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jjjoy LPN

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  1. jjjoy

    New Grad who doesn't feel ready....

    How come schools don't use that as a recruitment line?
  2. jjjoy

    Everyone's wearing scrubs...is this good?

    From those young enough to have grown up surrounded by health professionals in real life and on TV in colorful scrubs?
  3. jjjoy

    Is it like this at every school or is it just mine?

    Many college courses, especially gen ed courses such as intro to anthropology or college algebra, are offered at several different time slots taught by several different instructors each term. So some students can build their school schedule such that classes are only on Mon, Wed, Fri or avoid early morning classes or the like. And if you don't get into a course this term, well, you can just take it next term, no problem. As they get further along in their studies, most students will find their options for required classes more limited but a majority of undergrad students have much more flexibility and choice in the scheduling of their coursework than someone in a nursing program.
  4. I'm puzzled as to why it's so puzzling... not really, I just don't think that it's that *completely* out of left field for someone to figure that a higher degree in an area of relevance might result in a higher pay scale. Many large employers over the years *have* offered incentives, such a higher pay scales, for certain degrees & other further training that relates their line of work (as opposed to someone getting a degree in ancient Greek history and expecting that to translate to a raise at their nursing job). Someone might need a reality check but being confused and disappointed by the lack of any real professional recognition for an RN with a BSN seems understandable, especially if the school overhyped the advantages a BSN would give their graduates.
  5. jjjoy

    Is it like this at every school or is it just mine?

    In my BSN program, there was just one section of each core nursing course taught once a year, so there was no choice in lecture days/times/lecturer. We all had our clinical hours on the same days at the same times as well. We were split up into smaller clinical sections each with its own clinical instructor and on a different unit, and for most of the program we had no choice of which section/unit/instructor we were assigned to.
  6. jjjoy

    How to Study for Nursing Exams

    Have you tried any NCLEX review books? That can sometimes help in getting a better handle on test questions. There are many previous threads on this very topic. You should be able to find a lot of previous advice already out there. Best wishes!
  7. And to clarify, I did figure that you all probably had proven critical thinking skills. I very intentionally put the words "honing critical thinking skills" in quotation marks. I just remember too many times when a test question was contested and clarification or correction was asked of the instructor, the instructor would brush off the concern with a statement like "if you were using your critical thinking skills that question would make perfect sense to you. We can't waste class time on this." Thus, with such a small margin of error between pass and fail, passing tests in some classes wasn't about having mastered the material covered, it was more about test-taking strategies for sometimes poorly written questions. Still, I think one would get further with a "here's what I did wrong, here's what I learned, here's what I'm going to do" appeal than a "the instructor provided inadequate preparation and lousy tests and I shouldn't have been failed" even if that's true.
  8. Thanks for the update! Let us know what happens. May the force be with you!
  9. jjjoy

    May give up my dream of being a nurse

    The wait list thing is really too bad. There's only so much you can do about that. You'll have to explore your options and make some tough choices. No fun! In regard to housing, though, you may be able to work out something affordable without having to move home, whether or not you're a student and whether or not you have financial aid that includes housing. There may be more alternatives out there than you're currently aware of. If it looks like you're really stuck with nowhere to go but home and home is abusive, someone at your school may be able to help you identify other local resources. It's worth asking, and asking several different people in different departments since some people just aren't helpful or don't know. Near my college, it wasn't uncommon for 4-5 students to split a small, 2 bedroom apartment off campus, which was actually a lot more affordable than student housing; rent could be covered with a part-time entry-level job. And being a private apartment, one wouldn't have to worry about loosing their housing if they took a semester off. There are also people who rent out rooms in their house for very low rent, especially if you can help with cooking, cleaning, childcare, etc.
  10. jjjoy

    If you could rewind and do it over again...

    If you insist... (I just couldn't resist!)
  11. jjjoy

    Is nursing your second career?

