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  1. What beekee said. The prereq's took me one full year, including summer session, because you have to take some in order (i.e. A&P I followed by A&P II). Good luck!
  2. katyq82

    NCLEX JUNE 2018

    Just wanted to share that I took the NCLEX on 6/28 and passed in 75 questions! I primarily used UWorld and LaCharity.
  3. katyq82

    Per Diem Options?

    Hello! I just graduated with my ASN, and will be continuing school for my BSN online this fall. I am open minded about my career path, especially in terms of my first job. I'm prioritizing finding a safe and supportive environment for a new nurse, but I want to gain skills too. In my area there are only a couple of hospitals that hire ASN new graduates. I have a job offer from a nursing home that seems like a fantastic environment and I would likely enjoy working there. However, its only 3/4 time and I would like to be working full time. I know that new grads are not generally a good fit for per diem positions, but are there any good options out there where I could pick up 2-3 shifts a month and also possibly work in a different environment to learn new things? Maybe a rehab facility, or another setting? Does that sound feasible? I would like to eventually work in a hospital setting so I like to pick up hours doing something that would strengthen my resume for the future. Another option would be to turn down the job offer and continue applying to full time jobs, but I don't think I would find a better LTC facility in my area so I would probably wait it out for a hospital based position. I would be afraid to turn down a "bird in the hand"! Advice welcome, thanks in advance! :)
  4. katyq82

    Am I making the right decision? Nurse or Sonographer?

    I just finished my ASN, and my sister in law just finished an Associate's Degree in Echocardiography. Both degrees took the same amount of time, but she will very likely earn quite a bit more than I will when we both get our first jobs. Her job will likely be physically easier and definitely cleaner than mine! But on the other hand, I can go on to get my BSN, MSN, specialize, change the area of nursing I work in down the road, etc... I like the many options available through nursing. I would think really hard about what type of work environment you want, and look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics on job outlook for both options and pick the one that is best for you. Depending on the different prereqs required, you could apply to both programs if you qualify. Good luck!
  5. katyq82

    NCLEX JUNE 2018

    Good luck everyone! I am taking mine next week!
  6. katyq82

    Delivering during first semester

    There was a student in my class who gave birth on a Thursday and was back to take a quiz the following Tuesday! We were all like- where's the baby?!? LOL. But seriously she was a rock star and I think she also had a lot of help from family. I would request a meeting with someone from the department prior to the start of the semester (department chair, lead teacher or someone like that) and explain the situation. I think its better to talk with them ahead of time, show them that you aren't looking for favors but are looking for guidance on what you need to do to make this work. Make sure you know all the absence and repeat course policies thoroughly as you may find yourself having to repeat semester 1 if things don't work out as planned. See what you can do ahead of time as you suggested- maybe you can do a few extra clinical days with another group before the baby comes, depending on the timing, or they may have other suggestions. Have a Plan A, B, C and D. :) And enjoy this special time in your life! Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy.
  7. katyq82


    I am about to graduate in a couple of weeks, and the items you list were all taught in my nursing school- in lecture, sim lab and clinical. But I think that (as with any profession), there is a big difference between knowing these concepts intellectually and putting them into practice quickly and accurately in a real life situation. That can only come with on the job practice. I hope that more hospitals will invest in orientation or residency programs that allow new grads to practice these concepts safely. A good start would be to train and reward experienced nurses who want to precept. To answer the question, I might consider taking such a course as a new grad- but I think that many people who could use a new grad type class might not be super self-aware and reflective enough about their practice to see the value in it. It would be better coming from the employer. FYI, the NCSBN does offer an online new grad class called "Transition To Practice", but it seems to cover more abstract concepts than what you are describing.
  8. katyq82

    Failing clinical

    This for sure ^ Another thing you might do is request a check in meeting with her in a couple weeks, or halfway between now and the final evaluation- once you've had a chance to show some improvement but before she will be doing the final evaluation. Just check in, ask her if she feels you have improved in the areas of concern, let her know how you think it is going, and ask her what, if anything, she would like to see you work on in the time remaining.
  9. katyq82

    My Story: Trying to move to the hospital

    Aw this made me so sad to read! It might be worth considering having your husband go to per diem, you made the initial career sacrifice and it sounds like he is willing to do the same for you. Yes, it would be a change but it could be a good one. Without having been at the interview, it sounds like the hiring manager started having second thoughts about potential future scheduling problems. Its also very possible, like you mentioned, that she was concerned about your transition to the environment. At your next interview for an acute unit, you might want to stress that you thrive in a faster paced environment and give examples from the SNF that show you can handle the pace. The hiring manager might not think of the SNF as "fast paced" but you probably have a higher nurse to patient ratio and I'm sure there is some hustle involved. Trying highlighting that side of things. Another idea- would it be feasible for you to get a per diem position at the hospital to start with? Good luck!
  10. katyq82

    how many hours should I devote to studying?

