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L8RRN has 5 years experience.

L8RRN's Latest Activity

  1. I was a military spouse for 18 years and became a nurse a few years before my husband retired. I'm not sure what you can do in Japan that would help. We were stationed in Germany and job opportunities were not great but working or volunteering in the clinic or hospital may help you get familiar with the medical environment if you do not have a background in it. I worked as a scheduler and did medical billing before starting nursing school. You mentioned you will have your associates, but if you have any prereqs you need to complete for nursing school, you may try to get them done online or on post if they hold classes where you will be stationed. I recommend a medical terminology class even if it isn't a prereq. I took one online and it helped a lot through nursing school! As for LPN vs ADN vs BSN...I would recommend ADN if you can get accepted pretty quick at your duty station when you return. It will take 2ish years and you can hopefully complete it before PCSing again. If you do LPN, you would have to find a bridge program. They aren't available everywhere. We were stationed at Fort Drum, NY, and you still had to do the whole RN program there if you were a LPN but you could challenge the first two semesters. I only know a handful that successfully challenged 1st semester and do not know of anyone that successfully challenged the second. Some programs will allow you to sit for LPN after a certain point in the ADN program anyway. You would just have to check if that is an option at whatever school you select. I did my BSN online in 14ish months after I got my RN through Chamberlain. It was totally online and could have been completed from anywhere (no clinical component). I would much rather advise you to get your ADN and work on BSN later than you end up moving in the middle of a program. We had one 19 month duty station once, so the three years is never a guarantee (hubby was selected for AIT instructor). A lot of the nurses I graduated with were also military spouses. The ones that stayed in our area had no problem finding a job at the local hospital. There were 4 that I know of that moved right after finishing school that had a little more difficulty finding a nursing position (one was even an LPN before RN school), but I think they moved to areas that did not have a shortage of nurses. All were employed within a year that I have kept up with, though. I had 2ish years of experience when we moved back to our home state and had no problem finding a job. Took about a month of looking to get my first position but have changed jobs since I came back. I feel I have had less issues finding a position since I got my RN than when I was doing secretarial jobs. Good luck!
  2. L8RRN

    Do I like Case Management

    I am a case manager in a large hospital and have a total of about 3 years experience in two separate facilities. To address your post, I work as a discharge planner and rotate holidays with the other case managers. It works out to about one holiday a year but Christmas and Thanksgiving are covered by an on-call person. At my previous hospital, we did call on those two holidays also, but had a much smaller staff and had to cover a few more holidays but we were salary and did not work a full 8 hours on those holidays. Our UR department is off on holidays since most insurance companies close. We do have admission case managers who work round the clock to look at admission criteria and they have to work all holidays. So my point is holidays will be dependent on which part of case management you get into. As a discharge planner, I do not sit at a desk all day. I have to go to patient rooms to complete discharge planning assessments, round with physicians, meet with nurses, etc. I wear out a pair of shoes regularly. :) I do sit at a desk to make referrals to facilities for placement, look at medical criteria, and fax out orders for home health/infusion/DME, though. It feels like a nice balance for me and I really like my job. If you want to do utilization review, you will be sitting at a desk quite a bit because it is computer and phone based. Same thing with our admission case managers. It isn't for everyone, but I have found my place in nursing and plan on staying in this type of position for the rest of my career. Good luck deciding!!
  3. L8RRN

    Typical OR shift?

    I worked in a Level 2 OR. Where I was, I only had 9 weeks of orientation and I had never worked in the OR before! I was a float, too, and moved between ortho, general, neuro, vascular, gyn, and even robot. There is a VERY steep learning curve and I wish I would have had more orientation time up front. I worked there almost 1 year then left for a different job, partly because I never really felt comfortable. Luckily, I worked with some really great nurses and scrub techs who helped me out, but a few found pleasure in making the new people look bad. I actually outlasted the new person before me and one behind me, too, due to inadequate training. I am proud to say I was never kicked out of a room, but it was hard at times not knowing what they were asking for and having to find it. My absolute least favorite was ortho - mainly because of the prep. We had to prep the surgical site where I was, but I heard some teaching facilities have the residents do it. Second least favorite was brain related neuro stuff...spinal was fine. Overall, it was a GREAT experience and nice environment. We had fun between cases and setting up for the next one. Some of the surgeons could be very difficult to deal with, but many were very nice. I would have potentially stayed if I had more orientation time to learn the different supplies and instruments, but it just wasn't where I was meant to stay. Good luck!
  4. L8RRN

