Thursday, December 17, 2020

End of course Review for NUR 212, NUR 113, & NUR 211!

 I had to take a week off before I wrote this post. This was a very challenging semester. I was very tired at the end. I was a little disappointed in myself academic wise. I ended with an 87 (B) in OB, a 91 (B) in Leadership, and a 91 (B) in Med-Surg. I'm normally an A student, but this semester was very unforgiving. On the 3 HESI bench mark exams, I had to remediate on 2 of them. I didn't have a great test taking day that day. We take a 4 week break for Christmas and New Years and we back for the final semester. Looking back, I think its important to prepare "financially" for this semester. Being that 4 days out of week is dedicated to nursing school, I think working full-time will hurt you this semester. We had people in class that worked full-time, and their grades showed. If I could give you any advice, start saving now so that you can work PRN instead of full-time. 1st semester (bridge course), you can work full-time, due to only a 2 day commitment. This semester was waaaayyyyyy more difficult in the context of time, assignments AND material. It was fast paced, content heavy in all classes, assignment due dates everywhere, lots of clinicals, and test were more difficult. You have your "training wheels" in the bridge course. This semester, training wheels were definitely off!

NUR 113 (OB) is very challenging. It has different terminology, and 90% of the content is ante, intra, post-partum care, & newborn. (better brush-up on your APGARS) lol

NUR 212 (Leadership). I didn't find it too challenging. Just understanding budgets, health care systems, managerial content, & terminology.

NUR 211 (Med-Surg) had ALOOOTTTTT of content. Example: Our last exam was 10 chapters. You get the point.

Overall, all the instructors are excellent, knowledgeable, & approachable. They are strict, but loving. 

One the first day, combine all 3 syllabus on 1 calendar, then look at your due dates!


Happy Nursing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

10/27 Almost Done with Fall Semester 2!!!!

 This semester has been challenging so far. I feel like these classes are beating me down, BUT I'm pushing. This after this week, we technically have only 3 weeks of class left before final testing. There are quite a few people failing. I'm glad that I'm not one of them. Here are my key takeaways: 

Don't let up! Keep pushing even though you are tired.

Don't sweat the small stuff! It's a lot of changes CONSTANTLY (clinical scheduling, campus visits etc), nasty nurses, nasty doctors, clinical cafeteria has the same food! It sucks, keep pushing.


Don't be afraid to ask for help!!!

OK back to studying!!!

Friday, September 25, 2020

09/25 Journey

 This semester is really tough. Lots of reading, studying, & clinical assignments. This is the toughest part of this course. Everyone keeps saying that once you are done with this semester, you are golden. I'm really struggling to stay ahead. I'm behind as we speak. I have 2 exam next week, and I still have modules to listen for lecture and chapter to go over in the book. I've kind of learned a method for studying and for testing. Do as many practice questions as you can.

My Advice:


2. You have to manage your time

3. DO NOT WORK FULL-TIME (start saving money NOW!)

4. Lean on both classmates (LPN/Paramedic and the Traditional Students). The traditional class really helps us. Vice/Versa

5. Take time for yourself. I walk the neighborhood in the daytime to take a break from studying. 

6. Keep your goal in front of you (RN). 

7. Identify someone to be your support system. (My wife is great)

8. Have a classmate you can vent too, but DON"T GOSSIP! 

9. Whateva the instructor tells you, DO IT! DONT MAKE WAVES! Especially doing clinicals, I've seen a NO SO GREAT outcome for some!

10. You don't have that much to go!


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

09/02/2020 Journey

 It's been 2 weeks and we are swamped. I've taken 3 exams and turned in a teaching project. I passed all 3. Some of my classmates failed 1 or more exams. They were quite difficult. Juggling 3 nursing classes can be really time consuming. I'm only working 1 day a week (10 hr shift). I'm starting the get in a groove. Clinicals are kinda fun and I look forward to going for the learning opportunity. I just hate getting up that early in the morning.


