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Meredith09

Meredith09

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BA, Art History, Rhodes College, 2009; Beginning the ACNP program at Vanderbilt fall 2010

Meredith09's Latest Activity

  1. Meredith09

    Should I take Patho if it's optional?

    Definitely take it! I had two semesters of rather intense patho before I started my bridge program (not mandatory) and I promise you it gave me a great advantage over my classmates who did not have a similar class... plus, this is tough material that takes a while to master, and the more exposure you have to it, the more likely you are to understand and retain it. just my
  2. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Prespecialty 2011 Accepted Forum

    White scrubs are for St. Thomas- yes they suck, but I had an excellent clinical experience at STH that more than made up for it. Regarding the dress for class-- most anything goes, including gym clothes. I know plenty of people that show up to class in gym clothes daily. So long as you are relatively clean and aren't letting anything hang out that shouldn't, you'll be fine. It does tend to be absolutely freezing in the lecture hall though, so even in summer you'll see folks bringing in jackets to class. Regarding white all-leather shoes...just suck it up. At the end of a long day in clinicals, you won't care what you look like, and I would strongly suggest that you stick with all-leather uppers because the first time you spill something like urine, vomit, or blood on your shoe and it soaks through that one little patch of mesh....you'll be cursing yourself. Keens, Nurse Mates, Sketchers, and Dansko's are all popular shoe choices. Navy blue scrubs with the vandy patch sewn onto the left shoulder are standard attire everywhere except STH. They'll also tell you to wear a white undershirt beneath the scrubs, but honestly this is not evenly enforced among clinical faculty. The only time you'll really need to have nice business casual clothes is for picking up your patient assignment the day before clinicals, and also for some community health activities. Sorry for the short and choppy answers here- please let me know if any of you have more questions for me. MaineMan88, Medvision, and Mammac5 are also Vandy students here on AN.
  3. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Prespecialty 2011 Accepted Forum

    You do not have to travel down hillsboro pike to get to vandy from bellevue. every single morning I take 40 to 440 and get off at the west end exit- much faster. There's also about 3 other ways to get to and from vandy from bellevue. without traffic, it takes me less than 15 minutes to get to school.
  4. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Molls, You do have access to the same stuff that the undergrads do, but there are a few stipulations that come with it. The gym for instance limits you to four visits per week, above that I think they charge you a fee (?) Kind of silly, but I've always just gone walking/running around campus, which is a very popular activity around here. I believe you can get a season pass to football games for around $25-- could be wrong on the price but in any case it's cheaper than paying for tix game-to-game like an outsider would have to do. The counseling center is 100% free! We're told nursing students are their biggest client base, lol. As far as the program goes, it is accelerated; you're essentially taking a full load of traditional-style nursing courses plus one extra each semester, and cramming in all the clinical hours (hospital and community health activities) that are required by the powers that be. We take the NCLEX in September or October, and I'm told Vandy has an excellent first-time pass rate, so statistically their students must be prepared for it quite well-- I have no concerns about passing it. It's a bit difficult to gauge the "readiness to practice" factor in terms of the specialty year since we haven't started that yet. I would imagine that all the specialties would be ready to practice upon graduation, however, in my specialty in particular (Acute Care) I think it would be difficult to get an NP position straight out of school with ZERO staff nursing experience; thus, I am planning to work as an RN for at least 1-2 years after I graduate to get more comfortable with the job, etc. I think you'll find that you are much more respected and trusted by your colleagues as an NP if you start out with some staff nursing experience. For some of the other specialties more focused on primary care, I don't think you'd have any trouble finding a starting position as an NP, as they are in high demand, and don't necessarily have to handle the higher-acuity patients. Make sense?? Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any further questions. Back to studying...
  5. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Kate, Yes, I would definitely recommend the Bellevue area. Check out the Lexington, the Madison, Grande View, etc. If you cruise down Old Hickory and Highway 70 in the Bellevue area you'll find plenty of places to look at. I would probably stay away from the Mission Bellevue Ridge though (ick). You'll find rent to be in the $750 plus range, which might sound a bit high until you see what some of the lower rent places in Nashville look like Let me know if I can help you out with anything else.
  6. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Mef, et al: I was one of the panelists at the open house this weekend. Any further questions for me that you maybe didn't feel comfortable asking in person? Feel free to ask. I'm still here for yall if you need anything. Best of luck to those still waiting to hear from VU. -M
  7. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Chellentn, I'm gonna give it to you straight: CHIN UP ABOUT BEING WAIT LISTED! I was waitlisted for ACNP last year, and I'm a current Vandy student now. Now is not the time to give up hope, I promise you still have a good chance of getting in. I would drop your admissions counselor a quick email to reiterate your great interest in the program and offer to give any more info on you that they would like, then leave it at that. They are wanting to weed out the ones who don't want Vandy as their first choice, so (without making a pest of yourself) just check in with them every now and then- say, once a month or so. Big hug for you, and don't get too down on yourself. The game's not over yet-- you're just in overtime now!
  8. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Keep me posted on your progress!
  9. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    Howdy doody aspiring Commodores! Sorry I haven't been able to get back to you all until now- we're entering the first round of exams, so things are getting busy here. Will try to answer all of your questions to the best of my ability- if i miss someone, please let me know! What a pre-specialty's day-to-day existence is like... BUSY, to say the least. In the first semester you typically have two full days (read: 6-7 hours) of lecture and seminar stuff on Monday and Tuesday, followed by a 3 hour class on Wednesday (this goes away about 2/3 of the way through the semester). Thursday or Friday you will have skills labs from about 8-4- whichever day you do not have lab, you have off! Lab ends about mid October, after which you have two major practical exams that you must pass in order to proceed to clinical- one consists of doing a full head-toe physical and writing up the findings from memory (much easier than it sounds with adequate practice, i promise), and one "interventions" practical, in which you are up in the sim lab and are given a scenario in which you have to perform certain skills (inserting a Foley, G-tube feeding, NG tube placement, enema, etc.) Your first clinical rotation is a general med-surg rotation and starts around the first week of November, and continues for 5 weeks until just before finals. Clinicals are typically from 0630-1500 and consist of 5-6 students on a unit with one instructor; most of this time is on the floor, but a few hours will be spent in post-conference. First semester is very intense, but totally doable. Second semester is a bit different in that you don't have that pesky lab day at the end of the week, but rather go straight into clinicals. You will complete 4 rotations in the spring (one of which is actually part of summer semester). These rotations are in adult health, OB, peds, and psych-mental health. I have had nothing but fabulous clinical faculty thus far. Same can be said for most of the didactic faculty as well. You will also have lecture from about 8-2 or three on Monday and Tuesday, then clinical either wednesday and thursday or thursday and friday. Whichever day you do not have clinical (monday or friday), you will have community health. For the first few weeks this consists of more lecture (but only about 3 hours), and then you split into smaller groups and meet at various sites around nashville for community health clinical and other activities. Clinical sites at a distance...I personally have not experienced this, but I know some students are assigned to clinical in Hendersonville, which is a bit farther than most clinical sites. When Vandy tells you that they can send you up to two hours away for clinical, I think for the most part this refers to master's year students, and most of those sites- to the best of my knowledge- are for primary care specialties, such as FNP, ANP, and midwifery. ACNP as I understand tends to stick to major metro areas immediately around Nashville. Most all pre-specialty year students live quite close to campus because of the amount of time you spend on campus. Depending on your specialty, you may be forced out of Nashville for the second year due to limited clinical sites. So basically plan to be in Nashville your first year, and have some flexibility your second year. ACNP popularity... I have to laugh a little bit as I see this phrase on my screen ACNP is not very common among the pre-specialty students, as most of the ACNP people at Vandy are RN direct entry applicants. I think there's about 15-20 of us in the (non-nurse) pre-specialty class (out of 140). FNP is by far the most popular specialty. I did not have an interview, BTW. When I applied, they were only interviewing Psych applicants, so this interviewing thing is news to me. FWIW, I was wait listed in February last year, and got my acceptance call on June 9... this elicited much screaming, crying, jumping up and down and having strangers on the street give me weird looks, lol . The moral of the story is: don't give up hope even if you don't get an immediate acceptance. Simply follow up with admissions (without making a pest of yourself) and express your continued interest...then pray like hell. Also of note (and not to burst anyone's bubble) but that financial aid packet is sent to all applicants. You may now go cry in peace, or stop having a heart attack And speaking of heart attacks...this is no cheap venture. My loans for this first year total about $75k. Whether that pile of dough is worth it to you is a very subjective matter, however, having the Vanderbilt name on your record will ALWAYS be a great asset to you. Just my I hope I covered everyone's questions, but please feel free to ask more! I wish you all the best. Meredith
  10. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Pre-specialty Fall 2011

