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Mossback's Latest Activity

  1. Mossback

    Is 63 to old to start nursing school?

    I started pre-reqs at 55, then moved on to a second bachelor's program. I graduated with a BSN at 59, passed the NCLEX with 75 questions, and got hired at a university-affiliated hospital two months later. Two years later I went back for my master's while still working full time. Don't let anyone tell you you're too old to keep up. I work circles around coworkers who are young enough to be my grandchildren.
  2. Mossback

    Should I continue nursing school?

    I'm a part-time clinical instructor for students in a BSN program, as well as a full-time floor nurse at a busy university-based hospital. I've found that it's not uncommon for students to find clinicals an unsatisfying or even downright miserable experience. I believe this stems from a number of factors that most students experience to a greater or lesser degree. The feeling of being behind the learning curve makes clinicals stressful, as does the sensation of being constantly quizzed and scrutinized. Being on the receiving end of criticism from clinical faculty and staff nurses is often a source of anxiety for students. Dealing with patients can be challenging, particularly when they view a student nurse with some skepticism. For many students, there's also deep-seated fear of inadvertently injuring a patient. All this is by way of saying that the stress and unhappiness you're currently feeling won't necessarily translate into being unsatisfied once you graduate and are in the professional setting. I hated nursing when I was midway through my BSN, but I now feel that it's an interesting and highly rewarding career. Many of my former students report a similar evolution of their attitude towards nursing. My advice is to hang in there. You're through the worst part of your nursing education. As time goes on, you might just find that you like nursing after all.
  3. Mossback

    MEPN vs ABSN

    The MEPN program at UCD hasn't launched yet, but I'm a graduate of the MS program at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UCD and have taught at SMU, so I think I can provide a little perspective. 1) MEPN stands for Masters Entry Program in Nursing. It is designed for students with a bachelor's degree in another field. No bachelor's degree in nursing will be granted. Instead, students will graduate with an MSN. As I understand it, the program will not provide a direct pathway to an NP, CRNA, or other advanced nursing specialty. 2) SMU provides students with a very good education, albeit at a high cost. However, the Betty Irene Moore School is already recognized by US News and World Report as one of the nation's best graduate schools of nursing. The MSN degree will be granted by UC Davis, which has a sterling academic reputation. I cannot imagine that having an MSN from UC Davis would in any way serve as a bar to employment. 3) If you want to become a nurse practitioner, you will need to go through an additional master's level program. One such program is currently offered at Betty Irene Moore. Before pursuing NP studies, I strongly urge you to first work for a few years as an inpatient nurse at a large hospital. In my opinion, the best NPs come from a solid background in patient care. 4) For most hospitals, there is no difference in starting job category or salary between candidates with a BSN or MSN, although some employers prefer candidates with the higher degree. An MSN will prepare you to work as a registered nurse and will set the stage for a later move up to a leadership or teaching position. It takes a couple of years to start functioning at a journeyman level as an inpatient RN. Don't expect to move up before then. Hope this helps.
  4. Mossback

    Be honest, what pt behaviors do you find annoying?

    My personal pet peeve is patients who come to the hospital, but then refuse vitals, assessment, labs, oxygen, repositioning, wound care, physical therapy, respiratory care, and the majority of medications (but almost never pain meds). Are they just drug seeking? Or are they contrary to the point of being suicidal?
  5. Mossback

    I need some really-wide-shoe ideas!

    Several styles of New Balance walking shoes are available in widths up to 6E. I have extremely wide feet and have worn the 928 style for a number of year. The soles are fairly grippy and seem to wear well. The 928s are available in black or white leather, so they can go with most colors of scrubs. The only downside of the New Balance shoes is that they're not cheap. I pay about $130 a pair for the 928s. Best of luck in your shoe hunt!
  6. Mossback

    what age did you decide to become a nurse

    I was 55 when I made the decision to become a nurse. It came after a long career in journalism and electronic media. I got my BSN at 60, and am now on track to get my master's at age 64. I only wish I'd become a nurse about 30 years earlier.
  7. Mossback

    Older, New RN

    I attended nursing school in my mid-50s, after a long career in media. Now I'm in my 60s and working in a large university-affiliated hospital and pursuing a master's in nursing. I was a challenge to go back to school in late middle age, but in retrospect it was the best decision I ever made.
  8. Mossback

    Calling all California RN's

    I suggest that you also apply to UC Davis Health System. The UCD Medical Center offers wages comparable to other hospitals in the region, an excellent working environment, and a terrific set of benefits. It also provides employees with a variety of ways to increase their professional knowledge and explore other areas of nursing. I believe your qualifications would make you a competitive candidate. Best of luck in your job search.
  9. Mossback

    career change question

    I graduated nursing school at 60, passed the NCLEX a month later, and got a job at a major hospital two months after that. I've been readily accepted as a colleague by the other nurses on the floor, even though I am one of the oldest employees. Everyone has been helpful and more than willing to help me hone my skills. Certainly no one has treated me like a leper. I'd advise you to work hard, keep an open mind, go out of your way to be helpful to others, and be receptive to those with more experience, even if they are much younger. If you do those things, I think you'll be readily accepted. Best of luck in your new career.
  10. Mossback

