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Spacklehead

Spacklehead MSN, RN, NP

Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care
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Spacklehead has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care.

Spacklehead's Latest Activity

  1. Spacklehead

    Veterinary Technician or RN?

    I worked as a vet tech while completing my BSN - this was back in the mid-90's and it paid $8.00/hour. I LOVED that job!!! If it didn't pay squat I would do it again in a heartbeat! It also helped me with my RN education because a lot of the meds used are very similar. I never attended a formal vet tech program but was taught on the job. I was allowed to do blood draws and start IV's, I filled Rx's, performed heartworm/fecal tests, cleaned kennels, assisted the vet as needed, etc. SO much better than working as an RN/NP. As someone else mentioned, the patients typically complain much less and are much nicer!
  2. Just a little food for thought, here. If you currently work as a RN in one state and attend an online BSN program several states away from where you currently live during the same time-frame (both would be listed on your resume), they will be able to figure out you attended an online program.
  3. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    Move to the East Coast and I'll give you names of excellent NP programs.
  4. Spacklehead

    Uncomfortable with Batrim order transcription.

    No it does not! Bactrim DS is typically given BID for UTI's. It might be that in LTC facilities the older folks might have decreased renal function so that plain Bactrim might be given vs. the Bactrim DS - but I would still be double-checking that order, especially if the patient's CrCl is fine.
  5. Spacklehead

    Uncomfortable with Batrim order transcription.

    I would definitly be clarifying that Bactrim order. I, personally, have only seen and used Bactrim DS (and it can be given BID) in my 14 years of nursing - especially if this is for a UTI. I am definitely not saying that regular strength Bactrim isn't used - but yes, I would DEFINITELY be clarifying that order with the dosage strength!
  6. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    Here you go (keep in mind I mentioned "self-proclaimed" #1 program in the US): http://www.desales.edu/default.aspx?pageid=1437 One semester of O-chem (which we had in my BSN program), no calculus and no physics (which we had in my BSN program). Their graduates seem to be doing just fine without those courses.
  7. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

  8. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    Well, with what you mention then, I can't honestly explain what happened with your wife's education. It sounds like she had great RN experiences which should have provided her an excellent foundation. Maybe her school just wan't up to par - I don't know. Interestingly enough, though, what FNP boards did she take? The ANCC and the AANP FNP exams require you to complete the whole exam, no matter how many questions you answer correctly. The computer does not "shut off" after a minimum amount of questions are answered correctly like the NCLEX does.
  9. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    See next post.
  10. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    I completely agree, Juan. I really do believe a lot of new nurses go into NP programs thinking they will be taught "everything" they need to know in order to function in any type of setting. It's just not the case. Now, I am only going by my FNP program, for that is all I have experience with - but it most definitely did build off of the assumption that I had a strong foundation in nursing already (my program did not accept new grads). FNP programs truly just teach you to be generalists who function in the outpatient family practice setting (not how to provide care for that patient if they need acute care in a hospital setting). If you want to specialize, you really need to find a program that provides that option; or find an employer who is willing to provide a lot of on-the-job training and support (an example here would be going into derm). Just as a side-note - the same goes for physicians, also. For example, I would much rather my children see a pediatrician/PNP than a family practice doc/FNP for their routine care. They are trained to pick up on the subtleties that a generalist might not be familiar with (due to lack of exposure) for that specific population. Just a preference of mine, not a knock against FNP's or FP docs.
  11. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    If you don't mind me asking - how long was your wife an RN before becoming an NP? What kind of RN experience did she have? Also, what kind of clinical rotations did she have? Did she arrange them, or did her school arrange them for her? Also, what kind of NP is she? As an FNP, I had clinical rotations in each separate component: Peds, family practice, internal medicine, women's health, OB and geriatrics. I wasn't placed at a family practice office for all of my clinical experiences hoping to see a little bit of peds or some OB (not saying that your wife was). I spent a whole semester (typically 3-4 days per week) in each specialty - for example: during my peds rotation I was with a PNP and a pediatrician - both in low-income urban clinics where I would see many different chronic and acute conditions. For OB/gyn, I was with an NP who worked for an OB/gyn group, so I had more than my fair share of different gyn issues as well as OB patients. I was also at a women's public health clinic in the city. I also spent two semesters with an internal medicine doc who had his own practice and also rounded on patients in a nursing home and in the hospital. While I worked as an RN in the ER, I would spend less busy nights going over labs/X-rays with the docs, or learning from them about the interventions they chose for various conditions. They always loved to teach and would graciously go over things with me if I asked. When I mentioned to do your research, I meant to really look into the programs to see where the students do their clinical rotations, what their first-time pass rates are on the certifying exams, where their graduates have found jobs (and how long it took). Did many graduating NP students already have offers upon graduation? How many clinical hours are required for graduation? Do they only require the bare minimum to sit for the ANCC/AANP or do they require a lot more? These are answers you most likely WON'T find here on a message board. My 2 cents - if you are not already an RN, then consider going the PA route; if you are already an RN with several years' experience, consider the NP route. Best of luck with which ever you choose.
  12. Spacklehead

