Jump to content
2019 Nursing Salary Survey Read more... ×


PCU Nurse

Content by PacoUSA

  1. PacoUSA

    February 2019 Caption Contest: Win $100!

    "Oh goodie, a room where no one knows my real name."
  2. PacoUSA

    NTI 2019 - "Education, Excellence and Inspiration"

    This will be my first NTI, I cannot wait to go!!! ... and my hospital is reimbursing my registration fee too!
  3. PacoUSA

    PCU Nurse Feels "Second Rate"

    So I may be criticized or flamed for some of what I am about to post, but it is just something that I have been feeling and thought I'd put it out there for some feedback and perhaps help my outlook. I currently work in a PCU and bored to tears because I am no longer learning anything new. In fact, I am working on a unit that does not allow us to do certain things that in prior facilities as either a traveler or staff I have been able to do independently (for instance, PICC dressing changes at my facility are only done by IV team and not floor nurses). Also, my unit does not allow titration of drips like cardizem, whereas in other places I have done this with no issues. But specifically, because I feel tapped out on PCU, I am yearning to learn to work with more critical patients as those in the ICU. I would love to transition to the ICU but all the ICUs near me only want nurses with ICU experience. It is frustrating because I ask then, well HOW do I get the experience if you wont take me? I have tried to look for critical care courses to take to make myself more marketable. I have even looked into taking an ECCO course, but these are not available to people who do not work in ICU currently. I am a member of AACN as well which I think is important for my goals. I seem to perceive ICU nurses as more prestigious and important in the hospital setting, and I know that is wrong to say but that is how I feel. When I have to call a rapid response on my patient and an ICU nurse comes to the bedside, I feel inferior because his/her presence makes me feel "inadequate" as if the nurse is here to say "you are not capable of taking care of this patient on your own anymore, you need to step aside and let me with more superior skills take over." So, I ask myself, why can't I be that kind of nurse too? I am tired of feeling deficient, I want to be that kind of nurse that takes care of patients when they get sicker and doesnt need that higher level nurse to come save the day. I am even having issue with certification. I am clearly qualified to sit for the PCCN but I have this fear that earning that certification will peghole me as a PCU nurse forever which is something I do not want. I would much prefer to have CCRN behind my name. I perceive nurses with CCRN to be higher regarded and I am inclined to not progress further in my career until I achieve CCRN. There are varied schools of thought as to who can sit for a CCRN. Some say the rules are vague and that I in fact can sit for that certification exam. But others say it must be ICU experience. Granted, I have never touched a vent long enough to understand its settings but believe me I want to. I want to learn about A-lines and vents and transducers and all that critical care stuff, and I want to learn to work with medications that are not part of my world. I hear names like esmolol and norepinephrine and I get excited to learn about them and want to work with them. I am also tired of remembering details on more than 2 patients. I much rather know well 2 patients than remember details on 4. For the past 7 years, all I know is tele and PCU and I feel like I need a nursing change but life is not allowing me to ... despite it all, I love nursing and proud of being one! At this point I am probably babbling, but I gave enough information to start dialogue I guess.
  4. PacoUSA

    PCU Nurse Feels "Second Rate"

    I have applied to ICU positions, and nurses with ICU experience always get the interviews before I do ... I am seeking some sort of transition program for nurses that want to learn a new specialty. I believe one occurs in my present hospital system (I am fairly new here) but I dont think it occurs too frequently. I do have a question tho. I am interested in eventually moving on to a university hospital, it is where I would like to spend the rest of my career. I am not interested in staying in a community hospital setting as this is where I landed a job currently and just took it. I used to work at big university hospitals and loved it and I wish to go back. My question is: were I to get ICU experience in a community hospital (300 beds or so) is that decent experience for me to go on to a university hospital ICU?
  5. PacoUSA

    Advice from experienced nurses please

    I have been on this site since I started my prereqs about 10 years ago. I bet I can go back and find a post or two and be like WOW! were you thinking? Lmao!
  6. PacoUSA

