5. Vanillanut

    5th Nursing Caption Contest - Win $100

    "Nursing: If others knew what we did, they'd see us differently..."
  6. Vanillanut

    Took NCLEX Today & got the good pop up! Tips for passing

    Hurst covered a lot of what was on the actual exam. without going into too much detail just know your calcium/parathyroid/all that jazz. And I agree with infection control, I think thats the only part where hurst sort of skimped over compared to what I dealt with. But I mean its common sense... at least for most people who wouldn't dare to perform _____ skill without protecting their ___ (eyes, whatever). I was super prepped in the patho department when it came to resp, ortho, maternity, peds, etc. Looking back I would of probably paid more to infection control and mental health. But yes, with what was presented in Hurst I felt ready, and I guess I was, because that is the only thing I did. :) Hurst has an infection control hand out too you can go over if I recall, it's more of a memorization thing vs something she lectures about.
  7. All I have to say is, THANK YOU HURST REVIEW! Now I went about this totally unconventionally. I *hate* studying. I can not sit still for hours and hours and stare at paper. I am a tactile & visual learner. I just can not shove a square peg (me) into a round hole (the typical way people study). So, I got the online review from Hurst, and sat and watched the videos while following through with the notes (all provided with the online package). Thats IT. No pressure on myself to answer hundreds of questions every day. Because I started off that way, and all it got me was stressed out and beating myself up about not getting enough correct. I took a different approach: to just be mentally relaxed. Marlene (in the hurst review) is right. If I haven't heard of something, well chances are neither have you and they're meaning to try to be sneaky to both of us, trying to freak us out. I did buy a box of Saunders flash cards but barely used them.... again once you feel defeated about something you tend not to want to go and pick it up. :) So if you're like me, you don't mind watching a funny video but hate reading/writing then Hurst review is for you. That, and DONT STRESS, you have all the time in the world to answer questions. Chill, trust yourself and you'll be fine.
  8. Vanillanut

    Hurst Review

    I used Hurst alone, honestly I barely studied apart from that review (I did the online one). Passed first try. Would highly recommend it. I didn't do thousands and thousands of questions. I think I would have gone mental. But kudos to those who learn that way. :)
  9. It's all about who you know. And you know more people then you might think. That poster getting hired through people her instructor knew is a classic example: contacts. Maybe it's not who you know; maybe it's who knows the person you know. Networking I have found to be way more valuable then almost anything else out there. When I was in my final preceptorships (we had 2; 3 months long each) I would get to know the manager of that unit- WELL. Well enough by the end of that time I was there, we could almost joke around on a personal level. Sometimes I didn't have 3 months, but I used my friendships with nurses I knew who DID know other managers to take me around on slow time/"tour" of the hospital and met with other managers from other departments, and doing this I met a lot of managers and got to make my initial first impression that way. This was by far the best thing I could of done for myself. I also think if you show a genuine interest in your field instead of "whatever" (ie, I like Emergency and my education reflects this, as does my intentions for future education). However if I were to jump at scraps (med surg, or whatever) I think this may come off as not being genuinely interested in my job, and it would show. The result: I got hired into the exact position I wanted (Emergency), and after I consolidate my experience there I can float up to ICU/CCU if I so choose, because I am on a good footing with the manager. I think there is an underemphasis on professional interpersonal relationships, and how they can be your greatest advantage or greatest demise (in some cases). They are worth far more then any piece of paper.
  10. I am an RN with a BSN and I live in Washington, but I work up in Canada (originally Canadian, lo and behold I found better work opportunities up there then I can down in WA). I am curious- does the Emergency Nursing Specialty certificate obtained in Canada transfer to the US? I know I'll do some digging tomorrow with the boards of nursing etc, but thought someone on here might know. Thx :)
  11. Vanillanut

    New grad, military spouse. VA?

    This. Sorry to say, but I am/was in your shoes. I am a recent graduate and without at least a year, they won't even look at you. It sucks because the hospital on base is RIGHT beside where my husband works. What can ya do? I have since found better opportunities not related to military. You might want to check out military to medicine.org, although you pretty much need that 1-2 yrs experience no matter where you go...... military or not. Good luck
  12. Vanillanut

    Outraged by no more privacy

    This. I am irritated with the amount of personal info I have to reveal, but at the end of the day I have to think: if it was me laying there in that bed, I'd want to feel safe knowing the person caring for me was licensed, not on drugs, etc. I think nurses have a social responsibility due to the nature of their positions to be somewhat "transparent" when it comes to certain things.
  13. Vanillanut

