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llg PhD, RN

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  1. llg

    I need a change!

    I would strongly advise against the OP going back to school at this time. It would be a shame for her to waste time, effort and money on an education if she does not yet know what type of work she wants to do long term. Too many people go to grad school without having an adequate sense of their identity as a nurse, the type of work they want to do, etc. They end up with student loans, degrees they don't know what to do with, and/or still unhappy with their careers because they haven't yet found the right path for them. Figure out the type of work you want to do by trying a few things while you are young. Then (and only then), invest in a graduate education to give you the credentials you need to get the jobs you know you want and that you will be happy with.
  2. llg

    I need a change!

    What opportunities exist in your workplace to expand your activities? For example ... precepting, charge nurse, teaching classes for new moms, teaching prenatal classes, fund-raising events, becoming certified as a post-partum nurse, becoming certified as a lactation counselor, participating in quality improvement projects, helping with staff education projects, participating in a local, regional, or national nursing organization, etc. etc. etc. Those are common "next steps" for new nurses who have successfully made the transition from student to professional -- and who are now looking for a "next step." Participating in such professional activities helps you to grow beyond you basic job and helps you develop a sense of the "bigger picture" of the nursing universe. As you try our and get experience with such activities, you interact with more experienced nurses who have chosen different paths in nursing as you develop new skills. You also get a chance to experience different nursing roles. After a while, you get a larger/deeper sense of your place within the nursing profession and begin to see career pathways that might be a good fit for you for the long term.
  3. llg

    Is an MSN worth it?

    I agree with the previous posters. It is a bad idea to throw money (time and energy) into an education that doesn't prepare you for a career that you want. What a waste! However, MSN's can definitely be worth it if you choose a program that prepares for a career doing work that you want to be doing. For most nurses, the MSN is the credential that gives them opportunities that include a jump in salary and/or a better work schedule and/or a better work-life balance. But before you jump into "any old program" and throwing your money, explore your long-term career options. Figure out the type of work that you want to do for a long-term career. And then choose a program and focus for your MSN that will support your long-term career plans. You don't sound ready for grad school at the moment. But if you feel you are ready for some sort of "next step," then look at some of the opportunities in your current place of employment to either advance up the ladder a bit ...or explore other aspects/roles within nursing ... or simply explore other patient populations to work with. Get involved in unit activities, committees, etc. Precept, take a Charge Nurse role, etc. You also might want to get certified in your specialty. Certification can be a valuable credential. Delay grad school a little until you know what type of career you are going to want long term.
  4. My experience as a student many decades ago was a "beat down," as they say. I just didn't fit into the culture -- especially with my junior year clinical instructor. (Yes, I had the same clinical instructor for my whole junior year! -- and she decided after 3 weeks that I just wasn't cut out to be a nurse. That was the worst school year of my life.) Anyway ... I survived. I hated it: it wasn't pretty, etc. But I got through it and went on to be a very good staff nurse and charge nurse after graduation. I was hesitant to go back to school because I had such a terrible undergrad experience -- but I turned out to be a terrific grad student (x2). I was made to be a grad student. I "ruled" the grad school world. And in the end, I have had a successful career. So if a nursing career is what you want -- keep your head down and survive. Get psychological help if you need it. Then move on with your life.
  5. llg

    New grad: I've failed at my first two RN jobs

    I think you should focus on less acute and/or slower paced work environments --not ICU (with fewer patients, but a LOT more complexity) -- not school nursing (which requires you to work independently, using expert judgement, without many close peers to support you), etc. You need a slower pace and less complex patients -- preferably in an environment where you will have peers easily available to help you when needed. What types of facilities exist in your area with those characteristics?
  6. llg

    Alert fatigue and sensory overload

    I totally agree with you on this. Too many steps, too much complexity, etc. contributes to the very errors they are meant to prevent.
  7. llg

    What if/Is it possible?

    I guess I disagree with a lot of people here. I think a good test taker could pass the test. It's just a test. The so-called "critical thinking" is just the ability to connect bits of information into a comprehensive whole and to interpret data correctly to form a valid conclusion. People can acquire that skill any number of ways. It doesn't have to be through nursing school clinicals. That being said ... just because I believe SOME people could pass NCLEX without actually going to nursing school does not mean that I believe everyone could. The majority of people would probably not pass. But some people could.
  8. llg

    Desperate and need advice

    Did you file disability forms with you school? If you are claiming special scheduling because of a physical disability, the school probably has a special procedure (and lots of paperwork) to document your need. Until the school's legal requirements are met regarding your request for special scheduling and approve that request, I don't believe they have any legal requirements to provide you with anything special. You'll need to find out what the legal procedure is for requesting accommodations for a disability ... and then work with you health care provider to meet the requirements for documenting the disability and justify your request. Of course ... if the school does not offer afternoon/evening clinicals for any students, there is nothing they can do to meet your request for those clinical hours.
  9. llg

