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Streamline2010

Streamline2010

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  1. Streamline2010

    I passed my first semester of nursing school!

    Congratulations! Keep up the hard work, LOL. I have a friend who is now a M.D. When he got to the end of his rope and went crying to his counselor that he was so exhausted and didn't even have time to sleep, she snapped: "Well, what do you want to do more? Become a doctor? Or sleep? Which one is more important to you?!" He said that advice helped him to deal with the realities of the situation. LOL Just stay focused on your longterm goal and don't dwell on the unpleasant aspects of school.
  2. Streamline2010

    Humble Pie

    If you're free to relocate, look at western PA and NE OH. Seems there are still plenty of LPN jobs in LTC but not many in hospitals nowadays. When I looked at LPN as a career change back in 2009, I was told LPNs are usually team leaders in nursing homes. Avg salary in Mercer and Lawrence counties (they are more rural) was quoted as $15 but Beaver and Allegheny were $18 - $21 or so. Avg PA statewide LPN annual gross salary was quoted as $40,000 and RN as $63,000 for 2008, per state government publications. Homes are affordable. There are several diploma RN schools, and associate degree RN college programs at community colleges and Penn State branches. Penn State branches offer bridge to BS RN. Clarion University, I believe, offers an online bridge program. (Sorry if this is a thread hijack. Just wanted to offer the suggestion to the ones who don't want to retire or leave LPN work.)
  3. Streamline2010

    How Old is "to old" to START a nursing education?

    I was 52 when I started, with 2 college degrees and a 20-year career behind me. I elected to drop out of RN school because nursing wasn't for me. The one and ONLY "physical demand" that gave me any problem was all of the sitting. Sitting through 6 hours of lectures and the chair made my bum numb and my back sore. If you wear the right shoes for you, walking around won't be an issue. Nurses DO get to sit down every so often. Stomping concrete in say, a factory or a big box retail store is far, far harder on one's body. If you have always worked jobs that didn't wear out your body, and you don't have preexisting back, shoulder, or other injures or physical limitations, then starting RN school in your 50s or even 60s should not be a problem. People vary, and one person could be physically older at 40 than another is a 80. Keeping your body weight down is a very good idea, too. Hoofing it around with 30-50 extra pounds is harder than doing it at ideal body weight. Some of my classmates were diabetics and they had a more difficult time with the demands of clinicals. I'd be cleaning up patient bathrooms if I had lags in the day. I am just compulsive motion. LOL The forced sedentary lifestlye of sit and study all the time got on my nerves. Infuriated me, truly. I am not a "sitter." I've always had jobs that let me get up and move around. RN school started to give me frozen shoulder and other annoyances that I know were just from the forced inactivity. I think that's a huge part of why I quit. After a day in class, I'd be practically bouncing off the walls and I preferred to go clean house or anything except sit and study, because I had so much pent-up energy. RN school just didn't work for me. But that's okay.
  4. Streamline2010

    Human Growth and Development

    Nursing classes will always refer back to the various theories of development, over and over. Practically every clinical assessment and care plan I did in N II and N III asked me to determine what stage of development in Erikson's, Freud's, Piaget's, what stage of Maslow's Hierarchy. You use these growth and development theories to help plan patient care. A nurse always has to be able to justify actions by pointing to a source that says "you do this." You can't just make up something because you thought it was a good idea, in other words. You have to cite a basis for your decisions.
  5. Streamline2010

    From One Nursing Student to the Next

    The requirements for uniforms can vary widely. Ours mandated a particular stock Cherokee white top and 2 choices of navy pants, elastic or drawstring. Shoes could be any kind but had to be solid white color with no other color and and NO mesh or perforations. The school sold us embroidered patches that we had to sew onto sleeves of tops and jackets. School required a white lab coat to wear over street clothes whenever we were in the hospital for something other than clinicals. Some clinicals like psych required street clothes, which I'd classify as "business casual." Then, in Year 2 of the program, after we'd all bought 2 or 3 changes of student uniform, the school changed the student nurse uniforms to royal blue scrubs and matching royal blue pants, and standardized the hospital nurses uniforms as white top and navy pants! So, the student nurses sold their old uniforms to regular nurses and had to go spend more money on new royal blue uniforms. That change in hospital policy infuriated many people. We also had no choice of instructor or clinicals. Those were all dictated. Some schools make students drive long distances to some clinical sites. I think the RN program at Butler (PA) community college had students going to Kittanning and Franklin for some clinicals. That's pretty far away.
  6. Streamline2010

