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  1. MissIt

    How do you know that hospice is right for you?

    I am so glad he had you. I would suggest volunteering for a hospice, inpatient if you can because then you can see what the nurses do day in and day out. Hospice is a beautiful thing and it certainly sounds like you have the right mindset. Letting people die on their own terms, allowing them quality of life during their last days and months and dignity at the end is what it's all about.
  2. NVCC has a wonderful program, they really prepare their nurses well. If it were me, I would call nursing recruiting at both Virginia Hospital Center and one of the Inova hospitals and ask them what they recommend. Honestly, I think for getting a job, the main thing is making contacts. You'll do your clinicals on the floor at one of the hospitals, keep in touch with them, volunteer with them if you can. If they know you, they'll hire you. Even new BSN grads are having a difficult finding jobs if they haven't done the networking.
  3. Oh, massages would be great. That's what I'm suggesting if anyone ever asks me!! :)
  4. I worked in a wonderful clinic where the doctors took over and staffed the clinic over lunch so all the nurses could go out to lunch together. And we got to actually go to a restaurant for a real sit down lunch, not just the cafeteria. LOL Our nurse manager would always give us a little something too.
  5. MissIt

    New grads 2011, Northern Virginia/DC, who is hiring?

    Are there any traditional 2 year BSN programs in your area? I had a biology BS before I went to nursing school and did the junior and senior years of the BSN program. At the time they didn't have an accelerated program, although I have heard that the accelerated programs are becoming more and more the norm for second degree students. With the regular 2 year program you have more time for networking and doing other nursing related activities so that when you get out, you have the contacts you'll need to get a job. Honestly, that plays a bigger role in whether you get a job than just about anything else.
  6. MissIt

    New grads 2011, Northern Virginia/DC, who is hiring?

    Do you have your prereqs? Honestly, I think you're going to find that the ADN program is almost as challenging as the BSN program. IMHO, the hardest classes are the ones the ADN and BSN programs share. And then you have your BSN and don't have to figure out the logistics of going back again. Just a thought.
  7. MissIt

    Relocating to DC area

    I don't think I'd stay behind with the kids and do the program. Nursing school is really hard and it is going to be even worse if you've also taken on all of the parenting duties. Mclean is a lovely area. I'm doing my RN refresher at Northern Virginia Community College and have been very impressed with the program, it's organization, quality of professors and facilities, etc. Marymount has a BSN program, but is expensive. George Mason has a BSN program and is a state school. You'll have to get in-state residency, which is another year. The job market isn't great, but I don't think it's worse than anywhere else. Good luck. We had a similar situation in our family and it can be really frustrating to have to put your life on hold for a partner's job.
  8. MissIt

    CHPN Exam

  9. MissIt

    Hospice, different types?

    It depends on the hospital. Some hospitals do have hospice floors or designated hospice beds on other floors, oncology for example. Other hospitals don't have any inpatient hospice beds, but, obviously, people are admitted for end of life care on other floors. There are inpatient hospice facilities, which can be separate from the hospital. I believe the majority of hospice patients are at home. Others receive hospice services at their long term care or skilled nursing facilities. Lots of options!
  10. MissIt

    New grads 2011, Northern Virginia/DC, who is hiring?

    I read yesterday that the University of Maryland new grad program is still active.
  11. MissIt

    Thinking about working as a hospice nurse...

    Of course it depends a bit on the facility where you work, but ours is a lot more technical than I thought it would be. Pain is of course, a major concern. There aren't many IVs, but many of our patients have central lines or subcutaneous sites for their meds. We have patients with PCAs, epidurals, CPAPs, wounds like nothing I've ever seen before (and I'm an oncology nurse, definitely have seen some terrible wounds). Lots of dementia and people admitted for uncontrolled symptoms, in addition to pain (respiratory secretions, dyspnea, cough, bowel and bladder issues, nausea, vomiting, seizures, pruritus, fatigue, etc, etc, etc). It's kind of like a medical/surgical floor, a LTC facility, and a psych unit all rolled up into one, with a little bit of peds thrown in. But, here's the main difference for me... our team is there to make the end of these patients lives as good as we can for them and their families. There is a camaraderie that isn't like the hospital (in my experience, anyway). We have therapy dogs on the floor, volunteers all day and evening, massage therapists, chaplains and social workers that are almost always there. The focus isn't curing, it's caring and it feels really different from the hospital. Of course we have problems to solve and symptoms to manage, but it's much more holistic. It's how you thought nursing would be before you went to nursing school. LOL If it were me, I would go volunteer at the inpatient hospice where you think you might like to work. Or at least go shadow a nurse for a day or two.
  12. MissIt

    What are my chances?

    I suspect that after a month, or so, you'll know if this is your niche. Being a hospice volunteer is amazing. You get to support patients in a way that the staff just doesn't have the time to do. You will learn a lot about symptom management and non-pharmacological comfort measures. Little things, like mouth care, helping someone shave, or helping someone go outside make a huge difference in patient quality of life. You can also let the nurses know if someone is having pain, dyspnea, or other symptoms. You will be a really important part of the care team! I've said several times that I wish I could do this as my job, but the pay isn't so great. LOL
  13. MissIt

    What are my chances?

    I think your chances are good, as long as you have the background they require. Actually, there is one woman at our facility who did this while in nursing school and got a job as a new grad. I know people at our agency have been hired, both inpatient and case management, through their volunteering connections. Companies are always happier to hire people they know, I think.
  14. MissIt

    RN Refresher Programs in Virginia

    I talked with a lot of nurse recruiters before starting the NOVA program and they all said do the program and then I'll forward your application to the nurse managers. In my opinion, the only way to get a job in this economy is to make a personal connection with a nurse manager. Volunteering, shadowing, or maybe just setting up a meeting and asking for specific advice about how to get from where you are to where you want to be. It's definitely not like finding a nursing job a decade ago!
  15. MissIt

    Hospice Care from the other side

    Sharon, I hope you realize what a blessing you were for your husband in his last days. I hope I am both able to help my loved ones like that and that, when the time comes, someone loves me enough to care for me so well.