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eldragon's Latest Activity

  1. eldragon

    Who has completed "College Network" LPN to RN?

    I just had a sit down with a salesman from The College Network this week in my home. The fees are outrageous, in my opinion. You are paying almost $500 per module, no matter what the class is - plus the cost of each test. In study modules alone, I was quoted over $7 grand to complete my pre-reqs and Excelsiors nursing tests. The $16k I was quoted for the entire "program" did not even include Excelsiors CPNE or tuition, which is another $3K+. Your payments are only going towards the cost of the modules, and tests if you include them. What got me, really, was the used-car sales techniques the salesman used trying to get me sign on the dotted line. He said there was a $2K grant to be discounted from the total price, but that "it was going to expire the next evening at midnight, and then the costs would go up another two grand." That, in my opinion, shot him and The College Network in the foot, and I saw immediately that it was a scam. Can you get your RN using The College Network? Sure. But why pay them an extra ten thousand dollars to do the legwork for you? I would pay a reasonable fee to have someone arrange for me to clep out of classes, etc., but not that much.
  2. Maybe you should try a new location. Perhaps the area you are looking in is over-saturated. I am an LPN working in a rehab and we just hired a new grad RN. Normally, not only would we not hire a new grad RN who knows nothing (and I mean nothing) but they wouldn't want to start working at a rehab anyway, because they need hospital experience. If it makes you feel any better, once you get a nursing job, you will most likely spend the first few years wondering why you are a nurse, because it's hard in the beginning, before you know yourself as a nurse. Hang in there. Look on Craiglist. Call agency. Go to LTC centers and SIT in the office and wait to see the director. That's what I did. And I was hired at the first job I applied at - on the spot. Been there ever since - almost 3 years now. Hang in there.
  3. eldragon

    What are the chances of being fired as a nurse?

    I just quit a job I was at 3 weeks because if I didn't quit, I was sure they would put me on the PRN list and never call, which is the same as being terminated but there's no benefits paid. I liked the job alot. I had no orientation but I found my way. The job, a clinic, was fraught with difficulties and had an entire new crew/staff, from the front office to all nurses but one. One doctor has put her notice in, and another was fired on my second day. The director went around and jacked everyone's schedules day after day. The place was so broke there was no toilet paper for two days (this included the adjoining hospital) because the facility had not paid its bills for over 3 months. It was clear they needed to downsize and get rid of the new nurse (me) because of firing that one doctor, and there was an old timer nurse who stood around doing nothing, gossiping and started working when the directors came in, an made herself look invincible. Anyway, after 3 weeks the director told me in so many words that I wasn't fitting in with the rest of the staff. She didn't think I was putting in the effort to learn everything I needed to know about that facility, when in actuality I had spent alot of time stocking, sorting, doing inventory, etc. and felt comfortable with those things. Even as I sat there doing another nurses work, she told me didn't think I was offering my help to other nurses, and "this place needs to work as a team." Bottom line was that they needed to lay someone off and didn't want to pay any benefits so instead of just cutting my hours or being honest, they came up with a bunch of mixed up reasons why it had to be my fault, because of my inability to mingle with the others, or perhaps I wasn't a hard enough worker, etc. But the funny thing is that I had quit my previous job of almost 3 years to change jobs and work at this clinic, because it was closer to home. And in that huge facility, I had earned a reputation for being an extremely hard-working, ethical and competent worker. In fact, when I resigned, the administrator called me at home and told me how disapointed she was to learn I had left and asked me what might she do to get me to go back to work there. She told me I was "an uncommon and exceptionally professional nurse." And in less than 3 weeks, the new place denied seeing any of that exceptional work ethic or potential in me. So they told me they were "giving me another week and would see how it went," and at the end of the shift, that was it for me. They can have the office politics, the gossip mongering, the no-job security inducing watching your back all the time. Bottom line: when a facility has huge turnover: run.
  4. eldragon

