Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Apollo Pony

Check out this fun collection of videos at http://www.apollopony.net from the folks over at Rocketboom! Great stuff. Rocketboom totally rules- it gets better every day. By the way, if you are into checking out the video blogs, (try it you'll love it) also try out the great new video agregator FireANT. At some point I hope to add video content to my blog but I am figuring out some issues with my camera and video editing software. Translation: I completely do not know what I am doing but am working it out slowly but surely. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Becoming A Nurse - Taking the First Steps

I noticed that one of the folks visiting this blog got here by asking the question "Where do I get information on becoming a nurse". Good question. I am sure not that much insight was found here. Since the title of my blog is "Becoming a Nurse", it seems reasonable that the question of how to get started in Nursing be discussed. Here is my experience.

I started thinking about becoming a nurse three years before I did anything about it. It started when there were a series of illnesses in my family. I spent a lot of time in doctor's offices and hospitals, interacting with doctors and nurses. I took care of my father and later my uncle. My dad has recovered from cancer twice. Primary CNS Lymphoma(97) and later prostate cancer (1999). My uncle, on the other hand, ended up dying of his brain tumor in January of 2000. At that time, I had been working in Information Technology for about 15 years, was working for a large bank, and I was already interested in changing careers. I wanted a career where I could make a difference to real people. I had looked into teaching but the more time I spent observing nurses in the hospital and through hospice, the more that looked like exactly what I wanted to do.

When I first started telling people I wanted to become a nurse, the response was almost universally and resoundingly negative. My husband hated the idea. Close friends told me I was crazy. I started researching it anyway. I live in NYC. I already have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA. So for me, I needed a program that would give me credit for some of my existing education. I found two local programs that I found interesting. One was the Entry to Practice (ETP) at Columbia University. If you have the required prerequisites, this program can be completed in a year. The other was the Combined Degree Program (CDP) program at PACE University's Lienhard School of Nursing. This program can be done in one or two years . The program I ended up choosing is the two year option of the CDP at Pace that allows you to take the prerequisites (Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, and Microbiology for me) as part of the program. There are similar programs available at schools all over the country.

I did not apply right away. The negative feedback I was getting from family and friends caused me to wait about two more years. I kept thinking about it, though. I was working very hard and very stressed out at my big bank IT job. Finally, in late 2003, I decided to complete the application, get my transcripts and a couple of recommendations together and send it in. I figured I just had to know whether I could even get accepted. I could always decide not to go later. I just had to know if it was even a possibility. Many months went by. Around June of 2004, I called home from work and my husband said, "Oh, you got a package from Pace University". Me: "Well OPEN it!" It was my acceptance letter plus a bunch of other material. At that instant I knew for certain I had to go. That September, I went to part time on my job and started attending school. I am now in my third semester and looking forward to starting my clinicals in September and graduating next August. SO far I have never regretted my decision.

Once I actually was accepted into a program and made it clear I was going, most everybody changed their tune. My husband has been very supportive, despite his reservations. People at work have been incredibly supportive. Some people have confessed that they would love to change careers and admire what I am doing.

I guess what I would most like to encourage anyone interested in becoming a nurse to do is to just take that first step. Find some programs in your area. Go to an information session. Talk to some nurses. Send in an application. You can always change your mind. You will never know if you don't try...

Go for it.

Here are some links to help you start:

American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, Schools of Nursing

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Grades are in

It's official. A in Pharmacology, A in Nutrition, and a B in Anatomy and Physiology. I am pretty happy with that. So far all my nursing courses have been an A. After taking an early morning spin class, I went to campus and picked up my books for my Summer Session I class. Damn, but they are expensive! $219 for two books, a notebook, and a lab coat. And one book was used! Yikes. But I started reading the book a little on the train home and it looks great. I am getting psyched for this class. Microbiology here I come!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Nursing Blog Links

Well, I guess I have been doing more surfing than blogging. Anyway I found some great blogs out there of other student nurses and nurses. There is actually a NurseBlog community. How cool. Here are a couple I particularly like:

The Student Nurse - Another NYC Nursing student! Yay! Great clinical stories.
Student Nurse - (CA) A California nursing student with a great sense of humor and writing style. More great clinical stories.
Mediblogopathy - Wow. Links, links, and more links (51 at this point) to lots of nurse blogs! Excellent stories and pics.
Third Degree Nurse - "Midlife crisis to a Higher Calling? Mature, nontraditional student going for her third degree, this time, as an RN." Sounds familiar! Beautiful Pics. More great stories.
Death Maiden - Excellent blog by a hospice nurse. This is a field I am very interested in so it's extra cool to see someone writing on it. Excellent spirituality, hospice, grieving and of course more nurse blog links.
WebDoken Logg - Zen Buddhist ICU Nurse.

Well, I am psyched to see all the kindred spirits out there! Happy surfing, dudes and dudettes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Way too long without blogging....

What a semester! Pretty sure I got an A in Nutrition and Pharmacology. I am not too sure about Anatomy and Physiology. It was tough but it's over. I worked very hard this semester. I guess that is why I did not blog very much. I have made progress in other areas, too. I have lost about 23 pounds. I have made a promise to myself to always take time for myself, no matter how busy. For the last 8 weeks I have been able to keep a commitment of going to the gym a minimum of twice a week. So far, so good. I find it helps me with my insommnia and I actually do better in school even if I am very stressed. My goal for the fall is not going to be a particular weight or dress size, simply that to continue to keep the commitment of giving myself the time and care. Of course I would love to be a smaller size, though.... I guess that's human nature. So today I went to the gym and then had a fabulous spa manicure and pedicure at Creative Hear Spa (326 9th St, Brookly, NY 11215). They did a great job and the price was very reasonable($30). On May 31 I start my next class, Microbiology. I am told it is a bear. I am looking forward to it though!