Plan of Care

navigating through nursing school

Monthly Archives: December 2010

and grades are in

N.B.: The names and organization of my classes have the potentiality of outing my identity, here, because I’m not sure what other programs run like ours. If you figure out which school I go to please don’t tell anyone or think anything of it!

Well, the semester ended back on the 22nd with my make-up clinical and then I proceeded to wait approximately forever to actually receive my grades. (“Approximately forever” = “a week,” but I felt like I was the last person of anyone I knew still in school who hadn’t gotten grades – well, of people at other schools, anyway! People in my program had to wait just as long.)

The good news is unlike quite a few other people (which is normal), I get to stay in the program, having worked myself to the bone to save grades that were low in the beginning of the semester from staying low. I still wasn’t sure if I’d actually manage to pass everything, despite trying – I wasn’t ever sure until I actually got my grades. Starting out nursing school recovering from a summer where I was seriously ill didn’t go too well. My initial microbiology test grades, for instance, were a 50 and a 58. Once I started to feel fully like myself and really work at it, combined with getting the right help in the right places, I got two 94s and an 81 on the final. This combined with lab grades left me with a frustrating 79 as a final grade. She gave me a C, of course, because while I could hope, improvement over a semester isn’t really grounds for rounding up an entire point.

Anatomy & Physiology I was where I was totally in the dark. My lab grades were pretty bad, largely because of issues with hand tremor that have, thankfully, also been resolved. (My medication for it was wearing off just as the lab started, and nobody ever noticed the tremor because when it came to things like giving injections in clinicals, my hands moved smoothly and without any problems. I knew it was there but wasn’t aware of how much it had an effect on what I was doing.) My final exam grade was a 93. My exam-exam grades were all over the 70 and 80 spectrum, and we had an abstract-writing (as opposed to abstract writing) assignment that I got a 25/25 on that of course I couldn’t recall the actual grade computation value of.

Turned out the final and the lab grade canceled each other out, leaving me with a C. I never got the actual number.

Nursing I? Nursing I was a headache and a half, because I was doing fantastically well with the exception of one exam. And then I was sick for a quiz. Boyfriend called me in, which I was never even aware of due to the fact that I had a migraine and had just never really made it out of bed – I don’t actually remember that morning at all, so I didn’t know he’d called me in. I only figured out after he must have, because I went to check postings to see if I was eligible for a makeup.

My name was on the list, but of course by the time I thought to look, the quiz makeup had already passed. So my comfortable B (which had even been a comfortable A until that one exam!) vanished, becoming an uncertain B instead.

And the final was absolutely horrid. I had real trouble with the final, and I still don’t know why. There were a lot of questions I found hard to understand despite having done NCLEX questions to prepare. Part of the problem was likely tiredness and nerves; my microbiology final, which I had to get a B on to pass the course, was immediately after. I had ten minutes between tests.

I got a C on that final. But it was enough, leaving me with a B in the class – a B I barely scraped by, but a B nonetheless.

Now, issues with my previous program screwing things up and refusing to fix them (I have documentation of how many times I asked them to fix this problem, and none of my emails or phone calls were even responded to let alone handled) my previously-good GPA tanked over the summer, and this semester did not really bring it up. I think it maybe brought it down a little bit, and I need it higher to actually be a candidate for BSN programs. I’ve heard admissions looks at the difficulty of the courses and the school you went to for your ADN and not just raw GPA and the fact you passed the NCLEX (I don’t know if they look at NCLEX scores) but I can’t be sure of that. I have enough problems figuring out how to get in all the electives the BSN programs want you to have!

So who knows what’s going to happen with that, but that’s a year and a half away, and while I obviously need to think some about pre-reqs because of all the additional electives, clearly my actual focus point has to be on passing what’s required for my degree and passing the NCLEX. I’d just rather not have to stay in school longer to take additional electives when I’ve already gotten my ADN; it seems like a pain and I think the nonmatriculated course prices are higher.

But I’ve only got three semesters and 1 summer left, and in that summer I’m having maxilofacial surgery so I don’t know how much of it will be left for school! Hopefully it all works out. Right now I’ve got about five days to enjoy winter break before I’ve got to have a bunch of dental work done, and that’s worrisome enough.

it’s almost over!

Quick update: I have managed to pull my disastrous grade up at the last minute, after today’s exam. (I actually had two exams today; now I’m finally done with hourly lecture exams and only have the four finals and two clinical shifts left to go.) I am very, very tired. I hope that I’ll ever get the ability to recount events from my first semester again.

Part of how I haven’t been blogging enough, though, is that I also haven’t been reading enough. I never feel inspired to share when I’m not looking at the things other people are sharing. Little minutiae? I have Dreamwidth, Livejournal and Tumblr accounts for that in addition to Twitter. Thinking about having my nursing-related tweets actually ported in as entries, but I think that drives a lot of people crazy (I know it does on the sites where I do my more personal, semi-private writing; I’m one of the people who doesn’t like it because it feels largely like it’s all half an IM conversation) … not sure if it would drive people crazy when all the tweets were 100% related to blog content: moments relating to school or nursing-related links. I do a lot of “I liked this article on nursinglink or scrubsmag or medscape or something like that” tweeting.

This paragraph is running away with me. The point is now that I’ve done two major exams in one day and gotten 90s on both of them, I’m treating myself to a tiny break and just … reading other blogs. I’ve already come across a post I can’t resist linking:

you’re a bad, bad nurse, on when nurses call in sick.

Not that I can think of anything intelligent to say on it, because I’m tired. But it’s a good post. I agree with everything in it.

And now I should probably do a little bit more reading and then go to bed, because I’ve got to get up at 5am to get to clinical tomorrow on time. In the snow. Without my GPS for the first time (I still get lost too easily trying to find this hospital; it is not close by). Who hates winter? That’s right. Me.