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  1. soxgirl2008

    Nursing School. Did you work?

    I work 24-36 hours a week (I work 12 hour shifts..2 to 3 days a week) and I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have gotten all As and Bs so far. It's definitely possible, but like others have said management is key. I'm in school alllll day Mon-Friday and then I work 12 hours on Thursday and Friday and usually a weekend day as well. It sucks, it's stressful, I have no life, but it is what it is and it can be done.
  2. soxgirl2008

    Take a pay cut to be a CNA for the experience??

    Med-surg gives you LOADS of experience. Don't discount it. I was a CNA for 2 1/2 years on a post op floor and I wouldnt trade my experience for the world. And btw, I'm now a CNA in the emergency department drawing blood, doing splints, wound care, etc. so being CNA can get you to more than just med-surg/assisted living....I also know plenty of CNA's who worked in ICU and were able to land an ICU job after graduation because of it. I think having healthcare experience helps. The only people I know who didn't have trouble finding a job after graduation were the ones with healthcare experience. Yes, a "new grad is still a new grad blah blah blah" but like someone else said, it's a lot easier to just concentrate on being an RN if you are used to the healthcare environment. Almost all the RN's I know who didn't have CNA experience said they wished they did because it made their transition that much harder. Where I work the only new grads hired into OB, ER, ICU, etc are ones with healthcare experience, and it's hard for new grads without healthcare experience to get a job even on med surg because our hospital has so many CNA's in nursing school that are almost always considered first over outsiders. I've seen postings at other hospitals that have said "RN experience required, but new grads with CNA experience in a hospital setting will be considered" So it DOES help in some hospital systems. Especially since you are in an ADN program it is important to do whatever you can to give yourself an advantage. In some areas it's a lot harder to get hired with your ADN than with a BSN, but if you have healthcare experience that may give you an edge. Just my 2 cents. If you can't afford to take a pay cut, I totally understand that. I would only do it if you think you can afford it financially.
  3. soxgirl2008

    Do you eat well/exercise while in the program?

    I run, and try to keep up on my running while in school but it's hard going to school, going to work, and trying to find time to work out! I try to run at least 2-3 days a week. I try to eat healthy but it can be hard. For breakfast I usually have a greek yogurt and fruit, lunch and dinner both vary depending on my schedule. I don't really drink much soda to begin with so that helps.
  4. soxgirl2008

    Hospitals hiring BSN & Obamacare

    Picky can be good, if you can afford to be picky. Not everyone can afford to sit around unemployed for a year or more waiting for their dream job to come around. No one is saying you should work in a horrible LTC facility, but I know plenty of new grads that worked in LTC and did just fine. The people I'm talking about are the ones who only want 1st shift and only want to work in NICU, ICU, ER as a new grad and refuse to take anything else. Yeah, you may be lucky and get a job in that speciality, or you may be waiting awhile. If you can afford to wait for your dream job and dream shift to come, then awesome! But most new grads have bills to pay and need to take what they can get. You just need to know what your financial situation is and how long you can afford to be unemployed waiting to get that dream job.
  5. soxgirl2008

    Working while in nursing school.

    +1. I honestly believe if I didn't work I wouldn't do as well in school as I do. If I'm not under pressure I slack off and procrastinate. I work between 24-32 hours a week usually and I think it helps my studying because I know any free time I have I NEED to be studying and don't have time to sit on facebook or watch tv. That's just my personality though, there are others who are very disciplined even if they have all the time in the world, but I'm not one of them lol I don't have kids, but I live in an apartment with my bf, have rent, bills, etc. I do use some student loan money because other wise I would need to work full time. I usually work 24-32 hours a week. Yeah, it sucks lol. I'm either at school, at work, or studying, but I've done well. You really need to be okay with having no life besides school and work. Granted I know most people who work don't work as much as me. I usually work 12 hour shifts and sometimes 1 8 hour shift, which works out nice with school. I work in the ER and I LOVE it. It's by no means an easy job, but I love it and learn so much and I wouldn't trade it for smoothie king, retail, an office job, etc. Even if I didn't have to work I probably still would, just not as much..but I've worked at least part time since i was 15 so I'm just used to working and going to school. If you do plan on working I would try to find a job in healthcare, as it will help you with school and hopefully give you an advantage in finding a job.
  6. soxgirl2008

    RN to BSN

    It's still easy for ADNs to find hospital jobs around here too, however, many bigger hospitals do prefer BSN (but will hire ADN sometimes). I do think it's worth it, because for almost anything besides bedside nursing you will need a BSN, and you never know where you may be living in the future. Where you live now may hire ADNs, but you could end up somewhere in 5 years that doesn't.
  7. soxgirl2008

    How do you decide on a speciality?

