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MK2002

MK2002

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  1. MK2002

    California Nursing Shortage Critical....

    The California shortage has been discussed a few times before. What was omitted this time around is salary. In the past discussions other board members often cited typical salaries of $40,000 - $50,000 as understandably unattractive. It would seem nearly impossible to live on this in a place like San Francisco or numerous other inflated areas of California.
  2. MK2002

    Am interested in buying a notebook...

    I own a Dell Latitude. It has been excellent for the 4 years that I have had it. If I were going to buy another laptop, then I would definitely purchase a Dell. A recommendation I would like to make is that, if you plan to carry the computer between locations, then you should buy an extended warranty and/or service contract. The AC adaptor and the mouse port get a lot of wear. The same is true of the drive ports if you swap frequently. By the way, do any of you know if Dell still includes a compressed image on the hard drive? I assume they continue to include this feature. You will love it in the event you ever have to re-image the computer. Just a few minutes after you start the procedure the computer is back to the same state as when you first took it out of the box.
  3. MK2002

    What would you do?

    Scott, I live in nearby Dallas, and I have many of the same interests and challenges as you do. I do not have a family, however. Last year I earned about 90K. Accordingly, I am also looking for a career that will both hold my interest and pay well. It is nearly impossible to save for retirement on say 45K. Not that I care to retire, but health issues eventually force one into it. During the past couple months I checked out a few Texas nursing schools, including UTA, which I visited. Let me be very clear in warning you that admission to nursing schools is becoming more competitive every day. The word is out about the so-called nursing shortage. UTA had over 600 applicants for their upcoming 100 openings. I found the same ratio at UTH when I visited there recently--over 700 applicants for 144 spaces in the Fall of 2003, and the application period is still open. Until the economy fully recovers and the media stops promoting the artificial nursing shortage, the applicant pool is going to increase. You might as well assume that in the near future the applicant pool will swell to 1,000 candidates for each 100 openings. Regarding the MDA vs. CRNA choice, you have to do what interests you more rather than think in terms of time and lost wages. For example, if having the title "doctor" has always meant something to you, then you might feel as if you settled for second best. Which type of work interests you more? Perhaps you don't know at this point in time. Continue researching both careers. You will be in either one a long time, maybe forever. MICU had a good point about being in charge. As a director you are one who is by nature a leader, whether or not you realize it. Keep this in mind. You can live off loans, but it can be difficult. For the past 4 years I have recorded my income and most monthly expenses in an Excel spreadsheet. I suggest that you do this also, or use some other application, such as Quicken or MS Money. You really must have an accurate accounting of your cash flow and what can be eliminated from your current budget. It is easy to overlook numerous little expenses when you have a good salary. Example: I love to buy hardcover books. Often I have spent $100 on them month after month. It sure is easy to do when you earn 90K per year. Consider spending an additional year or two at your current job to save money for when you will need it later. Herein is a possible strategy. When the economy recovers and the media moves on to other issues, the nursing school applicant pool will decline. You could time this opportunity by staying at your current job a bit longer. Admission will be less competitive later, and you will have saved more money. As others have advised, do not worry about your age. Young people have little idea of where they are going. They cannot imagine having several careers throughout their lifetime. I too am in my 40's. Changing careers at this age might not be easy. But you know very well what risk is about. Like you, I too am tired of being in a career where every day you wonder if it is your last. Which is more risky? Changing careers in middle age or becoming unemployable in middle age?
  4. MK2002

    Keeping Books - Financial Programs

    You won't learn a lot about this application in one session. Whether you are using Quicken or Quick Books Pro it takes a long time to learn. That's why a lot of users give up on Quicken and MS Money for home use. They cannot justify spending weeks of time learning something that may only help them balance their checkbook. Buy a book or a video tutorial. At least it will not be as frustrating as striving to understand how to use the product right out of the box. Keep trying to improve your skill. Depending on your effort and available time, after a month or two you should be able to do most useful things with the application.
  5. MK2002

    Christmas Schedule

    I had to work Thanksgiving, and I will be working a couple more 12-hour shifts during Christmas. My co-workers and I celebrated Thanksgiving with each of us bringing in something. We had tons of food, more than we could possibly eat. The thought of working on these holidays really bothers me. On the other hand, I will earn a couple thousand dollars extra over the course of a month, so it will be rewarding in one way.
  6. MK2002

    Do you feel stuck in nursing?

