How To Pass The NCLEX

I took the NCLEX-PN but I think this advice will help for both NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN. This is also advice you have probably heard before and I am just going to reiterate it.

1. Learn the material throughout school. I mean to actually learn the material, not just memorize it for the Β test and then let it slip from your mind. This will not only help you pass the NCLEX but keep you from lawsuits or even worse, hurting a patient later on when you are practicing.

2. Schedule your test for as soon as possible. You should have gained all the tools you needed during school so you shouldn’t need extra time to learn anything else. All you need to do is keep the material fresh on your mind.

3. Study your way. If you have passed nursing school you know what works for you. For the most part, I did questions from Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN CD and the back of the chapters of the book. I took my test about 3.5 weeks after graduation and I must have done about a 2000 questions (thats less than 100 a day).

4. Lean on your nursing school friends. They are the only ones that really know what you are going through. Make sure you are there for them when they take their test also.

5. DO NOT pick up a book the day before or the morning of the test. You have been preparing for the day for the last few years. You’ve got this.

6. Relax. This is an exciting day, don’t let nerves ruin it.

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Randomness

1: I took my math test yesterday. The one I have to make a 95% on to stay in nursing school. I don’t have the results yet, and it pretty much killing me.

2: I took 2 finals (+ the math test) yesterday and I have 4 more and a check off next week. Ugh.

3: I am writing this from my backyard because I am out here with my NEW PUPPY!

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We adopted him Monday from HALO, which is an organization that goes and rescues dogs from animal control and places them in foster homes until they get adopted. He is about 15-16 weeks an they believe he is a Black Mouth Cur mix. He is such a great dog. His foster mom had house trained him already and had him sit, lay, and shake on command. He is just a puppy so he is extremely hyper and jumps and bites a lot. We are trying to teach him not to bite us when he gets excited. My cats are tolerating him but still won’t let him get too close.

Here he is sleeping with me πŸ™‚

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His first trip to Petsmart.

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Sleeping on daddy.

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And his first dog tag πŸ˜‰

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Having a dog is much different than having cats. It’s a lot of work, but we love him and all his energy!

Rough Week

I had clinicals Monday and Tuesday in labor and delivery. It was really awesome. I got to see a vaginal delivery, a circumcision, and an epidural. I cried a little during the delivery, just a little tear πŸ™‚ . I can’t wait to have my own! I had a test on Wednesday, which I failed. My first fail of nursing school. It sucked. It wasn’t a bad fail I still have a B in the class. I made a 73, and for those who may read this and not know, a 74 is failing in nursing school. My test was over disease processes of the digestive system, respiratory system, and the liver. I got over that pretty quick but then on Thursday we had tracheostomy suction check-offs. I don’t have the results yet but I am pretty sure I failed. I accidentally applied suction on the way down the trachea. Grr. Then I was just mad at myself. I had not done that once during lab practice.

After check-offs, I went out for drinks with a few girls from my class. I got home about 6pm laid down on the couch and went to sleep. I slept for 14 hours! I felt much better when I got up though, sometimes a good rest is the best thing for a stressful week.

Oh, and just to add to the stress, two people got kicked out of the program this week :/ . One person was in my clinical group and was inserting foley catheters. Since we have not learned that skill in class yet and checked off on it, we are not allowed to do that in a clinical setting. Another person did not get some important paperwork turned in on time. Β I know how hard we have all worked to get this far, and how much being a nurse means to every single person in my class, so it is just very sad when someone gets kicked out.

I have 3 months and 26 days left until graduation. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Busy Week

Last week was so busy. I had clinical rotations in the emergency department, three tests, and I signed up to sell Scentsy! Also, a couple weeks ago my husband and I decided to make Friday our weekly date night. I think we are like most couples these days and we get so wrapped up in our jobs (in my case, school), we have trouble making sure make quality time for each other. Anyways he had Friday off so we spent the whole day doing stuff together :). I love our relationship because we can make running errands fun. We ran some errands and then went to see The Watch. It was really funny in an obnoxious silly kind of way.

Also on Friday I started a project I found on Pinterest:

The spots on the back are leopard print, it’s hard to tell in the picture.

