Saturday, January 9, 2010

t minus 35 hours


new shoes...check!

new supplies...check!

nervous energy...check!

This coming Monday morning I start my fourth and final semester of nursing school.

This gives me pause.

Do you know how it feels to be so close to something you've wanted for so long? Do you have any idea how scarey it is to think that in just over four months nursing school will be behind you and after studying for, and passing (only positive thinking allowed here) boards, you will be in the real world of nursing, and totally accountable for your actions?

Let's slow down a bit here before I burst a blood vessel! In looking at the syllabi and the class and clinical schedules it seems we'll be pretty busy. It doesn't look like it will be as intense as last semester, or at least promises to be a different level of intensity. Aside from learning more core information, such as cardio, respiratory, and the other systems we've only briefly touched on, we'll also be learning about the world of professional nursing. That is we'll be preparing for the J.O.B.

The first nine weeks we spend doing clinicals. They're set in three week rotations. the first three weeks my group and I will be in the skilled unit of the rehabilitation and nursing facility incorporated with the hospital we do regular rotations at. The second set of three weeks we go to the medical floor, and the third set we go to the surgical floor. Our groups are larger this semester, as we have only three groups instead of four. There will be days we'll go to other units and areas for observational learning. I hope to go to the ED a couple of times.

After the first nine weeks we have Spring Break. Once we return from SB we start Sims lab, a group project, we'll each spend one day at the LTCs with the first year students as mentors, and we take the comprehensive predictor for ATI. Those projects take up two weeks after which we do our preceptorship. I'm still sort of uncertain as to where I want to precept.

I've finally admitted - out loud - recently, that I do have a heart for women's health and would love to do labor and delivery. I can see myself going for an advanced degree as a NP in WH or maybe even midwifery. My ambivalence stems partially from how we are sorted into our preceptorships. They do it by GPA and the reasoning is because it is "more fair" for the LPN transition students. At first this made sense to me, but after some thought I'm not so sure about this. They come into the program with a wealth of knowledge that many regular students do not. This gives them a leg up, so to speak, and doesn't it make sense that they would, or at least should, naturally attain higher GPAs due to their prior experience?

Because I have only taken nursing classes at this college, and all other credits came in as transfer credit, my overall GPA isn't as high as if it would be if some of those prior As and Bs I've received were factored in. I have made all As and Bs in this program, but because some of the nursing classes weigh heavily, some having nine credits a piece, a B suddenly doesn't carry much weight. This past semester I received a B in my 9 credit class, a B in the 3 credit class, and an A in the 2 credit class. Overall I think my GPA rounds up to a 3.2. I just don't get it.

Needless to say I doubt that puts me at the top of the list for the family birthing center if many are vying for the location.

Then the trauma junkie in me just wants to go to the ED. For that I think it's imperative I get a few days of observational learning in the ED.

During these last weeks we'll also be working on our professional portfolios as well as all the other hullabaloo. On one of the class schedules the last two weeks say "graduation preparation". With that I just have to take a deep breath and look forward to everything I'll be taking part in until then.

I'll start with a huge cleansing breath...

**On a side note I'd like to thank everyone who reads my blog. In particular, an anonymous person commented a few posts ago that my blog has gotten "...better and better...." I would love to know who typed the kind words that they did. I would love to know who reads my blog. Lurkers come out! I truly do appreciate the support!**