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  1. brandy1017

    Do I have to disclose mental illness

    I've read on here some state nursing boards will ask if you have had any mental illness and if you've been hospitalized. I remember one person who admitted they were hospitalized for a suicide attempt that was in the past and the person was stable, yet forced into a treatment program as if they had been caught diverting drugs. It was interfering with that person's ability to get a job because of restrictions on the license, not to mention the expense of treatment programs. I believe she was even drug tested at her own cost, even though it had nothing to do with diversion! Personally, I would advise you not to disclose your protected health information so it wouldn't be used against you by the board when it's time to get a job. But if you are taking controlled substances you will need to disclose as everyone is drug tested now, some places take a hair sample vs just urine as it can check back months at a time. I wish the legal nurse on this site would weigh in to this matter. I can tell you depression and anxiety are very common among nurses especially given the stress of the job. Also many people suffer from PTSD as well whether from war or from rape or child abuse. I'm sure it is under reported and under treated. Whatever you decide to do keep reaching out for the help you need whether meds or therapy and know you are not alone.
  2. The only thing that might prevent you from renewing your nursing license would be if you had defaulted on your student loans and that depends on the laws of the state you live in.
  3. There are many people and nurses with a lot of student debt. I've worked with several that have between $50,000 to over $100,000 in debt. Usually, it's because they either went to a private school and/or had a previous liberal arts degree that they couldn't get a decent paying job so went back for nursing. There are many expensive options out there from private schools, for-profit private schools, accelerated BSN's and direct entry MSN RN and RN to NP. It is really easy to go into a lot of debt for school. On top of the cost of tuition, many people take out more student loans for housing and cost of living expenses. But that doesn't mean a person should take out a lot of student loans. I don't think anyone, especially a teenager should be taking out loans without having taken a personal finance class first. I think a personal finance class should be required in high school. I also believe in restoring bankruptcy protections to student loans as virtually every other debt (aside from child support, unpaid taxes and maybe civil penalties) can be eliminated in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is actually one of the rights in our US constitution. It's true govt loans have some protections and the lender may work with you, but until recently they usually offer deferment or forbearance which usually causes the interest to capitalize and the loan to spiral out of control. The 10-year public service loan forgiveness option that was started by President Obama back in 2007 appears to be a scam because over 90% of people whose debt should have been forgiven were denied this. Income-based repayment over the standard 20 to 25 years is another option (depending on when you took out your loan); but this should not be considered an ideal plan. Who wants to be paying for student loans for decades! When your income is low you may be paying little to nothing on them, which results in negative amortization where the interest capitalizes and the debt spirals out of control. In the future when your income grows, and as a nurse, we are in the top 30% income; you will probably end up spending more to pay the loan off due to this negative amortization. For those who stay on income based the entire 20 to 25 years will wind up with a big, fat tax bill even higher due to this negative amortization. The forgiven debt is treated as ordinary income and will throw you into a high tax bracket. The obvious plan should be to minimize student loans as much as possible in the first place by seeking out cheaper schools, scholarships, and grants. Not purposely going into a very expensive program that will take decades to pay off. Again those loan payments will become a burden and will limit your ability to save for retirement, buy a house and just enjoy life. A single mom already faces financial hurdles and should especially avoid excess student loan debt. But we all should do what we can to avoid excess debt. I speak as someone who went to a private school and owed $22,000 and my starting pay was only $13/hour back then so full time was less than $30,000 a year. It took me almost 25 years to pay off due to high-interest rates (12-14%) and the occasional deferment/forbearance when life happened such as a couple surgeries, plus I consolidated to buy a house. The student loans were a burden and many years I regretted going to school and felt I would have been better off just working as a secretary. I didn't start saving for retirement until my 30's and I was almost 40 before I bought my house. I made a lot of financial mistakes due to my naivety and ignorance over personal finance. Thankfully I met a wonderful housing counselor who starting guiding me and teaching me about money when I bought my house. Also, I then starting reading and researching personal finance in earnest. That knowledge really makes a difference, the more you know, the more you can save and avoid overpaying on loans and living expenses. Some of my friends who did not receive financial counseling or take the time to learn have overspent in tens of thousands of dollars on mortgages, car loans, credit cards, insurance, and even a timeshare. They are poorer than they needed to be, lost thousands due to poor advice of a home broker and mail solicitation of subprime mortgages. If they had gone to a credit union they would have saved tens of thousands. One almost lost her house due to the subprime adjustable rate mortgage she had and then was unable to refi due to her poor credit and high student loans. These personal experiences are why I'm such an advocate of personal finance education for all high school students and for the rest of us also!
  4. brandy1017

