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  1. chinacatSN

    Just a Question about the BON background checks...

    PhoenixTech - Because I'd rather be safe than sorry. A friend of mine finished nursing school last year. She was convicted of theft in the 5th in 2004 and she was convicted of trespassing in 2005. Both were expunged from her record - she has the letter proving it and was told by the judge that only certain people would see the charges - law officials and government agents - and that she wouldn't have to disclose the charges on employment applications. When she applied for her NCLEX-PN, she checked NO and everything went fine. Nothing came up on the background checks and she was able to take and pass her NCLEX just fine. However, when she applied to take her NCLEX-RN it was a different story. Both charges showed up and she had to jump through a whole bunch of hoops to be able to take the NCLEX. She didn't get to take the NCLEX until 10 months after graduating from school. She'd even had her instructors do character references for her and nothing. The BON didn't seem to care, all that mattered was that she lied and didn't hold herself accountable for her own actions. Though I wasn't technically convicted, the charges do show up on my record. All I have to do is go to IowaCourtsOnline and search for my name and DOB and there it is. I would much rather submit the paperwork and show the BON that I hold myself accountable rather than check NO and sweep it under the rug. It did take me awhile to get to this conclusion though, because my first thought was that they wouldn't allow someone with a record to take the NCLEX and become a nurse. IMO, the nursing schools should perform more in depth background checks or something. It really stinks for those people who go through all the nursing school torture, pass their program, graduate, and don't get to take the NCLEX because of some stupid charge on their record. I don't know about everyone here, but nothing on my record or my friend's record ever showed up on the background checks we had to do for school/clinical. Neither of us has ever had stuff show up when employers would perform a check. I understand why they do it, but it sucks when you've paid so much money and sacrificed your entire life for NS and then you're SOL because you can't take the NCLEX.
  2. chinacatSN

    Just a Question about the BON background checks...

    Thanks for the replies! The Iowa application just states "Were you convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation?". There's also an instruction sheet that came with the application and it just says that you should check "yes" if you were convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic violation. I've had MANY background checks since this incident occurred and none of them said I had a record at all. I've contemplated having my own FBI background check done with fingerprinting (they tell you how to apply on their website) but it can take 2-3 weeks and I don't have that time. I have to have my LPN by fall semester or I can't continue in the ADN program. I've also heard that it takes a little longer to process applications with criminal records because they are required to investigate. So, I had the clerk of court give me a signed official form stating that no record was found and I wrote up the required essay about what my life was like before, during, and after the conviction with the added info on what the conviction was, etc. At least this way, I'm owning up to it and everything, rather than pretending it didn't happen. I don't know what else to do.
  3. Ok, I'm curious about the BON background checks. The Iowa BON runs an FBI check with fingerprinting and an Iowa Criminal History check through the DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation). If I have dismissed charges (misdemeanors) in another state, will they show up on the FBI check? I was told that minor or simple misdemeanors are not in the FBI database. And just in case you're wondering, I did contact the Iowa BON and they were very unhelpful. One woman told me that I don't have to submit info because the charges were dismissed and another woman told me that she wasn't sure. I also spoke to a lawyer and he told me that they won't show up and that I shouldn't have to tell the BON because they were dismissed. But I've heard stories of lawyers telling people that they don't have to tell the BON about expunged records, the BON finding out, and the student getting in trouble. Also - I would give the BON copies of the court documents and all that, but they're no where to be found. I went to the courthouse of the county that it happened in and no records were found - we searched by name, by previous addresses, by SS#, and nothing could be found. Should I just submit a statement stating what the other charges were, that they were dismissed, and what happened? I asked the Iowa BON this, and they couldn't give me an answer. Any advice welcome! Thanks!
  4. chinacatSN

