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smile123's Latest Activity

  1. smile123

    Jobless in California

    Hi there, Here's a little advice on finding a job as a new grad in California, especially the SF Bay Area. The new grad programs are only offered 2 or 3 times each year. You've got to apply EARLY, meaning, at least 6 months before the new grad class starts. If you haven't passed the NCLEX, do so immediately. They used to take new grad nurses with interim permits (IPs), but with the job market these days, they don't need to train someone and then have them not pass the test (you can not practice on the floor after that until you do pass). Most new grad programs are online (UCSF, UCLA, Stanford, Lucille Packard, Kaiser, Palo Alto VA, Alta Bates, etc.) Fill out the online application and make a note of the date and confirmation number (they will sometimes give you that). Then followup with the HR personnel dept, or go out to the hospital and talk in person to the HR dept. Or if you feel comfortable, talk to the individual floor where you want to work. Finding a job takes persistance. From the posts lately, I've noticed a glut of new grad nurses and not many new grad jobs (the hospital cuts down on their program slots). If you want a particular unit, like the NICU, or maternity, the number of slots for new grads are slim to none. Med/surg has more slots. The important thing is to get a job first, do at least a year so you won't be classified as a "new grad" and then you'll have more flexibility to change jobs. As a new grad, you will probably work the "unpopular shifts" of evenings or nights with every other weekend. You do get more pay that way (they have evening and night differentials), but your body clock needs to adjust. It can be quieter during those shifts, so that's often a good way to assimilate into the rhythm of a hospital. If you are flexible in terms of moving out of the area, there are more jobs outside of the metropolitan California cities. One of my friends wanted the NICU and applied to all the hospitals in the SF Bay Area, LA area and even up with Seattle. He finally got a job in Arizona. He'll work there, get some experience and then transfer back to the SF Bay Area. I hope that helps. We are living in very unusual circumstances with this economy and it will take some time to recover. Good luck! Smile123
  2. smile123

    California New Grad Programs still hiring

    Go on line and apply for the new grad programs. They are not under the traditional job boards. They might say "intern" or have a special section for new grads. They only have intake session 2 or 3 times a year. Apply now for the summer intake (usually July). They usually have med/surg positions open. Some of the other more popular areas like the NICU, Maternity or PICU may be filled already. Others like the ED may not take new grads at this time; it requires some experience. Naturally, there are exceptions. For those of you who have a spring break, I would strongly recommend that you contact prospective hospitals, let them know you will be visiting them and arrange for informational interviews. Then they will have a face with the name and remember you. Sometimes, they have job fairs at the same time, so you can leverage your trip! At the interview (informal or not), always ask for a business card and send a thank you notes afterwards. Every time you contact them will be another reminder that you are interested in the job. I know it's tough out there, but persistence will pay off. Good luck! Smile123
  3. smile123

    Finally got a position!

    Congrats! Hopefully, they will pair you up with a mentor on your shift. They want you to succeed. Don't be afraid to ask questions, especially as a rookie. They want to know you are interested in your job and want to do your best. Also, don't worry about being per diem. The fact you are on the floor will give you higher preference when a permanent job opens up! Your persistence paid off - good for you NYR08! Smile123
  4. Don't do any CE's. The first time around, the CA BON takes into account all the nursing classes you did when you earned your degree. You check a box stating you just graduated and then you turn in your renewal form with your fees. After 9/30/10, then you can earn CEU's for the next 2 year period. Otherwise, any CEU's you earn before 9/30/10 don't really count. This is for California only. I don't know about the other states. Congrats on becoming a RN!
  5. smile123

    New Grad Jobs in Bay Area

    If you want to work at UCSF or Packard (Stanford), see the following link where I just posted. https://allnurses.com/forums/f137/ucsf-lucile-packard-293533.html Also, here's a link if you just want to work at Stanford: Stanford has an earlier program which starts July 21st, 2008: http://westandforcare.com/Careers/RNTrainingProgram.htm RN Training Programs at Stanford Hospital & Clinics Program Starting July 21st, 2008 We Stand for FINDING ANSWERS! Nursing is more than a career choice. It’s about finding new ways to make a difference, ease pain and change lives for the better. Dedication, drive and curiosity—those are some of your most valuable qualities. And it’s exactly what we’re looking for. Stanford seeks exceptional nurses to add to our world-class team. Our wide array of unique specialties is unmatched in this region and will give you exposure to an extensive range of rare, complex medical challenges. Supported by a devoted staff in a collaborative environment, we offer the freedom, opportunity and respect your extraordinary commitment deserves. Learn More About our Training Programs * ICU Training Program * New Graduate Training Program Good luck!
  6. smile123

