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Yoda RN, BSN

Yoda RN, BSN

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  1. Yoda RN, BSN

    NICU Preceptorship

    Congrats on your preceptorship in the NICU! I was fortunate to land one of 2 slots in my nursing program just this summer. I graduated in Aug., passed the NCLEX last week, and begin my new role as a NICU RN next week! So, from my experience... If you haven't done so already, definitely know your newborn/premie vital sign ranges. They are basically the same, and will vary slightly between institutions--but are very different from the adult values you've become so used working with. Since most of the patients will be ventilated, it could help to get an idea about the different modes/types of vent settings and what they mean. It's not crucial to know, so nothing too in-depth, just stick to the basics. Additionally, I guarantee you will work with with tube feedings (if your program permits.) Eventually, you will learn about the different isolette settings, so if you want to get ahead... Also, be familiar with newborn head-to-toe assessment: checking of fontanelles, newborn reflexes (moro, babinski, etc...), acceptable measurements (head, chest). Know in what order to perform your assessment (do least invasive first) so as not to distress the infant. I think it would "wow" your preceptor if you knew something about infant positioning. This plays an important role in the care of these patients, especially when they need routine turning. My NICU unit improvised with blanket rolls, wedges, gel pillows. So just get an idea of the possible options you may run into in your NICU. Be prepared to deal with distraught parents. This was my biggest concern. I found that some nurses (unfortunately) found their presence to be bothersome, but just keep in mind that these families are in crisis. Imagine if this were your newborn... Don't be afraid to get in there and try new things. Just be mindful of your limits. Your preceptor will observe your willingness to learn, but don't feel forced to overstep your boundaries if you're not comfortable. I kept my drug book with me, in case I wasn't familiar with a new drug that was being administered. The most common problems I experienced were: respiratory, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and congenital heart defects (like ASD and PDA). Avoid challenging your preceptor on subjects while he/she is teaching you. From my experience, some of what I learned in the classroom and texts (and NCLEX!) completely contradict "real world" practice. But refrain from arguing with your potential future place of employment and just learn all that you can. Consider this experience a 90-hour interview, because this is what it essentially boils down to be. Of course, you may change your mind about the NICU altogether once you finish. For me, my experience reinforced my dream to become a NICU nurse. Your preceptor(s) will be your strongest references. These are just a few really basic ideas that popped into my head. Good luck. Hope this helps. I wish you the best!
  2. Yoda RN, BSN

    kaplan scores

    Of course, Prayer and Faith are always good to have on your side!! M
  3. Yoda RN, BSN

    kaplan scores

    This is my very first post, although I've been quietly reading on the sidelines for quite some time. I took my NCLEX yesterday and just found out this morning that I have a license! Believe me, I know how stressful this whole experience is, so now I feel compelled to share my Kaplan experience with you and lend you my support. I hope this helps. First of all, I know RN programs are different. I was fortunate to have graduated from a program that tested us with Kaplan-style questions that require critical thinking. Having said that, I went into Kaplan with a fairly good foundation. For those of you that feel lacking in this skill, I do recommend Kaplan. Not only is it a good comprehensive review of everything we've crammed over the last 2-3 years, but it helps put you in that mindset. I am not familiar with the other prep courses, so I cannot rate those. Second, give yourself time. You deserve to allow yourself ample time to prepare. I graduated Aug. 11, took Kaplan on Aug. 15-25 (2-week course). I scheduled the NCLEX for Sept. 21, giving myself 3 weeks to review. I read the textbook, took all trainers, and completed all QBanks. It IS time consuming, but what's more important, is to review EVERY SINGLE QUESTION, plus EVERY SINGLE RATIONALE. I went back and reviewed the questions that I even got right, and discovered that even reading the wrong choices and their rationales provided very helpful information that reinforced the topic. I googled everything I didn't know: equipment, procedures, diseases, meds. (I even fell upon a YouTube video on chest tubes...which I got on my exam.) I took notes. I did this in the morning. That night, I reviewed my notes. I did this for 10 days (2-3 Qbanks/day), and these were my scores: Diagnostic: 58 Trainers 1-7: 59, 72, 62, 57, 61, 64, 62 Readiness: 62 QBanks: 62 (total average) I reserved the last day to relax. Needless to say, I did not feel ready, but I knew I did all that I could with Kaplan to prepare myself. And when the tested ended at 75 for me yesterday, I cried at the computer station and left that center feeling literally sick to my stomach. There are only a few fortunate people who leave feeling confident. I can assure you, I was not one of them. It was easily the hardest 24-hours of my life. But this morning, at 8am, I got what I'd been praying for. And it's because I developed a study plan...and stuck to it. Just please, put forth your BEST effort to prepare and give yourself the time to do so. DON'T RUSH THROUGH THE QUESTIONS. And if the exam does not end at 75--just take a deep breath and keep focus. The number of questions is irrelevant!!!! My friend panicked because she answered 257...yet she passed! So, CHIN UP . Work hard. I KNOW you will do well. I wish every single one of you the best! ~M
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