Just some of my many plannering tools...

7/24/17: Got my week all planned out and ready to go (at least school-wise)! What do you use to planner? ▪ @daiso_usa @websterspages @pentelofamerica @postit @michaelsstores

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One "First Day"

7/23/17: A quote I always tell myself when it's the first day of anything in life, whether it was starting my first job as an RN, my first day on a new unit, or my first day of school as an NP student. Whatever new things you're doing in your life remember that you only have one "first day." From there, you'll only build on your experiences and improve for the better. • 📷: @ennlessly

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New Graduate Program -- The First Week

After completing my first week in my New Graduate RN program, I have come to realize a few things.

  1. I really enjoy the hospital, the staff, and the people. Despite starting out knowing no one, it was great meeting new people and getting to know them. I'm excited to work with them during our following weeks of training. The staff members seem really nice and happy to work for the hospital as well. 
  2. Despite living in Los Angeles County all my life (except the time I was in college and in nursing school), I never realized how horrible the traffic is in Los Angeles on a weekday morning and during "rush" hour. I guess it is probably because I do not really venture out that way to hang out with friends. And, after all, I did spend my college years in other cities and counties for school. The past week has only been a foreshadowing of the following weeks to come. I will basically have no "social" time, since I'll pretty much be sitting in traffic. And, by the time I get home, I only have enough time to eat, shower, and sleep before I repeat. 
  3. I cannot wait until night shift (if I get assigned the night shift...). It would be really awesome to be on the night shift...just so I won't have to fight traffic to and from work. Plus, with the time saved from fighting traffic, I can catch up on my television shows! Yay!
Wish me luck on this next week! It's a struggle, but it's worth it!

- Nicole G.

Resources for Pre-Nursing Students

I recently updated my "Pre-Nursing" (Nursing > Pre-Nursing) page with resources, and I thought it would be helpful for me to explain how each of them helped me get from pre-nursing student to nursing student.

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❥ CA Board of Nursing Approved RN Programs
When looking for an accredited or legit nursing school to apply to, it is always best to search an unbiased database (ie. the California Board of Nursing website). Some schools may claim that they are accredited and post images of the accreditation seal (which they probably found online). Don't be tricked by such schools. Check with the source first! The California Board of Nursing website lists up-to-date information about accredited private and public schools throughout California that provide Associate Degrees (ADN), Bachelors (aka Baccalaureate) Degrees (BSN), and Entry Level Masters Degrees (ELM or ELMSN). The list is organized by the type of program and then alphabetically. This list is definitely something to check out before applying, especially if you don't want to find yourself paying for the application fee and finding out that you wasted money on a non-accredited school as you will not be able to take the NCLEX (national licensing exam).

❥ Assist.org
Since I was still attending UC Berkeley at the time and wanted to become a nurse, a college advisor recommended this website for me. This website is helpful if you're trying to figure out if a class from one public California college/university transfers to another public California college/university. It breaks the information down by showing you the class department and number from one to the other. This tool really came in handy for me when I was trying to figure out if the classes I took at UC Berkeley would transfer over to another UC/CSU when applying for nursing school (since I already have a first bachelor's degree). In addition, it was also helpful for me when I was trying to figure out which anatomy, microbiology, etc course at a community college would transfer over and meet the anatomy, microbiology, etc requirement at different UC/CSU nursing programs. Unfortunately, this tool only works for transferring courses between public California colleges/universities. To find out whether a course would meet a pre-requisite for a private university, I called the academic adviser of the private schools I wanted to apply to and inquired about it. Some of the private schools also had a PDF of courses that would transfer over and meet the requirements posted on their website.

❥ Allnurses
Allnurses.com has been my go-to forum for everything nursing -- from the pre-nursing days to my job hunt for a new graduate RN position. It was really helpful for me to search for information about schools and to find resources throughout school.

❥ CA NCLEX Pass Rates by School
Part of the school hunt is considering their NCLEX pass rates. The NCLEX exam is the National Council Licensure Examination that must be passed in order to become a registered nurse. Basically, you can't become a registered nurse until you pass this exam, no matter how high your GPA was during school. To me, I consider NCLEX pass rates as an indicator of how well schools prepare their students to take the NCLEX exam, so naturally, I sought out and applied to schools with higher pass rates. One thing to caution, though, is that schools may have their way of manipulating the numbers (ie. some schools have a test during each or during the final semester that must be passed, otherwise the student will not be able to get their degree and cannot take the NCLEX exam). This is why the pass rates should be part of the consideration but not the final determinant.

❥ TEAS Exam Preparation
Depending on which school or nursing program you decide to apply to, you may need to take the TEAS examination. I used ATI's "TEAS Prep Package" (the one that includes the study guide and two online tests) to help with studying. I purchased it after noticing that many others on allnurses.com recommended it as a study tool. I personally did not end up using or trying the online exams, but I did use the study guide and found it helpful for studying. The TEAS examination is delivered by ATI, so why not study from material by them?

❥ GRE Exam Preparation
Depending on which school or nursing program you decide to apply to, you may need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Back when I was applying to nursing schools, I considered both the ABSN (accelerated bachelor's in nursing) and the ELM (entry-level master's in nursing) route, so I took this exam. To help me prepare for the exam, I looked at the GRE website to get an idea of the exam format and structure, and to familiarize myself with what to expect for the exam. To study, I used Barron's GRE book. (I provided a link to what the book looks like, but you'll need to check for the "newest" version, as it comes out.)

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I hope these resources will be helpful for you in your journey! If there are any errors, please feel free to correct them in the comment box below. What resources have you found helpful in your journey from pre-nursing student to nursing student?

- Nicole G.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the above websites. These are just resources I found on my own as a pre-nursing student that were helpful to me.

Freebie: Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker

(Picture from Philosophy.com)
The Freebie: Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-rejuvenating Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30

How to Redeem: Fill out this form with your information and a sample will be mailed to you!

- Nicole G.

Blog Revamp

After privatizing my blog for several months due to being super busy with nursing school and wanting to revamp my blog, it is now up and running...again! I absolutely love the look and feel of my blog, now that I've finished customizing it. You can find the makers of this blog template in the credits at the bottom of my blog.

{ Quote | Talents }

"Use what talents you possess:  the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
- Henry Van Dyke 

{ Quote | Individuality in Teamwork }

"Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
- Vince Lombardi