    I would just worry about getting any job first. The market is so tight today, and I don't know where you live, but in many areas it's hard for new grads to find jobs let alone in a speciality. Once you find your first job you'll figure out what you like about it and what you don't like and you'll start to get an idea from there. Don't worry, it takes many nurses years to figure out what their niche is.
  8. soxgirl2008

    Hospitals hiring BSN & Obamacare

    I don't think obamacare will really have any impact on it, but as others have said it really depends where you live...I live in Wisconsin and plenty of hospitals still hire a lot of ADNs. Even magnet hospitals will hire ADN's sometimes if they've had prior healthcare experience. Some magnet hospitals will tell you they don't hire ADN's, but I know they do if it's the right candidate because I know people that have gotten in. You may need to look at more rural hospitals or smaller community hospitals, but there are hospitals out there hiring ADNs. The hospital I work at is at least 50% ADN, many of them in ICU, cardiac step down, surgery, ER, etc. I know how you feel. Where I live there is only one public university that offers BSN and you need at least a 3.7 GPA to get in and it's extremely competitive. When i first started college I was a different major and didn't care about grades and my grades just weren't competitive enough. My only other choice was a private BSN and pay 80,000 or the local ADN program. I live on my own, work, and don't have the money for a private BSN program, but I plan to bridge right away (and most of my prior college credits from the university transfer. I'll only need 6-7 classes for my RN-BSN). It's good to get your BSN right away, but it's just not feasible for everyone. My advice would be try to get a nurse intern position or some kind of CNA/nurse tech job at a hospital during school. The people I know who had the easiest time finding a job already had some sort of healthcare job...And be open to LTC facilities, rehab, clinic, etc. Like others have said most of the projected growth in nursing is outside the hospital. I know everyone and their mom wants to work in a hospital, but there are so many other areas of nursing that will need jobs filled too
  9. soxgirl2008

    2020 BSN law

    As others have said, it's not a law..Simply a goal that 80% of nurses have a BSN by 2020. In some areas it's almost impossible to get into a hospital without a BSN, in other areas it's still fairly easy to get a job even in ICU or another speciality with an ADN. Depends on where you live and the competition in your area. However, an ADN plus a BBA will usually not put you on the same level as a BSN. Yes, it's great you have the BBA but many employers want the bachelors to be in nursing.
  10. soxgirl2008

    How different is ASN vs. BSN?

    There may be a much larger salary for BSN nurses where you live, but this isn't true everywhere. I live in the midwest and at the hospitals around here there is no salary difference whatsoever. A few hospitals pay more to the BSNs, but it's only be a dollar or two an hour. A family member of mine is an RN in california and by her there is no difference either. In many places ADNs and BSNs make the same. More job opportunities? Yes. Larger salary? Not where I live. To the OP, no ADN programs are not more laid back. We all pass the same NCLEX and need to be prepared to do the same job. My friend is in a BSN program, I am in an ADN and both our programs are very rigorous. I think this varies more so by school than by degree. For my ADN I needed about a year and a half of pre-reqs, and then 2 years of clinical. At the BSN school you take 2 years of pre reqs and 2 years of clinical. The main difference in our clinical portion has been that his program emphasizes more on nursing theory, public health and community health nursing. Other than this we have learned the exact same information (my adn program still goes over theory, community health and public health but they don't spend as much time on it) are learning the same skills, working out of the same books, etc. We both had to take microbiology, chem, A&P, etc. He had to take more pre-reqs like art, history, physics, foreign language, etc. People are attracted to ADN programs because they are generally shorter and cheaper, not because they are easier in any way.
  11. soxgirl2008

    difference between associates and bachelors in nursing

    There is very little difference between my ADN program and the local BSN programs. I had to take chemistry, A&P 1 and 2, micro, psych, sociology, etc just like the BSN students. It's true that the ADN is rarely a 2 year degree anymore. My clinicals are 2 years, my ADN pre-reqs were about a year and a half. My friend is in a BSN program. 2 years of clinicals, and 2 years of pre-reqs. We have learned all the same things in our clinical, but they have gone over research and nursing theories in more detail than we have (Though we have touched on them) They also go over public health nursing and community health nursing in a little more detail. I took foreign language, history, arts, etc through a 4 year university awhile ago. When I go back there for my RN-BSN I will only need 4 classes for my BSN, and they are classes that have been covered in my ADN curriculum, just not as in depth. I hate that the ADN is still considered a '2 year degree' because I do not know of any ADN program that only takes 2 years. Nearly all of them have 2 years of clinicals like the BSN programs and a year to a year and a half of pre-reqs.
  12. soxgirl2008

    RN wondering is it worth getting BSN

    Um...no it's not. I live in the midwest and I can tell you the hospitals around here still regularly hire ADNs. Some magnet hospitals may be requiring BSN, but it is hardly 'mandatory everywhere'.
  13. soxgirl2008

    ADN vs BSN

    Where I live BSN's make the same as ADN RN's at almost all the hospitals. BSN's don't have to get paid more because they carry the same license as an ADN and are licensed to do the same job. Yes, their degree requires more classes, but they took the same NCLEX so their job description is no different. Some hospitals do pay more to BSNs, but it's usually only a dollar if that from what I've heard. Why are hospitals hiring more BSNs? It looks better on paper to have Bachelors prepared RNs than Associate degree prepared RNs. Not saying one is better than the other, just that there is a move in all of healthcare towards more education.
  14. soxgirl2008

    ADN's being pushed out

    I think what he's talking about is cases where hospitals hire a new grad BSN over an experienced ADN.
  15. soxgirl2008


    Well, what do you think you would prefer? LTC or hospital? I'd try for both. It's sometimes hard for a CNA without any experience to get hired in a hospital. However, I was hired in a hospital without any experience so it's possible! Working in a hospital gives you great experience for nursing school. I worked on a surgical floor for 2 years and now I work as an ER tech with my CNA certification and I love what I do! Working in LTC also gives you good experience, and if you decide it's not your cup of tea after a year or so you can always try getting a hospital job.