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RT(R) Radiographer

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  1. Hi everyone!! Thank you in advance for reading my post and for all of your greatly appreciated help. I have been reading through these posts, and got a lot of useful insight, but I am still confused, so am asking more questions. When responding, I would appreciate it A LOT if you could tell me about yourself: the state you work in, how many years as a school nurse, your benefits (union? teacher contract? pension?), salary (if you feel comfortable), etc... Thoughtful, detailed answers are VERY, VERY APPRECIATED! Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I am not a nurse, but am considering going back to school to get my accelerated BSN! Out of high school, I originally was accepted to a nursing program (which I wish had stuck with!), but ended up switching and getting my associates degree in radiography (I'm an x-ray tech). I continued onto school upon graduation to get my bachelors degree in health sciences, just to broaden my options. I have found that the need for full time x-ray techs is pretty much non existant, and even though I like the technological aspects of my job, I wish I had stuck with nursing and had a job in which I could focus more on patient care and interacting with people (as an x-ray tech, I usually have to move people through the department as quickly as possible, and never under good circumstances). With that said, I can't find a full time job (only work per diem) and am not satisfied with the career! I have been contemplating either going back to school to get my accelerated Bachelors in Nursing, which is a 15 month program, which I already have all of the pre-reqs and GPA to do, because of my previous degrees. OR... I am toying with the idea of going back for a 9 month long masters degree teacher certification program. Either way, I want to work in a school with children.... so as either a school nurse (which would probably be my top choice, because I am very interested in public health, and teaching wellness to children) or becoming a school teacher (most likely elementary/middle school grades). I think I would rather be a school nurse, as I could combine my interests of health with teaching. I would most likely get my BSN, work for a year or two in a hospital setting to gain experience, and try to get certified as a school nurse, and look for a school nurse job, hopefully get hired, etc. I eventually want a family (don't have any kids now), and do not want to work weekends, holidays, an 12 hour shifts in a hospital forever (but respect and bow to those who do and continue to do so for a long time ). I am just too family oriented to miss family events or other activities for the next 20 years (if I had to work nights, weekends, holidays forever). I am at the point where I want to do something I LOVE. However, I am concerned about the school nurses not getting as many benefits, salary, and respect as teachers... Reading through this forum and others, it seems it depends on where you work, whether or not you get teachers pay, pension etc. or whether you are unfortunate and do not. I would very much like to be on a teacher's contract where I get pay raises every year, as well as raises based on my education/credits, and a good retirement pension. I know not all (or many) states have school nurses that are unionized into a teacher contracts, so I have questions for all of you out there. Let me first say, I would most likely want to be working in one of the New England states as a school nuse: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and possibly Pennsylvannia. These are my questions: -What do you like most and least about being a school nurse (pros and cons)? -What state do you work in? -How many years have you been a school nurse? -Are you part of a teachers salary contact/union? -What benefits do you receive (health insurance, dental, disability, retirement pension?... and how it compares to those of teachers in your district) Are you getting the same retirement pension as teachers? Do you get any sick/personal days? Can you take days off (I know, probably not likely, but that's ok!)? -How many years have been a school nurse? -What is your salary (if you feel comfortable) or that of your area? -Do you feel respected in your school district and by teachers? -What are your contracted working hours at your school? What hours do you actually end up working? (Is this more or less than teachers? Do you often end up working longer hours like teachers do?) Do you have to work on teacher in service days? How many days are in your contract? -Do you have to take work home with you, as (most) teachers do? -Do you know which states usually have school nurses on the same salary contract/union as teachers (particulary, like I said before I'd probably going to work in these states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvannia... {From what I have seen on this forum, I am pretty sure Pennsylvannia and Masschusetts have a lot of schools nurses receiving same salary/benefits/unions as teachers...}. But, I am interested on hearing what states or school districts (anywhere in US) that school nurses are on the same teachers union/salary contract as teachers. Yes, (like you have told others on this forum already) I have gone to the school nurses association websites (for individual states), but not finding much luck as to seeing what specific states or schools have school nurses on teachers contracts. -If you could choose, would you choose school nursing or teaching? Would you recommend I pursue nursing or teaching in my education (if my end goal is to work in a school with children (any grades) making a difference. I want to get teacher contract salary/benefits/pension, school schedule, etc... The teacher retirement pension is a big one for me, and would hate to not get that one!). -Is it an unreasonable/unrealistic goal for me to pursue a nursing degree if I only want to get into school nursing? (I realize it is important for me to work a 1-3 years in a hospital setting prior to school nursing to gain confidence, better my assessment skills {however, I already do have some patient care experience, although I know it is not comparable to that of a nurse}. If I were to work in a hospital, my interests are labor & delivery, ER, and maybe OR? But I do know, I do not want to do bedside hospital nursing forever as a full time career... The 12 hour shifts, nights, weekends, etc.. are not for me forever. -What are my chances of getting a school nursing job? Do you think I will have to wait many years to get one (is it super competitive and each opening has 100s of applicants?) -How would you compare school nursing to a career as a school teacher (pros and cons) in regards to the job, hours, salary, benefits, etc.. and yes, I have read the teacher salary vs. nurse salary posts.. and yes, I am still confused, as they seem to be about the same! * I think I would prefer to be a school nurse. I like the health, wellness subject area. I like the autonomy you get with the job. I like that every day is different and you stay busy and have to think on your feet. I like the fact that you get to work with children, make a difference, etc. I REALLY like the school schedule, and I'd really like to get the teacher salary/retirement pension. My biggest concern is that if I go into nursing with