Indecision

I’ve been doing lots of thinking. I know I’ve mentioned that I’m currently in an RN-BSN program and on track to roll that over into an MSN program to be a Nurse Practitioner in a few years… I’m pretty sure I’ve also mentioned that my mother is bribing me to apply to an anesthesia school of nursing (her profession) by paying my application fee. I’m also pretty sure I’ve mentioned that they get, oh, 600+ applicants for 25 or so spots. So I’m not exactly holding my breath about getting in, nor am I putting anything on hold for the nurse practitioner program, because I’m kind of just assuming I’m not going to get in. In the past 6 months or so Hubbin and I have been seriously discussing trying for a baby this summer. I’m starting to get to the point that I just want one. And thinking about it all the time. I’m sure it’s more logical and everything for me to wait a few years to finish school first… but it’s just that I want one. I’m starting to be attracted to all things baby. It used to be maybe once a month I’d be drooling over other peoples babies, but now I’m thinking about one on an almost daily basis.

It’s still a debate in our house whether we’ll have 1 or 2 children, Hubbin and I are both only children (he wants 1, I want 2), but there’s part of me that wants one now… to give me more time to think about a 2nd later… and I’m a little worried that if I wait till I’m 32ish and totally done with school for the 1st I won’t have enough time to fully consider a 2nd.

I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to trying this summer until we had a serious discussion about waiting to see if I got into anesthesia school before we tried. Because Hubbin fully believes I’ll get in. I’m working on my application now, but I still might not find out one way or the other until next winter, to start in the fall of 2010… and I was a little disappointed thinking about it. I had an afternoon off this week after my yearly gyne appointment, where we briefly talked about “maybe” and I spent a good hour in Babies R Us just wandering around thinking about it. My friend is having a baby in April and her shower is in two weeks so I went looking for a gift off her registry, but ended up just wandering around thinking… “baby, no baby, baby, no baby”, for not even kidding, an hour and a half.

Part of the issue is this nurse practitioner program I’m in is part time, and at least until the end of the program is only one day a week… which isn’t too bad… Three days a week in the ER, and one at school… and while I’d prefer to be done with school before having a baby so far this program doesn’t seem overwhelming enough to completely talk me out of waiting till I’m done. The anesthesia program however, would be extremely time intensive for about 2.5 years. …so that if by some long shot I got into that program… I guess truthfully I’d rather not have a newborn at home to be worrying about or feel like I’m neglecting.

Sometimes I wish Hubbin and I were both just content to not have extra money. We’re doing just fine, but we both want me back in school so in the long run I’ll have a much better income potential, but sometimes I wish we didn’t care about having extra money to do fun things or buy nice things…

Lots of pros and cons and unknowns to all of it. And sometimes I just can’t help it, rational or not, I want a baby right now.

I’m a real RN!

I finally broke down this morning before work and paid the $8 to find out my results. All my other friends had their results posted on the verification site the next day but I must have checked 30 times at work the next day (yesterday) and NOTHING! So when I got up at 10 this morning and saw I was still just a graduate nurse I was not happy at all. So I broke down and paid the $8 to find out I passed! What a racket! Anyway I couldn’t do that another day plus I had no way of knowing they’d be up this afternoon, oh well. So I’m done! Horray!

NCLEX

I took it this morning. I either really passed or really failed because the computer turned off at 75 questions. (there is no grade only a pass or fail, so it doesn’t matter, but you catch my drift)

We joked in the hallway before the let us in that they should provide barfbags in addition to earplugs because more than one of us commented we may vomit. (myself included)

I was photographed, finger printed (4 times to be exact) and stripped of all belongings. (I was glad they stopped short of a full body cavity search)

I checked my pulse twice during the test and on both occassions it was hovering around 110. I tried to control my breathing and read s-l-o-w-l-y and read each question twice and each answer once. I’m pretty sure my heart actually quit beating while I was trying to answer #75.

It took me less than an hour to do the whole thing, I hope it’s for the last time! And I don’t have to quit my job from embarassment. Or be demoted (not just cause I got rid of my aide colored uniforms already). Or confess to snidey coworkers I failed.

*crosses fingers*

My grandma broke her hip. My dad took her to the ER last night. Could have been as long as two weeks ago. She has moderate-advanced alzheimers disease so we don’t know exactly. She lives at home with my half-blind grandfather still but weighs about 80lbs soaking wet so who knows where this will go. She’s supposed to be in surgery now (scheduled to be anyway) I’m heading to the hospital with my dad and g-pa in about an hour.

Severe Brain Death

I’m currently experiencing severe brain death. I can feel my brain cells slowly dying off one by one due to the repetative and boring nature of preparing for this damn NCLEX. The past, 6?, days off I’ve had I’ve spent literally hours either studying something I feel might be important (peak insulin times, childhood vaccine schedules, DKA, normal ranges of common lab values, arterial blood gases) and taking practice tests.

