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Spacklehead

Spacklehead MSN, NP

Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care
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Spacklehead has 24 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Emergency, Cardiac, PAT/SPU, Urgent Care.

Spacklehead's Latest Activity

  1. Spacklehead

    As a new NP, did you do a residency program?

    I don’t recall there being NP residencies when I graduated in 2009. As much as some people on here disagree with me, it was my previous ER nursing experience (10+ years) that helped and still helps me to this day feel competent as a FNP. I have seen the non-textbook presentations of numerous conditions and it was that experience that helped tremendously. So many people present to the ER with illnesses that can be managed as an outpatient. ER nursing is also an entirely different animal where you typically see the patient before the doctor does so you have to really hone in on the patient’s HPI to start the appropriate treatment protocols. I also tend to fall back on my ER nursing experience when a patient presents with much more serious issues than initially thought. Being able to think quickly on your feet is beneficial to any type of advanced practice provider. The thing that I felt also helped the most was just really listening to the patient. You can get so much from just obtaining a good history. Showing empathy also helps in that the patient learns to trust you and they will typically share more info that is helpful to the history.
  2. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    FullGlass, I have to say that the tone of your posts really come across as having issues with RN’s who actually work or have worked as RN’s. No one is putting down new grad NPs on here with no previous nursing experience, though you seem to have an issue with me saying that IME, my nursing experience and clinical rotations are what helped get me my first NP positions. Not so sure why that seems to bother you so much? Again, the main point of my argument was that there is no need to shell out a ton of money for IVY league schools as there are less expensive options that are just as good and provide a great NP education, as well as create job opportunities. My response was to the OP as she/he had mentioned an Ivy League school vs other schools of “less” prestige. I get that either you don’t agree with me or don’t like the fact that my previous nursing experience made the difference with me getting hired as a new grad NP. Not sure what else to tell you there. I also do believe the OP was asking an “anecdotal” question, hence my “anecdotal” answer. Didn’t have to be based in research (again, to which there is very little and does not really lean one way or the other as it is so limited) Remaining humble, asking questions, admitting what you don’t know, doing research to find the correct answers, embracing your education, seeking out the best clinical experiences possible, being kind to your fellow RN’s, and being a life-long learner are what will take a new NP grad far in any job and with any amount of experience.
  3. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    Sigh......again, no one fully reads my posts. If you did, you’d see that I mentioned attending a brick and mortar program - not a fully for-profit, online program. I am not arguing that one should not attend a reputable NP Program - for I believe quite the opposite. What I said was I don’t feel that going to “an Ivy” is a must for a better chance at getting a job. Also, many reputable schools now offer online/distance learning (Villanova comes to mind). Also, I am a FNP, not ACNP. I returned to get my MSN after 10 years of nursing experience which included the ER and progressive cardiac unit. As an NP I have worked in primary care, urgent care, occupational health, and PAT. I was not asked for a transcript as a new grad NP during any of my interviews. Was never asked about my school. What was asked was previous nursing experience and my clinical rotation experiences. My ER nursing experience has been absolutely beneficial to my work as an NP. To say it is of little use in primary care is absurd, especially since many “after hours” primary care patients would show up to the ER before urgent cares sprouted up everywhere. Doctors, as well as nurses, conducted my interviews, typically panel style. If you read up on the history of NP programs they all used to require previous nursing experience. That is why they involve less clinical hours as opposed to PAs. They were developed assuming that experienced RNs would apply. I see you have 3 years of experience - does that include your nursing experience? If so, I can see why where you went to school for your NP made a difference during your interview. One study will not sway me either way. What you wrote at the end of your post is what I’ve been saying all along if you read my posts. We are mostly in agreement.
  4. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    Point being if the school is CCNE accredited it will be approved by the state BON. That means the content of the program will meet what is needed for a grad to sit for the boards and get their NP from the state. Again, in my previous posts I mentioned brick and mortar programs, not online programs. However, I’m sure there have been some good NPs from online schools, as well. I have nothing against Ivy League or prestigious institutions; what I have issue with is the possibility of those who visit this site who want to become an NP, but cannot spend a huge amount of money, to feel discouraged that their education won’t be “good enough” when looking for a job after graduation if they don’t attend an Ivy. I’m just letting them know that there are other ways to stand out as a job candidate and not to worry.
  5. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    Both Penn and Yale use CCNE for their programs’ accreditation.
  6. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    That is the reason I said to obtain strong clinical experiences. They will make a huge difference with finding a job. I was lucky in that my program, a state school, had a dedicated person who arranged our clinical experiences.
  7. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    Sure, those classes are helpful for your NP Program, but your future employer is not going to ask for a transcript. I would also hope that NP students, no matter which school they attend, are “driven and science-minded.” You have to be in order to succeed as a competent NP. Just FYI, if the NP Program is accredited by CCNE then the blueprint for the NP programs will not vary much from school to school. I’ve precepted several NP students over the years and I can honestly tell you that I’d never know where they went to school by how they practiced. What I could tell is who had extensive RN experience vs who did not. You just can’t argue that where you went to school will be considered more important to a future employer than what kind of previous nursing and clinical experience you have. Again, maybe as a new grad on equal playing ground, yes, it might help you get your foot in the door - but someone who has strong RN experience at a level 1 trauma hospital will most likely get the position over an Ivy League grad who has only done nursing clinicals in their RN program. New NP grads with no previous RN working experience will have a much steeper learning curve the first several months. Think about it, NP schools were formed initially to build off of what experienced nurses learned on the job. That’s why they don’t require nearly as many clinical hours as PA programs, for example. My advice - and take it or leave it - don’t feel like you have to put out an enormous amount of money for a prestigious institution if you can’t really afford it. An accredited state brick and mortar program will be just fine. Just seek out strong clinical experiences and work as an RN for a few years before you graduate as an NP and you will find a job.
  8. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    You put two new NP grads up against each other for a job interview and I can pretty much guarantee you that the new NP grad from a local state school who has several years’ hospital-based RN experience in areas such as the ICU, ER, cardiac unit, etc. is going to stand out way more than the Ivy League NP grad whose only RN experience was clinicals in their BSN program. The only way that school recognition is going to help in the NP field is if both new grads have little to no RN experience.
  9. Spacklehead

    Importance of NP Program Reputation, Name Recognition

    Just my anecdotal 2 cents - the school I graduated from (a known state school in the region) did not even come up in any of my NP position interviews. What did come up as a new grad were my clinical experiences and my previous nursing experience. Later interviews focused on my NP experience. Interestingly enough, I have precepted several UPenn NP students. You’d think they’d seek out their own grads as preceptors. If finances are a concern, I’d go the less expensive state school route and focus on getting the best clinical experiences you can.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...

    Move to the East Coast and I'll give you names of excellent NP programs.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. Spacklehead

    Competent programs? NP or PA...