    You may need to put in more time studying, or what you might really need is to study in a different way. I found that when I got to semester 3 it was like a whole new ballgame, the exams were a lot harder. The cognitive level of the questions had gone up. Most of the questions in the first two semesters were at the Remembering/Understanding level, and we transitioned to having nearly all questions at the Applying/Analyzing level. This is essential because the NCLEX questions are nearly all going to be at the Apply level or higher. Remembering the facts is only going to get you half way to the answer, you need to know how to apply that knowledge to different scenarios, collaborate with other disciplines, prioritize, delegate, etc. So if you are now seeing exam questions that look really different, you might get an NCLEX study guide to use along with your textbooks. There are a few out there that give you an overview of the most important points on a topic and then NCLEX style questions for each area. Good luck!
  11. katyq82

    Cardiac question

    I just saw the rest of your post... not sure if you updated it or if I missed the part about Digoxin the first time I read it. To the best of my knowledge, digoxin is not a vasodilator. It is a positive inotrope and a negative chronotrope, so it slows conduction/heart rate while also increasing the contractility- it makes the heart pump more effectively so that it doesn't have to work as hard. Stroke volume should increase while the heart rate decreases. It might be used with a vasodilator.
  12. katyq82

    Need a bit of advice, please

    Since you haven't accepted the first job, I would apply for the ER externship and see what happens. I don't see why it would jeopardize the first position. If it does come up, you could always say that since you haven't received a written offer you wanted to hedge your bets and apply for a second position. But if the telemetry job offer comes through and you haven't gotten anywhere with the ER position, I would probably just take the tele one. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and all that. At least in my area, its pretty easy to transfer departments/locations within the same system, so I think that getting into the hospital system at all is well worth it. I don't know how much time you have left in your school program, but maybe you could do the tele floor position for a year and then switch to the ER as a tech. Congrats either way!
  13. katyq82

    Cardiac question

    The electrical impulse (SA node and entire cardiac conduction system) is separate from the volume being pumped and from the muscular strength of the pump itself. You can run into problems with the conduction, the volume or the pump. Think of a boiler heating system that forces hot water through pipes up to radiators to heat a house. You need electricity to power the pump, but you also need a working pump to force the water up through the pipes. Problems with your heating system can be caused by a problem with the electricity (cardiac conduction), the pump (cardiac muscle), the pipes (vascular system), or a lack of water in the heating system (hypovolemia). You might find some videos online that are helpful in illustrating this concept, sometimes it can be hard to picture when you are just reading the text.
  14. katyq82

    Nursing school 1st semester BOOKS

    You might want to ask the nursing department if the same books will be used in future semesters before deciding. We had to purchase a big package of books first semester, but then we used most of them all throughout the program. If its something that you'll only use for 1 semester, I'm all for renting.
  15. katyq82

    Did I make the right decision returning to school?

    Some encouragement and a couple examples that I've recently gone through to share... You mentioned your other potential path was an MSW, so I am guessing you may have come from a similar career background as I have, and I also went into nursing to be able to make a more measurable impact on people's lives. This is my second career and I feel like I have a lot on the line because I have two kids, a mortgage and went down to part time at work to do this, causing financial stress for our family. There are so many different clinical settings, so I wouldn't give it up over one clinical. For an example, my first clinical and my last clinical have been on the same unit at the same hospital. The first time, I truly hated it, the nurses seemed to either be running around like crazy with a high patient load, or others seemed so burnt out that they were avoiding their patients to play candy crush at the nurses station. This semester (my last) I am in the same exact unit with many of the same nurses- the only difference is that the whole unit moved onto a new floor and they have a lower pt:nurse ratio. It is a fantastic place to be now and the nursing "behaviors" seem so different. I asked the nurses what changed and they said that now on the new floor they have what they need, they are better supported, and they have a lower patient ratio. Its a totally different place to be now. I've been on other floors that felt like the students were annoying and brushed to the side, and then others where the nurses truly wanted to teach and allowed us to learn from them. A lot of it has to do with what pressures are put on the nurses and what the management environment is. If you can even volunteer somewhere over the summer to see a different healthcare environment that might give you some new ideas. Even if you volunteered at a free clinic or as an activities assistant at a long term care facility, you would get a chance to observe the environment and the nurses. We just did a long term care rotation and there is a done of relationship development, therapeutic communication, advocacy and family interaction that those nurses are doing. In addition to, yes, passing meds as well. But in long term care, the nurse knows the patient so s/he would be there a week later to see that the dose adjustment was causing XYZ change and can advocate for that patient, whereas in the hospital you do not see those longer term changes. I am realizing that there is so much I can do with nursing that isn't on a hospital floor, that having this will be a huge asset. I would like to work in a hospital, but I am also interested in visiting home nurse, community education, public health, lactation counseling, and there are so many possible roads. I am not a good fit for psych nursing, but you may find a fit there... Basically there are lots of different options and my encouragement would be to explore a few before you walk away from nursing altogether. Good luck!! If only we all knew what we wanted to be when we grow up, this would be so much easier!