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jjjoy LPN

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Content by jjjoy

  1. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage? Maybe not so much . . .

    I do think it's easier to push for BSN-entry in tight times; in the long-run, though, is it sustainable? Or maybe we as an ever-changing society need to go through a crisis ...BSN-required, not enough BSNs both willing and adequately prepared to work bedside more than just a year or two, increased costs to make bedside more appealing along with worsening 'shortage' of nurses (willing & able to work at bedside, that is), and then what? heavy recruiting of international nurses who have fewer options in their home country than US BSNs have in the US? increased role for unlicensed personnel in nursing care?
  2. jjjoy

    Nursing Shortage? Maybe not so much . . .

    I agree, but that argument doesn't really address the issue. Anyone with any amount of experience over another in a certain area is going to 'run circles' around a person without that experience, no matter how much the other person knows or what degrees/certifications they may have. I'll bet we can even find a number of examples of non-nurses who could run circles around an inexperienced new nursing grad (maybe they've been taking care of very ill relatives or were military medics or the like). Heck, maybe two years of pre-licensure nursing school is arleady really more than is needed. (Actually, I like the idea of granting some level of licensure to second year nursing students so that they aren't so limited in clinicals).
  3. Don't take this as discouragement; just one person's perspective that may or may not help you prepare. I was really looking forward to experiencing student life at UCLA and found it sometimes hard to find there. Better than most CC's? Definitely! But it's a big school with a large commuter and off-campus student base. The place tends to clear out on weekends, so much so that fraternities throw their parties on Thursdays instead of Fridays. The nursing school is in the health sciences complex which is as good as off-campus in relation to 'regular' students. There's little to no overlap with the rest of the university. You'll have to make a special effort to find ways to get involved on campus - and nursing school don't match up well with the schedules of 'regular' students. Just so you know, nursing school curriculum is much more structured and more time-intensive than most other undergrad programs. And that doesn't include studying, preparing for clinical days, and travel time to and from off site clinical locations. See if you can get a copy of a schedule to get a feel for it. If you are already accepted to the school of nursing and are considering dorm living, inquire about being accomodated at the grad student dorms. First off, it's *right* *next* *door* to the nursing school (as opposed to a 20+ minute walk up and down a hill to the undergrad dorms). At UCLA, undergrad dorms tend to be mostly first and second year students, with upperclassmen moving out to shared apartments. As an upperclassman with serious amounts of coursework and graduation not all that far off, it was at times frustrating to be surrounded by 18-yr-olds just starting college, many clueless about what they wanted in school, some just wanting to party. Grad students, on the other hand, know how to party, too, but they have figured out some kind of balance already. Another option to look into is Co-op Housing. If you're not looking for luxury, not only is it more affordable than the dorms, it's a wider mix of student types (again, not all first year 18yr olds) and right amongst the off-campus student-packed apartments and few surviving fraternity houses (Greek life isn't that big at UCLA). It's not any less convenient than the inconveniently located undergrad dorms. Finally, the diminished Greek life at UCLA means many sorority houses have been converted to other purposes, including general student housing. This housing is the absolute closest to the heart of student life at UCLA (yes, MUCH more convenient than 'on-campus' housing). These boarding houses aren't owned or operated by UCLA, and I'm not sure where you'd find for listings for that these days. They aren't necessarily all female anymore, I don't think. Enjoy whatever you end up doing!!!
  4. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    Here's a thought about the OP's experience. The L&D nurse may have interpretted the OPs introducing herself as a nurse as being a self-aggrandizing proposition "I'm one of you so you should treat me differently than the average visitor." And thus the rude, defensive response "You're not one of us unless you've done this type of work". I'm *not* saying that's what the OP meant or that it would justify such a rude reply.
  5. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    Suggesting clearer differentiation between types of nurses doesn't mean that I think any one kind is better, more legitimate, more important, etc. "I'm a nurse, too" doesn't really mean more than both parties have gone to nursing school and passed boards. And despite the reality of the wide range of nursing out there, there is still the conception WITHIN much of the nursing community that 'real' nursing is bedside acute care. My suggestion is simply that acute care nursing be habitually called acute care nursing so that it doesn't get mistaken for being the very essence of what 'real' nursing is.
  6. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    I was trying to say that many people's concept of "a real nurse" is that of an acute care nurse; I wasn't trying to imply that that concept is accurate. Not at all. I was trying to say (apparently not very successfully) that one needn't necessarily feel *insulted* by an ignorant comment (hurt perhaps, but not necessarily intentionally put down).
  7. jjjoy

    Signing R.N., B.S.N. to name after retirement?