    UCSF and Lucile Packard

    Hi there, You should definitely apply now and get an offer BEFORE you move out to N. Calif. There is a new grad nursing glut. New grads have found there is intense competition because everyone wants to work here for the higher wages (but also higher cost of living). They usually give the positions to student nurses who interned or had their clinicals there. NICU is particularly difficult to get into because it's so popular and they usually don't take new grads (they have them start in post partum or peds). That's just my .02. Good luck. P.S. You can go to their websites and apply online. That's the way they take applications. They also only have entry for new grads 2 or 3 times a year. Create a profile on line for both. Search "new grad programs". Lucile Packard (part of Stanford hospital): https://jobs.stanfordmed.org/CSS%5FExternal/CSSPage_Welcome.asp Their residency program starts September 15, 2008 - Req # 12456 http://westandforcare.com/Careers/RNResidencyLPCH.htm UCSF: http://www.ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/careers/ The next one is in July, so apply now!!! You may have to start in Peds. Here's a brief synopsis for UCSF: The Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Training Program is an 8-week training program open to both experienced and newly graduated RNs (senior preceptorship in ICN or Pediatrics preferred). Newly graduated RNs will matriculate into a ten-month mentorship program at the completion of the training program. All positions are full time (three 12-hour shifts per week). You will be expected to commit to at least one year of service after program completion. Newly graduated RNs are expected to take the NCLEX exam and obtain their CA RN license by the program start date. The summer program begins July 7, 2008 and the application deadline is May 31, 2008. Don't wait 'til the deadline--apply early for best results! Complete application process requires: submission of resume to this job requisition, completion of online questionnaire (you will be prompted to do this once you submit your resume), and down loading of the required reference forms to be completed by a faculty/clinical instructor/employer to be faxed back to the Human Resources Department.
  7. smile123

    pay rates in California (pre-and post tax)

    Thanks so much for the link! :)
  8. smile123

    RN New Grad- can't find a job!

    How about UC Davis or Kaiser? Also, you will have a slightly better chance after you pass your boards. Timing is everything. There were a lot of graduates in Dec, so all of you are flooding the market. I would suggest you study like crazy to pass your boards and apply online. Also look at community hospitals and clinics. You could do per diem after your new grad training on the floor (anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks long). Good luck!
  9. smile123

    Any 2nd or 3rd time test takers?

    Go to:https://allnurses.com/forums/f197/ and select the 2nd sticky - 2008 version of Suzanne's first tip Her plan is free, but you have to follow it to the letter. That means no short cuts. I would advise doing 100 practice questions a day for 30 days from Saunder's book (that's the same book she uses) so you will have 3000 questions under your belt. It will help you get into the rhythm of these types of questions. It's also important to analyze WHY you got a question wrong. You want to understand if there's a pattern or if it's the same type of question. Usually most people get thrown by the priority questions (who do you see first or which call do you return first). Also, ask yourself: does the question ask you to assess or implement? If you are called on to assess, then look over the answers. Which ones are implementations? Eliminate those. Then if you are left with 2 assessments, ask yourself, are any of them part of the ABC's (Airway, breathing and circulation). Those will always be ahead of any psycho or social needs. On the other hand, if an assessment has already been determined, what answer choices are implementations? Look at those answers and decide. In general, treat the patient first and do the equipment 2nd. (For example, you could fix a med pump, but it's more important to remedy the patient!) The last piece of advice: take your time on the first 6 questions. You want to get a good start to raise above the "pass" line. If you rush through the first several questions, you could be blowing it and end up under the pass line and it will be more challenging to rise above it. Do practice questions untimed at first to get the hang of it. Then try them on a timed basis once you understand the content and the strategy. It helps to do at least 3000 questions (100 questions/day). It's not a cram the night before and take the test the next day for the NCLEX. You can do it! Good luck!
  10. smile123

    CA NCLEX retakes?

    There are no public statistics that state the number of retakes a person makes to pass their boards. I think you are exaggerating to make your point. A person will decide on their own whether it is worth the time and effort to study for their boards. Since you are from the old school, you have not had the unique of experience of adaptive testing, the computerized NCLEX boards. It is totally based on whether you got the last answer correct or not. If you have some "hard" questions at the beginning, you may end up so far below the "pass" line that you may not end up passing the nursing boards. Everyone who takes it has a different test. So please give the newbies a little slack. They are nervous enough as it is. Remember what it was like to walk in a new grad's shoes. I have seen some discussions on this forum where someone passed after three tries and they have had the support of the people on the board. It take a lot to get back into study mode again after not passing. Give people some support instead of making them feel bad. Feel a little of the holiday spirit! Hope you have a compassionate day.
  11. smile123

    CA NCLEX retakes?

