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chuckster ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-B

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Firefighter, EMT-B, BLS instructor - currently pursuing a position in family nursing

chuckster's Latest Activity

  1. chuckster

    265 questions is almost guaranteed if your a male.

    I wonder if myoglobin is on to something with his hypothesis. My NCLEX experience is from quite a while ago but was the full 265 questions. More surprising was the number of calculation questions on my test. I stopped keeping count after 20 but I'd guess it was double that. The calculation questions also became increasingly more elaborate - I can't say more difficult because the math involved for nearly all nursing calculations is generally pretty basic. I was convinced that I'd somehow managed to fail, and so was surprised when a couple of days later, a number of my friends congratulated me on becoming an RN. (An aside: in many states, NCLEX scores must be reported to the BON in 2 business days and you can simply check the state's nursing website to see if you're listed as an RN - without paying Peason Vue extra for early results.) As for the calculation questions, my hypothesis is that I was getting the correct answers and the NCLEX algorithm was simply selecting more challenging questions as the test progressed.
  2. chuckster

    Is this for Me?

    A couple of thoughts. Your age is not a barrier to getting a nursing education, however, your plans should absolutely include the BSN. The overwhelming preference by employers in most parts of the US, despite an alleged nursing shortage, is for BSN candidates. While age is not a barrier to becoming a nurse, age discrimination is rampant in the US, and age can be a significant impediment to finding a job. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that "ageism is among the most common forms of employment discrimination." An interesting 2017 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco using more than 40,000 dummy job applications, found that job candidates between the ages of 29 and 31 received 35 percent more callbacks than those ages 64 to 66, despite having similar qualifications and skills. Obviously, the job market differs in various parts of the country, and ageism may be more or less of a factor depending on your location. Still, it's something to take into consideration, particularly since the 2009 Supreme Court decision in an age discrimination case. The determination of the Court was basically that age had to be proven to be the principle reason for the discrimination, and not simply one of several factors. That's a very high barrier and essentially allows employers to continue to discriminate on the basis of age if they so choose. And they do: A recent (2018) AARP survey of people age 45 and older (n=3,900) determined that more than nine in 10 older workers perceive age discrimination as common, with 61% indicating they’ve personally seen or experienced it. My suggestion - as others have indicated - is to be very sure that nursing is what you want to do. You will need to invest considerable time, energy and money into getting qualified as an RN. You will also face at least some discrimination in finding a job, taking more time and energy. Neither impediments will be absolute barriers IF you're sure nursing is really your calling.
  3. chuckster

    Improving immigration status

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've looked at finding an employer in the past, but unfortunately without much success. Perhaps the situation has changed of late and it it certainly is worth re-examining, even if it is a relative long shot. After doing some more digging, it seems like the issue is related to my location preference, which for various reasons, is (or at least was) Ontario. From what I can gather, immigration to that province is probably subject to the most restrictions and though I'd like to think otherwise, I'm not a particularly desirable candidate based on their criteria. Quebec seems to be quite a bit more flexible and in many ways is an even more desirable destination for me. The biggest barrier is language. While I am close to basic proficiency, that level will not be nearly sufficient. I'd guess that improving to the point of relative fluidity will take at least a year, probably longer. I also looked into immigration under the AIPP, which is probably the most flexible of the options. While I personally love Newfoundland and the Maritimes, and think I would very much enjoy living there, their relative geographic isolation will make access for our grown children (who will remain in the US) difficult. Probably too tough to make immigration there a viable alternative. I'm going to continue to explore options and plan on an extended trip through Ontario and Quebec in early summer for an on-the-ground assessment. I always knew that it would be difficult to get to Canada but frankly, had no idea of just how hard it would be!
  4. chuckster

    Seeking Advice in Philadelphia!

    You may be able to do what your want for less than you've budgeted. Like you, I had a previous non-nursing degree and went to CC for my ADN (in my case, DCCC). My cost (less than $6k) was less than you've indicated in your post, mostly because it was a number of years ago and because my undergrad work meant that I did not need as many of the prereqs. After passing the NCLEX, I looked around for the least expensive BSN program offered by an established, regionally accredited college. My BSN wound up only being a bit more than the ADN. All told, my BSN was well under $15k. You should take a close look at the ADN-BSN programs offered by various colleges and universities - the cost varies widely but in general, state-affiliated schools are significantly less than private colleges. One other place I saved money was with textbooks. With only one or two exceptions, I bought the previous edition of whatever text was assigned and almost never paid more than $10. There is some risk in doing this but I found that there was usually very little change between the old and new texts. Most often, the major change was the organization of the chapters. In that case, all you need to do is to see what the chapter headings/descriptions are in the assigned text and then map yours to that. Instructors are often sympathetic and will let you photocopy the table of contents from their text. Failing that, find a rich classmate and beg them for the same thing. On a related note, the state of PA used to grant the CNA to nurses who passed the NCLEX. You just sent your credentialing in, and the state made your a CNA. I could not find a job as a new grad AD-RN, so went this route until I got my BSN, but I don't know if the state still allows it. It's maybe a less than desirable scenario but it's a way to pay the bills, get more experience and do some networking. Just remember to stay within the CNA scope of practice if you do this. Good luck.
  5. chuckster

