Amber, BSN

Oh yes it’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged, and obviously a TON has happened! I have FINALLY graduated nursing school with my BSN!!!!!

AND I managed to get ALL As this last, final semester. What a way to end things!! My final GPA for my undergrad is 3.823. I’m super, super pleased. My two goals for nursing school were to make no Cs (I didn’t) and for my finalΒ GPA to be above a 3.75. Score on both accounts!

I just received my Authorization to Test (ATT) this morning and I have officially scheduled my NCLEX exam. It’s all wrapping up and it’s becoming all too real that I am no longer a nursing student but about to be a nurse (God-willing I pass my NCLEX!). My last shift as a PCT will be on February 5th, and my first shift as a Graduate RN will be on February 23rd – can’t wait!!!

I am in the midst of taking the Kaplan NCLEX Prep Course. I am loving it and highly recommend it – I’ll write a separate post on that later this week. So far I think it’s been beneficial; of course it helps that one of my favorite professors happens to be teaching it and she is just amazing when it comes to explaining ANYTHING.

I’ll leave you with some pictures now to highlight the whirlwind that was pinning, graduation, and graduation parties. πŸ™‚

We didn't want to jinx ourselves by saying 100% RN until we passed the NCLEX! This was our celebratory cookie cake after our last final. :)

We didn’t want to jinx ourselves by saying 100% RN until we passed the NCLEX! This was our celebratory cookie cake after our last final. πŸ™‚

Received my college ring during finals week! I'm so happy to wear it!

Received my college ring during finals week! I’m so happy to wear it!

Got my hair and makeup done before my pinning ceremony...

Got my hair and makeup done before my pinning ceremony…

All dressed up!

All dressed up!

So proud to have him by my side during this journey. So happy he pinned me. :)

So proud to have him by my side during this journey. So happy he pinned me. πŸ™‚

There it is!!! The long-coveted pin!!!

There it is!!! The long-coveted pin!!!

Cardiac cookies for my graduation party the morning of graduation.

Cardiac cookies for my graduation party the morning of graduation.

Nurse-themed cupcakes! And they were GOOD.

Nurse-themed cupcakes! And they were GOOD.

The four amigas...they have been with me from the very beginning and I couldn't have made it through without them.

The four amigas…they have been with me from the very beginning and I couldn’t have made it through without them.

More sweet nursing school friends at my graduation party.

More sweet nursing school friends at my graduation party.

Graduation Cap!! It certainly wasn't the most creative but I thought it was cute!!

Graduation Cap!! It certainly wasn’t the most creative but I thought it was cute!!

Walking down the aisle during graduation!!

Walking down the aisle during graduation!!

We're DONE!!!

We’re DONE!!!

IMG_3399

Smiling with the Chancellor of TWU :)

Smiling with the Chancellor of TWU πŸ™‚

Officially a graduate!!!

Officially a graduate!!!

3 More Tests!!

A week from today, I will be DONE DONE DONE with this crazy, hellish semester! I’m so excited right now…I don’t think I’ve been in this great of a mood since the first day back. I’M ALMOST DONE!!

Of course I have to study for finals…I’m three days away from the first one (Mental Health on Saturday) and I haven’t studied yet. But alas, such is my normal habit. Honestly I really will try my best with the three remaining days I have but I’m not expecting much. At this point (sadly) I will be happy with accepting my Bs and moving on.

Just so ready for it to be over.

 

Semester’s End

Well, I’M DONE!!

I have successfully completed my J2 semester. I made it out of my Women’s Health test – even though it was a crazy hard test – with an 88, which gaveΒ me a solid B in the class. I’ll accept that with glee! So that means that this semester, I made 4 As and 1 B.

I’d like to say that I’ve been relaxing ever since then…

But I really haven’t. I have been going going going since finishing a week ago and I’m afraid I’m going to just keep going in that manner until school starts again. I had no idea running an organization was so time and labor intensive. It’s been good though so far, especially since I feel like I’ve learned SO MUCH in such a short amount of time about nonprofit organizations and everything involved in keeping one smoothly running.

I woke up this morning to an email that let us know that our clinical sections had been uploaded to Blackboard. I’m so excited about where I ended up:

For Child Health Competencies I’m at Children’s Medical Center

CMC

 

And then for Adult 2 I’m at St. Paul University Hospital, which is one of the UTSW hospitals.

coats-stpaul-large

 

For Mental Health I’m at a place in Arlington I’ve never heard about before. I’m sure it’ll be a great rotation though!

 

And there you have it; that’s my nursing school news for now. Hopefully here in the next few days when I’m not working or volunteering or trying to wrap my head around this organization, I can relax and enjoy some of the Christmas Cheer going around.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Close Call

I just barely scraped by. BARELY.

