Saturday, February 27, 2021

How to take test in Nursing School!

 As a Medic, this is one of the biggest adjustment I had to get through. I still have issues, BUT I have a good grasp on it! Unlike Medic test that formed from EMS protocols, nursing test are formed from "nursing theory". Nursing theory is listed as "rationales", and a question is formed from that rationale. Questions may invoke Maslow Hierarchy of Needs aka Prioritization,  Delegation, Nursing Care Plan Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Intervention, Evaluation, & Education. 

For Example:

A client is wearing a continuous cardiac monitor, which begins to sound its alarm. A nurse sees no electrocardiographic complexes on the screen. Which is the priority action of the nurse?

1.Call a code.
2.Call the health care provider.
3.Check the client's status and lead placement.
4.Start Chest compressions. 

My Medic brain said: "Start compressions!" There are 2 correct answers. Which one is MORE right?

The answer is 3. The rationale is that "Sudden" loss of EC Complexes is imply ventricular asystole or improper lead placement! It's all critical thinking! Keyword: PRIORITY my nurse brain said: "Assess patient FIRST!"

Great resources to help with test: (Nurse Sarah gives great lectures to help supplement nursing instructor lectures)

SAUNDERS NCLEX-RN REVIEW BOOK! It's a great outline of each chapter and gives the highlighted rationales for each area. It also has tons of NCLEX review questions. 

Believe it or not, QUIZLET has TONSSSSS for practice NCLEX questions to review. BUT, choose the one's with rationales, so that you will understand what you are being tested on! 

These test are far from easy, but if you understand the material, think like a nurse, you will be OK!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

When should I start looking for jobs?

You should start looking for jobs in January (the start of your last semester). Hospitals have "New Grad Nurse Residency Programs". They tend to hire EARLY like Jan/Feb, so if you wait too late, you may not get the positions you may want! I applied in January, and I've interviewed for Neuro Step-Down & ED at WakeMed main campus, Duke University Hospital (ER) and I still have more with WakeMed, Duke, & Vidant. The bigger hospital residency programs are more competitive, but there will be lots of hospitals recruiting your class on a set day with the nursing programs. Internal applicants tend to have better shots at getting what they want, so if you already work at a hospital, talk to the nurse manager of the unit you will be applying too. By now, you should have an idea of where you want to work. 


* Pick your preceptorship according to which "specialty" you want to work! Don't pick a L&D preceptorship if you want to work in the ICU. 

FYI UPDATE: I've accepted a job at Duke University Hospital (Medical Step-down).

What are clinicals like?

 I was thinking out "How to explain the format of clinicals!" Each nursing course has a corresponding clinical. Most of the clinicals are at the hospital. Usually 645am to 1245pm for 1 class or 1245pm to 645pm (if 2 classes that semester). Get the most from your clinicals. You CAN slack off, but TRUST me, it will catch up to you. By the time you are close to graduation, you should be able to handle 2 patients. Most of the time, it will be on a med-surg unit. If you are not a med-surg person, I get it! But, I can say that you will get to do A LOT of basic nursing duties, assessments and skills over and over on a med-surg unit. This is where you can develop your time management skills, customer service, and get familiar with charting on a basic level. Your "specialty" rotations (L&D, Mother/Baby, ED, ICU) will not begin until your 2 & 3rd semester. None of those rotations matter if you can't provide basic nursing care. Concentrate of the basics, assessment, vitals, I/O's, turning your patient on schedule, rounding, hygiene & oral care, med pass, etc. As for me, I only have 1 hospital rotation left (ED) before my preceptorship. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

02/18 NUR 213 Progress

 So far its been a little over 1 month and it's still tough. I don't know how the rumor started that this was the easiest, but they were wrong. Test wise, this semester is definitely the hardest, but the rubric for percentages to pass the class is better than the previous ones. The content is critical care. I will put this in perspective for you. I've only failed 2 test (the 1st semester, but not including benchmarking for HESI). I've failed the 1 test "this" semester, worse than my first 2 fails. I passed today the hardest test this semester, but made an 82! The content as a medic is not hard. It's dealing w/ mostly critical care, BUT the exam questions are harder. I know that I will pass this semester, but the A that I was looking for, might not be in sight!


KEEP GOING HARD! Don't pick up more hours at work because it's 1 class....It's actually 2 ( Graded Hesi Review Course).

Focus on Getting Better! Don't complain about the difficulty of the test!

It's LOTS of busy work, BUT it helps pad your grade.

Even though you are burned out, keep pushing!