    Improving immigration status

    When the on-line CRS calculator came up at less than the typically needed points, I then contacted a Canadian immigration attorney. His determination, was also that I was ineligible, though I did not get an explanation of why this was the case.
  6. chuckster

    Improving immigration status

    Hi - for a variety of reasons, I’d like to immigrate to Canada but was recently assessed as not eligible. I'm wondering what, if anything, I can do to change my status. A few words about my situation. I’m a second-career RN (BSN), with a background in primary and emergency care (I’m also a volunteer firefighter and EMT-B; ACLS & PALS). In addition to the BSN, I have a BA an MBA and an associates degree in applied science. My primary career (more than 20 years) was as contracts manager in the aerospace industry. I’m also an honorably discharged veteran. As far as language skills, I’m a native English speaker (born in the USA) and am working on improving my French, which is probably less than basic at this point. While I want to work as an RN in Canada, I have a decent guaranteed pension income and significant retirement savings, so am unlikely to need any kind of outside assistance. I'd also be selling my house in the US, which even in the inflated Canadian real estate market, would go a long way toward a house there. The only negatives I can think of are age (I'm over 47) and that my spouse does not work. Is it pointless for me to continue to pursue Canada or can is there anything I can do to make myself a more desirable candidate? Any advice appreciated.
  7. chuckster

    ADN vs. ABSN

    The least expensive route to becoming an RN is going to be getting your ADN from your local community college. As others have already noted, there is an overwhelming preference for BSN's and depending on your location, you may face considerable difficultly in getting a nursing job. That said, getting your ADN, passing the NCLEX and then going on to get your BSN from a state institution is definitely worth considering and will almost certainly be the lowest cost route. I speak from experience in this, having done precisely that for my BSN. In my case, it was the evening/weekend nursing program at community college, which not only was relatively inexpensive (tuition and fees for the program ran about $6,500, though this was some years back), but also allowed me to continue to work full-time. (An aside: working full-time and completing a nursing program requires commitment, planning and a supportive spouse - it is not for the faint of heart.) Once I passed the nursing boards, I applied to the RN-BSN program at a state university. Not only was the tuition reasonable (about $8,000) but the program was offered via both a traditional classroom or on-line. The total cost, including books, fees, equipment, etc to get a BSN was less than $17,000. Like you, I was a second-degree student when I enrolled in the ADN program, and so had a significant amount of the required coursework out of the way. I'd be surprised then if the total cost for the ADN-RN-BSN wasn't something like 40% less the $35,000 you cite. Your cost is likely to be significantly greater going the ADN-RN-MSN route, but if you can find a state school masters program, may not exceed the $35k figure. Just a guess on my part though.
  8. chuckster

    Utah RN pay, Salt Lake City area

    Bumping this. Curious - is this still the case in 2015?
  9. chuckster

    Utah licensure by endorsement

    Have a couple of questions regarding Utah licensure by endorsement that I hope someone can help with. The form appears to state that all applicants must submit fingerprints (2 sets). The instructions go on to state that Utah residents can have the fingerprinting done at a DOPL office and that "if you are unable to obtain fingerprints at DOPL's office, [applicants] must include 2 blue fingerprint cards (FB-258) with your application." I assume that this means completed FB-258 forms (available online) but the question is where can I get this done? I've had my prints taken many times in the past (during my military service, for security clearances, when I worked in law enforcement and for firearms permits), but all of those were done at/by the agency requiring the fingerprints. I also have a question about primary state of residence. The form states that this is "the state of your declared, fixed and permanent principle home for legal purposes." Right now this is PA but this would change based on my employment (which I hope to be in Utah). Any insight as to how to answer this one?
  10. chuckster

    ACLS class as a student? good or pointless?

    Ran across this older thread and wondered if things have changed. With the current large surplus of health care personnel in my area, nearly all nursing positions and even most openings for UAPs state that both ACLS & PALS are required to apply. Essentially, employers have now shifted the burden of the cost of certification to applicants which has the benefit of both reducing their expenses and, with many of them also teaching the courses for $300 - $500, also increasing their revenue stream. Unfair perhaps but consistent with the laws of supply and demand.
  11. Link to full article (via Medscape): Medscape: Medscape Access The ADN vs BSN topic has been beaten almost to death, but there has not been a lot of objectivity in many of the arguments. This recent article in Nursing Economics is a dispassionate look on the ADN-BSN debate and is worth reading. Among its observations: There has been a rapid increase in ADN educational programs over the last 10 years. ADN-prepared RNs appear to be experiencing diverging labor market outcomes from BSN-prepared RNs - 82% of new BSN graduates were employed in hospitals within 18 months of graduation compared to 67% of ADN graduates. It is unclear whether ADNs are shifting away from hospital settings out of necessity because hospital jobs are unavailable, or if their skill set is better suited for less-acute nonhospital patients. ADN programs may find it in their interest to specialize in, and focus on, the kinds of skills increasingly critical to enhanced ambulatory settings such as care coordination, communication, teamwork, population health, and education and prevention.
  12. chuckster

    Staying late, not getting paid.