    Were you a frequent flyer in you’re own school days

    Back when I was in primary school, we had an LPN as our school nurse. I can still picture her and remember her name. I rarely used her for anything as back then, we were allowed to take our own medicine, etc. Pulling my teeth in the middle of class to give a break during class. No nurse needed. For example, I remember that in 2nd grade, I took my bottle of cough syrup to school and took it at lunch as I was supposed to in the cafeteria. Then I dropped it in the hallway and it broke (glass bottle, of course) -- grape cough medicine all over the floor. I was mortified!
  10. llg


    I've had problems producing positive titers, too. I got the Rubella vaccine for the first time as soon as it became available -- back when I was in high school (early 1970's). I got another dose before nursing school (1975) ... and then again with my first job (1977) ... then another when I started my MSN program (1979) ... and I don't know exactly how many other times. I know I got it again for my PhD program in 1991. Anyway ... I've been told by many places that I am probably immune, I just don't show it in the titer. For my current job, that I've had for about 20 years, I was prepared to get the vaccine again. But fortunately, my titer came back at the bare minimal level of positive: so, I didn't have to get yet another dose. You're not alone.
  11. llg

    Getting a job in pediatrics as a new grad

    Where I work (a children's hospital) it is competitive in some ways, but not others. It's competitive in that we strongly prefer new grads who have gone to good schools -- ones with good reputations and high NCLEX pass rates. We only hire new grads who are BSN's or only a semester or two away from getting their BSN's. So if you are not graduating from such a school, it is unlikely you would be chosen by my hospital -- and those new grads probably perpetuate the perception that it is highly competitive. Also, we look for people who have done things like externships, senior capstone experiences, work as a tech etc. in peds. You are such a person. For my hospital, that would be a strong point in your favor. Again, many of the new grads who apply have nothing like that in their background and little experience working with kids in general. It sounds like you have been doing lots of things right to fulfill your peds goals. I'd advise you to keep doing what you've been doing -- and try to make a positive impression on the people you work with, etc. You've gotten the "right credentials;" now you just have to demonstrate that you would be a good employee -- reliable and pleasant to work with. Good luck!
  12. llg

    job forcing app on personal phone

    Could question. I wish I had facts to contribute. I am just about the only person on the leadership team at my hospital who still carries a pager. Everyone else uses their personal phones. When asked or teased about it, I tell them that this is what the hospital provides me. If they want me to use a person phone, they'll have to provide me with one.
  13. llg

    Head hunters be like...

    Years ago, a recruiter was trying to get me to interview for a position that I was extremely under-qualified for. I was 26 years old, with 2 years of staff nurse experience and just graduating with my MSN at the time -- and she wanted me to interview to be the Head (Assistant Vice President?) of the Maternal-Child Division of a large university hospital. She must have been being paid based on the number of candidates she presented or something. I couldn't get her to let me alone until I told her, "I wouldn't want to work for anyone stupid enough to hire me for that position." She was shocked that I would say such a thing, but she left me alone after that.
  14. llg

    Threatened by employer

    I'm with Asystole on this one. I have worked for many hospitals in my career and I have never bet my financial security on the hope that my employer would back me to such an extent that I wouldn't need to protect myself. We should all be protecting ourselves ... always 1. Documenting appropriately -- including documenting that we have noticed our supervisors of a problem, notify the doctor, etc. 2. Having our own professional liability insurance. The employer's insurance covers them, not you. The insurance company's attorneys work for the insurance company, not you. The employer's attorneys work for the employer, not you. Staring to see the theme here? If push comes to shove, you will need a team of people working for YOU, not the other people. 3. I firmly believe that my employers would do their best to protect me -- but only up to a point. They are good people and would try to do what is right. But in the end, they will put their own needs and preferences ahead of mine. I am not so naive to believe that anybody else is going to sacrifice themselves for me.
  15. llg

    Effective use of Nurse Educator position

    How do you currently evaluate your educational activities? Use your course evaluations to feed into your planning for future activities. Ask what additional topics they would like. Ask them about what formats they prefer. Ask what time of day ... etc. Be sure to use a variety of formats because no one format (or time of day) works best for everyone. Some people are visual learners and would prefer a poster or handout. Others don't remember what they read and learn much better in a lecture or discussion format ... etc. Also use your quality improvement data to feed into your education. That data often shows what the staff does well and what they don't do well. That data will also provide evidence of whether or not your education was effective at improving practice. Showing that you are improving practice can get you a lot of administrative support, more money, etc. Make sure you understand the difference between education "needs" and educational "wants." Those of just a few thoughts off the top of my head.