Friday, July 18, 2014



[beyond SW]

Nursing has a lot of “firsts”.   Some of the first are really exciting and will make you feel great about choosing to be a nurse.  The first time you sign your name “RN” after all those semesters of sleepless nights, stress, and hard work.  Your first successful IV stick without a clinical instructor or preceptor hovering over you.  The first time a patient and their family thank you for the excellent care you gave them.   On the flip side, there are just as many nursing firsts that suck.  The first time a physician chews you out.  The first time a patient vomits all over you.  And the worst one, the first time you lose your patient after working so hard to save him.   The latter are frustrating and annoying, and yet are expected aspects of nursing.  The former is also an expected aspect of nursing, but it makes you question yourself and your career choice.

  He was a nice man.  He came in complaining of a rapid heartbeat, and 6.5 hours later he was gone. Lying under a sheet in a trauma room still hooked up to the monitors, defibrillator and IV medications that tried so hard to save him.  The ET tube is still in his mouth.  His eyes are wide open.  I will forever see that terrified look on his face as he drowned in his own fluids right in front of us and we could do nothing to stop it.  The wailing of his mother, sister, and girlfriend echoing down the halls from the family waiting room will ring in my ears for a very long time. Probably forever.

The loss of him caused me to ask questions…….”Is this my fault????”  “If he would have had a more experienced nurse would he have lived?” Of course intellectually I know the answer to these questions is a resounding “NO!”  I do not have the power over life and death. I can only do what I am trained to do to the best of my ability and let God take it from there.  I was supervised by a much wiser, experienced and excellent nurse throughout the care of this patient.  But still……there is that nagging voice.  “If only you had been more insistent with the doctor…?  “If only you had given the Lasix sooner…..?”    Would it have made a difference?  We will never know and I have decided not to carry that burden on myself.  Instead, when I replay the events I am going to try to pick out the lessons that will allow me to continue to grown into the kind of nurse I want to be. 

As an ED nurse, I know he won’t be the only patient I will lose. May he rest in peace and may his family heal.  Know that your son, brother, and boyfriend will live in the heart of his nurse forever.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Study Tips For Nursing Students Who Have a Heck Of A Lot To Learn


Make Quizzes

This helps you think like an NCLEX exam maker! Really good way to get information in your head. What might you ask if YOU were the teacher?

Excellent way to make things stick. Make up funny sentences for the info you have to remember. I have a friend who actually made memes based on his mnemonics
Quiz each other

Get the book out and go through the chapter.
Use previous study sheets

You know, you can use the fluids and electrolytes sheets you made in FON for AH1, Peds and AH2
Use Microsoft paint

You can make some color-coded stuff and concept maps on this program
Make concept maps

Group that information on one page in simplified terms
Change position

Do not always study sitting down, walk around the block, study while exercising, use an under the table exerciser (yeah they exist)
Youtube videos

Take a break from reading. I also set up a computer near the bathroom so I could just listen when I took a bath. You’ll see that my bathroom was a great study area
Write on the bathroom mirror

Write basic info like lab values on the mirror or a window with dry erase marker
Use bath crayons

I did this when my kids were learning multiplication tables, but it works for dosages, too
Laminate posters

I made posters with basic info and studied them in the bath (I was a very clean and well-educated nursing student)
Download NCLEX quizzes on your phone

There are tons of question apps
Poster boards around the house

Same concept as the bath posters but elsewhere. I had one stuck to my bookshelf that I read every night before I fell asleep
Read stuff into your iPod

I would read sections of the chapter or notes into my iPod and listen on that ½ hour drive to school. Great right before an exam
Re-listen to the old lectures

I once did this waiting four hours for a delayed plane at the airport
Use extra time

I always had a study book in my car and used in during carpool time or in the DMV waiting to renew my license
Make charts

Easy to do and color code. Especially important for drugs
Color code things

Sometimes I would remember stuff just because I had written it in green on a page
Flash cards

Don’t discount the old-fashioned ways

Make your own presentations as if you have to teach it to someone else
Make your own you tube video

Yes, I actually did this
Write a blog

Just kidding, that’s MY job J
Make up a song

If you can sing, if not-maybe not. No, this is a cool idea to remember lab values etc. Doesn’t have to be complicated.
Learn the basics really well


