Entering Week 12

It’s the start of week 12 already!!! In a little under 5 weeks I will be graduating!! (And just in case you’re wondering, only 29 days until my last final and only 32 days until pinning!!!)

I’ve had some changes with my CCI schedule…in the middle of October I got an email stating that I was no longer allowed in the ED at the VA due to them taking precautions with potential Ebola situations, so I was given a new preceptor and a new floor – a med-surg floor. Honestly I wasn’t thrilled, for several reasons. I had grown to love being in the ED and I knew what was expected of me, I LOVED my preceptor and we got along really well, and I was scheduled to be done with my shifts on Halloween. Due to the timing of when I was able to get ahold of my new preceptor and begin shifts with her, plus the fact that she works 8hr shifts instead of 12hr shifts, meant that my CCI shifts were stretched out a bit further into November. Instead of only having 4 (12hr) shifts left to complete, I now had 6 (8hr) shifts to complete.

I also thought that I wouldn’t enjoy this new change due to the fact that I’d be on a med-surg floor, but honestly I’ve really had a good time with my new preceptor and on this floor with these patients!! I’ve done a TON more charting and medication administration, as well as looking at lab trends and looking into the H&P of these patients, which I really didn’t do in the ED because our patients were with us for such a short amount of time. At this point I’ve taken up to 3 patients, I’ve given report on 3 patients at the end of the shift (not very successfully, but thankfully the nurse I was giving report to was kind and gave me tips for how to do it better next time), and I should be taking 4 patients on my next and last shift which is this upcoming Wednesday. I can’t believe my VERY LAST CLINICAL IN NURSING SCHOOL is this Wednesday!!!

Tomorrow after our leadership and management test, our entire class is going to be taking a class picture for our pinning ceremony, so we get to wear our scrubs but actually look pretty in them for once, being that we can wear our hair down and wear makeup. Everything is wrapping up so quickly now that I feel like I can’t keep track of it all! I can’t believe that we are so close to being done.

A couple of days ago I bought my graduation announcements, all my honor cords that I will be wearing at graduation, bought my diploma frame (it’s gorgeous!) and registered with Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX. AHHHH.

I took my exit HESI about two weeks ago but I made a 904 on it (which converted to an 83%) so I’m going to re-take it. I don’t feel like I NEED to retake it since I made over an 850, however I figured it’d be good practice, plus I BARELY have a chance at making an A in CCI with that score so if I can get a better score the second time around, then my chances of making an A are much higher (they take the higher of the two scores – they don’t average them out, thankfully!).

So here’s what’s left in this semester and then I’m DONE!

  • 2 tests (L&M tomorrow, Communities next Monday)
  • 2 quizzes (Communities quizzes before each exam)
  • 2 projects (One in Communities, one in CCI)
  • 1 clinical (last one on WEDNESDAY!)
  • 1 clinical log (for Communities)
  • 1 HESI
  • 2 finals

I can’t believe it! I’m so close it’s insane!!

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2 Down, 14 To Go

Well my S2 semester has begun and I’m slowly starting to wrap my head around the fact that I am, in fact, in school AGAIN and that this is, in fact, my LAST semester.

The first thing that has been hard for me, right off the bat, is of course the early morning wake up calls again and the fact that I know I can’t just come home at night after school and sit and watch TV. Man how I wish I could.

The second thing that’s been hard has been the fact that I’m still continuing to try and exercise and eat right everyday but all I want right now is CHOCOLATE. Hello, stress. Nice of you to show up again. (I will not let this semester de-rail my weight-loss progress!!)

The first couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of information overload and assignments and orientations. We even had a simulation already! Our LAST simulation of nursing school!! It was actually super helpful – more so than any other simulation I’ve completed – and I feel like I REALLY learned a lot from it. We covered topics like IV therapy, oxygen therapy (which masks to use and when/why), as well as giving insulin. Then our simulations covered DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and PE (pulmonary embolism).

I met my preceptor last week for my CCI clinical at the VA Emergency Department. She’s awesome and also a former TWU nursing student! I am going to love having clinicals with her…we start next Friday.

I also met my school nurse at the school that I will be attending community clinicals in this semester and she seems super amazing as well. I’m blessed by having great leaders this semester! I start those clinicals next week on Thursdays. My weeks are going to go by SOOOOO fast!