    MD BON requesting court records

    I've never heard of anyone actually being allowed to take the boards, passing, and then having the BON find something on their record! That being said, I've heard that it can be really, really difficult to get the BON to issue you a license if you marked 'no' on the application and they later find out that you do have a record - they consider it to be a form of fraud and are usually unwilling to issue a license after that. I recently spoke to the Iowa BON about my record and they told me that even if your record/conviction was expunged or sealed, you still have to check 'yes' and submit copies of the record to the BON. That being said, you might have a better chance because your conviction was expunged. They may understand that you made a mistake and didn't realize that you were supposed to check 'yes'. If I were you, I would obtain some kind of record from your counselor and if possible, some kind of record that you went to the support group. You may also want a letter of recommendation from your Instructor as well as a statement written by you - stating how you've changed and why you did what you did. You will want court records as well, because I doubt that the expungement letter will be enough - they don't care that your conviction was expunged, they want to know what the conviction was and all that. Good luck!
  5. I have a simple misdemeanor (5th degree Theft, the lowest degree theft possible) on my record. As it happens, I didn't even really commit the act, I just happened to be shopping with someone who did commit it and I was charged as well - even though I had no merchandise on me that I didn't pay for, I was there and the store claimed that I could have used my friend's bag to steal items, so the items wouldn't be on my person. Whatever. I plead guilty because I was told by my lawyer (court appointed) that if my friend were found guilty, I would most likely be found guilty as well. They had video of her stealing (but not of me stealing, though I was in the video there wasn't any footage of me stealing) and even though I didn't see her stealing, I was still an accessory. I ended up being charged with 5th Degree Theft (714.2(5)). There is nothing on the record that states I was an accessory, it just says simple misdemeanor, 5th degree theft. The incident occurred and was sentenced in November of 2007. I paid my fines. I ended up being fingerprinted at the police station, but I wasn't arrested. The school did several background checks before we started clinical - Dependent Adult Abuse checks, Child Abuse Checks, Sex Offender Checks, and and Iowa Criminal Record Check. All of my records came up clean - I know, because we were all allowed to see our own when they received them. Every one of them says, "No record found". I've also had a few employment background checks since then and they've all come up clean. For the NCLEX, the state of Iowa does an FBI Criminal Background Check with fingerprinting. They also do a state check. Even though previous checks have come back clear, I'm pretty sure that this one won't. So, I have to submit a copy of the court record along with a written assessment of my life before, at the time of, and after the conviction. I'm debating on what to say. If you didn't know me or this story, and you looked at the court record, you would think that I committed 5th Degree Theft - not that I was an accessory. So, I wonder if whoever reviews these things would think I was trying to lie or make myself look good if I told them what really happened? We all have heard that most criminals claim innocence - I'm afraid if I say that I never stole anything, that I was just at the wrong place and the wrong time, they'll just think I'm lying. Or, should I just avoid the subject and admit wrongdoing, but not actually say that I stole something. I don't want to admit to something I didn't do, but I don't want them to think I'm a liar and not allow me to sit for the boards. Any advice?
  6. chinacatSN