    Just curious, what about nursing appeals to you that you don't get as an OT?
  12. OP, first off, I'm sorry to hear about what happened. It sounds terrible. I do hope you all appeal this. If you calmly and professionally present an assessment of your shortfalls* and a plan to address it with measurable goals, then that might allow the school to justify giving you all another chance. As I noted to someone dismissed from a different program, your objective right now is to show you have what it take to succeed in nursing school. It may very well be that you would've passed if the instructor had or hadn't done something, but the point isn't whether or not the school or program is good enough, the point is will you/can you do what you need to do to become a nurse regardless of the quality of instruction your receive. They may point out that in the 'real world', no one is going to 'hold your hand', so you can't expect to 'be spoonfed'. On the other hand, if the program has too many problems, it may be altogether better for your foundation in nursing to go through a different program. There's not much benefit to be had with a RN license if you feel otherwise unprepared. Many nursing jobs have an incredibly steep learning curve even for those with experience, much more so for totally new grads with just the very limited experience of a student. ---------------- *In this case, the "shortfall" may be in regard to "honing critical thinking skills". Translation: learn test-taking strategies for nursing school NCLEX-style test questions and make NCLEX review questions part of your study plan for any given unit. I'm guessing this may be where the main problem lies since I'm assuming you all have proven your academic abilities with high grades in your pre-reqs and probably your first bachelor's (or master's!) degree as well, as that's the average profile of A-BSN students. In my nursing school experience (a well-reputed hospital-affiliated university BSN program), too many times, the rationales for the 'best' answer weren't solidly supported by anything we were supposedly being tested on, nor did they test our retention of seemingly important info such as normal lab values, drug interactions, pathophys, etc. Heck, I did better by just skimming for studying. If I really dug into the materials, I would end up "reading too much into" the questions, making it that much more difficult to identify the 'best' answer. Some of the questions were written such that it seemed even a group of experts could debate over what exactly the "best" answer is. But maybe your current dilemma is a totally different issue altogether?
  13. As far a nursing assistant opportunities, you'll have to find out what the market is like locally where you are. Some places, a new NA with strong references will be able to name where they'd like to work, be snapped up, and trained in auxiliary skills such as blood draws and ECGs. Other places, a new NA might need connections to land an under-paid, over-worked nursing home job of endless bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting (that is all important nursing care, but some not-so-well-run facilities are miserable places to work, but in a bad economy, even those jobs can be hard to land). I think unit secretary is another good auxiliary role for pre-nursing students. Some places also train up monitor techs. Again, job opportunities and competition for positions vary greatly from place to place.
  14. I was in a similar situation. I was interested in physical therapy but that meant at least another two years to complete my undergrad, plus pre-reqs and then stiff competition for acceptance to a program. I was already volunteering at the hospital and had taken plenty of life science courses. It turns out I already had most of the pre-reqs for junior-entry to my uni's BSN program. Why not apply? I did and was accepted. I just had to take a few more classes before the fall term started. And so many of the nurses I spoke with extolled the many avenues nurses had before them besides bedside, which really didn't look up my alley. So... 2-3 years then hope I get into PT school? Or start a 2 yr BSN/RN program in the fall? I still can't tell you if it was a good decision or not. But now I say there's pretty much just one reason to go to nursing school, and that is to become a nurse. Not a nurse researcher, not an nurse administrator, not a nurse educator, etc. Nurses most definitely can and do make great researchers, educators, etc. I'm just saying that if one's primary interest in health care is administration, health education, public health, etc then look into pursuing those directly. The same goes for specific health care roles such as a doula (help laboring women), diabetes educator, and the like. I'm currently working in health information management. And I have to admit that my nursing background got me in the door. I actually enjoy many aspects of patient care. It's a wonderful challenge and full of learning opportunities. But as a full-time job, five 8-hour shifts or three-four 12-hour shifts per week, month after month, it just drains me too much. Wish it weren't that way for me, but lots of people don't like what I do now and I think it's not half bad. Again, best wishes to you!! I hope it's a fun journey!
  15. If one already has most of the pre-reqs for nursing (eg from a previous major), a strong GPA, and access to a nursing program that they could likely get into within a year but aren't sure if nursing what they want to do, the opportunity presents a dilemma. In the amount of time it might take to explore the field (shadowing, volunteering, taking a CNA course, working as a CNA), that person might very well have already earned an RN license! If the nursing program costs aren't astronomical, it's easy to figure might as well just apply for nursing school and give it a go if accepted, even if not sure about nursing. However, how many qualified people who definitely want to be nurses can't get into programs simply due to lack of space and a 3.2 GPA instead of a 3.6? And if it turns out you don't like it, what then? What do employers think of someone who dropped everything to go nursing school only to later discover it wasn't for them? More importantly, how would you feel about it? So, what to do if you're not fairly sure about nursing? I'll have to go with a not-so-helpful "it depends." If you don't yet know if nursing is for you, you don't yet know it and nothing but exposure and experience will shed light on it. So you get to determine how you will go about getting relevant exposive and experience. See about working part-time as a CNA while keeping your 'day job'? Apply directly to a nursing program and just jump on in if accepted? Again, best wishes! Having this kind of dilemma means you are blessed with options!
  16. Good question to ask. No one definitive answer to give. My guy reaction is that someone coming from marketing and business, at least someone who didn't hate it and was fairly successful, wouldn't be an automatic fit in nursing, unless they were heading straight to administration. But I'm sure many people have made the change and found it rewarding. So what about you? No ways to find out for sure until you become a nurse, but what can you do get a better idea before investing in schooling? Ask about volunteering on other units to get broader exposure. I also think nursing assistant or unit secretary work can be helpful. Nursing units can be crazy busy and chaotic in way different from the ED; floors that may *look* quiet often have a lot more going on than meets the eye. Besides volunteering, have you been able to shadow any nurses for part of their shift? It's not the be-all end-all answer either. Even if you are allowed to shadow, nurses may not have time to explain much of what they're doing and thinking, and all you see is someone run-walking up and down the hall, passing out pills, making phone calls and typing into the computer. Good luck in your pursuits!
  17. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    LOL! Sure did feel that way with some instructors!
  18. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    I'm curious what relationship you saw (if any) between how 'critical thinking' was defined and practiced in that class as opposed to the way nursing instructors used the term, especially in regard to test questions.
  19. jjjoy