    couldn't wait for ADN acceptance, now kind of terrified

    If you get in there and work, work, work, you should do fine! :-) Nursing I is kind of a catch-all course. The "kitchen sink." LOL It's a hogepodge of seemingly unrelated topics, but it's valuable introductory things that you need to know before you can move on. Just get on the subject material, stay up with it, don't ever let yourself get behind. The nursing content isn't something you can cram. You have to drill yourself, over and over, so that it sinks in. And the test questions will be asking you how to apply it, and make decisions. Prereqs were just facts and knowledge. Nursing will require you to know the material, but many of the exam questions are going one or more steps beyond and are asking you to do NCLEX style questions, where you may have one completely wrong answer, and two or three that are possible actions but you have to prioritize them and pick the BEST one. Personally, I think Nursing I is a bit early for that but hey, that's how nursing school is and you have to hit the ground running. The key is to thoroughly understand the course material, and do a lot of practice questions before the real exam. That's what those Success books do. And study guides for your textbook, and online resources for your text, too. Nursing school takes over your entire life. If the material comes easy to you, you may be one of the lucky ones who can read it once and sail through with a minimum of effort. But that isn't the norm for a lot of people. Don't worry about the clinicals. If your clinicals are like ours were, it's mostly nurse-aide level skills: Bathing, repositioning, ambulating, making beds with or without a patient in them, helping people dress. You learn to use the BP cuff, thermometer, take pluses at various locations on the body and they start you with that in the sim labs. You get training in lecture about the legal, ethical, and HIPA issues that a RN has to know. We started by going to a nursing home. We changed bedding, gave bed baths, dressed pts, ambulated them, observed medications being administered. We examined charts. We followed CNAs and LPNs around. Our instructor made sure that we cleaned up incontinent pts and changed briefs, performed a tube feeding, observed an ostomy appliance changed. They expose you to the odors, the vomit, the poop, etc. But you also get to take BP and other vital signs, chat with pts, assess their needs (like "risk for social isolation" for a bedridden pt, etc) Don't go in nervous. You can handle all of it. That's why it is called Nursing I. There are people who fail nursing I. But of the ones I saw it was one or all of 4 things: -- People who didn't put the time in : crammed, tried to catch up, could not because you need to understand thoroughly not just parrot something back. Scored too low on exams. -- People who just had no idea what they were getting into, found they didn't like the work and it was too far outside of their interests. I knew a couple of men and women like that. Some withdrew, some failed out. -- People who had too much going on outside of nursing school. They could pull that off in prereq college courses, but not the nursing course b/c the nursing demands so much more time outside of class. You may need to cut back hours you work, give up your social life, and/or shift childrearing onto the spouse. -- People who just lacked maturity. They didn't ever study, they goofed off, cut class, performed unsafely at clinicals, complained about odors and poop, slacked off at clinicals, maybe lied about performing patient assessments and just made stuff up. Instructors want to boot those people out ASAP. One thing to remember about RN school: Always be on your best behavior. THINK before you act. Always be adult, control your emotions, actually do the work, be very dedicated to learning, and don't be "above" anything. The instructors are observing you. The regular employees are observing you. The patients are observing you. RN school is a lot about ethics, character, and emotional maturity. It's a very demanding curriculum. It's a "people" profession, and those all require you to hone your people skills. If you get in there and work, work, work, you should do fine!
  7. Streamline2010

    Nursing Diagnoses. HELP!!!

    Nursing process is a roadmap for determining patient's needs and then planning, administering care, then evaluating whether or not it achieved the goal. As a nurse, you can't just do something because you thing it's a good idea. You have to be able to prove or show that whatever you do is not just something you made up on a whim. First, you assess. Then "The nursing diagnosis is the nurse’s clinical judgment about the client’s response to actual or potential health conditions or needs." The diagnosis reflects not only the medical condition but also the other complications (actual) or potential (risk for). The nursing diagnosis is the basis for the nurse’s care plan. The nurse can't use the doctor's medical diagnosis diagnosis of FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin). The nursing diagnoses have to be things that a nurse can do something about, is what my instructor said. So, use the assessment of the patient, and out of that pull your three + three + three nursing diagnoses. www.kc-courses.com/fundamentals/week2process/nanda2012.pdf‎ You have some clues: for example, I know that early 40s to 50s is when many men get into cardiovascular problems. So, here's a guy age 42 w/ sedentary lifestyle, 5'10" and 220# is probably overweight, you see some information about his diet, and "His father died at the age of 50 from a heart attack" which is a huge risk factor. You might pull a risk-for or an "educational diagnosis" (whatever that is, lol) out of there. Safety-related issues are always important. etc. Analyze the clues they gave you, and eventually you are expected to prioritize but at this stage might just have to identify needs of patient and convert that to nursing diagnoses.
  8. Streamline2010

