About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Hey, You! Spam Guy!

I (and every other blogger I know) have been getting a lot of email requests asking me advertise or repost things I do not care about or wish to endorse. I do not make any money off this blog - any endorsements I may make are strictly because I am personally pleased with the results.

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All spam received at my blog email is deleted without reading.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008


are just around the corner! Man, it's already been 12 weeks since I started nursing school. At the same time, it feels like way more than 12 weeks. Weird. It's a good feeling though because I'm still feeling really positive about my choices and about pretty much everything else.

Yesterday marked the two-week countdown until final exams start. I was studying hardcore all last week for my last Anatomy quiz, which was yesterday. It covered all kinds of things (as usual); this week's test was on the autonomic nervous system, the brain and cranial nerves, the spinal cord, and, um, the pelvic girdle. Seems a little illogical but whatev! It went really well I think, because it was only a few chapters the material was more manageable than the one before it. Plus, I started my new study plan of just sticking to the key concepts and I felt a lot more prepared.

So now a few of us are focusing on the Physiology final, which means I am back on material from the first week of September. It may has well as been last year because it's like I have never seen it before. Yikes!

This weekend I am helping out at a Christmas festival for children, in the "Hospital Room". I'm not exactly sure what will go on but basically kids get to play pretend in a hospital room, where we 'nurses' will help them hear their heartbeats, pretend to give them IV's, and put a little cast on their fingers that they can decorate with glitter and stuff. It sounds cute and kind of geared to helping kids become less afraid of hospital stays.

Other than that, I'm sorry for not posting more. I'm getting a little worn out between all the assignments. I'm really looking forward to the break!

Also, the nursing students' union has asked me to do some designs for buttons so I am thinking about that in between studying. Originally I approached them about doing some clothing designs because, honestly, their clothes are boring. But they don't think there's enough interest in clothing (gee, you think?) so they are having me do buttons instead. Still, it's a start!
Friday, November 21, 2008


Chief bylaw complaint of the day:

Somebody broke into my apartment and made their dog rape my dog! She's only 9 months old!

Response: comfort citizen who is hysterical over her immorality and ensuing canine abortion. Refer to police department.

Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just cuz, you know.

Overheard in class yesterday while discussing cell phone use while driving:

Girl A: "I think that the UK has legislation against it."

Girl B: "Yeah, but what about the western countries?"

Congratulations to you, mother country, on being relegated to the Far East!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

8,890 and counting

I've been alive for 8,890 days, give or take. Of these, I can think of probably 100 that stand out significantly.

Today, I can tack on another. Probably almost the best day of my life so far.

Here's the story.

You may recall how a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a paper for my Discipline of Nursing class on the topic of Nursing Education. It wasn't quite a real paper but it was a fleshed out skeleton - outline, summary of the article, introduction, first body paragraph, and conclusion.

Well, my teacher started talking about those today. She was just ranting about how sub-par some of our writing skills are. She had them all in a pile and talked about them for about 15 minutes while we sat in fidgeting in our chairs. 15 minutes, gah!

So anyway, the class average was pretty crappy. 65% or somesuch. There was a huge spread in marks from 48% to 97%. So now we're all feeling REALLY scared. Just hurry up and give us the papers back, lady!

Mine was on top so I got to leave first. I grab the paper with the smiley face and she's like, uh, that one's not yours. Bummer!

So I grab it and I go out side to look and OH MY GOD I GOT 97% ON MY PAPER - THE HIGHEST MARK IN THE SECTION

I was ecstatic. I was shaking. I was speechless, although you'd never know it now! I would never ever have guessed that I would get a mark like that. Might I add, she was not giving those marks away! Some kids failed!

So some of you may remember how I've sometimes waxed poetic about how nice it is to finally be considered an 'achiever' instead of an I'll-take-70% passive slacker. How much I feel like I've accomplished more in the last year than I've ever achieved in high school. Well, I've also said how I feel like the competitiveness of nursing school means that only smart kids get in. So therein lies the source of my giddyness. Of the 'smart kids', I got the highest mark. Me. Too-cool-to-attend-school me. Jeebus, this is a big moment.