    Advice from experienced nurses please

    If it makes you feel any better, I was a train wreck as a new grad and used to fumble with many details as you are doing. To be honest, I read your post and I have to say I was worse than you ... I remember ignoring an order to stop a heparin gtt at 10pm and by george it was still running at 7am when handoff occurred. Needless to say, the patient could not get surgery that day. 7 years later, I have gained much more confidence in my skills. The ONLY thing I still struggle with even so many years later is delegation, which stems from the fact that I worked in a facility as a new grad where CNAs where notorious for hiding out and as an RN you were forced to do certain things you would normally delegate because it was faster than searching out the CNA (but wouldnt you know, they magically appear the second you are completed). Because of that my time management was affected too. That is my worst PTSD but it has gotten a tad better. Wanted to share my story because I know how you feel. I could have written the same post years ago. It gets better and in a few years you will laugh like I Iaugh at my new grad days too. I only wish I had a YouTube video to post of me back then so you could see. I am proud of how far I have come, and you will too. Hang in there!
  7. PacoUSA


    While I agree that nurses should be encouraged to report their mistakes without fear of retribution or blame, we must be assured that we are in a culture that this is a guarantee. As long as we see even an isolated detour of this guarantee, we will continue to be shutmouthed. As such is the case somewhat of the Vanderbilt nurse currently in the news of whose name escapes me right now. By the same token, nurses should not be admonished for legitimately calling out sick for having the flu or what not. We are encouraged to call out sick when we are contagious but get written up for staying out sick too much? The hypocrisy needs to stop. No wonder nurses feel undervalued and are leaving the bedside by the truckload ...
  8. PacoUSA

    12 patients for a new grad to much?

    That is too much for ANY nurse!
  9. PacoUSA

    ICU or PCU?

    I would take the ICU position. You would probably be in a better position to not only learn more, but you are also positioning yourself to springboard to other higher opportunities later on.
  10. I am interested in pursuing a per diem position at this facility in Los Angeles, anyone have feedback on the place? It is for their resource pool, thanks!
  11. But what if you use a pen name on Facebook and use a different email to login than the one you use for work? Couldn't that potentially hide you from employers?
  12. PacoUSA

    Columbia University ETP 2011

    Thought it'd be a good idea to start a thread for prospective applicants to Columbia's ETP program starting Summer 2011. I was going to apply last year but passed on it in favor of working for another year. Applications are due November 15, 2010! Right around the corner ... Anyone else preparing for this also?
  13. So IN THEORY, after your exam if you enter your credit card # on the site and it gets charged, presumably you failed ... but doesn't it matter since you likely will have to reregister and pay the money again anyway?? I would only be ****** if I had to pay up the cash and the results said I passed. Sent from my iPad using allnurses
  14. Hello everyone, I was curious to know if there is anyone out there who has challenged the CNA exam in FL and has done it successfully. Actually, anyone who has challenged the exam in any state that allows it is welcome to reply. I am seriously motivated to pursue CNA licensure this way. For anyone who does not know what that means, to challenge the exam means to take the test without having been trained as a CNA and have no experience as one. Here in FL, we have some places that prep you for the test in 20-hour programs, where they teach you the 21 skills and giving you ample practice time. This is in lieu of attending a formal training class at a tech school or community college which could be $600+ and many more weeks of training. I took a sample written test recently in one of those test prep books and passed quite easily, but I am more concerned about the clinical skills test. I know there is a prep course in Lake Mary that charges like $325 for the 20-hour bootcamp. There is also a cheaper prep in Orlando that allows you to train via videos. Exploring all options at this time - and clearly wanting to save some $$ since the testing and background check is going to be @ $150, you know? Also, if you have successfully challenged the exam, have you had difficulty finding a job due to the fact that you never attended a formal training program? Do you need a job in order to get and keep the license? I read something in the application packet about your passing scores being good for 4 months, something like that - so not sure what that means. Feedback anyone? Thanks!!
  15. PacoUSA