* Don't stress too much

* Find time for yourself (exercise, take breaks etc)


* Use all the resources they give you (HELPS A LOT) 


Friday, August 21, 2020

1st Day Semester 2 (NUR 211, 113, & 212)

 We are "officially" 2nd year ADN students. We are taking NUR 211 (Med-Surg), NUR 113 (OB), and NUR 212 (Nursing Leadership). We also met the traditional students as well. We are considered "transitional" due to the bridges (LPN & Paramedic). It's total 41 students. We are being kept separate from the traditional due to class size. We will merge back 3rd semester. We are starting clinicals next week. It will be good to see UNC Southeastern Regional Hospital again. I always have a great experience at that hospital. I'm starting the OB rotation 1st, out of the cohort. The have us mixed in with the traditional group for clinicals. The energy is good! What is not good is our work load! MAN it's going to be tough! It's busy work AND lots of chapter reading. It's like 11 chapters our 1st week! Next week we have 2 test AND a teaching assignment due!

Advice at this point:

*Merge all syllabus to 1 calendar.

*Find YOUR way to navigate the chapters. The way nursing test are formatted is not by recall, but application & critical thinking. 

* Use outside resources (answer NCLEX style questions related to those chapters) 

* I'm freakin out my 1st week (so is everyone else). Keep this in mind. It was only 10 slots and you got 1, MANY people have fought and are fighting to be in your shoes.........recognize your blessing!

*Lastly, manage your time! You have to manage 3 classes to include clinicals!


Sunday, August 9, 2020

1 week before 2nd semester (reflection)

 Being that this bridge is only 3 semesters, there is a lot to take in. I had to purchase 2 more additional books and an access to a virtual sim. That was $341.00 more additional dollars added to the $1,400.00 this semester. Nursing school is very expensive, so make sure that you have $$$$ saved. 1st semester was like $1,100.00 plus $781.00 in books. That's $3600.00 in 2 semesters! Oops I forgot the $450 in uniforms, shoes, & medical/lab kit GEEESH make that $4,000! You almost have no choice but to pass. There are a lot of fees. I believe that there was a $241 charge for "Nursing testing fees"? SMH

I have to leave my full-time job due to scheduling. 

Here is our 2nd Semester Schedule:

NUR 212 (Leadership)

Tuesdays 8:30 am - 11:30 am

NUR 113 (OB)

Tuesdays 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

NUR 211 (Med-Surg )

Wednesdays 1 pm - 4:00 pm


Thursdays 6:45 am - 6:45 pm

Fridays 6:45 am - 12:00 pm

Saturday, May 9, 2020

End of course review NUR 215 & NUR 117 (Paramedic to RN Bridge)

I made a 95% on the bridge final! My final average was a 90 (B). Pharmacology, I ended with a 93 (A). That was a tough 16 weeks. Mostly, it was due to the mindset transition. I still believe that going through the full program would have probably given me higher grades. Most see that the bridge is only 3 semesters, so therefore it must be easier. Wrong, it's not! It's harder! It was a fight the entire way through.

My recommendations:

Read and stay ahead, don't get behind!

Submit to the nursing way of thinking (at least for school & NCLEX)

Get a NCLEX-RN review book, to see how questions are formed and rationales behind!

Don't get discouraged!

Your classmates will be your family! (Me, David, John, Charles, Paul, Michelle, Kelly, Scott, Brian, and Kasidi).

Reach out to someone who attended before you, to avoid pitfalls!

Happy  Transition!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

05/03 End of Semester #1

Next week, I take finals for NUR 215 & NUR 117. It's been a "challenging" semester especially with this COVID-19 outbreak. Right now my average is a B in NUR 215 and an A in NUR 117. I would like to end both with an A, and I will try my best. So this is my experience so far! I was really worried about my average around the middle of April. There were 2 really hard test that I made both 76s. Even though I have to finish the class with an 80, I was really worried. Mostly not because I thought that I would fail, but because I was still not grasping the nursing philosophy on the test.

I arranged to speak with my instructor after that test. Something I was missing! After speaking with my DON, I discovered that I was focused on the wrong stuff. I needed to focus on the interventions, nursing care, and pt education. After that, my test taking grades changed. As far as the class schedule, nothing really changed. Our class project was a power-point instead of a display board. We made excellent grades. I also scored good on the end of course HESI. I needed a 900 to bench mark, I scored 1077. As far as my overall view, this is what you need to pass this course.

1. . She will break it down and have a small test.

2. Saunders NCLEX -RN review book! Single best investment I've made. Breaks down each area with bullet-points, and provides test questions w/ rationale. I've even seen some questions out of this book on my test!