Last Monday and Tuesday were my ED rotation days. It was interesting thats for sure. There was a person come in with a GI bleed, this person had fallen and had diarrhea, and vomited. They had stool and vomit in their hair and all the way down to their feet! We had to clean them before treatment could even be started. It was insane. When a person has an upper GI bleed their vomit looks like coffee grounds because of the blood. In my nursing school career, I have cleaned a lot of bottoms but I have never even imagined anything like this. I feel like I cannot even explain the severity of it. After that there was a miscarriage, and then I had to hold a baby still so he could get an IV. It was just a really tragic day for me LOL. The ED is really not my thing. One minute there will not be a single patient and everyone is on Facebook or whatever and the next its packed and nurses are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Yeah just not my thing. But tomorrow I will be in labor and delivery and I am really really excited about that!

I love love love Scentsy products! I was introduced to Scentsy last year right before Christmas and ended up getting it for myself and also Christmas presents. This was a great month to sign up in because almost everything is 10% off. It is also a great time to stock up on some of your favorite scents. Here is a video of the scents that are going to be discontinued this month:

To order or sign up to sell Scentsy please go to:

http://www.kendah.scentsy.us

Mean

There is a girl in my class and clinical group who is really mean. I really don’t think she means to be, I think she teases a lot. But it is hurtful and embarrassing sometimes. I was in a class with her previously and so we hung out at first because we knew each other and everything was new. It’s kind of like she found a weakness of mine and she just picks at it. Sometimes I think it is when she is feeling nervous or unsure of herself. I moped all day yesterday and I am blogging about this and then I am going to drop it, I am not going to waste another thought on it. But here is my song to her πŸ™‚

Anyhow I actually had a really great week. My clinical rotation was in a family practice physicians office and a community health center. Before this week I had no intention on working at a physicians office. I always hear how working for a physician is awful because they think they are kings, and really I had that experience of working for a DB physician. After this week though, I know they are not all like that. In fact, I believe that most are not. I liked the work, especially in the community health clinic, it was so busy! I loved that it was so busy and there was no low time. It makes the day go by quickly and if you have a difficult patient, you get them in and out and you don’t have to spend 12 hours with them. So, the a clinic/physician’s office is definitely back on the list of possible jobs after this program.

I am so ready for next year! It is going to be AWESOME. I have so many exciting plans. We want to buy a Jeep, buy a house, I will be working as a nurse, and we want to get pregnant next summer. In fact I am watching A Baby Story on TLC right now. The show makes me really nervous for labor but really excited for the outcome. And I pretty much cry every episode πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

But anyhow, I have lots of studying to do since I have three exams next week!

This week!

This week, I had my med-surg rotation. It was better than I thought. I had been hearing from other students that it was boring and a lot like the nursing home, but it wasn’t so much to me. I passed by med pass check off Β in the lab back in early May but I had to wait until my med-surg rotation to get checked off on med pass in a clinical setting. So, I gave my first injection! I was soooo nervous! I usually get really nervous during check offs anyway because of the whole test anxiety thing. Plus they film us (to make sure they didn’t miss anything), so it’s just so awkward talking and trying to give meds to a dummy. They are just hard for me. Anyhow, I usually shake a little during check offs and I was so worried that I would shake while trying to give an injection to a person but I didn’t! It was awesome πŸ™‚ . Getting the meds ready was a little nerve racking because our clinical instructor grills us on, what its class is, what its action is, why the patient is getting it, if there is any reason it should be held (like heart rate too low or blood glucose too low). So we pretty much have to hit the floor running. We get there at 6:15 but wasn’t getting our patients until about 7am, as soon as we got our patients we printed the MAR, looked up the diagnosis, their morning labs, and had to look up the medications they were receiving in our med books. The first day my patient only had 9am meds so I had plenty of time, but the second day my patient had 7:30 insulin so I had to work pretty quick. But it was fun. Anyhow, I didn’t think med-surg was too bad. I only had one patient each day, so I did have extra time but I spent it making med cards.

