Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Anti-climax Phase of Nursing School

I must admit, finishing nursing school is extremely anti-climatic. After all those weeks, months and years (!) of counting down to the finish date, of doing last exams, last papers, last presentations and last clinical shifts, it is suddenly over. The toasts are made and the champagne is thoroughly enjoyed.

And now what? The anti-climax.

So nursing school is done, but we are in limbo. The huge licensing exam looms huge over our heads, since without a license, we cannot practice. Job applications are submitted, and we wait. And study. And wait some more.

It is another phase of transition in this career change, and those of you who know me, know that I am n-o-t a fan of transition. Deep down in my heart, I simply know that everything will work out and I'll be looking back at this post thinking, "If I knew then what I know now, I'd not be worrying about anything." And truth be told, I'm not worrying. It is more of an unsettled feeling. My routine and structure from the past four years of school is suddenly gone, the final clinical rotation that had us working full-time is over, and it is not yet replaced with working.

I think I spent about a good 10 days just de-stressing and relaxing and exercising. I hadn't realized just how tense and how much work the past few years have been. Now my head is clearer, and I've started studying for the licensing exam. On a very bright note, I wrote the CAT exam last week, to practice for the NCLEX, and got the "good" pop up after only 85 questions. So that, plus the HESI results, have greatly increased my confidence for the licensing exam, and have helped my motivation to start studying again (even though nursing school is finished!).

Tonight I will be teaching my daughter's Girl Guide unit their first aid badge. I have so many activities planned for them. It is going to be so much fun!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rocked the HESI today!!!

I did the HESI, part one, back in November, 2014. I did OK, better than average, but not the 900+ score to be aiming for. The test gave me an outstanding study package based specifically on my results. In theory, it was going to be great to review all that and then take the test, part two, and improve.

Well, somehow, the second test sprang up on me, and it was today. I managed to review a few of the great gems of knowledge that I needed improvement on, yesterday. I spent most of last week, since Tuesday when the last class presentation happened, just feeling layer upon layer of stress evaporate and leave my system. It was a very strange few days, coupled with spring allergies/cold hitting me. I was definitely in a strange mental fog for the better part of last week. Post nursing school stress disorder??? Lol. Let`s hope not!

Today, I slunk into the exam, with all my great plans of studying gone. I was just hoping to not do worse on today's exam, than on the previous one.

I came out of there with a 914 and a new sense of confidence!!! Woot!!! Woot!!!

I am so happy and relieved. I guess I did learn something more in the past half year. Whew!

My first application package from my provincial college of nurses arrived, I'm mailing it back tomorrow, and then I wait for the official invitation to write the NCLEX. I'd love to get it done sooner rather than later, but want to feel (reasonably) confident that I'll be successful on the first try.  Here in Canada, we only get three chances to pass, unlike in the USA, where I understand they get unlimited attempts. Three strikes and you`re out. That would be a disaster.

To end on a positive note -- all is well in HESI land, and I expect full time studying for the NCLEX to start tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nursing School is DONE

It really, truly is finished. Today we gave our last presentations that summed up our nursing school journey and beyond. It was a nice way to end the program.

I am still a bit incredulous that it is finished. Back in another transition phase. Transition that I always find so unsettling.

The College of Nurses for my province has sent me a package that I need to complete so that I can write my licensing exam. I have filled out my temporary licence application form. I have a job lined up for as soon as I get my temporary licence, in primary care. I'll be working part-time at the clinic for the summer, and then switch to full-time in the fall, when the children go back to school.

In the summer, I'd also like to get to know the people in a couple clinics very close to my home, and try to get casual positions there, a couple nights per week, or on weekends. Variety is the spice of my working life.

In the fall, I'll head back to school, to get my post-RN certification as a trauma nurse. Hopefully, a year from now, I'll be working in a clinic part-time and at a local hospital ER part-time. That would be simply awesome.

In the meantime, I need to start studying for my NCLEX, so that I pass is on my first try.

We also have an awesome trip to Europe booked for May, so that is something I'm very, very much looking forward to for next month.

Life is so great. I am so incredibly grateful for the many blessings I've been lucky to receive in my life. Even though this is a transition phase, it is great.

I'm a nurse!!!!! I did it!!!!!