the goal of only becoming a school nurse (and not wanting to do bedside/hospital nursing until retirement), I won't be able to get a school nursing job. I have already done the hospital route, and all though it can be rewarding, it is tough physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don't like 12 hour shifts, nights, holidays, etc. as I said before. If I become a teacher, at least I know I will get a teaching job, with good benefits, retirement pension, etc. What I don't like about becoming a teacher is all of the extra work you have to bring home, the extra hours, etc... If I was guaranteed a school nursing job on a teachers union contract, I would not hesitate to go for nursing, as I know I would LOVE to be a school nurse! I am all around more interested in it. But if my expectations are unrealistic (about getting that kind of school nurse job), then I would proabably go for teaching (which I think I would like {not as much as school nursing, but would be satisfying nonetheless}, but I would dislike the extra hours, taking home work, meetings, administration problems, and using my own paycheck to buy class room supplies!) I thank you all SOOOO MUCH for reading through this long post. :typing I know it was a lot, but I am trying to make a smart, thought out decision as to what to do with my future. I have been reading through both nursing and teacher forums to gain insight. Basically, I would prefer to be a school nurse, if only they were all in the teachers union/salary contract and got the same retirement pension. But I know this is (unfortunately) not true. Any insight, encouragement, etc. you could provide me would be sooo, sooo appreciated. Thank you, and I look forward to talking to you all in the future!!! :heartbeat
  2. Thank you. I am aware of the one at Mass. Gen. However, I think they only offer the program beginning in June. I am finding it hard to find an intern/new grad orientation program, especially one starting in September (after an August grad. date), especially in a cricical care/ICU specialty. Anyone know of any programs in Maine or New England area? Thanks so much!
  3. Hi there, I'm a radiologic technologist with my BS in health sciences and considering going back to school to get my Accel. BSN with a goal of becoming a CRNA. I have alwasy considered nursing as a career, was actually accepted to a BSN program out of high school, but decided to take another route and get my radiography degree (2 year AS program). I am almost 23, female, no kids, and figure I would finish my MSN CRNA degree by the time I'm about 30 (start 15 month ABSN May 2010-Aug. 2011, 1-2 years ICU exp., 28 month MSN degree). I was fairly shocked with the job market for radiographers when I graduated school (only 1 person out my graduating class of 20 got a full time job!). I have been working per diem for the past two years since I graduated (from my AS) and transferred to get my BS degree full-time. Now that I'm done with my BS degree, I still can't find FT employment (I need health insurance!), and am really disappointed with the hourly wage in my state (new hires only start at $16/hour!) when the cost of living and taxes in my state are very high! I have been taking a few night classes in computers/networking while working per diem, thinking I might be able to get into PACS/RIS administration or other dept. network systems admin. in the hospital (or any business), but still not too sure about the employment reliability in the computer/IT area either... I love working with people, caring for others, but was always a little "nervous" about all the procedures/responsibilities nurses have (although we do our share of fun as rad techs, too). I know I could do if I put my mind to it... I had a fairly easy time in college with good grades (3.85 graduating BS GPA, and I took pre-med science courses like Bio, Chem, Physics, etc). I realize the commitment and challenges of nursing school and the CRNA program and fully respect anyone who goes through it! I like the idea of becoming a CRNA, more autonomy, you pick your place of work and hours, better pay, more specialized, etc. The only thing I am concerned about is how women (and men) out there balance family life and work life. I am in no hurry, by any means, to get married and have a family, but by the time I graduate CNRA school, I may thinking of that. I don't plan on having a huge family or being a stay at home mom for life or anything like that... I just want options and don't want my career to completely rule my life. How do you guys balance your career and other aspects of your life? I want a family first, then my career, not the other way around! Is CRNA the career for me? Or is it a full-time, life changing comittment? I realize one must love their job and always be focused on continuing education and what is best for the patient... but I also want a job that I can leave at the hospital and come home to my family and still have "other interests." No offense to anyone, I don't want to be an MD or work 80 hours a week (I have huge respect for those who can do that). I just want a stable, rewarding career that will allow my family and I to live confortably and happily. I know it may be somewhat stressful of a career (as there is stress in ANY job), but don't want it to affect my entire life (is there a high "burn out" rate like there is in some other nursing specialties?) I would also like the opportunity to maybe work part-time if I have kids... What are you opinions? How do you balance work and home life? Would any of you do anything different (if you could go back)? Is CRNA a good "mothers" career? Thank you for your time and opinions...
  4. Does anyone know what hospitals in Maine and surrounding states offer new grad nursing internship/preceptorship programs? Specifically, I am looking for places that offer orientations/hiring new grads in ICU/critical care settings. Also, do you know WHEN (what months) they using hiring/start these programs? Does MMC offer one of these? I am not comitted to staying in Maine, but if I don't have to move as soon as I graduate from nursing school it would save a little money. I am specifically looking into getting a critcal care/ICU position to gain experience with a long term goal of making it to CRNA school! (The accelerated program I would be in graduates in August, so hopefully a position that starts in late August/September). Thanks!
  5. How much is malpractice insurance for a CRNA (Nurse Anesthetist) per year? Does anyone know what the average cost of malpractice insurance is for a CRNA (nurse anesthetist) is per week, month, year? How does this work... do you set up the insurance and pay for it in a "bill" form... or does it get automatically deducted from your weekly pay check? I know starting salaries for CRNAs is around $115000-150000 per year, depending on where you live and work, and I am trying to get a ballpark figure of how much you take home (after taxes, malpractice insurance, health insurance, retirement, etc...) Anyone have any idea of how much you actually TAKE HOME for pay as a CRNA? Also, I know some places say they PAY for your malpractice insurance, health insurance, etc. 100% as part of your benefits... is this common? At first, I thought CNRAs were covered under Anesthesiologists, and that they didn't need malpractice insurance... but it seems that this is not the case... Thanks for your repsonses!
  6. radtech

