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ThatBigGuy's Latest Activity

  1. Nursing school prepares you to take the NCLEX. L&D is a large part of the NCLEX, and therefore your nursing program spends a correspondingly large amount of time teaching it. That's really all there is to it. I struggled in my L&D class with a lot of the same thoughts you're having, but powered through and passed. I've not since touched a baby or a fundus in my career, but I did pass the NCLEX in 75 questions on the first attempt.
  2. ThatBigGuy

    Career Changing

    Go for the nursing degree. You're going to make $75k a year working ~36 hours a week. I'm in Texas, I made $91K last year, although I did grind out OT shifts when I was able. You'll work less, get paid more, and have higher upside potential, all while having a more flexible schedule and more time with your family.
  3. ThatBigGuy

    Oh, my aching feet!!!!

    Many good specialty running stores will have equipment to measure your foot pattern and gait, and can help point you to a few shoes that will match with your feet. New Balance stores offer this service. If that doesn't work, ask your PCP for a referral to someone who can custom build you some orthotics. Setting yourself up for 20 more years of pain free productivity will require an investment of time and money in the present. I have Achilles tendonitis. I'm also >260lbs. I've found that foam-soled lightweight running shoes work best for me, but I buy three pair that I rotate each shift, and replace approximately every 6-8 months. I also do some light stretching during my shifts, and work on general mobility exercises on my days off. I've found that if my lower-back-to-feet muscle chain is flexible, my Achilles tendons are less sore as well.
  4. ThatBigGuy

    130k Student debt for Entry MSN worth it?

    The average student loan carries a 7% interest rate and takes 20 years to pay off. That means your initial $130,000 debt will have cost you $240,000 once it's paid off. This degree will cost you $240,000. You will pay $1000 a month until 2038. I would suggest looking at more affordable options.
  5. ThatBigGuy

    Wearing a beard as a male nurse?

    I had a beard, but stayed shaven throughout nursing school per school policy. At my first job, my charge nurse exempted me from n95 fit testing, so I was able to grow it out again. After a year, I changed jobs. At the new job, there are no exemptions, no exceptions, so I shave once a year for my annual fit test. I then let it grow out for the rest of the year, and re-shave for the next annual. There's an understanding on my unit, that as a large man, I'll get the heavier/more combative/aggressive patients, in exchange for not having to care for the very rare TB patient. I understand that at any point, I may be asked to follow the dress code policy more strictly, and that's something I'm willing to do should that be the case. One thing I've found is that a beard will accentuate whatever look you have. If your hair is unkempt and your scrubs are wrinkled, your beard will make you look homeless. If your scrubs fit well, your hair is tight, and your shoes are fresh, a trimmed beard will make you look incredibly distinguished. Specifically for your current beard, trim a clean line across the top of your beard in the cheek section. Then, figure out where you want your neckline to be and keep that line tight as well. Trim the sides/sideburns to a length similar to the length of the hair on the side of your head. Your haircut is on point, just sharpen your beard lines a bit and you'll be good to go.
  6. ThatBigGuy

    Shoes for nursing school?

    Google "Nike Air Max all white" and you'll get tons of hits. We had the same shoe requirements, many chose the Air Max.
  7. ThatBigGuy

    Accelerated MSN ->CRNA

    What is the timeline of your proposed graduation from an RT program? The CRNA route is going to take 8 years at least. You'll have a year of pre-requisites and then 3 years of NP school. You'll need at least 2 years of acute critical care experience, and then another 2 years for CRNA school. You're looking at a CRNA grad date of 2024 (8 years). That's assuming you are admitted into all the programs immediately upon application (a big if), and you find an acute critical care NP job without any experience (a HUGE if). If there are any hiccups along the way, the 8 years could easily be 10 years or more. The main hurdle in this plan is the assumption you will find an ACNP job in an ICU without prior RN experience. I do not think this is a possibility, considering the intensely incredible resumes of the ACNP applicants I've seen, many with decades of experience in big time ICUs as RNs prior to becoming NPs. The most efficient way to become a CRNA is to do an accelerated BSN program (ABSN), followed by the two years ICU experience, then apply to CRNA programs as an RN. If you ultimately find that CRNA isn't right for you, you can always go back to NP school after you've determined a more focused specialty. On top of all that, you have to consider the increased cost of pre-reqs, BSN or NP school, plus CRNA school. There's a possibility where you're a CRNA in 2026 with student loans of $250,000. Or you can be an RT with a decade of earned income in that same time frame.
  8. Use your gap year to move to and establish residency in a state on the continent. That's going to save you so much money over the course of your education. Avoid California if possible. Nursing programs as a rule are incredibly impacted there, and since you're free to move literally anywhere in the continental US, choose a state that gives you a better opportunity to be accepted statistically. It also has a higher cost of living than most other states, which would make it very difficult to live on a CNA hourly rate. Look in the Midwest, South, and Southwest parts of the US. Avoid the West Coast and upper east coast. The more dense the overall population, the more applicants you'll be fighting for acceptance into a nursing program.
  9. ThatBigGuy