    termination from nursing school

    I'm so sorry about the dismissal. I didn't have to deal with dismissal and I still feel rather angry about the sometimes mercurial clinical evaluations and sink-or-swim nature of some nursing 'instruction'. I agree with the others to appeal the dismissal. For myself, I'd have to try to keep in mind that justice isn't the goal, but being admitted back into program is. I would so want to show how I didn't deserve the dismissal. The instructor wasn't fair. The school didn't prepare me well enough. But making such points won't get you any closer to your goal. A focus on "What can I learn from this?" and "What can I do now?" is what many nursing educators are looking for in students. How could the school/instructor better serve the students to prevent such problems in the first place? It's a valid question, but beside the point and best avoided when addressing your dismissal. If you address your concerns professionally and from a position of personal responsibility, that may be just the ticket to a second chance. I recognize that the dismissal may not have been warranted in the first place and/or was unfairly applied (ie if you did 'deserve' dismissal then so does over the half the class). I just think you'll be better served to appeal the dismissal on the grounds of showing that you have what it takes to be a nurse (a strong sense of personal responsibility, initiative and self-directed learning) as opposed to on the grounds of why you didn't deserve dismissal. No matter how it goes, this unfortunate experience can make you a stronger person. It really *can* be a positive for you in the long run. Best wishes!
  20. I tried to find the criteria on the BON website, without any luck. I know that a public health nursing section is a BSN, but not an ASN, requirement in my state (or at least used to be). Whatever the differing requirements are on paper, my thinking was more in regard to those people who ask how much difference there is between having an ADN and a bachelor's in another field as opposed to a BSN. Not much, it seems to me, if the bachelor's is in a nursing-complementary field such as psychology or nutrition. The BSN as I see it offers more chance to delve further into more academic issues such as nursing research, nursing as a profession, but it doesn't necessarily offer a whole lot in regard to further development of clinical nursing practice. I think the physical assessment course we took was more comprehensive than that required by ASN programs, but for complete newbies with no experience to build on or draw on, a 20 hour assessment course versus a 30 hour assessment course does not necessarily make a big difference in practice. I forgot, though, that this thread was started on the development of RNs and LPNs. Discussion of BSN programs does fit in in regard to the on-going development of nursing education and licensure, but I suppose it's a discussion for another thread. Interesting as always!!
  21. My experience of the bachelor's portion of my BSN was more about the "rounding out" of the education - the delving into related/big picture issues that intentionally are *not* unique to (but very integral to) the practice and profession of nursing such as qualitative and quantitative research methods, psychology of aging, sociology of professions, and such. My BSN program was a junior-entry program. Of course, all pre-reqs & gen ed coursework had to be finished (eg A&P, micro, chem, nutrition, anthro, English). We also had research methods, statistics, epidemiology, and upper division electives (such as psychology of aging). Outside of a public /commuity health nursing rotation, I can't clearly identify what *nursing* coursework was 'above and beyond' that for any standard RN program. Our nursing theory, nursing research, and legal/ethical issues courses were just one course each. In short, I don't see that our BSN program could've covered that much more *nursing* content than any standard RN program. Accelerated 2nd bach programs manage to cram the entirety of the nursing-program-specifc coursework into just 12-16 months.
  22. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    I agree. "If you use your critical thinking skills, it's clear why C is the best choice" is neither guidance nor teaching, yet that's too often how questions were answered. When asking for clarification on test questions, even a diligent, responsible, well-studied student would often get the sharp rebuke - "You can't expect to be spoonfed; you'll never learn to think critcally that way!" Blech!
  23. jjjoy