Sorry if my enthusiasm is turning your stomach. It's hard to express how stoked I am. I'm actually more excited now than I was when I got accepted.

So anyway, I'll just re-emphasize that this course is my favorite of the semester and my teacher is just awesome (and I'm not just saying that because of today). She's really vibrant and intelligent and loves to teach, that much is clear. She pulled me aside after class and said approximately, "Yours was the last paper out of 80 that I read, and I was so excited that you got it that I had to go and show all the other teachers, and we were all like, 'woo hoo!'" She also thought that I had a 'writing gift*'. Man, I was so honored to hear that from her. Today was just the best day.

At least until clinicals, when I can start actually being a nurse :)

*Probably everyone who reads this blog is like "WTF, writing gift? Have you SEEN how this girl abuses a comma splice?" And for that, all I can say is meh! :P
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Am I dreaming?

Somehow I got 88% on the anatomy test that I could swear I failed. OMG.

Also 92% on English midterm that I crammed for 20 minutes before the test.

Horseshoes up my butt? Thinkin' so!
Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yay! My research paper-slash-critique on Euthanasia is finished. I'm pretty proud of it. You know when you hit the zone and you just can't type fast enough? That was me.

I hope it's ok. I didn't get a chance to show the prof, but hopefully I can do that bright and early tomorrow.
Thursday, November 13, 2008

Best week ever!

Because I haven't had class all week, except Monday morning. My school coupled Remembrance Day with 2 professional development days and I don't have class on Friday. Sweet!

What have I done with all this Spare Time, you ask?

Sweet monkey fingers, absolutely nothing. Well, close.

Sunday I power studied for Anatomy. Monday morning I had the test, and it was brutal. My mental tally was in free fall from 90%, down to 80%, down to 70%, down to dear-Lord-I-hope-I-pass. First page on the test was on shit I didn't even look at. There was just so much covered on the exam. It was everything from facial muscles and skull anatomy to lymphatic system to heart to carpals. It was nuts. The stuff I knew, I knew inside out, but the stuff I didn't know, I couldn't even guess. 

I, again, shall emphasize that my previous study system SUCKS and I am doing my best to correct it for the final, which is in 3 weeks, or something like that.

So here's hoping that the mark isn't too awful.

Side comment. I took this picture on Sunday, during my power anatomy study. Wouldn't it be weird if this cadaver pic was someone that a student knew? How weird would that be? Some of these cadavers seem recognizable, if you knew the person. Every time you go to study muscles, you see Uncle Joe who's got his larynx ripped out for your viewing pleasure. Super.

The rest of this week I hung out with my boyfriend who came home for the break, and promised myself I would use this time to catch up on stuff. Then inertia set in and I did a whole lot of sleeping. Sleeping's good, right? Like an investment in my future or something? Right?

Today I finally got my ass in gear and went to the University big library to power through my research paper. My topic is euthanasia, and there's plenty of information to go around. The obstacle I'm running into is writing a critique of someone else's essay written on euthanasia and backing up my point of view with other texts. Tricksy. Spent 4 hours today before work at the U, and barely got a summary done and a very, very, rough outline of my paper. Damn. I was hoping to have this done today. It's due Monday.

You might think I'm cutting it a little close by starting my paper a mere 4 days before it is due. For me, this is a huge improvement. I'm normally a night-before kind of girl. I'm proud of myself :)

I'm very excited that my assignments are (almost) over. I'm already planning a study schedule starting Monday to get ready for finals. Another huge improvement, starting almost a month ahead of time.

Honestly, I don't know how people can possibly study more than I'm doing and work at the same time. It just doesn't seem possible! I wish I could quit my job.

Word to future students: Work hard in high school, get a scholarship, and then laugh all the way to the bank.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cleaning up my sidebar

There are several blogs I subscribe to that haven't been updated in a l-o-o-ong time. So I am moving their links into this post and removing them from my sidebar. I'll link this post in the sidebar so they won't get lost. Just because they're old, doesn't mean they aren't worth reading!

Also some old ones I will leave in my sidebar because they are too good for retirement... I am a Nursing Student, this means you!


Juggling three part time "jobs" as a wife, mother and nurse. These are my stories as I attempt to juggle all 3 roles and maintain sanity.

stories from my career

I'm here to save your ass, not kiss it.