    At the end of every week, we have to post what we did, what we learned, and how we felt about the clinical experience from that week. Then, the instructor replies back and tells us how she thinks we did. Last week, I had 2 patients assigned to me on Monday (med-surg). I prelabbed and finished my careplan except for the nursing diagnoses because I like to spend some time with my patients to make sure they fit. Get to clinical site Tuesday @ 0600 and both of my patients were dismissed the night before. So, my instructor gives me one of the other student's patients so we each have one patient and everyone else has two. Went home Tuesday night and did as much of the careplan for my new patient as I could (all except 2 nursing diagnoses and interventions for them). Came to clinical next day, received a new admission. New admission was young, independent, and only had IV meds so I couldn't really do much with that. I did all of my tasks - bath, linen change, med pass, assessment, VS, everything I could possibly do and then I went to finish my careplan. None of the other students needed help, nothing was going on, so I wasn't missing out on anything and my instructor has never said anything to anyone about working on our careplans in our downtime. When she replied to my weekly post, she said that I need to "Keep on displaying a positive attitude toward learning & make it your personal challenge to seek out opportunities and not be complacent to just sit in the breakroom." I replied back and explained that I hope she wasn't thinking I was lazy by being in the breakroom - I had finished all my tasks, asked other nurses/student nurses/CNAs if they needed any help or had any procedures that needed done, etc. so I felt that I could work on my careplan for a few minutes during my downtime. I look at the time frequently whenever I'm in the breakroom (which isn't often!) and I was only in there for 7 minutes. That's it. I also only had one (very easy) patient on the first day and two (very easy) patients on the second day - compared to the other students who had 2 patients both days and had a lot of things going on. It was actually a little depressing and disappointing to me because I'm usually the one who is very busy and never sitting down - which I like - and the one time I'm NOT busy and try to work on my careplan, I get snipped at for it. I just don't understand it at all. I'm known in my class as the student who goes above and beyond the call of duty. I guess it feels like - as students - we're expected to be perfect, which is upsetting when the nurses we're working with aren't perfect. They're sitting on their butts while we're running around and getting quizzed q5mins, but then we get reprimanded for the tiniest little things. I just don't understand. My instructor wonders why we're all burnt out - I think most of us are just to the point of "Why bother?" because nothing we do is good enough. Was I being lazy? Any suggestions?
  7. Hi, everyone! I'm in the LAST 4 weeks of my PN program, set to enter the ADN program this June (I got accepted, yay!). Anyway, the last 4 weeks of clinical are called the Management, Leadership, and Delegation phase of our clinical experience. I don't know if other schools do this or not, so I'll briefly describe it: Instead of the usual thing, where each student gets 1 or 2 patients and cares for them on their own, each clinical group (8 nursing students) will be given a group of patients at a nursing home (don't know how many patients - won't find out until the first day) and then each student is given a role: charge nurse, team leader (like an RN but without RN scope of practice), PN, or CNA. The goal is to teach us how to manage, lead, and delegate effectively. The charge nurse needs to know everyone's scope of practice and not ask anyone to go outside that scope. The charge nurse also is responsible for everything that happens - ADLs, med pass, safety, etc. The charge nurse should check over the meds before they are passed to prevent med errors. The charge also makes assignments - who has which residents, who passes meds for which residents, who does which treatments for which residents, etc. The Team Leader (TL) is basically the go-between for the charge and the PNs and CNAs. The TL is in charge if/when the charge goes on break. Our instructors will be there, but they are not allowed to say or do anything unless a resident's or student's safety is at risk. They can problem solve with us, but must not give any answers. We are to do everything on our own. If a MD needs called/faxed, the charge is supposed to speak with the facility staff to facilitate the call or fax. So, if anyone's school is/has done this, do you have any tips or suggestions? I'm not really nervous for myself, because I've been a CNA for so long and I've seen how real-life nurses handle things, I'm nervous to be working with my classmates and being accountable for their actions as well as my own - especially since there are a few in my group who don't seem to understand the simplest task from someone (our instructor) who has experience in management/leadership/delegation! Any suggestions or tips are welcome! Thanks in advance!
  8. chinacatSN