That adult health final was rough. I just can’t even put into words how hard that final was. It made me feel like I hadn’t learned ONE thing all semester. I certainly thought I was prepared…but let me tell you after having received As on all my previous tests, this final felt like a punch in the gut. I LOVE learning about adult health, but this final certainly wasn’t reflective of that.

I took the test and then, even though it was online, I didn’t get my grade right away. 😦 About an hour later, a classmate posted on Facebook that the grades were up so I booked it onto our blackboard site and scrolled down to the bottom.

I made an 80.

I felt my heart drop. I needed an 82 to get an A in the class. It was the same exact scenario from last semester with my Assessment final!!

But then I remembered that I got 2 points for my final grade due to my HESI score. So I texted my instructor to ask her if the grades had our HESI points added to them already or not.

THEY DIDN’T!!!

So I ended up making an 82 and getting an 89.5% overall course grade, which rounds to a 90, which equals an A!

Seriously, scraped by. Barely. But I’m super happy that I made an A and super excited that my Adult Health 1 class is OVER!

Online Final!!

Due to the fact that our roads are still super icy from the ice storm that rolled into north Texas on Thursday night/Friday morning, our campus is closed once again tomorrow morning (Monday) and our Adult 1 final has been converted into a online final!! We will be taking it tomorrow morning at 10am. I’ve been super excited/happy all day. Yes, I still have to study and be prepared, but now I just feel like it’s honestly a load off my shoulders as far as how extensively I need to prepare.

Here’s to praying it goes well! After tomorrow morning I will only have one more final to go before the end of this semester!!

 

Thanksgiving Break

Well I’m on Thanksgiving break until December 4th (whoop!) however it’s not going to be much of a break. I’m trying to work on my major research project – a research article critique that is worth 50% of my grade – and it’s kicking my butt. There are 50 points that we have to touch on in this critique and so far I’ve only touched on 3. I think I may working on this awhile.

Also, the Wednesday we get back from break we have our 3rd Women’s exam (ew) and the next morning (Thursday) we have our J2 HESI. And then study study study because the week after that is finals!

At least my aging group project is done! And aside from all those tests I just have one more research quiz to complete, and one more aging discussion board to do (those two will be easy-peasy).

Can’t believe I’m almost a 50% RN! πŸ˜‰

Happy Thanksgiving Break, everyone!! Enjoy the day and give a prayer of thanks for your friends and family who are supporting you through your adventures in life (I know I am!).

It's hard to concentrate when all I want to do is snuggle with the pups and watch a good movie!!

It’s hard to concentrate when all I want to do is snuggle with the pups and watch a good movie!!

J1 Semester OVER!

I survived my J1 nursing semester!! In only three more semesters, I will be a graduate!!!

The assessment final was weird for me. I thought it was easy as I was walking out of the classroom, however I ended up with an 80! Which means I got an 89 as a finally grade in assessment, so I got a B. But I’m truly ok with this, as I don’t think even with studying for two weeks straight I would’ve gotten a different grade. I wouldn’t have answered those questions any differently.

So I got two As and one B this semester, and I’m smiling big. So excited to be done with it and moving on to Adult Health 1 and Woman’s next semester. I also have an EKG elective this summer with the associate dean of the nursing school and I’m THRILLED to be able to get into the class and take it!

I’ve applied to several PCT/PCA/CNA jobs at the hospitals in my area and so far have heard back from one of them and had a phone screening. The recruiter said he would send my application to the nurse managers on the units that I’ve applied to, so YAY! Keeping my fingers crossed that some of them like me. πŸ™‚

And now…now I’m relaxing with absolutely no schoolwork to do. LOVE IT!

So Close

So close to being done!! I only have ONE more day left!!! Today I’m studying all day for my assessment final tomorrow morning (I need an 84 for an A – crossing my fingers).

Yesterday’s pharm final was quite possibly the hardest test I’ve ever taken. I was reeling when I walked out of that test, thinking for sure that I didn’t get the 82 I needed to make an A in the class. Even as much as I studied and thought that I KNEW those drugs inside and out…it’s just crazy how the questions are worded in such a way to REALLY make you use your critical thinking skills in order to correctly answer! It’s not just a knowledge based test. For example, one question may ask you about a med and then to identify which other med it’s contraindicated with. Well, unless you know that both meds are nephrotoxic (bad on the kidneys) and that they shouldn’t be given together due to that, then you’re getting it wrong. Because there WILL be another answer to that question that will seem to be the obvious answer – but it’s not the correct answer due to the fact that both meds being nephrotoxic is more important to you as a nurse.

