I just wanted to let everyone know I am about to take my NCLEX test. I just got my Authorization to Test from Pearson Vue, the company who runs the testing, and got my release to test from the Florida Board of Nursing.
I appreciate the support you guys offered me when I had all the problems with the testing system, and throughout the year.
Hopefully in 2-3 weeks I will officially be a nurse.
Posts: 15081 | Registered: Jul 2001
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quote:Originally posted by Hobbes: I may start dating someone who wants to become a nurse (we'll see); can you tell me more about how this whole thing works? Or would that be more of a drag than an excitement?
Either way, best of luck!
Sure. Being a nurse means taking care of sick people, and sometimes healthy people. I know that is a simplification, but there is a lot more involved with nursing than most people realize. It means that if a body produces a fluid, you will see it, smell it, and clean it up.
It's a dirty job, and a lot of it is mechanical. You have to help people get dressed when they are partially or completely paralyzed. You have to convince people with dementia to trust you enough that they will take their medications.
As far as the process, it depends on what they want to do. I am an older student, almost 40 years old, and I had a background as a medic, and I just wanted a starting point that would give me options quickly. There are RN's and LPN's, and they are BOTH nurses, but their focus is different.
LPN's spend more time with their patients than most RN's do, and their training is more patient focused. We spend most of our school working directly with patients, and spend less time on theory. In MY program, we actually got more clinical hours in 1 year (3 semesters) than the RN students got in 5 semesters. They didn't catch up to us until their last semester.
RN's have better pay, better career options, and end up with more responsibility in regards to supervising other health care workers, including LPN's. A lot of people use their LPN certificate to work while they get their RN degree.
There is also a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree for RN's. LPN's are a certificate program, while most RN programs are an Associates Degree (AD). Both of them carry a professional licence though the Board of Nursing in that state. A lot of people prefer the BSN, and there has been some talk about making it the standard nursing degree, but that will never happen. There is too much of a shortage of nurses as it is, and making all nursing degrees a 4 year BSN will only make the shortage worse.
My program was set up to be a one year LPN program, with us in school for the entire year. It was an aggressive program....about 25% of the class washed out by the end of the program, and we were the largest class ever, with the best pass rate of any class to date. We had 18.5 credits the first semester (Winter), 16 credits in the Summer, and 17.5 credits the last semester.
All classes were fairly hard, and the Medical Surgery classes were brutal, 90% of the people who failed did so because of those classes, and they are 11.5 and 13.5 credits each. Each class had a minimum passing standard of 75%. Anything less than a 75% in ANY class at ANY time was a failing grade, and you could not advance to the next semester. That meant that you would have to wait a full year to restart the program, as the LPN class only starts once, each Fall semester.
There are programs nationally that have what they call "bridge programs". They take people with a LPN certificate and turn it into an ADN degree. There are also a few (VERY few) LPN-BSN programs that give the student a BSN degree.
I chose nursing because I have always liked helping people, and I hate seeing people who honestly NEED help suffer without it, I have a strong stomach, and don't gross out easily, and I want to make a good living. Nursing allows me to help people, and help myself at the same time.
Regardless of which degree she chooses to go for, all careers in nursing are good choices. My LPN certificate allows me to work right away if needed, and starting pay for an LPN at a care facility is about $18 an hour.
There are SO many career paths as a nurse that I can't list them all. You can work with kids, with pregnant mothers, with abused women, in a school, a DR's office, a nursing home, and short term care facility, in surgery, recovery, cardiac, neurology, orthopedics.....it is wonderful.
If you want to add schooling after a few years of nursing, you can become a ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner) or a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), both of which require additional degree work. ARNP jobs start at about $120,000 a year, and around here are a 3 day work week, 16 hours a day.
Year Three of the nclex saga: the medical board, having spent tens of thousands of dollars on constant re-tests, considers cutting kwea off for good...
Posts: 15419 | Registered: Aug 2005
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