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Level II Trauma Center ICU
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CCRNDiva has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Level II Trauma Center ICU.

CCRNDiva's Latest Activity

  1. CCRNDiva

    Looking for a clinically focused ACNP program

    Yes, I am currently enrolled in an ACNP program. I am looking to supplement my program with a fellowship after graduation though.
  2. CCRNDiva

    ACNP without research, theory, etc

    It is a very frustrating situation and I don't understand why the PTB and program directors are not listening. For you and your fellow students to have complained about the same deficiencies we, as current students, are complaining about is insane. I have entire courses individually dedicated to health care ethics, role socialization, health care finance, health care policy, research, theory, epidemiology yet the body systems are covered in one class each.
  3. CCRNDiva

    ACNP without research, theory, etc

    SFDRN, I have to agree with you. After a year of full time course work, I'm finally into my specialty courses, (ACNP w/ critical care focus). I thought I would finally get into the meat and potatoes of my major. Surprise, I have 3 presentations and a paper that will account for half of my grade for a diagnostics course. Like you, these papers/presentations are meant to prepare for my comprehensive exam, which is, aha, just another paper!! I am lucky to get a full lecture (3 hours) devoted to each body system, while some are lumped together in one lecture but I've had entire lectures dedicated to quantitative research or how to develop a PICO question and an entire course dedicated to various nursing theories. Something is wrong here!!! I understand that this is how it has been done, but it is time for a change. We were told during orientation that they want us to publish. I understand that improves the reputation of their program but I want to take care of patients, critically ill patients, for that matter. I feel like I need another pharmacology course (and my course was taught by an awesome instructor who is both a PharmD and an ACNP) and I could use courses dedicated to the pulmonary and neuro systems. I had to take a cardiovascular course as an elective to expand my knowledge of the cardiovascular system. You would think the DNP would address these deficiencies, but sadly, it does not. I doubt my future patients are going to care that I had to master writing papers to complete my program or that I've been published in a peer-reviewed journal. I think they would like to know that I have a firm understanding of their disease process. I don't know how a direct entry student could master the clinical content in my program. We are frequently told "I'm not going to elaborate on this, you guys should understand this from you current practice." Which is probably why my program insists upon practice as an RN prior to clinicals. We have several students, however, who have less than 3 yrs of practice and they struggle at times. I stalk Medscape daily to try to supplement my learning. I ask the docs to explain what I don't understand when I'm at work. I'm also looking into supplementing my clinical time next year and applying to a fellowship after graduation. I'm not trying to bash my program, (its a top 50 program), I just feel that the format for NP education needs revamping and tacking on additional research, transitional research, EBP, policy, and finance courses and calling it a practice doctorate is not going to cut.
  4. CCRNDiva

    Discouraged NP Student

    Don't pay it any mind. I received so much encouragement from the docs I worked with when applying to NP programs. Several offered to write letters of recommendation for me, while others offered to train me. Maybe they were all lying to my face while deriding me behind my back, but I seriously doubt it. As the above poster mentioned, most of these forums are populated by med students and residents who have not yet learned the value of a good nurse. As a matter of fact, I've experienced the most arrogant attitudes when working with residents since working at an academic facility. I was not prepared for that, as the overwhelming majority of the attendings and board certified docs I've had the pleasure to work with valued my contribution and input. I try to avoid those forums at all cost. You should do the same :)
  5. CCRNDiva

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital Interview

    May have been a blessing in disguise. I have not heard anything positive about Northwestern lately (and that includes current and former employees). I've also heard that it is not the most nurturing environment for new nurses with orientation reportedly lasting less than 2 weeks and poor staffing ratios. I had always considered NW to be my dream facility but have since realized that its true what they say, "all that glitters isn't gold", lol. Please remember that interviews serve as a time for you to interview the facility too. Ask about the average tenure of the nurses, the number of open positions and the number of new grads on the unit you're interviewing with. An overabundance of open positions and new grads lets you know that the experienced nurses have left the building (usually a bad sign). Try not to be swayed by US News and World Reports rankings and magnet status. I've found that these top ranking, magnet facilities are struggling with issues that many community and regional hospitals have resolved years ago. You can get some solid nursing experience in community and regional hospitals. Please don't count them out of your job search. Good luck!!
  6. CCRNDiva

    RN-MSN? (no BSN)--bad move?!