    The mental and social skills needed

    I'm nearly finished with the first year of my program and I begin the second year (RN year) this June. I've managed to be pretty well liked and my instructor has told me than I'm smart and wonderful to have in her clinical group - not bragging, just giving you my credentials so to speak! Anyway, first and foremost - BE YOURSELF. Yup, sounds cliche and cheesy but it's true. People can tell when you're trying too hard or being fake. Don't push yourself to like everyone - be civil, but that doesn't mean you should try to become friends with someone who rubs you the wrong way. Don't act like you know everything - that's probably the worst thing you can do. Just because you have family members that are nurses, or you work or worked as a CNA/CMA, or you used to be a pharmacy tech - whatever your knowledge level is, you don't know everything and pretending that you do will irritate people to no end. I'm not saying you are a know-it-all, but you'd be surprised what NS can do to a person. People who are normally laid back will become high strung, people who are sweet and pleasant may have periods of irritation and aggression - stress does strange things. Learning to realize that you don't know everything will help in the real-world too because there will be times when you may have to ask other nurses what their opinions or experiences are. Only give your opinions when asked. This kind of goes a long with the first one. Especially if you don't have any experience in the area. During our Maternity/Baby/Childbirth lectures, one young woman kept expressing her beliefs and opinions when she didn't have any children of her own, no brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews, and no cousins. It was obvious that she had no clue what she was talking about and when she'd argue with those of us (including the instructor) who had some experience, it made her look ignorant. Under no circumstances do you correct a staff nurse while at a clinical site - unless she is doing something that would KILL the patient, which is unlikely. If you witness something you think is odd, strange, or wrong - talk to your instructor about it. And definitely don't correct or argue with the nurse in front of her patients or coworkers! It's just a BAD idea and you'll have at least one enemy - maybe more if she complains about you to her coworkers or gets your school kicked out of that site. Chances are, facility policy may be different than what you learned in school. Procedures are also modified and changed for the real world as well and may not be incorrect, just different. Do your homework before clinicals - don't show up to clinical not knowing anything about your patient's diseases, medications, or procedures. It makes you look stupid and like you don't care. And research every aspect - if your patient is getting an IM injection, don't just research the medication being injected - research the sites and which site in particular this med is given. And previous posters were right - respect is the most important. Everything boils down to respect. Don't do your homework? You're not respecting yourself, your school, or your instructor by not trying your hardest to succeed. Don't follow procedure, protocol, and policy? You're not respecting yourself, your instructor, or your clinical site. And who cares if you're labeled "full of yourself" if you're just trying to learn and being proactive and involved in your education? No offense to anyone, but to me labels are kind of "high school". Yeah, adults do label people but it's still immature. Anyone who would label you as "full of yourself" when you're just trying to learn is probably jealous of how well you're doing. It's better than being labeled "the annoying snob who thinks she knows it all but doesn't know ANYTHING" - there are a lot of those and they're usually the ones who label everyone else because they have no idea what they're doing but try to cover it up. Good luck and congratulations!
  9. chinacatSN

    Nursing Diagnosis Book for Clinicals....Any recommendations?

    We use Cox's Clinical Applications of Nursing Diagnosis. It's very organized and lists ALL of the diagnoses on the front-inside cover with page numbers. The book is set up according to Gordon's Patterns and makes it easier to create a diagnosis related to your patient.
  10. chinacatSN

    Still unsure if this is for me...

    First of all, know that almost ALL nursing students feel this way! I am about to start my leadership rotation as well, and I'm nervous about it. We all have those OMG-I-have-no-idea-what-to-do moments. We all have brain farts. In my program, we have 3 main clinical instructors (one for each site) and a couple specialty clinical instructors for OB and peds. One of the instructors for our med/surg site is also our instructor for the nursing class and the pharm class so it's essential to be on your A game when you have her. I had her for the first 3 weeks of last semester and I was rockin' it - knew all the answers, knew what was going on, did my careplans perfectly, etc. Then, I didn't have her again until the beginning of this semester. I had a very off week - I felt like an idiot and I even had to reference my drug cards when I never have before. I had a small identity crisis and thought that maybe I wasn't meant to be a nurse either. But then I realized that even with my off week, I was still more competent than most of the class and everyone gets a little burnt out from NS. If you like what you do, then stick with it. Just because your preceptor isn't the best example doesn't mean you should quit. Maybe next time, you could pull her aside (privately) and ask her about the procedure? Don't accuse her of breaking technique, just ask her if she can explain it to you because you want to learn. And maybe you could have a chat with an instructor about what happened as well. Obviously you've made it this far when many others haven't. If you weren't meant to be a nurse, you wouldn't care as much as you do and you'd have quit a long time ago. Even nurses who have worked in the field for 20 years don't have all the answers - especially when medical information changes all the time.
  11. chinacatSN