    Just to be overly analytic about terminology... if the term 'nurse' is supposed to only refer to licensed nurses, as some arguments go, then there is no such thing as an unlicensed nurse - at least not legally! I suppose it's too long to sign off - retired person formerly licensed as Registered Nurse.
  8. jjjoy

    Not a real nurse?

    It's touchy issue. What is meant by "real"? Usually, what's often meant by "real nurse" is someone responsible for direct care of medically unstable patients (or patients prone to becoming unstable, such as having procedures, in labor, etc). It's not that another kind of nurse is "just pretending" to be a nurse; they just have such a different skill set that doesn't fit many nurses' self-concept as a nurse. So "real" in that context means "different than" *their concept* of nurse as opposed to "pretender". I think that it would be good for the profession of nursing to more clearly designate the unique specialization of acute care/medical nursing in relation to the wider general field of nursing practice. It would clear up a lot of confusion and misunderstandings both within the field ("real nurse") and for those looking in ("the position requires an RN, so any RN can do it, right?")
  9. jjjoy

    Student loans - worth it?

    Also be aware that the Bay Area has been one of the toughest job markets in the nation for nurses, and new nurses in particular, for quite some time now. I understand that many have had to move out of the area to land their first nursing job. Perhaps there is a state univ BSN program you can transfer to elsewhere in the state with relatively lower tuition and lower cost of living than the Bay Area? If you work while going to school and share an apartment with other students, you may be able to keep your costs lower than living at home and going to an expensive private program. Another thought is if you can land a job or two these days is to take advantage of living at home and sock a bunch of money away for school in few years. Those couple of years would go by faster than you can imagine and meanwhile you could be also be working on building a foundation in nursing & health care... working in a hospital, volunteering, becoming an EMT, etc. Just thoughts! I know trying to make alternate plans for nursing school is a real pain because it seems that every program has different requirements, deadlines, applications processes. Best wishes!
  10. jjjoy

    Lawyer to Nurse

    Perhaps a bit of a similarity between law and nursing is that once you have the degree/license/credentials to be a lawyer or nurse, it can feel difficult to justify moving into a completely different field. So many people envy the qualifications of RN or JD (for different reasons generally, but envy nonetheless) and can't understand someone turning away from the opportunities those degrees potentially afford, especially when there's such a wide range of types of work such as found in law and nursing. I haven't sensed this same type of incredulousness when someone with a teaching credential wants to leave teaching.
  11. jjjoy

    Need help to convince parents!

    Find out about specific programs you may interested in. What are the pre-reqs? When does one apply for the program (some BSN programs don't accept students until junior year)? Are there any waitlists? An ADN may be shorter on paper (eg 2 years) but between pre-requisites, classes filling up, and wait lists for nursing school, earning an ADN can easily take four or more years for some students. Many ADN programs have only a limited number of seats (eg 50-100) and hundreds of qualified applicants; so the competition can be fierce. Some programs may have a waitlist or a lottery. However, things may be different at the schools near you. So go find out! BSN programs often may not have quite as much competition for many reasons such as cost and convenience. ADN programs usually cost less, are more widely available across communities, and are more accessible to 'non-traditional' students ('traditional' being 18-22yr old full-time students). Best wishes in your pursuits!
  12. jjjoy