    Want to be a nurse

    Your daughter has a major negative counting against her: a failed nursing program. She also has a major positive counting for her: a completed bachelor degree. She needs to look for programs that offer a second degree BSN program. This is specifically for applicants who have a previous bachelors. Schools keep these spots open because they know that if you've been successful once, you're more likely to be successful a second time. Also, your daughter has had incredible success despite all that life has thrown at her. Have her develop an application essay describing the events leading up to her failure in the nursing program, and then focus on the fact that she was able to persevere and graduate with a degree. Nursing schools love second degree students who have been through the ringer in life, and come out on top. This means your daughter might be more likely to be successful in the program. Make phone calls and send emails to all the schools in your area and find out who offers a second degree program. Apply to those with your spruced up application essay. You might find more success that way.
  10. ThatBigGuy

    What's your method for flushing a line?

    1. I palpate most of the time. In general, real world practice, you'll have other cues to help you decide patency. I watch the patient's face for s/s of pain, but keep one eye on the tegaderm to make sure the IV isn't leaking or the vein blows. 2. Those green caps are nice, use when in doubt. That being said, I would just have used a new flush post-Lasix. Scrub the hub in between flushes and meds. My IV med administration looks like this: scrub, flush, scrub, med, scrub, new flush. It adds mere seconds to the time of administration, but you're pushing the Lasix slowly anyways, so you have the time.
  11. ThatBigGuy

    ADN or BSN- Quickest Admission or Dream School?

    When considering an ABSN, always throw in the added complication of "if I finish". Accelerted BSNs are much tougher with higher attrition rates than standard BSN programs. ADN: finish sooner and earn money sooner, but will have added complication of RN to BSN or RN to MSN in future. ABSN: finish later, if you get in, if you make it through the program, income earning delayed, but you get to be a Sooner. Another thing to consider is the cost of the program, although it might not be a big difference, because OU's program is about $18,000, which is incredibly affordable for an ABSN. I would suggest the ADN program. There are a lot of "if's" with the ABSN, added to the delayed earned income factor. If you really want to be a Sooner, get your Masters through them later.
  12. ThatBigGuy

    BSN Vs ADN

    Nursing program classes do not transfer. If you might be moving, and know you can finish your ADN before you move, then get that one finished. You can then work as an RN. At any point after that you can do an RN-to-BSN program, many of which are online. I would not consider starting a BSN if there was any chance that I could not finish it before moving. You would have to start over at the next place. If you can get your ADN before your move date, go for it!
  13. ThatBigGuy

    Nursing or USC?

    FWIW, I put nursing school on hold in order to play college basketball. It was the best decision I ever made. That being said, I limited my choices of basketball and nursing schools to places I could afford, rather than ones based on prestige and historical hoops significance. Did I miss out on playing at Duke? Sure, but I also don't have $200,000 in debt. In choosing wisely, gaining partial athletic and academic scholarships, and working during the summers, I was able to play hoops and then get my BSN for about $30,000 in student loans. You're young and have plenty of time to pursue football and then a BSN. Just don't pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so.
  14. What you need to look for is a university with a 2nd Degree BSN program. This is designed for those with a previous bachelors, and gives them credit for the bachelor portion of a BSN (meaning History, Math, English, Liberal Arts, etc). I pursued this route with great efficiency, requiring only one semester of pre-reqs to apply. My program even had separate slots in the program for 2nd Degree students, so I was accepted after my first application. Once you find a few 2nd degree programs, get in contact with each admissions office and have them look at your current degree. Each school will have a slightly different view on entrance requirements, meaning your current degree may be acceptable to one school but not the next. If you start making calls tomorrow, you should start receiving concrete answers by next week.
  15. ThatBigGuy

    Premed or nursing?

    There's no problem with taking pre-reqs for nursing and pre-med. All it requires is an increase in time and money. If you have time and money, and are unsure of your ultimate path, then work through the pre-reqs. You may have an epiphany during that time that allows you to choose a route with confidence. However, once you make a decision, stick with it. Changing your mind mid program is a recipe for immense cost and time. If you want to aim high, do so now. Don't wait around for a few years, piling up debt and age.
  16. ThatBigGuy

    Need Insight! Nursing or Med School?

    You can be an RN in 4 years (or less if you attend an accelerated program). You can become an Acute Care-NP after that and work in a hospital setting. My ICU has an AC-NP. Your road to being an MD will be more strenuous and much longer, anywhere between 10-14 years depending on specialty. I don't know that it's possible to start a family while becoming a surgeon or ICU intensivist, which means putting off your family plans until your mid 30's.

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