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Thank you for your comments on my last post! Well...I did it! I have graduated from nursing school! Gawd...how I miss my classmates faces!

Amazing how we became so close and now it's over...and a new set of challenges is on my mind. 1. Passing the NCLEX...but I'm studying like a fiend! I have literally every NCLEX book that Books a Million sells!

However my most pressing concern is 2. FINDING A JOB! I'm trying not to stress but I'm thinking I may have to work in fast food until I can find a nursing position! It's a drawback of living in Smalltown, USA...I'm just sooo ready to be out there!

I'm freaking out!

In about a month I will be graduating from my LPN class and I feel like I don't know anything! Yeah, sure I know some stuff but do I know enough? I don't know! 
Things at work have been generally unremarkable.

I have been staying mostly on my unit and on rare occassion I float to the unit next door.

When I was in nursing class I didn't understand what float meant and once it was explained I couldn't understand why so many people hated being "floated'.

Now of course I understand.

Try this on for size: last night they floated me to a unit I had never been on. Unit 1 AND 2. Thats right, the have a position where one nurse covers TWO units!! It's just you, 4 CNA's (if you're lucky) and SEVENTY-SIX residents spread across 2 floors of the building.

Doing rounds should not involve using an elevator!!!!!

I got blindingly lucky though; just as the supervisor was about to drop this abortion in my lap, one of the other nurses walked in even though she wasn't scheduled for a shift. She misread the schedule, thought she was on and drove an hour to come in. So she and I slit the floor and it worked out.

Still, the idea of having 76 residents is to me borderline illegal. We have a 2 hour window for medpass. If you spent 90 seconds doing each persons meds you might stay in compliance, but you know a fingerstick alone takes 30 seconds, to say nothing of logging out narcs!


School is ok.

Say the shortest pair of happy shorts out in the hallways when I came in. Followed by several mini-dresses. Schools not so bad. :)

Math class is challenging, both in content and duration.

Psych is much more casual. My instructor is being questioned about her role, if any, in a triple homocide that happened here, so she is somewhat distracted. The quizzes that we are supposed to have gotten are being delayed a bit while she gets her story straight is distracted.


Working in LTC one thing you notice is that people who are settling in for the long haul bring their photos and albums with them. I love looking at the old photos! I love the fashions and I really find it interesting what people valued enough to go through the trouble of taking a picture of.

Early on, when I saw that everyone was bringing in their old photos, I knew that one day I was going to run across an image that would make you say "might not be the best one to hang on the wall". I also had an idea in my mind of exactly what that image would be; and sure enough, I encountered it on Unit 1.

Walked into the residents room, gave meds, engaged in small talk, started looking at the photos on the wall and there was a very nice b&w portrait about 3x5 of her husband in his uniform, SS runes poorly scratched off the photo but their 'ghost' remaining. Knew I was going to find one of these images one day, just thought it would take more time. Ah the stories some of my residents can tell.....


Halloween approaches. Appearantly my unit and Unit 3 have a fierce competition to outdo each other every year. I was sworn to secrect and then told that my units theme this year is Alice In Wonderland. So far the unit manager will be the Queen Of Hearts. The bleached blonde punk-type day tour norse with all the metal in her ears is going to be Alice. This is actually kind of cool because I know she'll tweak the image a bit and I have a thing for blondes in pinafores, so I may sign up for an extra day tour.

Unit 3 is doing something but I'm not sure what and really don't care. I did notice that in the back of their Med Room was a shopping bag full of styrofoam tombstones. Really, is it a good idea to use fake tombstones as decor in a nursing home? That would be like decorating death row with candy syringes. I can just picture some clod showing up in a Death costume and randomly pointing at residents and saying "You!!".
Sitting here at the nurses station.

I am orienting a new hire nurse who is someone I went to school with. The result is I am enjoying the pleasure of having an extra nurse around to split the load.

Ah, half a floor......


I've been thinking about what happens if I get into the RN nursing program for this fall. The way things are going now, I'll have all my pre-requisites done by the end of the Fall 11 semester. The RN program doesn't start till Fall 12. Applications have to be in for the program by Feb 12.

The way it looks now, if I get into the program I'll have to take 4 nursing classes and 4 A&P classes and be done. Since my prereqs are done I'll only have to take two (big & major) classes each semester, A&P and Nursing.

This also leaves me with an empty semester, Spring 11.

Now in theory I can challenge A&P1 and A&P2. I'd have a fair chance of successfully challenging (and thus not needing to take)A&P1, though I am told very few successfully challenge A&P2.

If I successfully challenge A&P1, I could take A&P2 as my sole class for Spring 12. Then if I get into the nursing program for Fall 12 I will only have to take Nursing1 for the first semester, only Nursing2 for the second semester and then the last two semesters would be Nursing3 and A&P3 and Nursing4 and A&P4.

That's the plan.......................it awaits approval of the mice (get it? best laid plans....).


The other thing I have been thinking about is do I want to keep working while I am doing the nursing program (assuming I get in).

I have alot riding on this, so the idea of being able to devote myself 24/7 to schoolwork is very appealing. Then again, I also have to pay the bills.