    There is no limit, just the 45 day waiting period. Sometimes people have test anxiety and don't pass the first time. That does not mean you can not do the job as a registered nurse! So just get back up on the saddle, study the parts you were weak in, do 100 questions a day for practice (they have plenty of books with sample questions) and you'll do fine. I disagree with the previous poster who didn't like the "no limit" on test repeats. You've gone through nursing school. You've graduated (passed all the required courses and clinical hours), so you are a new grad nurse. Now you just have to prove it to the board of nursing. Everytime you take the test, you have to pay a fee and the waiting time. So it requires that people study and understand how to answer the questions. The NCLEX is unlike any test you've ever taken and that's the reason it throws people. Happy Holidays!
  12. People in your shoes often change careers as part of a mid-life change, but not many make that drastic a change. Have you had any experience working in a hospital? If not, volunteer and/or shadow some nurses. Understand your motivations. Are you just burned out from your senior exec publishing job? Or are you really interested in nursing? Nursing is physically very demanding. You may be working nights and/or every other weekend during 12 hour shifts. Is your body up to the challenge? What is your bachelor's degree in and how long ago did you earn it? To apply for nursing school, you need to take the pre-reqs: anatomy & physiology, microbiology, nutrition, statistics, psych, developmental psych, English writing, and sociology, just to name a few classes. Some of those classes can be longer than 7 years old, but the science classes (with clinicals) need to be taken in the 5 years for most schools. How is your home life? Do you have kids in school? Need to pay for their schooling? Are you married with an understanding spouse who will need to support you (emotionally and financially) during this transition? Only you can assess your situation and decide. What I would recommend is to take a couple pre-req classes at night and see if you can acclimate being in learning mode again, while juggling family and work needs. You can search on the various forums about nursing students trying to handle being in pre-req classes, then nursing school and transitioning to a new grad nurse. It is a challenging road, but there are people who made the change (later in life). Good luck!
  13. smile123

    career tracks - BSN vs. accelerated BSN/MSN

    Hold it. I think you have some misinformation. There are accel'd BSN/MSN programs for people who already have bachelor's degrees in another field. You can get a BSN or take the equivalent number of courses in a master's entry program in 12 - 18 months (to sit for the NCLEX (nursing boards)). What some people do is go through the first part of the accel'd program (all the classes to take the NCLEX) and then they either go to school full time or part time for the master's portion (NP degree) while they work full/part time as a RN. In that case, the nursing school picks up the tuition for the master's program as long as the person working at the affiliated hospital. (If you work part time, the amount of monies or number of classes that are covered is reduced.) Then by the time you finish the master's program, you will have some experience as a registered nurse. It sounds like you still want to discover yourself being in your freshman year of college. College is for discovery and finding your path. A lot of freshman have no idea what they want to do. Others may have a thought to go one way, but find they are more interested in pursuing a different path. Perhaps you want to help fund college with a part time job. Maybe you want to experiment with other classes rather than pursue a 4 year nursing degree right now. It's OK. There are many paths toward becoming a nurse. Please don't think that you have to make up your mind now. There are loads of people who decide to become nurses later in life who have worked in other fields. You've got to listen to your intuition. Don't go to a school because it "looks good" on paper if you are not happy. Go because you want to be there. If it means you drop out or change majors or attend a different school, that's alright. You need to find your dream. Good luck!
  14. smile123

    does anyone have any wise advice for me?

    Since you already have a BS in another field, I would suggest you go for the accelerated BSN degree. It takes 12 to 14 months, which is less time than a 2 year ADN degree. At some hospitals, BSN trained nurses earn a little more than ADN nurses. There aren't too many places that offer the nursing diplomas any more, so I would go with the ADN or the BSN route. The ADN and BSN's have to take the same nursing boards (NCLEX). Generally it is cheaper to get a ADN, but those schools are heavily impacted. You may wait a couple of years before you will be accepted into a community college ADN program. BSN programs are a little more expensive. I would not go the traditional route (4 years); do the accelerated track. Once you have a RN, you will do the same job on the nursing floor in a hospital whether you are a ADN or BSN RN; it's only the pay. However, if you want to move into management or public health or teaching, you will need a BSN as a stepping stone. I would also suggest you talk to a career counselor at your school. They could also give you some insight. Good luck!
  15. Go to salary.com and it can give you a ballpark for your area. Good luck!
  16. smile123

    Advice for pre-req coursework for CA schools

    You can certainly take the combined A&P classes. They offer them at the N.California community colleges, so there's no problem. I did end up taking 3 quarters (or 2 semesters) of A&P. Check with the nursing school you would like to apply to and check out their requirements to be sure. Good luck!