    I agree 100% with cheerfuldoer. It is NOT nursing that has you stuck in your career; it is your bills and possibly your financial commitment to family members. Even then your predicament is created through the perception of your situation. With the economy currently in recession it can be very difficult to change careers. But there is some evidence the economy is changing now. So if you don't like nursing, you might have other opportunities in the years ahead. Hopefully, you will just find another area of nursing that interests you. This absolutely blows my mind every time I read it!!! And let me tell you, I have read it more than once here on this website. I am convinced there is no nursing shortage. Having been involved with other careers with real shortages, I find those patterns easy to identify. Managers are quick to hire new personnel and eliminate the shortage. I don't see that happening in this career. The supply meets the demand. Perhaps better said, the oversupply meets the demand.
  7. I lived in Florida for 11 years, and now live in Dallas, TX where I have been for over 4 years. There are good and bad points with living in either state. Your preferences will make your decisions for you. If you work in the right place in Florida, you can find wages comparable to Texas. The Florida climate is warmer than Texas and more humid than Dallas (but comparable to Houston). Houston wages are higher because that city is much larger than Ft. Worth. In regard to utilities, Texas ranks VERY high for electricity cost. A few years ago when we had summer temperatures over 110 degrees many homeowners were paying as much as $400 per month for electric. Be suspicious when a homeowner tells you he/she is paying a low figure like $100 (and probably for a 5,000 square foot home too!). They are obviously going without climate control. A LOT of them hide this fact from themselves. They will hide it from you, and claim they have ice-cold air conditioning and toaster warm heat all the time. Beware. An inexpensive one-bedroom apartment can be found in either Florida or Texas. $600 per month is quite possible for a one-bedroom apartment. I pay $550, and many people pay more like $700. For a two-bedroom apartment $600 would be a bit low. You might have to deal with unpleasantries like crime and insects. Taxes are comparable for these two states. Both have no tax on personal income. With regard to divorce, Florida is much more fair with equal division of assets to both parties. Another interesting point is the different types of housing available. Florida has numerous condos, if you prefer low cost and less maintenance. When I lived there the going rate was $60,000 and up for a new unit. It is probably more now with the recent housing boom. By contrast, you just don't find those condo deals here in the Dallas area. I suppose the same is true for Houston. Houses rather than condos dominate the housing market here in Dallas.
  8. MK2002

    CRNA FAQ Sheet

    More of numerous questions that often get asked... How do I meet/shadow a CRNA? How many schools should I apply to? Which critical care is acceptable experience? How many years of critical care experience should I have? What questions are asked during the school interview? How should I dress for the interview? How long is CRNA school? What is the general range of CRNA salaries? How many CRNA's are currently working full time? Part time? What GPA should I have for successful admission? What are the minimum GRE scores for successful admission? Should I buy a PDA? Which model?
  9. MK2002

    school troubles

    College is not easy. It is even more competitive than average in Utah, where you are located. Statistics is more difficult than Algebra. A lot of students struggle with it, so don't feel bad. It becomes especially difficult during the second half of the term. Don't think of your money as wasted. View it as an investment in yourself. Sure you might have to retake those classes--and maybe others as well. It is just the game of getting through school. You will have many more challenges ahead, both in school and at work some day. Try to stay focused and believe that it will be worth the effort when you are done.
  10. MK2002

    new report: 'health care system in crisis'