    RT- I am a current pre-specialty ACNP student at Vandy. Wanted to wish you luck with your application and offer to answer any questions you might have regarding the application process or the program. Let me know if I can be of help! Good luck!
  11. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Fall 2010 ACNP

    C, So good to meet you too! Your advice re: the reading couldn't be better timed... I have a mountain (read: about 130 pages) of Perry & Potter to read for lab tomorrow... despite my best efforts, I am already behind on that dang book! I've memorized the skills we need for tomorrow though, have done some practice med calcs (review for me since I took pharm in the fall of 2009), and am going to try to i.d. some of the more important things for lab. It's just scary not knowing if I am truly prepared since we haven't met in that class yet! I'll text you about dinner :-)
  12. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Fall 2010 ACNP

    Med, I'm a little freaked about the reading too, but I suppose you just do what you can, get the highlights, and move on. So much of what I have read on AN suggest NOT trying to read everything thrown at you....I personally am a little too insecure to do that! I have to give it a try at least. I defer to mammac for advice specific to our program
  13. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Fall 2010 ACNP

    It went well I thought! Much better than yesterday (for me personally). Yesterday I was like 15 minutes late thanks to traffic, weather and misunderstood directions to the annex... i knew where the nursing building was, but they made it sound like the annex was some separate building behind Godchaux and what not.... just bad day all around! But today was much better :-) Med: I totally forgot you were a pre-specialty student! Did I meet you today and not even know it? lol message me if you can :-)
  14. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Fall 2010 ACNP

    I'm on the final leg of my trip starting this morning: Memphis to Nashville! I'm super excited to meet all of you guys :-)
  15. Meredith09

    Vanderbilt Fall 2010 ACNP

    So what's up everybody? It has been awfully quiet on this board! I myself have been packing like a madwoman, and working on refinishing some furniture before I hit the road to Nashville (one week from today, :w00t: ) What are you guys up to?
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