    UCF Accelerated BSN 2011-2012

    Anyone else applying?
  16. PacoUSA

    Young, Thin, and Cute New Hires

    When I was a kid in the 70s, they ALL looked like this :) But alas, times have changed ... they just don't care anymore
  17. I woke up this morning feeling inspired. My first thought was that it had to do with the fact that as of yesterday afternoon I found myself deciding between admission offers from two accelerated BSN programs I really want to attend. But I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s more due to the fact that despite my excitement with the news, I sympathize greatly with others who did not get in to the same nursing programs that have offered me seats. It’s heartbreaking to read the dejected posts of allnurses.com members complete with crying emoticons. Likewise, I sympathize as well with those who have been waitlisted – extending an already onerous wait for a final nod. It’s easy for me to sympathize because I too was there once before. Within the past year, I experienced both a waitlist and a rejection – from the same school. So I would have to conclude that my inspiration this morning is directed to those of you that are in the same situation. I feel today it’s my job to come here and try to bring you out of your rut … at least a tad. If that much, I then will feel that I accomplished something good today. There’s no doubt in my mind that ALL of us have worked hard to get where we are today. Preparing to go to nursing school is not for the lazy or the faint-hearted. If the stars were aligned perfectly, there would be room for everyone to attend. Reality bites in 2011, and as it goes we must compete with one another to show our chosen nursing schools that we have what it takes to succeed in their program. Some schools only look at GPAs and test scores, while others look beyond the raw data with essays, recommendation letters or interviews. No matter what criteria a school uses, it behooves the candidate to place their best foot forward in everything they do. Nursing schools don’t have time to individually meet the hundreds of candidates that submit applications in droves every year. So paper and digital files must ultimately be our formal face to the admission committees. I am also from the school of thought that believes that what’s meant to be for each of us will happen, and at the right time. Yes, I get nervous waiting for schools to let me know and I may have momentary freak-outs when I open that mailbox only to find store circulars and credit card bills. But quick composure dictates that my sanity remain intact. There is no point in stressing out over things that we no longer have control over. Think about it – isn’t this what we will have to help a patient realize once we become nurses? Our job will be to care for patients, and reducing stress – making them feel better – will be one of them. At some point we have to realize that we have done all that we could for our cause and now things are in the hands of others … and ultimately, the hands of a higher power. We don’t decide the right time for things, it happens in due course. So, my friends – what is my message here (assuming of course I did not bore you so far and you actually got to this paragraph in one piece )? If you have been waitlisted, embrace it for all its worth – hang in there, they did not say “no!” The message is that you ARE worthy of succeeding in their nursing program, but for some reason they need to make room for you as opposed to taking you in right away. If the waitlist is exhausted and you did not get in, read on. If you have been rejected from a nursing program that you so really wanted to attend, make an effort to sit down and find out what in your application could make you a more competitive candidate. Will it be refining your GPA (through my prereqs, it was for me)? Retaking an entrance exam? A better recommendation (which in my case was monumental)? A better essay (yes in my case too)? Health care experience through volunteering or being a CNA? Don’t be ashamed of personally visiting the school of your choice and speaking to an advisor to let them know that you want in, and find out what will make you a better candidate the next time around. Last night, I suddenly remembered something that happened almost 2 years ago that I had almost forgotten – understandably so because I think it was a bit traumatizing. I met with an advisor of an accelerated nursing program one day, who looked at my bachelor’s degree transcript and on the basis of that alone, told me flat out that I had a very slim chance of getting into their program because the average GPA of their entering classes was around 3.75 and my 3.2 was barely meeting the mark. Granted, I had yet to take A&P, microbiology and nutrition which were the last remaining prereqs for this program. So that year, I basically dismissed the idea of ever applying there. Yesterday, that same program offered me a seat in this summer’s class. Oh … that other ABSN program: the one that waitlisted and then rejected me last year? I reapplied and they accepted me 2 weeks ago. People talk about programs being “impossible” to get in. I never believe that, and neither should you. People ARE getting in, why can’t you be one of them too? The two ABSN programs that accepted me within the past two weeks have these notorious reputations as well, but I got in! You will never know unless you try ... giving it your all! If you want to be a nurse, don’t ever give up! Your desire is the path, but it’s your job to pave the bricks along the way!
  18. PacoUSA