    Heads up to all new nursing students:

    I had the opposite experience: Started nursing school thrilled, excited, deadly serious about succeeding, willing to do it day and night or whatever it takes, striving for perfection. And determined to thoroughly learn everything because I knew I'd need to use it later. I didn't expect it to be difficult, because I had top grades in my non-RN preqs and my other two degrees and my preentrance exams, I'd completed non-nursing associate degree and a business degree and had already had a career. I was burned out on nursing school within 9 months, and I didn't finish a full year. Honestly, I think that how you feel about A&P and how easy or hard or fun or tedious or interesting or dull you found A&P is perhaps the best indicator of how RN school's first year will strike you. In spite of what the instructors say, there *is* a great amount of memorization to be done in nursing. But it doesn't stop there. You must memorize it, retain it, understand it, and be able to apply it. Nursing school content was 180 degrees from the science and manufacturing and technology work that I enjoy, and I didn't like all of the sitting in lectures all day only to have to sit all night and study. By the time I left, I was totally burned out from the grind. I thought I'd try a different school but the farther away I got, the less I cared. How well-structured and well-organized the school's program is matters, too. Proper planning on their part, and arranging the content so that it makes it easier not harder for students to learn really helps. The school I was at didn't teach the typical block curriculum and the usual units like college degree programs have. It was a hospital based program, and the topics and the clinicals were simply scheduled around the availability of hospital facilities and what the school wanted to accomplish that particular term. The clinicals were rotations, not even in sync with what was being taught in the lecture. Your clinical for the term might happen before or after the material was covered in class. That made twice the work for us students. If you are in a school where they kind of chop up the units into bits & pieces and sequence them randomly, or the clinicals are handled like a totally different program, expect that you must get right on it and keep on it, because you will have to work 2x as hard in a program like that. There's no way to catch up if you get behind in those "integrated" programs like that, because those programs keep students consistently fully loaded with work, required to be on the hospital premises every day with little time off, and essentially overbooked all the time.
  9. Streamline2010

    ABSN students with a bad work ethic

    I've talked to a lot of older adults who are back in school. This "team building" stuff is the current educational fad in many degrees now. The older students say that generally the division of work winds up unfair, with the more studious and mature students carrying some loafers. The nursing school I attended didn't do any substantial team projects until the last couple of terms. By that time, they'd flunked out 2/3 of the class, so I guess there were no loafers remaining. lol
  10. Streamline2010

    Out of town clinical sites?

    I think that the associate degree program at Butler, PA community college sends students from Butler to Kittanning (20-25 miles one way) and Franklin (50 miles one way), PA, and some other places. Associate degree schools have been getting short shrift from hospitals that are no longer hiring anything except BSRN grads. Some associate degree programs actually closed because they couldn't get clinical sites to take their students anymore.
  11. Streamline2010

    Older workers that are new grad nurses, please explain.