    Nurses who work with the police? Canada

    I went to school & work in Canada, but I live in WA and am a nurse there too. At my hospital in the lower mainland, we have a forensics nurse/SANE. Same specialty as what you read about here. I work in Emerg in a different area, but basically these nurses have their own equipment that is sealed (no DNA on anything) and handle all sexual assaults, etc from triage in. These nurses are also expert witnesses in court. As far as anything non-sexual (like gang violence etc) we (emerg nurses) often know a lot of the RCMP who bring people in. They have protocols that they have to stay with victims/suspects etc. So in a sense we work along side them- but in terms of actual "working" together- not so much. Other then that, there's correctional facilities.
  14. Vanillanut

    How far would you be willing to travel for a job?

    I drive 2 hrs (well 1 hr 50 mins) one-way. Because I do 12 hr rotating shifts, I took a room closer to the hospital and I go home on my days off. This job I have now 1) is in my area of specialty/interest; 2) I can dictate my schedule; 3) pay is good; 4) work culture is good, 5) they're willing to pay for more education. Plus this hospital/position will look very good on a resume. The sacrifice- sucking it up for a couple years with the distance. Can't move closer because my husband is stationed. This job will help me write my ticket/get a better job closer to wherever we move in the future (military). I guess you just have to weigh the pro's up against the con's and ask yourself if its worth it to you. And I totally get the roads/bad driving. We get a lot of snow on my commute route and often the entire highway will shut down. I have a vehicle that's 4wd, safe, good on gas, and i carry a shovel/sand & chains for good measure.
  15. Vanillanut

    Is nursing shortage a myth?

    I am a recent (May 2010) RN (BSN) graduate from Canada. I immigrated to Washington state 4 months ago. Things I have learned: -Nursing jobs, like any other job, is about 75% "who you know" not "what you know". Dropping names, network connections, etc are more weighty then my BSN at times (although I am finding having my BSN helps a lot). -Keep quiet, and you'll keep your job. This means getting screwed over- sometimes in a small, annoying way; other times in major, unsafe, potential safety issue/lose your license sort of way. Yes, I've experienced this personally, with less then a year under my belt. All that advocacy they teach you in school? Pick your battles very wisely. -There's a shortage of nursing staff in the hospitals: ie, nurses are overworked with large patient loads, and they could use more nurses to decrease pt load, increase safety and etc. What I see is a shortage of funds to hire nurses from hospitals. Oh, and a lot of overpaid managers/administration. I have also spoken to a lot of experienced nurses with 20+ years and they too are finding it increasingly difficult to find a job due to their pay grade. Its a shame too, because as a new grad I know some of those nurses are worth their weight in gold. -Good luck finding a job with less then a year (sometimes 2) experience under your belt. Fortunately I live close to Canada and kept my license up there- because I landed a really good job there, which I plan to keep/use for my experience here. I'm not even bothering to apply for positions here without experience. Why go through the frustration and depression of a million rejections when I have work elsewhere? Solution to this problem is to network your butt off while you're in nursing school. While doing your preceptorships- meet managers of units. Not just the one you're working on, but others too (think med-surg). Network, network, network. -Regarding the babyboomers, I was told upon entering nursing school that I was entering at "just the right time" because all these nurses were "on the brink of retiring". Well, people don't or simply can't retire in a bad economy. A lot of these older nurses are hanging around for another 5 or so years... or more. I think eventually things will turn around, but I don't think it's going to be as big a demand for nurses as the government would have it's numbers/statitians tell you (# of old people vs number of nurses currently joining the workforce). I wouldn't get discouraged, but allow me to kindly pop the rainbow bubble notion that immediately after you graduate you'll be able to walk in to whatever job you apply to. Prepare yourself now for how you're going to survive as a family for months until you find a job while paying off loans and having no income. Lastly I would say stay competitive. Nurses with a BSN are getting to be a dime a dozen. So how are you going to stand out, once the time comes? A BSN to stand out does not cut it anymore. Good luck. :redpinkhe
  16. My husband is in the military, and we may have to relocate. Our options are California, Hawaii, Jacksonville, FL or mariland. I'm wondering what the prospects are out in HI for someone who graduated 3 months ago (I have had a job as an RN since graduating, although it was more community-based vs hospital based and now will have to give it up to move). I have a BSN and will be coming from WA state if that matters. :) Thanks! (And on a side note, I am unable to work at military hospitals as I am Canadian and still waiting on my green card).

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