Saturday, November 19, 2011

Much Anticipated Update (for me anyway! ;))

It is official...the above will be my new home for at least one year beginning in January! Of course I will be living in an actual house/apartment of some sort, but I anticipate spending most of my time in the building pictured, and the building across the street from this one (university medical center). Yay!!!

I am so excited! I am also completely freaked out...finishing CNA program right before xmas and packing to move all the way across the country. Saying goodbye to lots of people. And biggest thing of all...trying to find and apply to any and all nursing scholarships that I may even remotely qualify for in an attempt to get this paid for! Don't know if I can get student loans since I already have them for my BA.

Stressed but happy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Got An Interview!!!!

I am SO extremely excited (and a bit nervous)! I have an interview with Small Prestigious Northeast Nursing school!! Interestingly, very early in my considerations, this school was my first choice school. It got replaced by Large Prestigious Southern Nursing school and HUGE Ivy Nursing school...both of which sent me the "sorry, no" letter quite rapidly. I wonder if it's a similar situation to multiple choice go with your first choice and don't change it.

Clearly I won't be placing all my eggs in one basket, I still have other applications to submit....but I GOT AN INTERVIEW!!!! Just thought I would shout that out one more time!

Thanks to all who replied to my request for help...I did rewrite entirely. My years of childhood trauma became "a difficult childhood" which helped me to learn to "thrive in chaotic environments" (hat tip to Kim at Emergiblog).

The interview is August 31.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Seeking opinions, comments, and/or advice from nurses in any specialty

First, the lead in....

I am having difficulty getting accepted into a nursing program. I have been applying to combined second degree BSN/MSN programs with Family Nurse Practitioner as a chosen specialty and working in Indian Health as an intended career goal. I have a couple more of these programs to apply to since application deadlines are all different. I am now also considering applying to second degree BSN programs with the intention of completing the MSN later. There is a local ADN program and a BSN bridge at the University I just graduated from; however, the ADN program is nearly impossible to get into. I have a friend that applied to the program 4 times (once a year), had a 4.0 and was working as an EMT, was wait-listed each time. She gave up and is now pursuing a different degree. I completed my BA in Sociology with a minor in Biology (human concentration) last December, so traditional BSN programs are not an option at this point. Neither school offers pre-nursing's a situation of take the pre-req's, apply, if you get in then you get advising.

Second, the potential problem...

When I met with my adviser to go over additions to my C.V. and changes in my personal/goals statement for the next round of applications, she had a thought...maybe "my story" is the problem. I spoke with my Aunt who has been a Psych RN for 25 years and she agrees that this very well could be the issue.

I had an extremely difficult childhood. I do not go into details on my apps, and I won't here either, but I will give a little bit of info. At 6 months old I was dropped off for a weekend visit at my great Aunts home, my mother came back 3 1/2 YEARS later with one hour notice to pick me up. So basically, my earliest years were as the baby in a family of 5 children, 3 older brothers and an older sister, then suddenly I was the only child in a very young military family...with parents I didn't even know. I saw the great Aunt two or three times throughout my childhood and early adulthood, I saw the "big sister" once, and never saw the "brothers" again...until the funeral of the great Aunt, when I was 27 years old.

After being taken back by my mother, a little brother arrived, we moved A LOT (military), and I never felt I fit in either where we lived or in my own family. My parents were emotionally and physically abusive...severely. I barely made it through school, and moved out as quickly as possibly after I graduated high school. I made a few attempts at taking classes at the community college, but never succeeded...either dropping with W's or just not bothering to go or drop and getting F's. As my life fell apart, I sought help initially because the Golden Gate bridge was looking like a viable option for a "direction" for my life to take, since it's a local landmark, this was a very real possibility. Fast forward to now...I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder and severe anxiety. Both of these are now very well controlled, the dissociative disorder may even be "resolved" (as much as is possible). I graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.491, a major GPA of 3.91. I've completed all my nursing pre-req's with a 3.0 and I am repeating one class this summer (anatomy). I was a teaching assistant for physiology 3 times, and for microbiology 2 times. I have my BLS for healthcare, am enrolled in a CNA program for the fall, and am working on all the paperwork to be able to volunteer at the hospital. I am a lifetime member of two honor societies, and was president of the campus chapter of one of them for a year. I was also chosen to sit on the Disability Services for Students advisory committee for a year ( a huge honor, appointed by the University President). All of this is good...right? it true that my past psych issues are what is hurting my chances? My overcoming these challenges is a HUGE part of my life. This also is what explains my lower GPA (compared to other applicants), I will never have a 4.0 because of the earlier attempts at college. I am very frustrated...I really don't have any other "story" to tell. I worked very hard to get in the place of healing that I am at now, and I worked very hard to achieve success in school. I know I will succeed in a program, even an accelerated one. I also know that I will be a damn good nurse. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Little Compassion People