Anyway, those types of questions are what the ENTIRE test is comprised of, and because that test was SO hard for me, I walked out with a headache and feeling defeated.

BUT…I ended up with a 92!!!

So, I officially have an A in pharm! It’s a low one (92 as my final grade) but it’s still an A and I’m SUPER thankful for that!! If I can just get an 84 or above on my assessment final tomorrow, then I will officially have an A in all my J1 nursing classes.

Wish me luck!! πŸ™‚

Adult Simulation Lab

I’m actually not quite sure why it was called an adult simulation lab, considering there were two peds patients in the ICU as well. And I got one of them!

So, I’ll start from the beginning. I was in a group of ten J1s (including myself), and as soon as everyone showed up a clinical instructor came up to us and gave us our paperwork for the day. It included a health history, a report sheet, and an assessment sheet. On the back was “nurse’s notes” where we record our documentation for the things done during our shift.

We were then taken to the ER “triage” area to meet our patients and take their vitals signs and get their health history. My partner and I had a 4 year old little boy whose mother brought him into the ER due to a persistent fever and a cough. Because there were no young children brought in to act as actors in our simulation, we had to ask all of our questions to the mom and she had to give us all the pertinent information on our patient. It was fun! And then after we were finished with getting the vital signs and health history, we sat and talked to the “mom” – a current S2 about to graduate – about nursing school and her tips and tricks to make it through while we waited on the S1 students to make their rounds on the patients in triage.

The S1 students then came in, and made their rounds between the 5 patients in the ER triage. My partner and I were pretty quiet as each student came in and got their assessment information, unless they specifically asked us for information. Some of the S1s talked to us and got information from us, but most of them pretty much ignored us as they came in, asked a few questions, and then left again. So that kind of sucked…hopefully when I’m an S1 and doing this simulation again, I’ll be kind to the J1s. Of course, they were probably pretty nervous themselves, and they DID have a whole ton more work to do than we did, since they had to see each of the 5 patients and we were only assigned one.

Then we (the J1s) were released from the ER triage to go sit down and write out a quick care plan on our patient. My partner and I chose three nursing diagnoses that we felt were pertinent to our patient: risk for hyperthermia, risk for injury, and fluid volume deficit. We wrote out our rationales for why we chose those diagnoses, wrote out the nursing interventions for those diagnoses, and then wrote out what patient education we needed to give. In this case, we needed to give the patient education to the mom about what treatments were being given and why.

Afterward, we were ushered into the “ICU” for the next part of the simulation (we were taken into the high fidelity lab!) and we got report from the current J1s assigned to our patient. Once in the ICU, our poor little man seemed like he’d deteriorated. His blood pressure was super low, even with IV fluids hanging, and he was suspected as having meningitis, even though the lab results hadn’t come back yet. My partner and I did our full assessment on him, I talked to his mom a bit about what was going on and why were were running certain tests, and then a “doctor” came in and got pretty agitated with the S1s who were in there because they hadn’t given certain meds that needed to be given before a lumbar puncture. Woah!

So I went with an S1 to the Pyxis to get meds for the patient, but then we realized that one of the meds we were giving had no administration route specified. So we had to call the charge nurse to figure that out, and then the doctor came back and was demanding that someone give the meds that had been ordered over an hour ago so she could perform the lumbar puncture.

It was chaotic! At one point we had 9 people in one tiny little room, not including the mom and the patient themselves! But it was a great learning experience – especially to learn how to work with others on the healthcare team and how to be quick and proficient at completing orders. I felt like I didn’t do much though – the S1s had way more that they needed to do and I felt like I was just in the way most of the time. I didn’t even get to complete a dressing change on the boy’s wrist because by the time we realized that it needed to be changed, the “doctor” and her two “med students” had come back and were about to do the lumbar puncture. And then it was time for my partner and I to leave…where the heck had the time gone??

So we left the boy in the capable hands of the FOUR S1s that had ended up in the room somehow (lol!) and my partner and I went to our post-conference downstairs to talk to another instructor about what we liked, what we didn’t like, and if it was a good learning experience for us or not. We completed a questionnaire/survey, and then we were free to go! In all, we were there a little over 3.5 hours, but it went by SOOO fast. Insane! I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in a real ICU with more than 1 patient that I’m having to take care of…makes me excited to be in the ICU in upcoming semesters. πŸ™‚

All in all I really enjoyed the experience, and I wish were had more of them in a semester! And I can’t wait until my S1 semester when I get to do that one over again, only as an S1!

Also…now it’s Saturday. You know what that means?? I only have one more pharm quiz, my HESI next week, and then FINALS the week after that and I’ll be DONE DONE DONE!!!