Peds Deconstructed-Resources To Get Through Peds

Peds Resources


Telephone numbers of the National Poison Center Hotline

For a poison emergency in the U.S. call 1-800-222-1222

A list of common poisonous agents and corresponding antidotes

 Car seat / restraints requirement

Tips for parents in the “childproofing of their home”

 Child Life Specialist

St. Jude



Normal ranges for selected age group 

Describe the fine and gross motor skills 

 Piaget’s theory of cognitive development 

 Shelby County Schools 

Nutritional Needs Of Children

Therapeutic Play Needs of the Hospitalized Child

 Pain Assessment of Children

Calculation and Administration of Medications to Children

The Impact of Chronic Illness on Children and their Families

Cultural Competence

  6 “rights” to be used in preparing and administering medications to children

Resources For Children In Shelby County and Tennessee

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Getting Your RN TO BSN in Memphis

[Beyond SW]

First of all we have a closed Facebook group for that, too. Geared specifically for former SW students.


Here are the various programs in the area.


  • Online, Some non-online clinical work
  • cost of one class: 1,200
  • Advantages: They are talking of being able to go straight from BSN to DNP program, skipping the master's

  • Entrance Criteria:  Admission to UM, GPA 2.7, Cs in prereqs
  • Scholarships:  Available scholarships



Semester One of Nursing Courses only 
NURS 300 Dimensions of Professional Nursing– 3 (3-0) 
NURS 302 Intro to Professional Role Development – 4 (4-0) 
NURS 304 Health Assessment for RNs– 4 (3-1) 
Credit hours = 11 Nursing 

Semester Two 
NURS 402 Professional Role Development II – 3 (3-0) 
NURS 405 Global Community Health Nursing – 6 (6-0) 
NURS 406 Community Health Nursing Clinical – 2 (0-2) 
Credit hours = 11 Nursing

Semester Three
NURS 412 Nursing Leadership – 5 (5-0) 
NURS 413 Professional Practice and Leadership Clinical – 2 (0-2) 
NURS 416 Evidence-Based Nursing – 3 (3-0) 
Credit hours = 10 Nursing

  • Advantages: rolling admissions, cohort learning, 2.0 GPA
  • Disadvantages: on campus classes, religion class requirement
  • Time: three semesters
  • Admission Criteria: 2.0 GPA


ENG 111 (3) 
ENG 112 (3) 
ENG 211/or 212 (3) 

NAT/PHY SCIENCE W/LAB (4) BIOL 103, 107, 109, 111; CHEM 113, 
115; NSCI 111, 115, 118, 122, 126, 128; 
PHYS 150, 201 

SOCIAL SCIENCE/HISTORY * (6) * See GER section of the catalog 

MATH (3) ACCEPTED: MATH 162 or equivalent 

PHILOSOPHY* (3) * See GER section of the catalog 


Math Requirement: Math 162 (Health Science Applications of Algebra and Statistics) or 
equivalent (MATH 105 or higher plus one statistics class; see GER section of 
the catalog)


  • Online and some on-campus time
  • Advantages: can test out of some courses


The following General Studies courses must be completed before beginning the following core courses: BIO 201 A & P I; BIO 201 A&P II; BIO 205 Micro; ENG 101; ENG 102; ENG Literature; PSY 301 HG&D; SPE 211 Speech 



  • Online or available classes at Germantown campus
  • $ 420 per credit hour



  • $425 per credit hour
  • 100% online
  • No clinicals
  • Takes 1 year
  • 2.0 GPA
  • No prereqs
  • Financial aid


Their list of courses is extensive and too detailed to put here, so here is a link

  •  overall GPA of 2.5 with an ACT less than 21.  If your ACT is 21 or higher, you may be admitted with an overall GPA of 2.0.
  • entire program is online
  • There are clinical components with the courses. The main focus of our program is community, leadership, and research.
  • three semesters

WGU RN to BSN Program Handbook

  • Majority online
  • Financial aid available
  • You pay less if you complete the degree faster:

  • 2 years (or 4 terms): $13,000
  • 18 months (or 3 terms): $9,750
  • 12 months (or 2 terms): $6,500
  • If you have received an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree, you will typically enter WGU with upper-division standing and clear or waive 40 competency units (CUs)—which are equivalent to credit hours. You may also clear additional degree requirements depending upon the program.