3. Invest the time to study. I can't say this enough. Most of the stuff as a medic, you are familiar with and it may seem redundant. But, most of the test questions are based on nursing interventions and patient education. I almost made this mistake during the Perfusion module.

4. Enjoy your life. Take time to watch TV or do what you do!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

04/04 - Covid Class Readjustment Status

So far, we have been online. It's very interesting because I feel as though I learn more this way. My last exam was a 90 (B) so I'm ok with that. We just finished Crohns ds, Ulcerative Colitis, Influenza, & Pneumonia. Our instructor audio records her lecture w/ the slides. 1 advantage is that we can listen over and over. Also, she posted a study guide (we will see how accurate it is this Monday test). The online Pharmacology was been flowing the ways its been due to already being an online class. I feel that more content is delivered this way. No distractions or rushing for class time (breaks or lunch). The ONLY draw back is clinicals. We have these online EHR interactive assignments that really doesn't do any justice so far as I've noticed.  If it was "EPIC" then it would at least give some "experience" per se. We are in perfusion & oxygenation now. My overall takeaway at this point in the program:

1. At this point you will be comfortable with the philosophy behind the exams.

2. You mindset will shift toward nursing away from EMS.

3. Your medic / patho knowledge does help because you will know a great deal about different conditions, i.e diabetes, COPD, asthma, and so on. You will build on top of your basic knowledge. The nursing process is different, so it's not like EMS. In EMS, an acute asthma attack would be treated with  O2, bronchodilator (albuterol), anti-cholinergics (atrovent), and corticosteriod (solumedrol) . You would re-assess while transporting (q 10min). Nursing considers all the above PLUS full panel test i.e  CXR, sputum cultures, pulmonary test, pefr, allergy test, cbc w. diff. Nursing educates the patient the difference between SABA vs LABA, how to proper use mdi, dpi....and so on! This is just 10% of what we would do with this pt! SEE THE DIFFERENCE.......

4. I purchased an NCLEX study guide for more rationales to NCLEX questions.....other good resources include nurse sarah (youtube training videos).

...Hopefully I've given you some great insight! Lastly, READ THE BOOK! Nothing can replace actually reading the chapters!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID19 School Adjustment

Just as everything was going well, this national pandemic of coronavirus just got worse. My school has extended spring break until 03/23/20. We were notified a few days ago that we would resume online training for NUR 215 & NUR 117. Clinical objectives will be met online as well. This will make it harder for us, BUT let us see what happens. I'm up for the challenge! Test Monday!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

3/14 Advice (1st semester) Paramedic to RN

It's been a month since my last post. I'm at the tail end of spring break. We have been doing clinicals. I can tell you that my view of nurses was waaaaaaay off. At first, we were paired 2 students to a pt, but next week, we will be 1 to 1. Clinicals are not difficult, depending on your patient. I've only had 1 difficult one. Nursing skill can tremendously help a paramedic in the field. The holistic approach to view a patient can paint a clear picture viewing a patient. The therapeutic stuff is fluff to me though. lol. We have covered psych, acid base balance, inflammation, fluid & electrolyte & more......

Some key takeaways:

STAY FOCUSED! It's easy to get relaxed and start slacking. I'm staying red hot, even during spring break. I study consistently. 

START NCLEX PREP QUESTIONS RIGHT AWAY! I use registered nurse rn videos, NRSNG, and an nclex prep book. The whole purpose is passing nclex. UNDERSTAND the rationale behind the question, don't try to remember the question like national registry. Nursing test are unlike any test that you have ever done. I'm an A student, but barely a B in nursing.

LEARN ALL YOU CAN DURING CLINICALS! This is basically a snap shot of your day to day work (depends on the department). Learn the flow i.e. turnover report, assessment, med pass, round charting etc. Oh! LEARN THE EMR i.e Epic or whatever they are using.  

YOUR PARAMEDIC BRAIN WILL NOT HELP YOU! Nursing is different, it is not the "paramedic" way of thinking. Your approach, assessment, diagnosis, interventions, patient education, and skills are different. If you approach thinking like a will not pass exams. 

BE ON TIME (for class and clinicals). 

DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF! Especially if you don't get the grade you want. I even have to remind myself. 