    A lot of it depends upon the facility you would work in and their magnet aspirations. Some places require their nursing leadership to have a BSN or a MSN while others will accept an ADN with a bachelors or masters degree in the healthcare field. For instance, I have two former colleagues who were recently promoted to unit director positions as ADNs with bachelors degrees in healthcare administration (one has not yet completed her degree). Unit directors at my current facility, however, are required to hold a MSN or obtain one within 2 years of securing the position. My current facility is a magnet facility. According to the new Magnet guidelines, by 2013, 100% of nurse managers must hold either a bachelors or graduate degree in nursing at the time of application. So a lot would depend upon the hospitals magnet aspirations. My previous facility is not pursuing magnet status so they are willing to promote nurses with experience and degrees in other fields. My advice would be to complete the ADN, work as a RN and decide if you want a career that involves direct patient care or management and what type of facility you would like to work in. There is no sense in wasting time and money pursuing another degreee without knowing what you want to do. I worked as a charge RN for several years prior to obtaining my BSN and that was enough for me to know that I did not want a career in management. Your current degrees along with an ADN may qualify you for a leadership position in an ambulatory care center or hospital without an additional degree. If you find that you would like to become an advanced practice nurse, several universities will accept you into their program with your current degrees (you would most likely have to complete some transitional courses like nursing theory, community nursing and research). Good luck in journey!!
  7. CCRNDiva

    Drug seekers :(

    I feel for you. This is why I like my patients truly sick and dang near dead.
  8. CCRNDiva

    FIRST travel assignment...afraid I have been low balled!!!

    Different assignments/locations pay different rates. I was quoted a take home of just under $1200/wk for a position in Ft. Wayne, IN that included housing stipend, but that area is also notorious for low nursing pay. Higher paying areas tend to pay higher wages.
  9. CCRNDiva

    Vanderbilt ACNP Intensivist Program

    Loyola University Chicago and the University of Maryland have additional course work in critical care included in their ACNP programs. You can choose to focus on either critical or emergency care at Loyola. Both programs include both online and in-person course work. They're both affiliated with academic medical centers and provide clinical rotations for their students. U of Maryland also has post-graduate fellowship programs in trauma and critical care for NPs at their medical center. Good luck in your journey!!
  10. CCRNDiva

    I am at a crossroads

    St. Lukes in PA has an Emergency/Trauma NP fellowship. University of Maryland also has a trauma fellowship. Both programs look phenomenal to me and I plan on applying to both after graduation. A former colleague of mine completed some clinical time for his ACNP program at U of Maryland and he was very impressed. He would have jumped at the chance to complete a fellowship there but family obligations prevented him from doing so. He is currently a trauma coordinator and told me that completing such a fellowship would allow me to "write my own ticket" thereafter. Good luck in your journey!!
  11. TraumaRUs, that is exactly what one of my coworkers told me when I asked when she was taking her certification exam! She doesn't know if she will get her certification either and she will make so much less as a new CNS compared to her RN pay with 20+ yrs of experience. As a matter of fact, several RNs in my facility have left management positions to return to the bedside for better pay and less responsibility, lol!
  12. CCRNDiva

    Am I Crazy? Revaming the RN/NP school curriculum...

    It was a 7 credit hour semester long course taught by a chemist with a PhD. The course was brutal and was known as the "weed out" course in our program. In fact, all of my science courses were taught by non-nurses with PhDs except for my undergrad pharmacology course.
  13. CCRNDiva

    Finding your own clinical instructors?

    A friend of mine is currently enrolled in a DNP program where she is required to secure her own preceptors. She has spent many hours cold-calling practices within her state to secure preceptors. She has to drive several hours to complete her clinical hours but she considers herself lucky as many of her classmates have had to drop out for the semester due to the inability to secure preceptors. A former colleague complained that his preceptors were unsure what they were supposed to teach him. He along with the intensivists I spoke with encouraged me to attend a program affiliated with a medical center that would also arrange my clinicals. I'm glad I took their advice.
  14. I'm currently working in Chicago and I've noticed a significant number of advanced practice RNs remain or return to the bedside due to pay. It is not uncommon for bedside RNs with 10+ years of experience to make 6 figures (not including overtime) here. Oddly, NPs and CNS' often start at much lower salaries in this area.
  15. CCRNDiva

    Am I Crazy? Revaming the RN/NP school curriculum...

    Greygooseuria, your proposal looks an awful lot like the program I completed for nursing school (this was an ADN program). I got credit for the AP Chemistry completed in high school and had to complete A & P, Organic/Inorganic biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition, statistics and pharmacology. I didn't have to complete physics though. I think course content depends upon the program attended.
  16. CCRNDiva

    What kinds of patients do you see?

    never mind