    LPN going back for RN...with questions

    Not likely, unless you can find a program specifically for nurses currently working as an LPN. There's one student in my LPN program who was in the LPN program about 5 years ago - had to leave due to family problems and financial issues - when she came back, she had to retake A&P I&II and had to get accepted into the program just like the rest of us. I know you don't want to take them, but it might be a nice refresher course. I know that in my LPN program, we use A&P knowledge A LOT and it's not just your basic know-where-everything's-located knowledge. You might benefit from it if you don't remember everything from A&P - and since you've already taken it once, it shouldn't be that difficult. You don't want to feel like you have no idea what's going on when your instructor starts talking about the islets of Langerhans and what's secreted by the beta cells vs. the alpha cells. And you'll get a refresher on fluids and electrolytes, which is a plus since that can be confusing for lots of people. Good luck!
  12. chinacatSN

    Tips for passing clinical tests?

    Nurses don't do things the nursing school way, either. There have been tons of times I've seen nurses changing dressings, wiping poo, and other things without gloves - they wash their hands before and after, but still. And most of them have forgotten the pharmacological actions of the drugs they're giving. They also don't perform their assessments like we learn them - many omit a couple things, if they're not pertinent to the patient. Hell, some nurses still massage the site where they give enoxaparin or insulin. As for bathing - as long as the body is washed from clean areas to dirty areas and the wash cloths are changed often and dirty ones aren't used elsewhere, I don't see what the big deal is. I've worked at many different facilities and they all like things done differently - some places want you to use the bathing wipes from the warmer, others want a basin with wash cloths, others would prefer you don't give a bed bath unless the patient is unable to move at all. The way skills are learned in class or school aren't always made to be used that way in the real world. My instructor taught us about 3 different ways to do each skill - while maintaining sterile technique for the ones that require it - because some ways are easier for some people. I'm sure once we all get our first nursing job, we won't be doing everything exactly the way it's done in NS. I, for one, will be happy when it doesn't take 15 minutes to pass meds for one patient because my instructor likes to quiz everyone over every possible thing!
  13. chinacatSN

    Going to DMACC for nursing

    Where do you live? If it's not too far, consider going to Iowa Western. I have a friend who's going there - they recently built a state of the art simulation center and are accepting many more students into the program than ever before.
  14. chinacatSN

    And you thought a thong beneath whites was bad...

    You're welcome! Another tip - there are also students (usually the females) who wear their scrubs just a little too snug. It's not really noticeable when they're standing upright, but when they sit or bend, half of their butt pops out. Usually these are the girls who wear their street clothes a little too tight and think they're a size or two smaller than they actually are. Luckily, my instructor noticed this right away and now our scrubs need to be slightly baggy - still doesn't prevent butt-diamond from rolling down her waistband but whatever. Thanks for all the advice! It's nice to know that an actual clinical instructor has my same beliefs on the subject and that I'm not the only one who's offended by this.
  15. chinacatSN

    Was the Nursing program your first choice?

    It won't be a serious hindrance. But it would make life MUCH easier for you. In NS (at least in most programs) you have to provide TOTAL patient care - meaning you do everything a CNA does plus what the nurse would do, within your scope of practice. If you were already a CNA, it would help you with time management as well as being able to bath, transfer, and do basic patient care. The non-CNA students in my class took much longer to get their work done than those of us who are CNAs. You wouldn't believe how technical transferring a patient can be or how long a simple shower can take if you've never really done it before. Not to mention that as a CNA you would already know basic skills such as bed making, emptying a catheter bag, assisting with ADLs, bathing, feeding, vitals, etc. You don't have to work as a CNA, but maybe you could take a CNA class? That would help you more than not taking it at all. You could even get an on-call position as a CNA. Your school schedule must be flexible...or your work schedule...there were a couple women in my class who used to be pharm techs but had to quit because class took place during the day and the pharmacy was only open until 5. Lucky you!