    Critical Thinking!!!!!! Whatever!!

    So-called 'critical thinking' in nursing education is a pet peeve of mine. Sometimes, you need NCLEX-style specific strategies to determine the 'best' of several not-quite-right answer choices. I wouldn't call that testing critical thinking. And I wouldn't call that testing nursing knowledge or judgement. Sometimes all of the patient/scenario information given in a test question is just a red herring that really doesn't figure into answering the question! It would really throw me when the given rationale for the 'right' answer would focus on content and not draw attention to the fact that small variations in wording of the question and answers might change what the 'best' answer is. Succeeding at the NCLEX does involve some application of critical thinking skills, but it's not *testing* critical thinking skills! Rant over!
  24. jjjoy

    On what planet does it make sense...

    Even if you have some reserves to afford taking a day off for illness or to take care of family member, the job might not allow the person to take the time unpaid either. I can see that companies can't very well accomodate employees who end up taking crucial time off even if it is for a very ligitimate reason. Where to draw the line is a sticky dilemma. However, it sounds like the OP had the impression that this mom simply wasn't all that worried the injury as opposed to feeling forced by circumstance into neglecting her child in the short term for their longer term well-being (keeping her job, keeping insurance, etc). I suppose only the mom can really know what was or wasn't going on her head.
  25. My RN program HEAVILY emphasized that nurses are to never "just follow orders" but maybe some programs don't do that as much? As you noted, though, without experience, how can a newbie recognize if something were off? Ideally, a newbie RN does have someone "keeping an eye on them" for the first several weeks and maybe months. In the real world, a newbie RN in acute care may be pressured to take a full load without a preceptor in just a few weeks. In LTC, it may just a few days. Ideally, a newbie NP similarly has someone keeping an eye on them for the first several weeks, if not months, do they not? Unfortuately, in reality, newbies sometimes may be more or less left to their own devices to sink or swim. Their colleagues may act more as lifeguards, as opposed to swim instructors, and if the newbie "sinks" they are simply tossed out of the pool while the patient is still, ideally, safe. It sometimes seems that if the newbie can avoid any major disasters while getting their bearings (actively seek out assistance, constantly look things up, etc), even if they were incredibly ill-prepared for the position and had little support, they will be successful. In which case, schools needn't turn out grads "ready-to-hit-the-floor/exam room". I don't necessarily agree with this, but it's how it looks to me sometimes.