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    Too bad that isn't what happened. Why wasn't the resource RN used to cover for the ICU nurse rather than give the versed? Yes I read the ICU patient's nurse was covering another nurse's patients, but couldn't the resource nurse had done that as she had been an ICU nurse before? If you worked there and that was the common protocol why did things break down like this? Just asking your opinion. I've never given versed and wouldn't remember myself the generic name although I do know conscious sedation requires monitoring and there appears to have been no plan in place for the resource nurse to stay and monitor the patient. Was there a miscommunication, did she think the radiology nurse would be monitoring the patient? Where I work the radiology nurse would be able to give the med and monitor the patient.
  5. brandy1017

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    In response to the hell that rained down on Vandy and the threat to withhold medicare/medicaid funding, ( I missed the entirety of your quote Juan de la cruz, sorry). That's because they tried to cover it up! They were not forthright with the coroner or the charting in the patient's chart. Frankly, I'm not impressed with a hospital that makes nurses do housekeeping because that is all about Florence Nightingale as they made that pitch a few years back when they were cost cutting! They don't impress me at all! I agree the nurse was very careless, pulling out the med and not looking at it, not seeing the paralytic warning because she was too busy talking to her orientee. Sad that a 2 year nurse is considered experienced enough for a resource role, but that is what things are coming to when you drive out the majority of the experienced staff due to poor working conditions! Back before the corporate take over we had educators on the floor who really did there best to help nurses do a good, safe job and provide quality care. We actually had a "no talking" policy in the med room and we were not supposed to be interrupted during med pass to help prevent med errors. Sadly the educators all got the boot after the takeover. Everything is now on the computer even ACLS which is crazy if you ask me! Also if there was a med scanner in MRI this med error probably wouldn't have happened, but they the great Vandy hadn't gotten around to spending the money on that yet! So yes they bear some responsibility too!
  6. brandy1017

    I’m burnt out

    Then I suggest you take a couple mental health holidays before your 10 weeks to help you cope in the meantime. I never used to call in before I became a nurse, but the stress and short staffing I now need a mental health day once and a while, plus the stress triggers migraines for me. I don't feel guilty either. It's on them to staff the hospital. They need to hire more nurses. They could use agency or travelers or offer bonuses for new hires, tuition reimbursement as well. They certainly should be offering a good bonus for coming in on your days off as well. Stop letting them guilt trip you into working more than you want. Stop answering the phone. If your manager complains suggest they hire more staff. They definitely won't do that if they can cajole their current nurses to work themselves to death. Perhaps on your leave you look for another job where you will be happier. Hope you enjoy your time off. Hang in there and take care of yourself. You said you moved for this job and have no friends. Perhaps you can now get a job where you used to live where your friends and family are. You now have experience, remake your resume, all the float pool experience can be your ticket to whatever job or specialty you are interested in.
  7. brandy1017

    Are We Letting Our Patients Suffer?