    I too was outraged by that CNBC interview. According to the guest, $400 million in personal stock options is no big deal. OK then. Why doesn't he just distribute say $100 million of that for new nurses and raise the salaries of the current personnel?
  11. MK2002

    Broadband and School

    Be sure it is only $115 monthly before you agree to anything. Often there are a lot of hidden extra charges. I know what you mean about the high cost. Some individuals sell a portion of their bandwidth to others in order to reduce their own cost. I have not been happy about paying $100 per month for ISDN these past 3 years. But it sure beats dialup any day. Expect the future to be dominated by the cable companies. Time has shown that DSL is not a profitable technology. One after another the DSL providers and hardware manufacturers went bankrupt over the past 2 years, and it is not over yet. What a tragic end to something that began as a great idea. My apartment complex was supposed to get DSL. Then a month ago the leasing office told me that the DSL provider they had chosen filed for bankruptcy. I was not surprised in the least. Supposedly, the complex will be getting cable data service in January. I will believe it when I see it.
  12. MK2002

    Broadband and School

    Even though you cannot get cable or DSL you might be able to get ISDN. Few people are aware of this choice for their data connection. The only problem is that ISDN is expensive. Usually, the cost is about $100 per month for everything (line charge + ISP account + annual maintenance fee + numerous taxes). If you can afford it, then get ISDN. It is much better than dialup. You will have a continuous connection with a decent speed of 128K.
  13. MK2002

    buying meds online--from Canada?

    Buying meds from Canada is a frequent topic in the news. As recently as about a week ago someone from Canada was a guest on CNBC and discussed the issue at length. There are so many Americans buying these items from their northern neighbors that you should not have any problems. I have not purchased them from Canada, but I have obtained them through other countries. Look for a pharmacy website that shows a photo of the product and/or ask the website owner for more information, if necessary. The owners are usually quite helpful. I have not heard of any cases where buyers were shipped counterfeit meds. These incidents should be extremely minimal at best. The business in legitimate meds is so lucrative there is little reason for the vendor to take risks since shipping meds to the USA is already under scrutiny by both Canada and the USA. One issue to be aware of is the payment for these products, which is usually a credit card. Be sure that your lender allows charges by Canadian businesses. I have had charges by businesses in other countries denied at first. After I contacted my lender the second charge from the same business was processed without any trouble.
  14. MK2002

    medical icons/clipart

    Most people use the images in Word. However, these are limited and all too familiar. If you really want to produce something special, then I suggest buying one of the many clip art collections. They are low cost and they offer thousands of images. Don't worry about copyrights and using the images. The software company is concerned with those who put them on websites, not those using the images for a company newsletter or something similar. Images in a copyrighted collection should not be distributed freely as through download. A few years ago I bought the ClickArt 125,000 collection by Broderbund for $48 at CompUSA. Upon regstration I was sent a disk and book with an additional 10,000 images, if I remember correctly. The current collection has grown to 250,000 images, and costs only $30 to order it online. The collection I bought came with several CDs and 2 large visual color catalogs of the images. You must have a printed catalog when using a large image bank. Trying to view images one at a time is impractical. I checked my Borderbund image catalogs. They have every image you listed except for the adult diaper. That will be difficult to find. Here is the link to the company website, which also has some free medical images: http://www.broderbund.com/SubCategory.asp?CID=614
  15. MK2002

    required nursing reference books?

    Why not just click on the Edit button afterward? You can fix whatever went wrong the first time. Better yet, paste everything into MS Word to spell check and grammar check before sending the post. :)
  16. MK2002

    Can I read my own chart?

    Yes, you can do it. Just ask nicely, and if that does not work, then hold your ground. Several years ago I saw a few doctors for a chronic problem. I kept wondering what they were writing, especially since on the second, third, fourth visits there seemed to be no logic to what they told me. Eventually, I had enough. I told the receptionist at one office that payment would be withheld until I received a copy of my chart. My request was honored immediately.
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