The books tell me I should prepare for the NCLEX as though I’m taking the NCLEX. In other words, sit in a quiet room at the computer with no beverage or food and answer 265 questions in a row without looking up the answers.

I maintain that is no way to learn, I still feel like part of doing practice questions is looking up the answers and see why you missed it or why you got it right, and if I’ve gone on to answer 150 questions after, I can assure you I will have totally lost my train of thought about why I picked that answer incorrectly. So I’ve been taking short little 20-odd practice questions at a time instead.

But now my brain is dying.

And I know I can’t have anything to eat or drink during the NCLEX, but I’m fairly confident during the actual examine my adrenaline will be enough to keep me focused, where as right now, I require sips of diet coke or McDs iced coffee. mmmmmm, sugar free vanilla…

I came downstairs to bake some enchiladas I’ve had sitting in the fridge for three days before they totally spoil and I’m to the point where I’m taking off the foil while stareing intently at a kitchen tile without blinking.

*mind blank*

*stares*

Saved

Saved by the Hubbin! Hubbin just returned from Starbucks with a gift of iced coffee, bless his little soul!

I’m taking practice tests on my computer right now with my Mosby’s NCLEX CD. I can feel my brain slowly shriveling up and dying. I don’t know if it’s because I was up too late last night (1:30am), had a glass of wine after work (we were swamped and I barely sat down all day at work so I deserved it), or if its because I overslept (is that even possible?) til 11:30am. Anyway…

I’m not doing so well on the practice tests this morning, there’s part of me that feels like these practice tests are almost counter productive because they make me stressed like “holy shit I just got 50% on that section, I’m going to fail the NCLEX for SURE” or “The lady said to regularly get over a 75% before taking it and I’ve only been regularly scoring 74%, should I cancel the test?”

It’s a weird combination of being terrified of failing and at the same time not really honestly believing I would….

More questions.

Yikes!

I got my authorization to test today! Now I’m officially freaked out because there is a concrete time frame… I’m authorized to test from tomorrow through Nov 17th. Holy shit! I better start studying! :-/

I finished basic arrythmia today and only missed 1 on the final! 99%!

Next up advanced cardiac life support! (little nervous about that too!)

Boards

Genuinely I was not too worried or worked up about boards. In our NCLEX prep class they told us you should consistently get above 75% on your practice tests before taking it. I’ve always done at least that well on our big ATI tests, and I got middle-high B’s the whole way through school, so it’s just something I wasn’t too worked up about.

However. Now that I’ve started my position as a GN in the ER, along with another GN and I’m going through orientation with all the other GNs I’m getting more freaked out.

I took basic arrhythmia this week and in that class were two other GNs I knew, one from school and one from research. They both took their boards last week and both passed and both were absolutely bursting about how they could not believe how many choose-all-that-apply questions they got. I HATE choose all that apply. Those are my WORST questions. They give you a little scenario and then 6 or 7 options and if you miss one of the 7 then you get the question wrong. 😦

For those of you non-nursing people who read this blog, the big deal about the NCLEX is it’s a “smart test” so every time you get the answer correct, it choses a harder question until you start getting them wrong. You have anywhere between 75 and 265 and it keeps asking questions till it’s sure you’ve got a passing or failing score. For both of these girls it shut off after 75 and they were both sure they failed because they had so many choose-all-that-apply (both went out to their car and cried). My ER friend took her test monday and she also passed but was completely freaked out because she counted FORTY choose all that apply in her test of 75 questions.

So now I’m all up in arms.

If you’ll recall my original goal was to take the NCLEX at the beginning of June so that I could go on our honeymoon knowing I’d passed. I couldn’t even pick up my graduation letter from the school till the middle of June though, and I picked it up when we got home from our honeymoon. Obviously I didn’t study on the honeymoon so I didn’t want to take it right when I got back. Then I decided I should wait till after all the orientation classes figuring taking PALS, ACLS, Basic Arrhythmia, and Basic ER Nursing might offer even just a glimmer of extra knowledge I could use on the test. So I decided I wouldn’t even bother till after orientation (not to mention I’m a little overwhelmed at work with all the new stuff I’m trying to get the hang of). Then, while I’m sure I could if I had to, I think it will just be a lot easier to study after Hubbin’ goes back to work next week and I’m home alone some days… Now though, I’m totally regretting not taking it before everyone else so they couldn’t be freaking me out with their stories!

I’m trying to keep confident like I was before they all started telling me about having 40 choose all that apply and keeping the right mind set. But when I think of how much I’d rather die than go to work and have to tell everyone I failed….. I start getting worked up all over again.

Right now I’m still waiting for my Authorization To Test (ATT) from the state so I can’t sign up for the test even if I wanted to. I think the way to go about this though is to start studying now so when I get the ATT I can pick a date that’s really soon (preferably like the next day, lol) and not give myself time to work into a frenzy.