    Dont want to get anyone in trouble

    Recently, at the facility I work at, a nightshift LPN was apparently sleeping and an aid found her. The LPN became upset with the AID, and sent her home, saying "she's not following orders." Well, someone told me this and I asked another nightshift nurse if the nurse in question HAD been sleeping, and she said yes. So I asked her to write a statement to that effect, to give to the unit supervisor, who was off that day. Long story short : the CNA was fired for other reasons they dug up and the sleeping nurse is still working there. So depending on the facililty you work at and how desperate they are for nurses to work there, it's not as easy as it sounds to get a nurse in trouble. It was appalling, but it happened. That's why an annonymous tip might be a better solution.
  5. I just wanted to point out that it's not uncommon for a LTC facility to schedule one RN to work evening and night shifts. If you are inexperienced, you might want to to work days, when there will be additional RN's scheduled. In the facility I work, there doesn't have to be an RN in the building, just one to call, and the director is always on call. They like to have an RN assess a patient before being sent to the ER, but it's not mandatory because it's the doctors call anyway. But I can assure you that many of the LPNs in the facility I work at are quite competent in all areas of nursing, and some of the RN's are not. Yes, as the only RN in the building, you are in charge, but that doesn't make you the most competent or experienced employee in the building. Just saying.
  6. I wouldn't worry about it. Stop taking their calls. How desperate are they for warm bodies that they'd want someone who doesn't want to be there, working there for two more weeks when they outright admit they aren't comfortable working there? It's not like you could train your replacement or anything after just a few days of orientation yourself! And I guarantee you that they would make your life a living hell if you did work a two week notice, and badger you into working more time....another day, week or month, until they found someone else to badger. Then they'd probably keep your last paycheck or something. Be glad you are rid of that place and try to move on and forget it. You can tell other prospective employers that you attempted working there but wasn't comfortable with it, and I can assure you NOBODY will care! Welcome to long term care!
  7. Excellent advice here. 12 hour shifts are very hard to do, in my opinion, when you are married with children. I have noticed that many nurses who do work 12 hour shifts, are not married and or their children are grown and gone. You have to remember that a 12 hour shift not only means you will be gone working for 12 hours, but also you have to consider commuting time. You will be EXHAUSTED after work, if you are like me, and just the thought of making dinner or helping someone with homework will be a challenge. There are jobs to be had that work with families: school nurses, health teaching type jobs, health department, doctors offices, etc. Dialysis would be days only. Possibly some wound care centers, and/or any kind of outpatient surgical center. There are places to work that will enable you to have a family life. True that you may not see what you want to see at work, but at least you will see your husband and your children.
  8. eldragon

    Down and Out

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I'm one of those oddballs who just can't stand tossing my family aside for a paycheck. I just finished a job that had the most insane schedule you ever heard of. Everyone got one weekend off per month and spent the rest of the month working four days to have one day off. It was crazy! I did that for two years and I visibly noticed my family suffering. I put a million miles on my car driving back and forth to work everyday, and ate lunch in there so I could talk to my husband on the phone while I ate. It was no way to live. My daughter, once an honor role student, began to have problems in school. The house was always a mess, despite help from my husband and daughter to keep it clean; nobody cleans like mom. We had to fly through weeks of work to just have a weekend to cram in everything we wanted to do. I looked up and year had passed; then two years. I said goodbye to my old job. I am starting a PART TIME job on Monday. Never again will I sacrifice my family and my sanity for a paycheck.
  9. I wouldn't do it either. If I were you I'd try to get a job at a long term care facility and stick it out for a good year or two. After that, then you might want to try agency work. But without experience, I wouldn't recommend it.
  10. eldragon

    Does anyone LOVE long term care??