I figure that if I start squirreling money away now and get my recurring expenses cut down, I can probably get by on about $1,000 a month. By the time Fall 12 comes around I will just about be done with my delinquent property tax repayment schedule ($2,500 every quarter), so that should free up some money and also reduce a huge recurring expense.


It's funny that I'm thinking this stuff. 25 years ago this definitely not where my mind was. Heck, 5 years ago this is not where my mind was.

New to the program

Hi there! I just started the BSN program at UNLV about a week ago and I'm scared out of my wits. Two weeks prior to starting the semester I didn't realized how intense this whole thing was. It's an accelerated course so everything is crammed into 15 months. The orientations didn't help but make my fears worse that maybe I wasn't so cut out for this whole thing. I'm crap at studying. I just lack the discipline and if I don't pass every course with a exam average of 75% or higher I'm booted out of the program. I should be grateful that I'm 1 out of 48 students admitted into the program, but I don't know anymore. I'm doubting myself more. It's just the thought that if I mess up, it could potentially cost someone's life.

I really don't know how to handle my stress so I'm just wondering if this whole thing is worth it? Especially now that I've been reading that jobs are hard to come by, despite the typical "Oh there'll always be job for nurses." I'd really appreciate some advice.

Applying to Nursing School


I am almost done with my pre-requisites for the Nursing Programs in my area. I have a 3.5 GPA and intend to keep it there or higher (fingers crossed!)

I'm looking into a few programs, but they're each so different than one another. I'm so confused, and all of the schools are making their program sound like the best idea for me!

Program 1) Combined BS to MSN Program: http://nursing.jhu.edu/academics/programs/bachelors/bs_msn I would apply for the Fall Entry program.

Program 2) Traditional BSN Program http://nursing.umaryland.edu/academic-programs/undergrad/bsn

Program 3) Local Community College Associates Programs: http://www.ccbcmd.edu/nursing/Program_Overview.html#atm

Basically my concerns are financial, as well as should I start off with RN/BS, work for a few years, then go back for a Masters? Is Program 1 too intensive? Should I pace myself, or go for it? What kinds of jobs would be available with a BSN vs. what kinds of jobs would be available with an MSN?

ALSO, what kind of financial aid/grants/scholarships are out there? Should I apply for them now, even before I know what school I want to go to? I am so financially strapped and cannot take on any more student loans... (ahem, i have a BFA in fine arts... yea...)

Thank you so much for your time!!!

Any advice would be very very appreciated. I feel so lost!


Has anyone used hesistudy.com to study for the HESI? It was recommended to me by another student, but the website looks a little shifty and there's not much information about what you're actually paying for. How did you guys study for your HESI? Are there any good books or websites you'd recommend?

Accelerated BSN Applications

Hi all!

I'm in the midst of applying for Accelerated BSN programs.  I'm narrowing down the list of schools I'm going to apply for and right now it seems really long.  How many did you apply for?  How many do people typically apply for?  Is it like medical school where it's common for people to apply to 10-15 programs and many apply for more than that?

Thank you!

CNA experience

Hello. I got my B.S. in business from Arizona State University in 2009, but then took the past two years off to start a family. I am now ready to go back to school and have decided to finally pursue nursing after wanting to do it all of my undergrad.

The nursing program I am doing is through a community college for your A.A.S, with a guaranteed entry bridge program through ASU.Collapse )

I am currently a stay at home mom and was wondering if it would be worth it to become a CNA, both for the pay and for the experience. It would really help with our finances as we are struggling to survive on one income right now. The program is a 5 week course through Pima Medical Institute and includes a week long externship, then you take the boards and get certified independently. I could be done with it before the end of 2011. It costs $1350, which we do have.

I am just unsure how it will look on my resume to be a CNA as a means to an end. I want to do it part-time through the end of 2012, and then full-time until fall 2014. I've been advised to cut down on work or stop altogether during blocks (I guess I could work during the summers or something if I could find such work). By then my husband will have graduated from college and be working full-time, so financially it would be possible.

I think the experience with direct patient care would help, and the money would be really helpful, but I don't want it to look bad that I did it temporarily. I am possibly looking into being a Resident Assistant, would a CNA help me get hired for such a position? Most CNA jobs seem to require a year's experience as a CNA, and I'm just not understanding how to get my foot in the door!

Good idea? Bad idea? Any other thoughts/possible jobs that could give me some experience?

All ideas/constructive criticism welcome!

Aug. 2nd, 2011

dear fellow nursing students,

hi, i'm molly. i am almost done with my pre-requisites, and i'm planning to apply to masters programs in the next year (i have a bachelors degree in literature).

i have been a really hard time finding a job to keep me afloat while i get ready for nursing school. i was unemployed for the past six months, until i took a break from classes during the summer and got some work through a temp agency. it's been really difficult for me, browsing help wanted ads, trying to fake enough interest in customer service and retail jobs to get my foot in the door. so far i've had lots of interviews, but no offers.

so, my question is, what are some entry level jobs that being a pre-nursing student would be an edge? or, even, jobs that would get me valuable experience?

notes: i have a lot of office and customer service experience. i worked in libraries for years. i have experience caring for elders, but only my own grandmother. i would love to get CNA certified, but i can't afford the short programs, and i don't have time for a long program at this point. also, i'm planning on doing some volunteering at a local hospital beginning in september, but as of right now i don't have any hospital volunteer experience.