We also had our mid term clinical evaluations this week. I am excited to say that all is well where I am concerned. She said that I need to work on my confidence because she can tell I second guess myself a lot when I shouldn’t. She said that I have got this and do very well while in clinicals. It is hard to have confidence when you are always being graded and scored. I have learned SO much more than I could have ever imagined in the last 6 months but I have so much more to learn.

Wound care check offs click for source

Yesterday was a very stressful day for my class 😦 . We had sterile wound care check offs. The main thing was keeping it sterile. I think we all went into it unsure about everything. I was near the end of the list and we were watching about every other person leave crying. So by the time it was my turn to check off I was totally freaked out. I passed, thank God! I contaminated my gloves twice (the first time I put on one sterile glove and then touched the other with my ungloved hand, the second time I dropped my sterile gloved hand below the table) but I caught both times so I didn’t fail (if you didn’t catch it you failed). We were allowed two contaminations so if I would have done it once more I would have failed. Also, you failed automatically if you contaminated the wound. I felt so clumsy and I had to dry pack a wound. It is so hard to get a dry 4X4 into a wound without touching the edges of the skin… I passed thats all that matters. The way our check offs are done, you either pass or fail. You get two chances but if you fail the first, the highest you can make is a 50%. If you fail your second chance, you get a zero. Everyone in our class has become so close each other, and it is hard to see your classmates fail at something.

I am so excited to be selling Scentsy soon! More information to come πŸ™‚

When It All Clicks

I have figured out that I took the wrong career track…. sort of. We are doing our rotations in the hospital right now and I have loved it. Well some more than others. I have figured out that wound care isn’t my thing. It’s interesting and all but not really my thing. What I really loved was PACU. Like really really loved it. LVNs can’t work in PACU. It gives me something to work towards but now I am afraid that I will not like anything until I get there. I never planned on stopping at the LVN status but now I wish I was a little further in school. I also loved surgery and I think I would enjoy being a scrub nurse. I could be a scrub nurse as an LVN so that might be my plan until I become an RN. Also, I still have many rotations so that could still change…

My rotation starting on Monday is med-surg. It will be my first time to give an injection. It scares the shit out of me. I know it shouldn’t but for some reason it does. I will be spending the rest of my weekend practicing on my injection pad πŸ™‚

Hard Work

Being completely honest here, I have never in my life worked so hard for my grades. I so proud to say that it paid off! I just finished the finals for first semester, I have gotten my grades and couldn’t be more ecstatic. I got 5 A’s and 1 B, well I would be happier if they were all A’s but I am still excited about my grades.

The last few weeks have been really hard on the class.We started out with 37 students and are down to 33. A couple left a few weeks into clinicals, and a couple the last few days as grades were being finalized. It’s really sad to see people leave, we have all gotten so close to each other. I see these people more than I see my family. We had a dosage calculations competency exam that you have to make a 90% or better in order to go to the next semester and you have two tries. Thankfully I passed but a couple of my closest friends failed it the first attempt. It is really scary to have to take that 2nd test because it’s your last chance. The day of the second test we all went to lunch and had drinks while they waited for their tests to be graded. Thankfully every one who failed the first one, passed the second one. I also passed med pass check offs, its a big important check off and I was really relieved that I passed it the first time. You also get two tries on the check off but the second try you can only get a 50%.

Well I have a week off before the second semester starts so hopefully I can update my blog again. I have given up on trying to keep it updated and even thought about deleting it but I do like to posts sometimes so I think I will keep it going for a little while longer. For now I have to go get groceries before it starts raining and come home and start cleaning up and getting organized for next semester πŸ˜›

Mess from finals

It’s Been Seven Weeks

Wordle: student nurse

Wow, how things have changed in the last seven weeks of nursing school. I have already grown and learned so much. And man, I never imagined it being so hard. I work my butt off and sometimes barely pass. It’s not like other classes I have taken in college, the test questions are not black and white, you can’t just look up this answer in the book. On the tests, there are usually multiple correct answers but you have to choose the best one. I have luckily passes everything except my last check-off, which was vital signs check off. That one really made me upset because I failed the blood pressure part of it. Our instructors have a double earpiece stethoscope so that they can hear the same thing you are and you both watch the gauge. While practicing I got it perfect with all three of our instructors, so it was really frustrating that I failed that part. I believe re-checks are next week so I can still get a 50% on that one 😦