    New Grad RN programs in Northern Ca

    The U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento has recently launched a nurse residency program. It will admit three cohorts of recent grads per year, in February, June and October. Applicants must have a BSN. I believe that February applications are now closed, but you might consider applying for June. More information is available at: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/cppn/professional_connections/nurse_residency_program.html Good luck!
  11. Mossback

    CSU Sac vs. SJSU's nursing program

    I'd strongly advise taking pharm before entering the program. First semester is challenging enough without the extra class. Not having to take pharm concurrently with your nursing classes will be an advantage for you. I took pharm at a community college, and the curriculum was roughly comparable to what my classmates encountered when taking it at Sac State Bear in mind that while a pharmacology class can provide a foundation, most students pick up the more practical aspects of pharmacology in med/surg classes and during clinicals.
  12. Mossback

    Last day of orientation over!

    Congratulations! Coincidentally, yesterday was my first day off orientation too. I'm feeling a mix of fear and exhilaration about being on my own. It was nice to get my feet wet as a "real" nurse, although I realize I still have a great deal to learn. Fortunately, I have some great coworkers who are more than willing to share their expertise. Best of luck in your nursing career.
  13. Mossback

    Info on Sac State BSN?

    I'm a May graduate of the Sac State nursing program, so this info might be a touch out of date. Nevertheless, I'm happy to take a shot at answering your questions. The program runs for two years on the conventional academic plan, with a three-month break between the spring and fall semesters. The program is pretty intense, so you'll likely be pretty happy to have the break. You'll start each of your first three semesters with a two to three-week "frontloading" session, that involves class and labs from roughly 8-5 each day. This is designed to get you ready for clinicals, which start on week three or four. Clinicals continue until a couple of weeks before finals. During the first semester, you'll get a med/surg placement and do one day of clinicals per week. Second semester is more med/surg and psych, with clinical two days per week. Third semester is peds and OB on an alternating basis, with two days of clinical per week. Fourth semester is devoted to a 255-hour preceptorship and public health. In all, you'll do around 800 hours of clinical over the course of the program. If memory serves me correctly, you don't get much input on your first semester clinical placement. You'll have some choice for your second and third semester postings. In fourth semester, you get to choose where you'll do your preceptorship, although you'll need to have a second and third choice, since many facilities/departments have limited placements. You won't get much choice for public health. Sac State offers a terrific program. The faculty is top notch, the classrooms and labs in Folsom Hall are spacious and well-equipped, and the university can offer clinical placements at nearly all of the major hospitals in the area. You'll get a great nursing education. Best of luck!
  14. Mossback

    PearsonVue: Personal Belongings

    The folks at Pearson Vue are extremely serious about preventing any form of cheating. When I took the test I was instructed to empty all items out on my pockets and place them in a locker. Before entering the testing room I was asked to pull out my pockets to show that they were empty. I was not searched and no one did a "pat down." If you'd like more information on the security measures surrounding the NCLEX, the 2011 Examination Candidate Bulletin on the Pearson Vue website spells out the procedures pretty clearly.
  15. Mossback

    California BRN

    I tested on the morning of June 24 (a Friday) and got my results on June 28 (the following Tuesday). However, a number of classmates have waited more than two weeks for their results.
  16. Mossback

    Starting in August - scared and nervous!!

    I'm a second-career student who just graduated nursing school. Like you, I was scared stiff when I started. However, I actually did OK. Having worked in another career gave me perspective, and helped make me a better nurse. Being a bit older than the average nursing school student helped me be better grounded, and was an asset in dealing with adult patients. As a second bachelor's student I found my study skills were much improved the second time around. Join the club. Nobody is very good at venipuncture in the beginning. It is a skill. As you practice it, you will improve. I am the clumsiest man on earth, and I managed to get certified in IV therapy. You can, too. Sadly, you'll most likely have to start out working undesirable shifts. You will likely spend a significant number of holidays and weekends at work. If this represents a major issue for you, nursing may not be the optimal career choice. Everybody worries about this, including me. Just keep your head in the game, be rigorous about the five rights of medication administration, and don't be afraid to ask for help. You'll do fine. Statistically, the chances of catching a serious disease while working as a nurse are quite small. Even needle sticks rarely result in infection. I wouldn't worry too much about this. This is a legitimate worry, but you'll be taught proper lifiting techniques. Just use them religiously and don't be afraid to ask for help when moving a patient. If your hospital has a lift team, make use of them. Urine, feces, blood, vomit, pus and mucus are part of nursing. You'll encounter all of these things in nursing, although we sometimes exaggerate how often you'll have to deal with them. It can be disturbing at first, but you'll get used to it. Most patients are decent people who are in the midst of the worst experience of their lives. In my limited experience, they generally respond well to even the smallest kindnesses. On the contrary, most of us felt the same concerns and reservations before entering nursing school. I certainly did. But I made it and so can you. Nursing school is demanding, but as long as you stay focussed and keep your eye on the goal, you'll do fine. Best of luck!