I am an avid reader of medical blogs...I absolutely love them. I especially enjoy ER blogs. Student nurse, nurse, PA, Doc, it doesn't matter, I read away. I find it a bit odd that I enjoy ER blogs considering that I know I will never work in an ER myself. I don't have what it takes. I can handle an emergency, that is true. In fact I become very detached and just "do it". Once the emergency is over I melt down. I can't handle the adrenalin rush that occurs immediately following the end of the "event". Many years ago I was loss prevention in a major department store. I did the job well, catching many people, employees and customers, stealing. I helped secure one of our other stores after a major earthquake (had to travel 45 miles in destruction to do so). Part of my job involved arresting people. There's a specific procedure that has to be followed from suspected theft, through person leaving the store where it becomes actual theft, through the arrest, paperwork, and police involvement. I had no problems with any of this; however, the moment the police (or parent depending on the situation) left with the arrested individual, the rush would hit. Many people thrive on this, I do not. I get hot and begin to sweat, my hands shake, then my whole body begins to shake, I have palpitations followed by a feeling that my heart is going to beat so darn hard it's going to rip right out of my chest. My legs go weak, and I feel nauseous. I know that this will happen to me each and every time I am presented with an emergency and therefore, I plan to get through my ER rotation somehow, and then never set foot in the ER again.

Most of the time I really enjoy these blogs. I am appreciative of the the writers. These people see the worst of everything society has to offer and keep coming back for more...inspiring sometimes, amazing nearly always. One pattern has emerged that alarms and disappoints me though...the treatment of psych patients in the ER...perhaps "attitudes toward psych patients" is a better statement since I am certain that the actual treatment is appropriate...please tell me I am correct here! I understand that psych patients are a very difficult population and that it takes very special people to work with psych patients exclusively. My Aunt has been a psych nurse for several decades and she is truly very a good way!

What I have noticed is a lack of understanding, and along with that, a lack of compassion. Sure, the blogs are often written as a form of venting, I get that, but I don't see a lot of negative attitude directed at people whom have had an accident not due to drinking or drugs, or towards people whom have had an acute exacerbation of a chronic illness, etc. I see comments in particular towards people having panic attacks. Things like "your panic attack is not going to become a heart attack if you don't get your ativan right now". I know this is true, you know this is true, people who have panic attacks know this is true. I have had trouble with panic attacks, now well controlled, so I can speak with some authority about this...people in the middle of a panic attack do NOT know this is true, regardless of what their knowledge is when not having a panic attack. People having a panic attack will not believe you when/if you say this to them. If the heart becomes the focus when the panic attack hits, the person will absolutely believe not that they are going to have a heart attack, but rather that they ARE CURRENTLY HAVING said heart attack, and if they have not learned cognitive skills to cope or the attack has become full-blown, there is absolutely nothing you can say that will change their mind. Once the attack is over, the person will realize that it was a panic attack, they will probably be embarrassed, and they will fear having another attack because it is so frightening and so embarrassing. Is it really so hard to understand they are having irrational fear and physical symptoms that will pass if you just have a little compassion and give them the ativan? Let me repeat that...give them the ativan. If you have another patient that has a life or limb threatening event happening, then by all means, make the panic attack wait, it may even pass on it's own given a little time. However, getting angry with the panicking patient that actually believes they too are dying does not help, them or you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Neglected blog

It has been nearly two years since I last posted. In that time I have graduated (Dec. 17, 2010) with a BA in Sociology and a Biology minor. I worked my hind end off and pulled a 3.491 Cum GPA...I was shooting for a 3.5 so I was a little disappointed. This is a seriously major accomplishment since my GPA was somewhere around a 1.0 (or lower) when I finally pulled myself together and started succeeding in school. After transferring to the 4-year University, I have a 3.82 in the last 75 units.

My BA is done. My Bio minor is done. I am taking classes at the local Community College to keep my loans deferred. I have applied to a few programs. I'm looking at Direct entry masters programs...with FNP as end result. I am getting very frustrated. Some programs have prereqs that are considered nursing classes in CA; I can't take them until I'm in a program, but they are prereqs for some programs...catch-22.

I feel I am an excellent candidate. I have overcome serious obstacles in my life, and I believe my transcripts and C.V. reflect that...IF I would be given the opportunity to talk about it. The essays don't allow me to do that. The programs want a specific question answered, or they want a goal statement in 200 words or one asks for a personal statement. I'm frustrated. I did not get accepted to my "oh what the heck, I'll give it a shot" school (not particularly surprised), but I also did not get accepted to my first choice "this program and I are an absolute perfect match" school. I'm frustrated. I don't know how to make my seemingly mediocre credentials reflect how awesome they actually are.

I just want to go to nursing school...somewhere! My self-esteem was pretty sucks right about now.