Speaking of next week, I start clinicals!!! I am so excited, scared, nervous, proud, happy, stressed about it that it makes me want to cry when I think about it! So many emotions lol. I am excited we are finally going to be able to put all this book work to use. Scared that I will hate it or suck at it. Nervous I will do something wrong, hurt a patient, or disappoint my clinical instructor. Proud that I made it this far. Happy that it’s finally happening. Stressed because I have clinicals, my first care plan, vital sign re-checks, and two tests next week (not even to mention the 3 tests I just got done studying my butt off for). Oh my, deep breath.

For the next 8 weeks we will be in a nursing home. I worked in a chiropractic office before and the geriatric patients were actually my favorite. We saw these people sometimes three times a week, and once you get to know them and get them out of pain, they become less grouchy and most of the time they are way more nice than the younger patients. It’s really cool to get them talking about their life events. So I am excited to be in the nursing home. On the other hand, I am assigned to the same hospital memaw died at last year. It will be sad but I am at peace with the fact that she is in heaven and free of pain now.

I am excited that we will be required to keep a journal of our clinical experience. I love journals, I just get busy with life and forget I have one. Kind of like this blog…. Since it is for a grade though, I will keep up with it and it will be a really cool thing for me to keep for always.

On another note, we moved into a house! We didn’t buy one but we are renting one. It is nice to be in a house instead of an apartment. The walls were so thin in the last apartment we could hear our upstairs neighbors doing it. No joke, it was gross. Couldn’t even look them in the eye after that. We just hated it there. We are loving the house so far. It has two bedrooms and a “study area”, all hard wood floors, a storage shed in the back yard. The only down side is that it only has one bathroom. James loves working in the yard and is out there everyday doing something. I love the hardwood floors. The floors are loud and cold, but Riley threw up this morning and it was much easier to clean than carpet.

But I have to go buy a nursing diagnosis book to do my first care plan! So I will leave you with a picture of my flashcards I have made to help me with my tests so far πŸ™‚ I started cutting the index cards in half to save money haha.

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For The Last 3 Weeks

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Nursing student represent!

Time is flying! I cannot believe I have completed 3 weeks of school and that it has been that long since I wrote a post. I feel like my whole life has changed. All I do is retain and regurgitate information. I even dream about school! I really am having a blast though. There have been moments where I question my decision about nursing school but at the end of the day I know I am where I am supposed to be and I am so grateful for this opportunity.
This last week has been the most intense and the most exciting so far. We had our first skill check-off (G-tube feeding) and I got a 100%. Grading is a little different on check-offs. You get 2 tries for a grade. If you pass the first time you get 100%. If you don’t pass you have to try again but if you do the skill correctly you only get 50%. If you fail the second time you get a big fat zero. I tried to upload a video of me doing the G-tube feeding on a dummy but every time I try it freezes on me 😦
I got an 88% on my first major exam. Truthfully I was hoping for an A but that is passing and it’s kinda close to an A so I will take it. Speaking of grades the grading scale is a little different for nursing, a 74% will get you kicked out.

Also, we have a drug calculations test that we have to make 90% on this semester. We will have another one next semester that we have to make a 95% on. If we make less than that we will me kicked out from the program. It is nerve racking that one test can do that to us but I completely understand why it is that way. A drug dosage mistake can injure or be fatal to a patient. So it is very important.

We also found out our clinical assignments this week! I got an instructor that seems pretty strict but so far I am glad I got her and I am determined to use her strictness to make me a better nurse. For the first 6 weeks I will be at a nursing home here in the town where I live. For the second semester I will be at a hospital doing rotations in different departments. The hospital is about 45 min – an hour away. We will have to be there by 6:15 so that morning drive is going to suck, but we have been told that it is a great facility so that might make it worth it. I am really excited about clinicals and can’t wait to get started! We will have orientation on February 27th and our first day on March 5th πŸ™‚

Hopefully I can be more consistent about posting, and I will be back later for some updates πŸ™‚