    I sympathize, but while it may unethical for your employer to effectively require you to put in uncompensated time, as seems to be the case here, it is probably not a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as has been suggested. The FLSA specifically exempts "executives, administrative, professional and outside sales employees." Registered Nurses, but not LPN's, generally fall into the the professional category, as this quote from the US Department of Labor (http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17n_nurses.pdf) website shows: Moreover, the definition of "professional' has eroded considerably from the time (1938) when the FLSA was enacted. As a recent piece in Politico "Whatever Happened to Overtime" pointed out, "By 2013, just 11 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay, according to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute. And so business owners like me have been able to make the other 89 percent of you work unlimited overtime hours for no additional pay at all." (Whatever Happened to Overtime? - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine) The sad truth unfortunately is that if you are a salaried RN, making more than $23,660 per year, under Federal law, your employer does not have to pay you extra for work done in excess of 40 hours per week. Welcome to the new America, where corporations have almost all of the rights - but none of the obligations - of individuals.
  13. chuckster

    My next move -seeking advice-

    Not sure why you think the LPN will shorten your path to ADN by a year and half. Things vary from one Community College to the next but LPN's at my CC only skipped one semester of the nominal five semester (two year) AAS-Nursing program. Most nursing programs require quite a few classes for the associates degree over and above those in the nursing program, which could easily make things 3 or more years long. It sounds like you need most of the associate degree pre-reqs. For nursing, these typically include Bio, Micro, Psych (usually Intro, Abnormal and Developmental), Stats, Math, Chem at least two semesters of A&P and possibly Nutrition. You may also need a couple of semesters of other social science courses (Soc, Anthro), probably English and perhaps other Humanities (History,Philosophy, Art, Music, etc) to be eligible for the degree. It will take some time to get these out of the way, so why not apply and get accepted to the nursing program and in the interim, take care of all your pre-reqs?
  14. chuckster

    Ball State MSN-FNP program

    Thanks Cauliflower. I'm not bothered by the self-study aspect of the program - this seems to be the trend and in any event, is something I'm familiar with from my RN-BSN program a few years back. I used to be bothered by having to handle all the aspects of the clinicals but it seems that this too is the trend, even with traditional programs such as the one offered at my alma mater. I presently volunteer at two different nurse-managed clinics and will be looking to personnel there for help with clinicals. Ball State meets all of my important criteria: It is a brick-and-mortar institution, is nationally ranked, is a major research facility and has reasonable tuition. A couple of questions for you: How are you familiar with the Ball State program? Are (or were) you in it or associated with it? Thanks in advance.
  15. chuckster

    My next move -seeking advice-

    Both ADN's and Diploma nurses are anachronisms that are likely to disappear in the not-too-distant future, with the active support of the ANA abetted by a poor job market all but ensuring that extinction. The nursing job market is glutted in most (though not all) parts of the country. At the same time, nursing school enrollment - and the supply of new grad RN's - is at record highs and increasing, exacerbating an already bad situation. Employers have taken advantage of this and increasingly demand the BSN, really just because they can. Either demand for nurses has to increase, or the supply decrease, for this to change. Demand is probably growing (albeit slowly) now that more folks have health insurance. I admit that I don't have the data to back up this assertion, but the anecdotal evidence I see seems to indicate that hiring has not picked up appreciably in the face of increased demand. On the supply side, things look to me to be static with increases in the rate of retirement of RN's probably evened out by the increase in new grads (I do have data showing the number of new RN's increasing but nothing on RN's leaving the work force). My guess is that tomorrow looks much the same as today . . . so you are likely to face the same poor job market in which your odds of finding a job are long but seem to be better as with BSN after your name than with ADN there.
  16. chuckster

    Cal State Dominquez Hills FNP

    Looking for some info on the CSU-DU MSN-FNP program. The website provides a great deal of data but is a bit lacking in useful information however. A quick search here on AN did not turn up much, so I thought I'd post the questions directly. The most basic is: Does the program accept out of state students? It is on-line but many of the requirements appear to limit it to not just California residents but also to only those located in SoCal. For example, there are 2 specific classes (Adv Roles in Nursing and Adv Pathophys) that you are required to take first and these classes have an in-person orientation. If that's really the case, its obviously a significant barrier for those who are not local. It also looks like the school determines the appropriate clinical sites and maintains a list of affiliated and directs the student there. This is also something that would be a barrier to non-locals. I have a much longer list of specific questions but wanted to see if I could get answers to these basic questions before contacting the school directly.