Hopefully, this may help someone and give a little more clarity on what to expect.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

2/15 Advice (1st semester) Paramedic to RN

Last week we had our clinical site overview and walk through. The Med-Surg floor that we are on is very small. Our clinical nurse instructor is very friendly and helpful. We met the LPN to RN students also. They were very nice. They will have clinicals on Wed and us on Thurs. Here is what I've taken in this far into the program:
1. I'm learning to think more like a nurse as far as testing goes. I feel more comfortable taking test and learning how to weed out answers.

2. Our instructors are really making an effort to make us comfortable and welcomed into the program. They hold us to a standard (and we maintain, no playing). I honestly feel as though they want me to be a nurse as well. The best way to describe is a professional program w/ a motherly touch.

3. Work load is a bit much!!!!! You have to really set time for studying, assignments, and pre-reading the next chapters.....oh and also for practice test i.e. FA Davis, and HESI.

4. Use a calendar for everything, if not, you will miss stuff. Find time to balance work vs school vs play.

5. Last, don't feel guilty if you take breaks while studying!!!!

Friday, February 7, 2020

1st Month of Paramedic to RN

The 1st month has passed, so I will give my 2 cents. Being that the 1st semester is an " accelerated " 1st year of RN program, it will helpful to get your Nursing basics down. We are moving really fast! I feel as though the material is doable, but I suffer by not having a strong basic NURSING foundation. I have to look at youtube videos i.e 4yourcna...etc. Nursing school goes deep into patho, so it's a lot of studying to be done. So far, we have covered legal, safety, infomatics, ergonomics, therapeutic communications etc. mostly foundation stuff. We start clinicals in 2 weeks. We had an intro to doing care plans (they suck), head to toe assessment, 45 min & 10 min (waaayyyyy different than a paramedic assessment).

As a whole, nursing is different. I'm starting to understand how to answer the questions. Most of the questions are not treatment related. It's more educating the patient and safety factors so far. We have had some s/s assessment type questions, but its mostly "how would you educate, or what to look out for" type questions. You have to really know the s/s of stuff. I just purchased as an additional resource. This course is tough. But I'm taking it 1 day at a time!!!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

1st Week of the Paramedic to RN Bridge

Today ends my 1st FULL week. The course listed is the NUR 215 (Paramedic to Bridge concept) It is NUR 111, NUR 112, & NUR 114 in 16 weeks!!! We are not "official " students of the ADN program unless we pass w/ an 80 or above, but we are looked at and treated like ADN students (college requirement). We still have to do clinicals this semester. The purpose of this course is to transition your thinking and skills to nursing. This course is a condensed version of your 1st year of the ADN program. One thing to keep in mind. Nursing is NOT easy. The quiz that we have taken so far BLEW US ALL OUT OF THE WATER. It's NO cake walk. The biggest issue is our paramedic brain. We think, talk, and operate as medics. Leave that at the door. Nurses look and treat patients differently. So far we are learning basic nursing skills i.e cna skills, foleys, etc. Some skills we have familiar with i.e. IVs and NG tubes etc. There is class and a lab component and well as clinicals. Testing is the hardest. The material is pretty easily understood, but the testing is hard for 1 reason, to prepare you for NCLEX. Nursing test are harder than paramedic test BY FAR. SATA (select all that apply) is pretty brutal. 23% of the NCLEX test are SATA. They are trying to get us ready and used to the questions early. Throughout the course, we will be taking the HESI for bench marking and a complete HESI final. Don't worry, your mind will switch after the first test if you are open minded and are willing to submit to full immersion of nursing. My recommendation is before staring nursing school, read the CNA handbook w/ skills and watch some nursing skill videos to get used to the critical task. If you are not a fast learner, STAY AWAY FROM THE BRIDGE. Try the traditional program and get a good nursing base. Paramedics excel in hard skills (running codes, IVs, NG/OG tubes etc). We struggle with soft skills (therapeutic communication etc.....). The main thing to take away is mindset. As medics we are taught to look at our pt in 10/15 min blocks until we turn over pt care. Nursing is :Who are you, how did you get here, how can we get you to discharge, how can you keep you out of the hospital (OT/PT, home health) what resources do you have (financial) etc.......... it's a holistic view of the pt, not just emergency medicine.