I started applying to hospitals last week and have so far applied to 20 different positions at different hospitals. And then yesterday when I checked my email after finishing up at school I saw that I had an email to schedule an INTERVIEW for this upcoming TUESDAY!!! Already?! I’m so not prepared for this…I’m so not prepared for this…I’m so not prepared for this…

But ready or not I have an interview on Tuesday! It’s for the Emergency Department. I have to put together my portfolios today to have them all ready to go…good thing I already have my references and my letters of recommendation all prepared already! I’ll upload a blog post with my portfolio details a bit later next week.

AND I have a test on Monday in CCI. It’s hard to believe we have a test already and we’ve only completed two weeks of school. 😦 Our instructor assured us that we know the material and that it’s all review for us but it’s still nerve-wracking since the test is worth 25% and I really haven’t even begun to study.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now! Time to go study for my test (with Stars-Wars on in the background…this is serious stuff y’all). Happy weekend!

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.

 

HESI For the Win

I really should not be advocating not studying as much as I have in my blog. But I am trying to paint an honest picture of my journey through nursing school, and as it stands right now I am SUCH a slacker when it comes to studying. Typically I cram two days before the test and hope for the best. Definitely not the best method but somehow it’s working – and since this semester I really don’t have much time to study during the week it’s really my only option.

Took my HESI a couple of days ago (Tuesday). Too bad it is only worth 5% of my Adult 2 grade because I KILLED IT. And I did NO studying for it whatsoever. In fact, I read an entire novel this past weekend before the test. Oops. But, something can be said about how thoroughly TWU teaches us because I felt like I really knew all the information the HESI presented to me, even without studying and “brushing up.”

I ended up making an 1146, which is higher than both my J1 (1116) and my J2 (925) HESI. Converted, I made a 99.99% and was in the 93rd percentile.

I told my best friend that I wish we were in S2 and that had been my grade for HESI – because in S2 the HESI is worth 30% of your grade!

Speaking of S2, we received our “preference sheet” on Tuesday before our HESI. It had a ton of options on it for instructor led clinicals, preceptor led clinicals, and then of course our community health clinicals. For our Critical Competency Integration class (CCI) I chose preceptor-led clinicals and my #1 spot was the VA, followed by Parkland and Methodist Dallas. We shall see what happens, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get the VA this time. I already turned my preference sheet in; because the VA has to start a background check so early on those who will be “working” there then I should hear back pretty soon.

So what classes do I have next semester? I have CCI, community health, and leadership and management. CCI is the “big” one. This is where we have either instructor-led or preceptor-led (if you’re lucky) clinicals, and have to complete 120 hrs of clinical. We will be reviewing everything we have learned the past 3 semesters in the CCI lectures in order to prepare us for the exit HESI and then NCLEX. This class is worth 6 credit hours but I hear it’s tons of fun.

Community health is just what it sounds like – community health. We will be doing a couple rounds of school nursing, homeless shelters, possibly home health and hospice nursing, etc. I’ve heard that the projects in community health are a beat-down but I’m actually quite excited about this class. Especially because at one time in my college career I was contemplating getting my Masters in Public Health (MPH). We’ll see if this class revives that desire or not. (More school?? Don’t know if I can right away).

Leadership and Management is an online class mostly, with a couple of class days and I believe tests are on campus as well. I’ve heard this class is difficult but doable.

I’ve heard from several S2 classmates that this next semester is SO much better than S1. As a general rule you have a LOT more time on your hands and the content isn’t as overwhelming. I’m so ready for that! Especially because I know we’ll all be trying to apply for jobs and handles any interviews that come our way (hopefully – crossing fingers!). I also know that dealing with senioritis is going to be a huge hurdle – because I’m already feeling it! It’s really going to be hard to come back from an awesome summer off and then go into our last semester. But I’m sure it’s also much easier knowing that it’s the last semester and graduation is literally right around the corner. The thought is mind-blowing!

Well I guess I’ve rambled on quite enough now. I have a test this upcoming Monday that I’m supposed to be studying for and obviously I’m procrastinating by writing a blog post. 😉 This test – child health – is the last one before finals! Tomorrow I have my last child health clinical (last clinical for this semester, period), and next Friday I have my last simulation for this semester. Then finals. AHHH it’s all wrapping up so nicely with a neat little bow. Can’t wait!!

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers? Is that how that saying goes? Regardless of the saying, I think it can be well understood that all I have to do is get through April and May will bring beauty and rest to my soul.