    There are other jobs out there. I just accepted a different position two days ago. This one will have me as a float nurse at a small country hospital. I will work as a floor nurse, in the ER, or in the clinic; wherever they need me. After two + years in SNF and LTC, I'm ready for something else!
  11. eldragon

    85 Questions- R U kidding me?

    I passed the NCLEX PN with 85 questions just over 3 years ago and was sure walking out that I had passed it. I had studied for about six weeks and just felt prepared and confident on the material. Even though I had about 20 select all that apply, I took my time and got through it, and walked out in less than two hours, sure I had done well. Maybe I was the exception!
  12. eldragon

    Namenda/Aricept/Excelon...is it worth it?

    I think that often, doctors are just covering their butts by describing any meds that "might" help. I have been working in long term care for over two years and the majority of the patients have dementia of some form. And no, I have never seen any of these meds help. Although it would be hard to know for sure. When someone has advanced dementia, the only time I have seen meds help them was in the case of agitated, upset patients. Prescribing seroquel and sometimes ativan will help to calm them down considerably and when taken routinely, makes them easier patients to care for in general. But as far as improving their cognition? No real evidence of that once they are in our facility.
  13. eldragon

    Does anyone LOVE long term care??

    Perhaps you should have just said you had read it, but forgot to chart it, as you were too busy or something suddenly came up, like someone's blood pressure. Unfortunately, where we work, half of what is charted wasn't done and half of what was done wasn't charted. Unfortunately, it paints a picture, but not an accurate one. What's funny is when we are yelled at for not charting everything. When our census is down, everything gets charted. When every bed is full of any kind of patient they can get, we are so overextended that we can only do the minimum. But at least the owner gets paid more, and that seems to be all that matters to him.
  14. eldragon

    Does anyone LOVE long term care??

    I can't promise it will get any better. The bottom line is that owners of nursing homes want money and do care about the residents, just their monthly payment. They do not care about nurses, or staffing issues, and would not staff a single employee if they could somehow just store these patients in rooms, and leave them there without staff to care for them, and get away with it. The company I work for does the bare minimum for its residents and its employees. We have a terrible schedule, horrendous benefits that are only available to nurses, and no sick days. We get a 30 minute lunch break that is deducted from our paychecks whether we are able to take it or not. We are on our own for uniforms and meals. In the two+ years I have worked at the nursing home, I have NEVER had a ten minute break, of which I am supposed to have two per day. We have no prn staff, so call-ins, which are constant, are not covered, increasing the workload for staff. There are no special requests for days off, so we are not allowed to attend birthday parties, weddings, funerals, or graduations unless we call in - leaving the facility short staffed. Nursing homes are businesses and that's it. While we nurses went to school thinking we could extend care to people while working in the profession, working in a nursing home makes it almost impossible. I often say "if you are going to do it right, it's very hard to do." That's why MOST nurses do not seem to do the job in its entirety. At least that is what I have discovered. Something has to give, and it's usually patient care. It's very sad, but that's the way I see it.
  15. eldragon

    Does anyone LOVE long term care??

    I have been working on a skilled unit for over two years. I love the patients / residents, but the job itself? No, I don't love it. I have worked around the entire facility - med passes on every hall, treatments, charge, etc., and it's all too much work and too little time. But the worst thing is low staff morale, management that doesn't care at all about its employees, and a horrendous schedule that keeps me away from my family too long. In LTC, if you do your job, you are exhausted at the end of the day. Too exhausted to do much else, like have a life. So even though I love certain aspects of LTC, there is probably little chance I will continue doing it much longer. It's just too much.
  16. eldragon

    Saying No

    My job is constantly understaffed and constantly asking me to work a double. Well, no thanks. I've done it a few times and it's exhausting and, I don't feel, safe for me or my patients. I am so exhausted at the end of a regular shift, and then add another shift to it? I can hardly think straight. That is the recipe for trouble. And then I drive home 25 miles. Again, not safe. The company I work for is and always has been short staffed. If they wanted to be fully staffed, they'd have some prn workers to call, but instead they choose to be understaffed and pay gobs of overtime. Not my problem. I do 150% of my job when I'm there, but when my shift is over, I'm out the door!