    How does it bring maturity: Come back and answer that after you've worked 10 years or more and have paid off loans, and have changed and upgraded your skills to stay current in your field, and/or have lost an entire career field to outsourcing or offshoring and now have to retrain and remarket yourself. To suggest that older employees have learned NOTHING about how to be a productive employee is insulting. The fact that a person has a 10 0r 20 or 30 year work history gives a potential employer a good insight into the work habits as well as the character of that person. You are fixated on this idea that people only work for a single employer all of their career. That hasn't been true for at least 30 years now! "Job hopper" is a relative thing. If an engineer, to use your example, wants to bid their salary up, they typically work about 5 years for the first employer, and then they change companies and locations, for a higher salary. Sometimes they left because they stayed 10 years with the first employer, and the pay raises and promotions there just lagged so far behind the market that all of the 10-year employees of a given company might quit en masse and go find themselves better jobs because the market rate for 10 yrs exp was 1.5x what their current employer paid. Another fact that you might not be aware of is that contract employers often pay engineers higher wages than fulltime positions do, so many engineers work contract work and thus "job hop" because that's the nature of contract work, kind of analogous to travel nurse jobs. Do you consider travel nurse jobs as job hopping, a negative thing? Manufacturing has also been a boom/bust, boom a little, go bust again kind of thing, particularly in the old Rust Belt region. This recession that began in 2008-2009 caused many manufacturing facilities to close, of to shift their production overseas or to Mexico. It's only recently that healthcare and hospital workers are getting a taste of that, what the engineers and CAD designers and maintenance people and assembly line workers have been seeing since the late '70s or early '80s. In my rural area, hospitals are all closing their OB and labor/delivery units. They are consolidating services at one location. UPMC is buying up hospitals and has even closed some completely! Nursing is not going to be the secure lala land of happy ladies anymore. You have the beancounters running you, and the hospitals losing money. "Affordable Healthcare" isn't going to be a money-maker. It will mean bigger losses. One thing that employers have to face is that they no longer offer lifetime job security and a paternalistic boost and hefty pay raises to their loyal longterm employees, so they have to get used to the fact that today's employees are mercenaries and free agents who can and will leave for better opportunities, sometimes giving not notice other than "Notice that I am not showing up for work here anymore, Boss." ;-D And they brought it upon themselves, too. 100% What an engineer brings to nursing: High skill level in calculations. Pharma calcs are a breeze, as are English/SI units conversions. IV pumps and tubing choices and settings won't be any challenge, either. Neither will an manual IV drip setup. Might fully understand how to build, adjust, calibrate, and set that IV pump, LOL. Permits, rules, laws, regulations, roles and responsibilities and the why of those: No problem. Contrary to what you may think, an engineer will have a far easier time learning and understanding and applying the principles of nursing and A&P and microbiology than a nurse would have trying to go back to school and get an engineering degree. One of the largest problems I had with nursing is that the longer I was in nursing school, the more it just seemed like motherhood or a servile job. When one works in engineering, one does not work with stupid and indigent people all day. One works with very brainy people almost exclusively. During an entire year of nursing school, I never once had even one patient who was the intellectual level of engineers. That was a real drawback to nursing as a career change, to me: Just not meeting any interesting and intellectually stimulating patients in this line of work. I felt cut off from my world, and I didn't like yours except for the OR. So, I quit. One less older career changer to compete with you, hahahahaha!
  12. Streamline2010

    Older workers that are new grad nurses, please explain.

    In the business world, a long-range plan is 5 years nowadays. Presuming that any one person will reside 40 years in the same region, let alone work 40 years for a single employer, is sheer foolishness. People move, they quit to raise families, they get injured on the job or off the job and sometimes are on temporary or permanent disability, they leave to follow a relocating spouse, they voluntarily leave to pursue more education or a better career opportunity. Or they get fed up with nursing altogether and leave it.
  13. Streamline2010

    Finished Pre-Nursing, Need help on ADN or BSN??

    Microbiology was required for every associate degree and diploma nursing program that I looked at. (Pennsylvania still has diploma schools, and they require just as much if not more college than associate degree RN.) Statistics will be a bonus on your transcript. Take it. It's something that you can possibly use on the job, and a class that employers like to see. Chem II, I don't know why that would be needed because most BS RN degrees that I'm familiar with only require one semester of chemistry. Some even have a special chemistry for nurses course. Many associate degrees that I looked into would accept high school chem and general biology, and only required microbiology and A&P I and II as college courses.
  14. Streamline2010

    So confused on how to get into a nursing program

    Nursing schools can have different admissions and prerequisite requirements. The math you need is really not full college algebra, but the college or university might require college algebra. Some have a special nursing math class and that makes more sense to me because you really only use select parts of algebra and also use "dimensional analysis", also known as "factor label method" to do drug calcs. Google factor label method. The math is really all covered by a GED math review book. I'd look into getting one of those. That's what I used because I took algebra in high school and calculus in college and hadn't done pencil and paper math since the 1980s, lol.
  15. Streamline2010

    Opening for BSN programs

    The schools that I applied to: One had a rule that if you got 80 or better on their preadmission test and you wanted in, you're in. First come, first served, no points ranking. They filled the class up and then waitlisted the extra students. If there were seats open at the start of classes, they went down the waitlist to try to fill them. One ranked applicants in three tiers: Immediate Yes, Immediate No, or Waitlist. Then they point-ranked the waitlist and tried to fill up the class, then if they didn't fill every seat or they had last minute dropouts, they opened the remainder up to everyone who met their minimum qualifications. Others ranked students competitively by points, and then went down the ranks to fill the class. They waitlisted some students and tried to fill cancellations with them. eta: Those were diploma and associate degree programs but all nursing schools and departments probably do some variant of those three.
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