I’ve actually been doing quite well since spring break. Surprisingly, I’ve had more motivation to just sit down and “do it” and I’ve been able to stay on top of my assignments and studying without feeling the immense pressure that I did before spring break. And I say that it’s “surprising” because usually after spring break I’m all done in!

Last week marked the end of my mental health clinical (yay!!) and yesterday (Thursday) marked the end of my adult health 2 clinical!! I only have one more child health clinical – next Friday – and then I’ll be done aside from a simulation later in the month on campus. That simulation will be awesome, I think, because it’s the same one I did as a J1 with the S1’s, except now I’m the S1 and I’m sure I’ll be criticized by the J1’s…all in good fun. It’ll be neat to see the other side of the same coin. At least I know what I didn’t like about the S1’s that I was with that semester and hopefully won’t do the same things as an S1 myself.

This semester I’ve had some really great patients, some super sick patients, and have discovered that although I could’ve sworn I would never want to work in peds that it’s definitely a fun place to be. (I still want to do adult ICU – but I’m not opposed to applying for peds ICU). I’ve also learned that med-surg nurses are not “less competent” or any less/worse of a nurse just because they work in med-surg. They are SUPER busy and definitely just as smart and they really do make a difference for their patients.

Since spring break, I’ve taken three tests – child health was bright and early the Monday morning we got back to school – and I’ve done pretty well in each. In child health I made an 88%, which is great considered how very little I studied (it was spring break!!). In mental health I made a 93.75% (the highest grade this semester!), and in adult health, which I just took this past week, I made an 88%. Those grades have me sitting so far with an A in mental health, a B in child health, and a B in adult health. YAY! I’m just hoping I can keep it up, especially in adult health, because I don’t want any Cs!

What’s left for me in these last 4 weeks (how’d I get to this point?!):

  • We find out next Tuesday what next semester will be like, and will get to apply for preceptorship. YAY.
  • My adult health 2 HESI is next Tuesday as well. Hopefully I can study some this weekend before taking it!
  • Next Friday is my last child health clinical, and because it’s on Good Friday we will be getting out at 1230 instead of 1530. Score!
  • Child health exam 3
  • Poster project presentation (will give me 2 points toward my overall final adult health 2 grade!)
  • Adult health simulation with the J1’s
  • New student orientation for incoming J1 nursing students
  • FINALS! My first final is on a Saturday, boo…and then I finish them off on Monday and Tuesday, May 5th & 6th – and then I will be DONE!

You know you’re close when you can put everything you have left to do in a bullet point list! YEE-HAW. I’m ready.

 

An S1 Update

North Texas weather has been so fickle! Yesterday it was in the 80s. Today, in the 20s with freezing rain. As a result, delayed opening for school tomorrow – until noon. As a result of that: no child health class (because it’s from 0800-1100) which means I get a whole day off to study for my 2nd adult health exam on Tuesday morning! YAY!

So I haven’t updated in awhile…but these past few weeks have been SO insane! I’m constantly going somewhere and doing something, which doesn’t give me much time to get any studying done. So any extra time I have I’m either studying or taking a break. Most likely taking a break. 😉

But in the midst of this crazy semester, I have learned one thing for sure. I have learned where my nursing passion lies. I have had that “AHA!” moment where I felt a pull towards the area that I want to do nursing in. Any guesses???

If you guessed the ICU, you were correct!! I have come to find out that I am SO passionate about this field of nursing that I just cannot wait for my next clinical day in the ICU. I excitedly look forward to being there and learning new things, taking care of the sickest of the sick. I am loving learning about the critical care content in lecture that we’re being tested over on Tuesday…ABGs, ventilators, shock, hemodynamic monitoring, etc. I feel like I just can’t get enough. I feel like I have been re-awakened and no longer am I just trying to “survive.” Now I feel like I have something I’m striving towards again.

I just have to make it through the next 10 weeks and I’ll be done with this, the hardest of semesters. And then next semester, I get to start applying for my dream job – the ICU!

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!!

 

J2.15

I always know when finals are right around the corner because my stress level is THROUGH THE ROOF. This week has been stressful…there’s been some school drama that I’ve had to deal with (in regards to my transitioning as the 2014 president of the nursing student association) and plus we had two tests this past week that I barely had any time to study for. In fact, the HESI that I took yesterday I had zero time to study for.

So on Wednesday we had our third women’s health exam. I studied for a day – on Tuesday – due to wrapping up other assignments on Monday (but now my aging and groups classes are FINISHED!) and finishing up my research paper over the entire Thanksgiving break. It wasn’t really a hard test, and considering  I studied for less than 24 hours, I’m proud to say I made an 86. But that almost guarantees me a B in my women’s health class due to the fact that I need a 100 on my final to get an A. HA! Not happening.