    Be Vigilant About Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Toxicity

    I stopped taking Tylenol a while back just for this reason alone, even though I knew I was far from ever taking enough to become toxic. There have been times during the winter when I get a cold and take Nyquil when I remember that it also contains APAP. For headaches and such, I now take naproxen which seems to work better for me anyway. Not sure however if naproxen has its own insidious evil though
  19. My immediate goal is to obtain a BSN, an accelerated one at that because I already have a bachelor's. I am currently awaiting decisions from several programs, with muffled anxiousness I might add. However, I have also applied to one ADN program as a backup, in the event I don't get in to one of my BSN choices OR in the event I am unable to afford the attendance at one or more that may offer me admission. I keep reading story after story about how BSN nurses are getting an edge in hiring these days. So, I am a bit reluctant to pursue an ADN if it means I am not going to get considered for work after I graduate. I do intend on going on to grad school so either an ADN or a BSN will allow me to enter an MSN program. And I know that all new grads are having a hard time anyway. Ultimately, I wish to return to my native NYC, but I am not opposed to working in Westchester, Long Island, or Connecticut if conditions are more favorable for ADNs there. Wishful thinking? But I keep seeing so many students entering ADN programs, they can't be completely dead -- so what's happening to them all after graduation?
  20. PacoUSA

    Scam Schools And Diploma Mills

    I personally WOULD call this school (Everest) a scam school. Many people have been misled by the school when they enroll in their programs. Many don't realize how much they are going to end up paying or that their credits won't transfer out of the school. True, students should be doing their due diligence about these schools before they sign on the dotted line, but a school like this is not exactly forthcoming about their details if it means they will lose out a potential tuition-paying student. And to be honest, does one really want to attend a school that approves TV commercials like these? It says nothing about the quality of the program or the potential of success in the workplace with an Everest degree. I have to change the channel every time it comes on.
  21. PacoUSA

    Scam Schools And Diploma Mills

    The first schools that pop into my head when I read this thread are University of Phoenix and Kaplan University. As much as I don't believe these schools are true diploma mills as intended by the OP, I still cringe when someone says they earned a degree from one of these institutions, especially at the graduate level. I have never considered these schools to be of the same caliber as a long-standing traditional brick-and-mortar school.
  22. Geez, I volunteer @ a hospital where I have seem more than my share of ugly scrubs! Interested to know what's the ugliest you have seen out there. I have 2 that come to mind: (1) NASCAR race cars .. everywhere, ugh! (2) A black and white top from afar upon closer inspection reveals it's a skull and crossbones design .. OK it was around Halloween but seriously? As a patient I would get creeped ... Personally, I wish the RNs would wear scrubs that identify them apart from LPNs, CNAs or techs. They ALL look the same! Gotta freaking look for a badge that is not always prominently displayed .. but I digress ...
  23. Anyone out there has applied or is applying to the ACE class beginning Spring 2011? Anyone waiting to hear from admissions for now?
  24. ok, it's never too early to start a thread about applying for 2011 ... ... which i am most definitely doing even though i am still waitlisted for 2010. i just won't be able to attend this year if i get in ... but that's ok! i'll be done with all my prereqs and have time to write a better application (if in fact that is at all possible, you know?). anyone else applying to stony brook for summer 2011?
  25. Anyone here applying or in the program right now? Looking to apply for the fall. Also, I have already taken the TEAS, and requirements say they schedule you for the test after you submit an application. Can I just use my previous scores or are they going to make me retake that test? Wishing to obtain any and all feedback, especially about the curriculum and job prospects as an ADN in a growing BSN world. Thanks!