Thursday, May 28, 2009

final decision

As many of you that have been with me since the inception of my blog know I had thought about transferring from my current program to a different program.

After careful consideration I have chosen to stick with my current program.


I'll gladly fill you in:

*current program is not privately accredited, although it is state approved
This still holds true. This issue is still important to me, but I believe things are changing. Will it happen during the next (my final) year? I cannot answer that.

*current program is on the July '08 State Board of Nursing report as being one of the programs in the state with a less than 80% NCLEX pass rate
I believe my class, and maybe even the class that just graduated, may be the benchmark for exceeding the pass rate of the July '08 report.

*current program in a state of transition due to previous instructors leaving just prior to classes starting this August
This turned out to be a blessing.

*One of the replacement instructors walked out after being forced to by the second year students because they didn't like her teaching style(yeah, that speaks volumes about so much, but it is not what is at issue here).
Good riddance.

*The dean of nursing, who has been teaching our intro class, has not been able to answer questions from us students, that a dean should be able to answer. Examples of such a question include general information about ATI testing, or information about classes of the upcoming semester.
We no longer deal with the Dean as she's gone back to her perch at the main campus. Any questions I've had since have been, or are being, addressed.

*The instructor who came back is actually an awesome teacher, but it's not certain she will remain past the spring semester.
She is remaining as adjunct faculty, and will be teaching the Cardiac portion of material during our 3rd semester.

*When we've been taught skills we're taught one day, tested the following week, and that's it. Those skills are not re-visited, at all, the rest of the semester. There is no skills final. Because of my previous medical training (Air Force medic, and Medical Assistant) I am ok with this, so far. What about later when we're learning other skills that are new even to me? I can't imagine being one of the students in this program who have no experience. Some of them have voiced their concerns over not being sure about their vital signs skills.
What's done is done. The program is being revamped for improvement.

*This semester we were in lecture a total of three hours(two for intro and one for basic skills), and lab 5-6 hours, during the "on" weeks. Our intro class was a "hybrid" class and the off weeks were spent online answering some sort of nursing related question:
The nursing process is defined as being composed of five phases: assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate. Which of these phases do you believe is most important to the delivery of high quality nursing care, and to the achievement of positive client outcomes? Do not respond that all of the phases are equally important – that evades the question. Demonstrate critical thinking in the argument you present to support one phase over the others.
The (worthless) "intro" class we took is no longer a part of the program. Classes have been switched around.

*one hour a week dedicated to basic skills?
They've increased the amount of time dedicated to Nur 105-Basic Nursing Skills lecture from 1 to 3 hours, and lab remains at 6 hours. Pharmacology has been moved from second semester, and only half semester in length, to the first semester. It runs through the entire length of the semester.

*next semester we have two hours for Nursing Principles and Concepts I, six hours for its lab, 1 hour for Principles of Pharmacology, and two hours for Mental Health Nursing. Supposedly this semester they were extending the latter two to span the whole semester, whereas in the past they've been eight week courses, first pharm, and then mental health. I've heard they'll be changing it back?
Once again, what's done is done. In my opinion Mental Helth could have been a hybrid, if not only online class, but that's just because of the way it was taught.

*We start our first clinicals this spring, after which we will no longer be in lab. So we'll go from 6 hours of lab a week, to only clinicals Wednesdays and Thursdays 6:30a-12:30p.
Quite frankly clinicals went well (we learned tons) and I don't think having lab time during would have been anything more than redundant and exhausting. Real world experience beats out working on dummies any day!

*there is no availability for open lab to practice
Wouldn't you know it, they've opened up the lab for summertime use! Hopefully they'll be able to slate times during the regular school year for people to utilize open lab, in case they wish to hone their skills.

This fall we look forward to what we've been told by the departing second years/graduates is our hardest semester. Bring it on! Teach me! We have a full day of lecture on Mondays, to include maternal/baby, med/surg, peds, principles and concepts II, and the different body systems. Tuesdays we have our health assessment class. Wednesdays and Thursdays we spend all day in clinicals.

The changes I've mentioned aren't the only ones taking place. I am working with my director to start a student nurse's association for our program.

Bottom line there is no perfect program. With all the improvements being made in my current program I was leery to transfer and the grass not turn out greener on the other side. I'm comfortable and at peace with my decision.

Change of Shift

Yesterday, Codeblog posted the most recent of Change of Shift. Topics include several items nurses and nursing students might find useful, if not just plain interesting! I've included a link to 100 Useful Job Search Tips for New College Grads over on my sidebar under "Gems for Nursing Students". It's all-inclusive, so even if you're not even graduating with a degree in the nursing field you may find the article useful. Check it out!