So that was Wednesday afternoon, and then I went to work after that test, so I was unable to study for the HESI that we took Thursday morning (yesterday). I managed to do some practice tests/case studies on the Elsevier website at work, but not much. So Thursday morning I literally went in not knowing what to expect and just praying to God I didn’t let my professors down by failing the HESI. It was a bizarre test, in my opinion, but I didn’t do to bad. Not as great as last semester (when I ended up with an 1116)…but I got enough to pass the “recommended” threshold for HESI scores – a 925. With a conversion score, that equals an 88. It was enough to get me two extra points applied toward my adult health final, so I’m pleased. 🙂

And now I’m sitting at home writing this post with the fireplace going and christmas music on in the background because we had an ice storm in north Texas last night, so therefore TWU (the Denton and Dallas campuses) was closed this morning. Which means that the orientation for the new J1 students that I was supposed to be at was re-scheduled for next week, and this means an extra study day for me! My adult health final is on Monday, my women’s health final is on Wednesday, I have to complete my last research quiz by Wednesday, and then…I’LL BE DONE WITH THIS SEMESTER!!!

  • I’m done with my Groups class completely; finished with an A!
  • I’m completely done with my Aging class; just waiting on our group presentation and my last discussion board post to be graded in order to know what my final grade is. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an A though.
  • I’m almost done with my Research class; just need to finish the last quiz. I currently have an A in the class, but considering the research paper is worth 50% of the entire class grade and my instructor is a HARD grader, I can easily see that A turning into a B. Maybe even a C. Here’s to crossing my fingers that she loves it!
  • I’m almost done with Women’s Health. One last final! I need a 100 on the final for an A, and a 60 on the final to keep my B. I’m thinking that B is much more doable! 😉
  • And I’m also almost done with Adult Health. Again, only the final remains…and I need an 82 on it to keep my A. I will be studying hard! I don’t want a repeat of last semester, when I only needed an 82 on my Assessment final to keep my A, yet made an 80. :-/

So this weekend I’m going into hardcore studying mode! Ready to knock these two finals out and finish the semester. I can’t believe in just under a week I will be a SENIOR!!!

To end this post on a happy note: I did find out this week that I’m going to be the new Concepts/Fundamentals Peer Tutor for the next two semesters! WHOOP!!

The Face Of…

I have the day off from women’s OB clinical today (we only go every other week) so I figured I could get ahead today and complete ALL of my paperwork for the next two clinicals. So far I have only thought this and haven’t begun any of it…procrastination at its finest.

I also have to complete a research quiz that opened yesterday,

Find an article for my third research assignment to send to my instructors for approval,

Begin working on my aging group project,

And study for my 2nd women’s health test next week and 3rd adult 1 test the week after.

AND this week I have my women’s health lab simulation (which is bound to be quite fun and exciting, I’m sure). But along with it comes all the paperwork to be completed prior to and during the simulation.

So far my day off isn’t looking quite so enjoyable anymore. But hey, at least I got to sleep in (until 10!! WHAT??).

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J2.9

I’m getting very un-creative with my post titles. But yay for the fact that I’m done with my 9th week! I now have only 6 more weeks of actual coursework left. Crazy.

This week I actually get quite a few days off in a row where  don’t have to be anywhere school related!! Yesterday (Thursday) I ended up getting all my homework done for the weekend, and then completed ALL quizzes for another one of my online classes (groups). Now I’m done with all the quizzes for aging and for groups. I would’ve done all my research quizzes also, but we aren’t allowed to complete those early.

Today I’m going to try and finish all the case studies and pre-clinical paperwork for the remaining two women’s health clinicals…and maybe, for once, I’ll be able to completely enjoy my Saturday tomorrow without ANY schoolwork to do. That’ll be heavenly.

This past Wednesday the Senior 1 faculty came into our women’s health class to give us a “preview” of our Senior 1 schedule. And next Wednesday they’ll come in and give us the paperwork to fill our our clinical preferences for next semester. Which is all cool and exciting, it is, but what I’m really stunned by is the fact that I’M GOING TO BE A SENIOR NEXT SEMESTER. Whaaa??? I mean, I knew it was coming, but to actually get paperwork with the header “Senior 1” on it is just SO UNREAL.

senior