    Fundies is killing me

    I agree with the advice to check out some NCLEX study guides. Even if you understand and remember everything you're studying in fundamentals, some kinds of nursing test questions can be confusing and lead to poor test performance. It's worth giving it a try! Check out more than one study guide as they may come at test taking strategies differently, and you're looking for a something that will address whatever obstacles you may running up against. Look for sections focusing specifically on fundamentals questions. Good luck!
  13. I'm curious about this... are you also a nurse or have a background in nursing? Did you intentionally aim to become a statistician or was it a 'just sorta fell into it' thing? What's that field look like going forward? Would you recommend it to anyone? I enjoyed my biostatistics course in school but nursing seemed so much more practical ('always in demand'). I appreciate your sharing about your experience and I relate to it. I do best with a balance between working alone (focused, analyzing) and working with people (collaborating, directly assisting)... maybe an 80/20 balance? 70/30? In my current data management role in a health facility, I find myself leaning towards the numbers/systems side and away from the nitty gritty rubber-meets-the-road clinical aspect. However, I think I'm pretty good at translating between the gray world of clinical care (every case is different, health care provision is not an assembly line) and the more black and white world of administration (policies, check boxes, bottom lines).
  14. The vast differences between some nursing specialities tends to lead me to question if just one generic 2 yr program for most types of RNs is sufficient. Can you imagine if most teachers had just one generic teacher's credential for most all levels and subjects and the rest was learned on the job without any formal evaluation or certification of directly relevant training and competency? I'm not saying any one kind of nurse is more or less "real"... just different. I imagine certain kinds of physicians get dismissed as "not real" if they can't manage a hospitalized patient, for instance.
  15. That made me laugh! Bedside clinical nursing definitely involves problem-solving - it just tends to be more pulling-the-drowning-villagers-from-the-rushing-river problem-solving versus why-the-heck-are-so-many-villagers-falling-in-the-river-in-the-first-place problem-solving. Both are valuable problem-solving skills! I'm better at the latter but if I'm in acute crisis I sure as heck want someone good at the former by my side!
  16. jjjoy

    Did your nursing program cover 12 lead EKG?

    Also, I wouldn't go into debt over it or consider it 'a must' by any means, but if the cost is something you *could* afford and if really might help you land a tech job, it could very well be worth it. Just being in the class might afford networking opportunities (finding out about job openings and getting recommendations from the instructor). Another angle is that while nursing school may cover the same material, it would be review for you and how nice would that be given the sheer volume of other new material dumped on nursing students all at the same time? But again, I'd try to find out all I could about the quality of the course before paying that much for it.
  17. jjjoy

    Did your nursing program cover 12 lead EKG?

    For $700 I hope they teach more than how to place the leads! In school and on the job, I got crash courses (nor more than 4 hours each) in ECGs (lead placement, how ECGs work and basic interpretation) pretty cursory, though functional. And one can always read up on things without a class. However, for my own personal learning preferences in regard to professional development, I would consider shelling out (investing) my own money for a GOOD, THOROUGH ECG course. Before doing so, I would have to really investigate the program to see if it truly offered more in depth exploration and intensive relevant practice that would help me to really nail it all down more than the quickie overviews, self study, and catch-as-catch-can-on-the-job already available to me.
  18. I'd be pleasantly surprised if every hospital in a 50 mile radius of where you offers 9 month new grad residencies, unless it's also that area hospitals aren't hiring many new grads at all. These days, new grads are having a hard time landing any job these days in many geographic areas and end up in the catch-22 of "need experience to get a job, need a job to get experience". But, yes, many places would still consider more than 8 weeks of preceptorship for a new grad RN *incredibly* generous and would want to count the newbie as a fully qualified RN FTE for staffing purposes ASAP.
  19. jjjoy

    Possible to get straight A's in nursing school?