    USM Accelerated Nursing Program...

    Hi there, I am thinking of applying to USM's accelerated nursing program. I already have a bachelors of science from USM and an associates of science from another health related field. I have some questions about their accelerated program that I would be applying to start in May 2010 (Sept. 2009 Application deadline). Does the accelerated program only start in May, do they have other start dates? How many hours do you get to spend doing clinicals? How many semesters? How many days/hours per week? I looked on SMCC's website and it looks like they spend an avg. of 16-18 hours per week in clinical each semester... I am hoping USM is the same way (that you get enough clinical time)... Any input on the quality of the clinical time in USM's program would be great... Did you feel prepared enough? Any comparisons to SMCC/CMCC...? If I apply early (like sometime in March 2009), do they have any way of early acceptance? In other words, could I find out if I were accepted early and not wait until this winter? I'd like to know now so I can plan for other options in case I don't get in there. I have a degree in another health field (rad tech) and graduated from USM a year ago with a fairly high GPA... I realize the program is intense and that it is time consuming... any other input on the program would be helpful. I have already taken A&P I and II, Bio I with labs, Chem I with labs, and Physics I and II with labs, as well as a Statistics course, Human Growth & Development course, and Psychology and Sociology at USM for my previous BS degree. I also have already taken Concepts in Community Health and Health Related Research. So I have a few courses done. I have NOT take Microbio, pathophys, or pharmacology yet... Don't know if I should to help my application...? Also, my end goal is to become a CRNA after a few years expreience and going back to grad school to get my masters in Nurse Anesthetist. Any insight on this would be great as well if you have any... I am not really sure how much experience you really come out of nursing school with... I know you have to have at least 1 year of ICU/critical care nursing to apply to CRNA program... how exactly do nurses get into a "specialty". Do hospitals do some on the job training for new grads? Are veteran nurses good at helping new grads with problems/new skills? I am not sure how this works.... I went to x-ray school, it was a competancy based program... we learned HUNDREDS of procedures, positions, skills, and when we graduated we were COMPLETELY prepared to do our job to its fullest without the need for help/training from other rad techs (unless you switched to another modality... such as CT/MRI/Ultrasound, etc.). I do not fully understand the "scope" of a new grad nurse, and how exactly one goes about getting into different specialties, but any advice on how a new grad could eventually get on the path of landing a critical care position as soon as possible out of college would be great. Thank you for taking the time to read through this and for all your insight. I appreciate it!
  7. radtech

    USM nursing program vs. SMCC/CMCC

    Hi there, I was wondering what people thought of USM's nursing program compared to CMCC or SMCC... Do they get the same amount of clinical time, same courses, etc... I know one is a BSN and the other is an ASN, but I just want to know how USM's clinical hours are set up compared to that of a community college... Thanks so much! :spin: