Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Second Year of Grad School: Big Kids!!!

Here is the schedule for this fall:

2-4:30- Complex Care Nursing Lecture
5-7:30- Community Nursing Lecture

9-3:30- Graduate Assistantship
4-5- Complex seminar (meets 4 weeks out of the semester)
5-8- Advanced Pathophysiology

8-2- Community Nursing Clinical
3-4- Clinical post-conference

All afternoon and evening classes this fall. I would be lying if I say that I loved that because I like to have my stuff done in the morning and have the rest of the day to do whatever. However, it is what it is and on the plus side, at least I can sleep in late. The only thing missing from my schedule is complex clinical because I do not know my schedule yet. For all of your clinicals except for complex, you will be in a group of 5-6 students. For complex clinical, also know as senior preceptorship, almost everyone will be one on one with a nurse. There is an application process that you will go through during your first spring semester that consists of creating a resume, cover letter, and filling out a preceptorship application/preference sheet. You rate the geographic region (north, south, west (Springfield area), metro (Boston area), central (Worcester area) from 1-5 based on your preference of where you would like to be. You also get to choose three areas of nursing (examples- pediatrics, maternity, ICU, ED, etc) that you are interested in. Nobody is guaranteed anything and the selection is based on multiple factors such as GPA and the strength of your resume and cover letter. You will be notified usually sometime in August but some people find out in early summer or maybe even September. While they work hard to get everyone an individual placement, there sometimes is a small group (3-5 students) who will do clinical together. Unlike all other clinicals which run on a set weekly schedule, you will be following your preceptor's schedule for complex clinical. This means that if they work nights and weekends, you will be doing your clinical on nights and weekends. You have to complete 130 hours total for your complex clinical.

So the first week back was rather light. We had orientation for both community and complex nursing and also had our first full pathophysiology class. I think I am going to love patho because I loved A&P when I took it. I also think it is going to be so helpful to connect any loose ends that were previously confusing when thinking about disease processes. Community Nursing is all take home exams which includes the final exam. I feel extremely relieved because I know that Complex is going to be the killer class this fall (just like Acute and Professional were during their respective semesters). We are about 5 months away from taking the NCLEX and I could not be more excited. We took our first ATI comprehensive predictor test last week! Your test results will generate a focused review on areas you should study and work on and then at the end of the semester, you will take another ATI comprehensive predictor test hopefully scoring better than your first try. These tests predict NCLEX readiness and tend to be very accurate in how people perform on the real thing. I am sure I will have more things to say once the semester gets rolling.

- K.D.

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