    You are so lucky. It is crazy here no national health care and so many things OTC in Europe and Canada that you need a Dr visit and script for here. I have migraines and am lucky to have a Dr willing to prescribe pain meds in addition to preventative meds and triptans, many are not. He is under pressure both from the govt and his health system not to prescribe narcotics at all. There are so many people now left to live with untreated chronic pain some turn to street drugs, alcohol and even suicide. Even the pain Dr's don't want to give out narcotics these days. What is really sad is the judgment heaped on people with pain, oh your just a drug seeker. Unless you've experienced real pain you have no idea what it is like to go thru! I've dealt with pain in my life but thankfully it was episodic, not constant. I feel for those that live with constant daily pain and hope we can find better treatments for them.
  8. brandy1017

    Travel Nursing: I'm in Maine Now! Part 2

    You're a good storyteller, makes me want to take a vacation and check out Maine. Looking forward to more installments! I've only worked as a floor nurse, but am curious to learn about others experiences. I've worked with several travelers some young and old and they all have their own unique history to share. Some do it only for a short stint and others make it a lifelong career. Thank you for sharing your experiences and letting us live vicariously through them.
  9. brandy1017

    Knaves, Fools, and the Pitfalls of Micromanagement

    Wow! The micromanagement you describe is over the top. I'd be looking for a new job! That's one thing we don't have to worry about where we work because we have so few admin staff left! lol
  10. As someone whose worked in the front lines for over 20 years I can't like this statement enough! I've been watching working conditions and staffing ratios deteriorate while patient acuity has increased tremendously! This will not end well! It's time to fight for safe staffing ratios like CA has!
  11. brandy1017

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    You are talking about two different jobs. RN jobs are not the same as NP jobs and I don't see RN's being replaced by NP in the future because frankly it would be too costly for the employer. NP's due seem to be replacing primary MD's and family doctors but simply because most doctors are choosing more highly paid specialties as they cannot afford not to given the high student loan burden and delayed entry into the workforce. Both employers and govt are happy with this arrangement because most places pay NP's half of what a Dr is paid for the same job! But an NP won't replace RN's those are two separate jobs.
  12. brandy1017

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    I don't think it plays out like this very often, although economically Bob's way is better. As a floor nurse we don't spend a lot of time talking about what degree we have or where we went to college although they made a list while working toward Magnet. Truth is many ADN's haven't gone on to get a BSN and have been working with no problems some even in management until the Magnet status push for BSN only. Personally I think the only reason some hospitals are forcing older nurses to go back to school for a BSN is to discourage them and get them to resign since they are higher paid and if they leave then they can get a new grad for less! If they stay and take out loans for a BSN I think they got some perverse satisfaction in forcing the older higher paid nurses to spend their money or go into debt just to keep doing the same job. To me it reflects the disrespect and coercion that is rampant in nursing! If forced to get your BSN find the cheapest program, WGU is one of the cheapest it seems, and instead of student loans consider a home equity loan if need be!
  13. brandy1017

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    I just recently paid off my student loans and it is such a wonderful feeling to have that monkey off my back! But I think I need to keep proof in my safe that they are paid in full in case the Texas Rangers ever decide to come knocking at my door claiming I have unpaid student debt from decades earlier! Or even any two bit debt collector since student loans have no bankruptcy protections, what a racket!
  14. brandy1017

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    I agree 100% while hospitals are improving things like emergency response teams and new grad residencies, when it comes to safe and fair staffing ratios not so much! Ditto to a no lift environment with appropriate ceiling lifts etc to protect our backs and bodies! If hospitals wanted to support nurses and cut the turnover all they have to do is provide fair staffing ratios, CNA's and support staff, and adequate equipment including and especially lift equipment. That will go further than demanding a BSN; and if they want BSN's they should be willing to pay for it with generous tuition reimbursement! Tuition reimbursement has been cut in half where I work and a clause has been added denying it if you have a written warning in your file for one year and they write people up frequently over little things since this policy was added! Also they used to require a yearly seminar for the clinical ladder and pay up to $300 year for that, but they no longer made it mandatory. I'm sure it was to save money! You can actually still go to an employer paid seminar, but it isn't mandatory nor is it encouraged, rather you have to seek it out yourself!