    Where Do I Go From Here

    Are you going to stay where you are located now once his med board is completed? A lot depends on where you want to settle down and if moving will still be an issue later on down the road. You will have to look at requirements for schools in the area where you plan to go to school. If both the BSN and ADN would take 2 years since you will already have an Associates, go BSN if you get your pick. If BSN takes longer, go ADN, start working and do BSN online after you are licensed. Just my two cents. Moving all the time is rough and I would opt for the fastest route to make sure I was able to finish. Of course, his med board may let you settle down in one place if he is medically discharged, so it might not be an issue.
  5. I had to give my employer a copy of my BSN degree for my personnel file. This was just last month at a new job, so they will possibly verify it!
  6. L8RRN

    Have you ever been to an interview like this?

    I interviewed in the OR and it was similar to your interview. They basically told me they didn't really know what to ask since I had no OR experience and it turned into a more personal conversation with the three interviewers. I walked out hoping that other places would hurry and call me with interviews soon because I was definitely not getting that job. Well, as I pulled out of the parking lot on my way home, my phone rang and they were already offering me the job!! I about wrecked. :) Once I started working there, they told me it was hard to find someone with experience sometimes and they wanted someone who would fit in that was "teachable" more than anything. Best of luck on getting the call!
  7. L8RRN

    7 months and I can't do this anymore.

    I felt a lot like you do when I worked on a med/surg floor right after graduating from a RN program. It was fast paced and I managed to make it through a year but NEVER enjoyed it (and would never want to do it again). I started my nursing career at 37. I am now a case manager and LOVE what I do. Some tell me they would never want to do what CM does, but I love how I get to think out of the box and problem solve. I do discharge planning and utilization review for a large hospital. It is "stressful" but a much different kind of stress and one I can deal with. Nothing I do will kill anyone and I don't go home second guessing my day and what I may have missed. I get to help patients and families and take pride in my role in their lives. I can finally say I am happy as a nurse. I hope you find a way to use your knowledge in a position you love.
  8. L8RRN

    UALR? UAMS? or Baptist?

    I can't comment specifically on which school has more clinical/hands on experience, but here is some information to consider. What kind of degree are you wanting? All three offer something different on graduation. You can always go on and continue your education after you get your RN but are you interested in a diploma or degree to start off with? As far as schools go, looking at the board of nursing NCLEX pass rates for 2013: Baptist Health (diploma program) has a 85.7% first time pass rate (163 out of 190). UALR (associates) - 92.9% (79/85) UAMS (BSN) - 90.8% (148/163) See results for other years here: ARSBN: NCLEX Pass Rates (AR) Also, I would check the number of students that start each year and how many actually finish. Additionally, I know that Baptist requires an exit HESI exam (not positive about UAMS or UALR) and I know 2 people who passed all the nursing classes but failed the HESI at the end of school and did not graduate at all. Good luck deciding!
  9. L8RRN

    What makes a good nurse case manager?

    I don't have experience as that type of CM. It may be in clinic or may be with an insurance company. Some insurance companies use case managers to help coordinate care for chronic conditions (like those you listed above) to help with compliance and better health outcomes.
  10. L8RRN

    What makes a good nurse case manager?