    It is possible - but whether or not it's possible for you in your particular program with the specific instructors (and their testing and grading styles) that you encounter to get straight A is a whole 'nother ball of wax. Nursing school tests and care plans can be less than straight forward in what exactly one is expected to know and how to earn top marks. Yes, even multiple choice questions can at times be less than black and white in regards to which is the "best" answer (on nursing tests, sometimes none of the answers is ideal and you still have to choose the "best" of the less-than-perfect options, which can be problematic if the instructor's wording on test questions leaves you feeling uncertain of how to prioritize). Some instructors refused to give samples of what they expected in care plans, and when you'd turn in what another instructor would consider a great care plan, the new instructor rips it apart and gives you a low grade because it's not what they were looking for. Add into that the margin of error in nursing school is usually very slim (eg 82% just for a C). In other words, getting A's in nursing school isn't always just a matter of working harder and studying harder. If you're seriously more interested in practicing medicine as opposed to nursing, I'd suggest considering getting some other kind of hands on clinical experience while earning a bachelors in a premed area. For example, become an EMT or patient care tech (usually trained to do more than CNAs). Nursing school by itself will do little to prepare you for medical school as it's focus is very different. Nor will nursing school necessarily provide you with strong clinical competencies and the kind of experience nurses are often valued for. A lot is covered and crammed into nursing school, and you often end up with just a quick introduction to a lot and mastery of none. Liability concerns can also limit what a nursing student is allowed to practice. So its really the first few years working as a full-fledged RN that develop clinical competenencies and build experience.
  20. I'd go even further and say RN training/certification, at least for acute care settings and many other specialities, should involve residencies as well. All of that valuable experience that RNs bring to the table as NPs is often learned in the same way that is by non-RN-experience NPs... on-the-job-tossed-to-the-wolves-sink-or-sink-style. Is it really any better for a new RN with nil experience outside of school to have *full* RN responsibilities in an acute care setting after just 6-8 weeks, relying on harried colleagues for backup & guidance, than for a new NP with nil experience outside of school to have *full* NP responsibilites just a short time after graduation, relying on busy colleagues for back up & guidance? Either way, all of that valuable experience that a nursing background provides is often gained AFTER training instead of being part of training. That's inevitable to some point, but I think several areas of nursing would be well-served by a more rigorous transitional clinical training model.
  21. I can definitely see this argument come into play in regard to the idea that prior, related RN experience is not, and need not be, a requirement for some areas of "advanced nursing practice.
  22. jjjoy

    Second Guessing My Decision :( Mistake???

    I think you had valid reasons for seeking out a hospital job as a relatively new RN. It *can* be tough to land an acute care nursing job if you not only have been away from the bedside for a long time, but never worked there at all as an RN. And you have valid reasons now for wondering if the family practice position was better for the time being given your family circumstances. I'd like to think in such situations there is no *one* right answer. Whatever you choose to do will have it's costs and rewards, many of which you can't really predict because there are so just so many possible variables that come into play as time goes on. I'm sorry it's such a struggle right now to juggle everything. Best wishes in working things out!!
  23. jjjoy

    Quit nursing school, now what?

    When I decided clinical nursing wasn't for me, I wanted to jump back into some other program so that I could feel more marketable. However, since I wasn't sure what would work and I'd already had one miss with nursing, I decided to use my bachelor's to 'just get a job' instead of going back to school. I'm currently working with data management at a hospital. It's been good for me as I've not only goten to learn lots in 'the real world' of health care but I'm also getting a much better sense of my own preferences and weaknesses in the work place while getting paid - as opposed to paying to go through another professional program that I'm not really sure about but sure sounds good. If you're still interested in health care, hospitals have tons of non-clinical staff (administration, medical records, quality improvement, purchasing, etc). There are tons of medical-realated distributors and manufacturers out there (supplies, devices, pharmaceuticals, info systems) with a wide variety of possibilities - from research and development to sales. If there are any university research centers, there may be something there up your alley. I know getting a job these days is not easy, but clearly you've got lots going for you with a bach in bio and having made the cut into nursing school. It *is* a tough job market. Just sending out apps probably won't get you too far. Chatting up employees, getting to know folks in HR, doing informational interviews can help you learn more about various opportunities and may help you 'luck into' a job (right place, right time). Best wishes!!
  24. jjjoy

    Acne and working with patients

    Can you cover it up with flesh tone paper tape (the kind that is gentle to the skin) or one of those small circle bandages or even one of those slightly larger square bandages? It may feel weird to have a bandage/tape on your face, but I'm more comfortable with someone staring at that than at a glowing angry red welt on my face. Bandaging/taping also keeps me from fidgeting with it. Just a suggestion that may or may not work in your case.
  25. jjjoy

    A real nurse

    In regard to the question of 'real' doctors... what would one tend to think of an MD who never did any residency and went right to work in, say, pharmaceutical sales or medical writing or lab work, for the next thirty years, never returning to any form of traditional 'doctoring'? We can also ask about 'real' teachers... It's not usual to expect a HS algebra teacher to be able to quickly transition to teaching first grade. Is either one more 'real' than the other? Is a Sunday school teacher a 'real' teacher or not? A one-on-tutor? What if an instructor has prior experience in a 'real' classroom? What if they don't? Do teachers tend to consider their principals as fellow teachers or as having 'gone to the other side'?