    All Those NPs with No Bedside Experience

    If you are lucky enough to work with patient and understanding doctors, other NP's, or PA's - always ask them for another opinion if you have any questions about a patient, treatment, diagnosis, etc. Discuss with them difficult cases you have; ask them to bring you in their room if they have an interesting/difficult case. When you go home at night, research any conditions you saw that day that weren't straight-forward or you were unsure of. Learn about them, their differentials, treatment options, etc. Being an NP is being dedicated to continuing the learning process. It is the only way you can be the best NP you absolutely can be. Being an NP is not a "job" you can just leave at the end of the day.
  13. Spacklehead

    All Those NPs with No Bedside Experience

    Luckily, many states are starting to regulate this so that NP's are restricted to only practice in the area in which they are educated and certified for. As an FNP, I wouldn't even dream of stepping foot into the units and writing orders. NO way, NO how! Only ACNP's should be on the units!
  14. Spacklehead

    All Those NPs with No Bedside Experience

    I have participated in this topic numerous times over on the NP side of this site and have seen the argument from both sides, so I will just post what my experience has been. I have been an RN for 14 years and have been an NP for 2 of those years. For those NP students or those brand new NP's who claim that you don't need any bedside RN experience to be successful as an NP - I wholeheartedly disagree with you. NP programs were initially developed to build off of the "nursing" foundation that you are "supposed" to have prior to entering the program. In the not too distant past, NP programs would not accept new RN's with less than 1-2 years' nursing experience; hence the term "Advanced Practice Nurse." There have been numerous times where my years of nursing experience have helped me to not miss critical diagnoses that could have been easily missed. Yes, NP school will teach you the "common" and "typical" signs/symptoms/presentations of various different conditions, but what it won't teach you are those atypical, subtle presentations that only someone who has seen them before will likely pick up. Textbooks are great, but they can't teach you everything. This is where bedside nursing experience comes in to play; also being humble enough to admit when you don't know something, but being knowledgeable enough to refer to the appropriate specialist. Yes, being an NP is entirely different than being an RN - but (contrary to what some will lead you to believe) having bedside RN experience will only HELP you to be a much better provider, especially in the very beginning of your NP career. It truly is about being able to know what you don't know - and not trying to pretend like you do know it all. Everyday at work I am extremely thankful to have been an ER nurse for several years, especially since I work alone. You will not typically get several weeks' orientation with another provider as an NP. You will be expected to perform competently on your own from the very beginning. No hand-holding happens at this level. For those who say RN experience won't help you to be a good NP, then I am afraid you are one of those who does not know what you don't know.
  15. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    The same can be said for any type of degree program. There are great ones, and there are poor ones. You really need to do your research, learn about the program, ask questions, seek out alumni and see how they felt about their education. I would not put my time and money blindly into any educational program without doing research for my own best interest. I, personally, feel my NP program prepared me very well for entry-level practice; however, I also had 10 years of ER/cardiac nursing under my belt, too. Maybe that helped just a little, also? I think so!
  16. Spacklehead

    CDS vs DEA

    Yep, it does differ by state. In my state, you don't need the CDS, just the DEA (and a collab. agreement) to Rx narcs.
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