    It really depends on the type case management. I'll just comment with my opinion on the roles I have participated in as a CM: Utilization review: STRONG medical knowledge, knowledge of insurance rules and admission criteria. Discharge planning: Strong people skills, great organization and time management skills, strong knowledge of insurance rules and community resources. Home Health: Good hands-on nursing skills (assessment, wound care, PICC care, IV administration, etc), ability to improvise, and good documentation skills. There are more but I don't want to comment on ones I have no direct knowledge about. :)
  11. L8RRN

    I feel like it's the end

    While taking the test, cover the answers with a blank index card while you read the question and see if you can formulate an answer BEFORE moving the index card. If what you thought of is one of the options on the multiple choice, pick that one and move on. A lot of times you will overthink things and talk yourself out of a correct answer when you see all the possible answers in front of you. If you just go with your gut, you generally will do a lot better. PS...Be sure to ask permission to use the blank index card beforehand. Our instructors let us do it but we had to show them the blank card before the test started so they wouldn't think we were cheating.
  12. L8RRN

    RN to BSN in NY

    I did SUNY Delhi for one semester for one class. It went fine. I started a second class the next term and logged on the Wednesday before class officially started to read the syllabus, class info, etc. Nothing major and I waited to log back on the next Monday (when class officially started) at 10am and saw I had missed a GROUP assignment that was posted on Thursday night and due at 9am Monday. I then looked at my email and saw a nasty response from the instructor questioning why 2 of the people in my assigned group did not participate (me and another person). Well...class didn't start until MONDAY and nothing was on the website on Wednesday that there would be an assignment. I withdrew from the class and switched to Chamberlain. No clinical component with Chamberlain (there was with SUNY Delhi) and I was finished in 14 months vs 2 years at SUNY. It was back a few years ago and Delhi's program was still "new" at the time. I will say they were very apologetic when I explained why I wanted to withdraw and told me they would speak to the instructor, but I worked with several people who were going to Chamberlain and decided to make the switch anyway. Chamberlain was quite a bit more expensive, but not having to deal with the clinical aspect was very appealing. I finished my BSN 2 1/2 years ago and don't regret it one bit. Good luck deciding!
  13. L8RRN

    The military is moving my family!

    I went to nursing school while my hubby was active duty. I received some pre-reqs in one state then moved to another and took another class and even took 2 online classes from yet another state. My entire nursing program was all from the same school, though. The pre-reqs weren't the issue. The issue would have been the nursing program. To transfer to another school while doing actual nursing classes would have more than likely required me to redo part of the program. I would recommend you see what the most common pre-reqs for nursing is (ie: psychology, sociology, A&P, Micro, English) and take those because they will most likely transfer. My nursing program did not require Chemistry or even math (just take the admissions math test and perform at a certain level and you were fine). The more of the pre-reqs you have out of the way, the more time you will have once you get to your new duty station to do the actual nursing part of the program and be more likely to get to finish. My nursing class was probably 50% military spouses so it is very doable. Good luck!
  14. L8RRN

    Do we have to know everything???

    For meds, learn the endings of the generic names. It will clue you in on what the medication is for...like it may say "nursapril" but you will know it is an ACE by the ending (-pril). Then you can look at answers relating to blood pressure/non-productive cough/etc. I saw several I had not heard of but was clued in on what it was for by looking at the generic endings. Good luck!
  15. L8RRN

    Accepatnce letter to NS with a catch?!

    We had to take one every semester, but we had to get 100%. First one was more basic type math (and measurement type stuff) and no calculator. Later semesters were more dosage calc and IV drip rates, etc (and we could use a calculator). We got 3 tries each semester. They had a study packet with examples they handed out each semester.
  16. First nursing job...took about 2 weeks for the official offer. In hospitals, most of the offers come from HR, not the manager directly. I had an indication he was interested but still nervous about it until I got the official word. Second nursing job, HR called me as I was driving out of the parking lot!! Didn't have any clue I would be offered the job. I thought the interview wasn't the greatest because it was for a specialty I had never worked before. I clicked with the panel, but it was more of a personal conversation since they had no clue what to ask me. Third, it took about 3 days. Fourth, about 2 weeks but there was a holiday in there and the manager let me know she wanted to hire me after about one week but it HAD to go through HR first. HR had limited hours due to the holiday and better things to do than call me. :) GOOD LUCK