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Cygnus has 3 years experience.

Cygnus's Latest Activity

  1. Cygnus

    Rush University MESN

    Alumnus of the program from when it was called GEM. Things Rush does well: -You will be well-prepared didactically for nursing (you will have a good grasp of pharmacology and physiology and critical thinking coming out of the program) -There are a number of instructors who are very nice. -Rush is willing to pay for further APN schooling (although you need to pursue it cautiously, see below) -Name recognition Things Rush does not do well: -Because you are basically doing BSN curriculum condensed into two years plus a Master's project, your clinical skills will be relatively weak, especially if you are coming in without CNA experience. -There are a number of "old school" instructors who eat their young. They control (or previously controlled) the final immersion clinical and will do everything they can to make you repeat if you don't show them the proper level of deference or make the mistake of saying you want to be anything but a bedside RN when you get out of the program. -Insanely political. -CNL certification is effectively useless unless you want to work for the VA or a handful of other institutions
  2. Cygnus

    Why is Med-Surg so hated?

    The US system is mostly about ship 'em in/ship 'em out to minimize the cost of care, therefore even ostensibly specialized areas like cardiac telemetry get a lot of "junk drawer" med-surg overflow (the frequent-flying CHF/COPD exacerbations, LOLs with dementia admitted for altered mental status/UTIs, etc.) because the top priority for administration is to find a bed, any bed. My previous employer had three units that were designated med-surg. The unit I worked on got the most surgical patients of the three, and we were designated the surgical/ortho-neuro floor, but we still got overflow.
  3. Cygnus

    Paying off student loans

    First off, good on you for taking financial responsibility. Once you're out of school, priority #1 is setting up a rainy day fund. You need enough liquid cash to survive a minimum of three to six months without a job. If you are willing to work in an area with a severe healthcare shortage for a period of two to three years, the Nurse Corps program will pay off either 60 or 85% of your loan. You need at least a 100% debt-to-salary ratio to be considered a Tier 1 candidate. This means that if you're expected to make less than $50,000 your first year, you have over a 100% ratio; this will probably be mostly determined by where you live and what RN starting salaries are. If your debt is through the feds, you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness provided that you work full-time for a non-profit. This means you make payments on your loans for a period of 10 years, and your remaining balance is forgiven. There are three major risks to PSLF. 1) Income. If you make around $40,000 or $50,000 and you opt into REPAYE or one of the other 10% income-dependent payment plans, you'll only wind up paying about $20,000 or $25,000 before the escape hatch kicks in. If you live in an area of the country such as California where starting salaries for RNs are high, your monthly payments will be quite high, and the loan will probably be paid off before you reach the 10 year mark. 2) Fewer opportunities. While most hospitals are nonprofits, if you want to take an offer in the private sector (say, an informatics job at one of the EHR companies or a doctor's office), too bad, you can't. 3) The government factor. No one has actually had their loan balance discharged through PSLF yet; the first people are set to call in their forgiveness this year. There's nothing that says .gov can't change the program or walk back their side of the deal. If neither of these programs sound like a good idea and you do want to go the payoff route, try refinancing through SoFi, Earnest, or another borrower to lower your interest rates so that more of your payment goes to principal. Pay off the highest interest loan first; it's a better return on investment. Good luck.
  4. Cygnus

    Specialty Poll for male nurses

    Did an entry-level master's. I'm a CNL with a year of med-surg (primarily ortho), two months of acute rehab, tentatively HHC. Possibly NP at some point in the future depending on finances.
  5. Cygnus

    Illinois Salary Update

    While it won't give you new grad salaries specifically, Glassdoor is decent enough for getting a rough idea of what an average nurse at a particular institution's making. U Chicago is union, so the pay is above average. The rest of the big-name academic medical centers like Northwestern, Rush, NorthShore, and Advocate are pretty close to one another pay-wise; their individual benefits will probably act as a bigger differentiator. RIC/Shirley Ryan trails most of them, although it's rehab and the patients are (supposedly) lower acuity. Places like Edward and Adventist in the West 'burbs pay well, but they have to considering the cost of living in places like Naperville.
  6. Cygnus

    Day shift or Night shift

    From an inpatient med-surg POV: Nights: +Pay if your organization offers a differential. +Easier to prioritize if you are a poor multitasker because there is less "sidetracking junk" like admits/discharges/families, etc. +In theory, less work/more time to look at physician documentation and work on critical thinking and technique because most people in theory are asleep. +/-Overall, less experienced workforce. This has both positives and negatives; usually less relational aggression/drama but harder to find experienced help for complex stuff and codes. -Waking up attendings at 2 AM if your organization doesn't have hospitalists or residents. -Waking up patients at 2 AM because some doctor is insistent on doing neuro checks Q2h despite the patient having no neuro symptoms for several days. -Sundowners. If you have problems with confused people, wait until the moon rises. You ain't seen anything. -Depending on your organization, higher patient:nurse ratios and lower PCT/CNA availability. -Higher likelihood of circadian disruption than days. Days: +Docs are generally more around for questions and less grumpy. +Depending on your organization, lower patient/nurse ratios and higher PCT/CNA availability. +Healthier for your body than nights. +Higher likelihood of inservices/committees being baked into your day instead of needing to make a special trip. +/-Overall, more experienced workforce. This has both positives and negatives; usually easier to find help for complex cases and codes, but more relational aggression/drama. -Much easier to get pulled in a thousand directions and more junk to sidetrack poor multitaskers such as doctors doing rounds, PT/OT, people wanting to be up and out of bed, families, etc. -Lower pay if your organization offers a night differential. -Discharges, which rarely occur on nights. More admissions, transfers, and pickups from the OR.
  7. Cygnus

    Possibly being recorded

    Sorry, used the phrase somewhat loosely. Good catch. :) Clarification: If patient #1 records another patient's PHI and something were to happen to that PHI, patient #1 could probably be held liable.
  8. Cygnus

    Possibly being recorded

    Gray area. If a patient tells you they are recording you, the legality depends on whether you live in a one-party consent or all-party consent state. If the latter and you state that you refuse to be recorded, they may not. If it's a one-party consent state, probably nothing you can do. If they are secretly recording you, yes, it's probably legal unless you live in California or Florida. However, if it's a semi-private room and there's another patient who may inadvertently have their PHI recorded by such a recording, the patient probably becomes liable for a HIPAA violation. If the facility has a risk management team, talk with them.

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