A Clinic RN and a Single Mom blogging through the depths of sanity. My life as I know it started with coffee and conversation in a smoky room. This is where I'm at now.

tales from the nurse anesthesia front, and some other yarns

Trials and Tales of ER and Informatics Mursing

"Fingers and tubes in every orifice" ... It is a tenet of critical care medicine that I learned years ago during my training in Emergency Medicine. It is also a reminder to be tenacious, thorough and leave no stone unturned. You'd be amazed at what can be discovered by a prying finger or an invasive tube.

A new grad in a Level 1 Trauma Center, welcome to America's nursing shortage. Read on to experience it with me.

I'm a nurse executive running a 120 bed skilled nursing facility. Our patients run the gamut from long term care, hospice, short term ortho and complex medical rehab, respite, psychiatric, and everything in between. Every day's an adventure!

"Lessons on life, love and nursing..."

"To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do. That is to be a nurse."

The vast majority of the things I do on a daily basis merely require opposable thumbs. But the sarcasm..... now that's a gift!

My adventures and misadventures through nursing school

Labor and Delivery nurse on the verge of something...

Warning: If you have no sense of humor or tend to take things way too personally, this blog is not for you. If that isn't clear enough for you, see the disclaimer.

The stories and experiences from a labor nurse as you never could have imagined. And other humors to enlighten and entertain.

Stories and helpful tips from a health professional

The ramblings of a male nurse mind, combined with a performance poet, and a little bit of crazy old man...
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Physiology mark

76%. Class average 64%. Not that great, but I'm stuck with it. I blame my all-encompassing study strategy... on the final, I will narrow my focus!
Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recap of this week

Because I haven't yet and I said I would. And because I read over my last post and probably everyone who visted today is wondering what the hell I was smoking. I should make a bumper sticker: "yes, you CAN be this tired!"

So on Sunday I was at the U until about 2200, and I came home and died until Monday morning. My Discipline class is the first one of the week and really interesting as usual, this week we talked about ethics. I love a good debate and there were many... i.e. ethical dilemmas, values, conflicts of interest. The best part of that class is how great my instructor is. She really loves to teach and she's really good at class management. Anytime we get off topic she smoothly brings the conversation back to the point, which I love.

After classes on Monday, I spent the rest of the evening cramming for Physiology.

Tuesday morning more of the same, and then I wrote the midterm at 1100. The questions that I knew, I knew very well, but the stuff I didn't know was awful. Specifically andrenergic and cholinergic receptors and their associated info... nicotinic, muscarinic, alpha, beta... WTF. So I was reasonably sure of 80% of the material and I made educated guesses on the rest (a careful deduction process by evaluating all of the answers, and picking the one that sounds most unlike the others)

I need to revise my revision strategies because I just don't have the time to study like I want to. Normally what I like to do is print off a copy of the slides to bring to class, write notes all over it, and then rewrite all of that into my notebook. Handwriting only, because after years at call centers, I have mastered the art of transcribing speech or notes onto the computer without really registering anything in my brain. Handwriting, I remember. So this strategy worked great for the last couple of years when the notes load wasn't so extreme. However, it's just not realistic anymore. By the time I finish rewriting all of the notes, I have a serious handcramp and I don't have time to actually study... hence my not knowing anything about cholinergic or andregenic receptors.

New plan. I am ONLY rewriting things that are on my "key concepts" list that the instructors hand out on the first day. This goes against my instincts since I like to know everything that was in the course but I think I'm going to have to start being more choosy about what I learn.

So, Wednesday afternoon while studying for Anatomy, I followed this strategy and it is working great. I actually remember where the sphenoid bone is. And what it looks like - yeah, sella turcica!

In regards to the presentation from last Thursday, the one on addiction that we got absolutely roasted for in the previously-unannounced critiquing part of the class, we got our mark back. 9/10! I'll take it. I was expecting way worse, from how the critique went.

We watched a bunch more presentations today (yes, I did go to class after all), and I brought an ice cream bar with me as comfort food because it is so frustrating. The instructor *gasp* changed her mind again: now we accentuate the positives and no more than 5 minutes giving feedback. Compared to my group's 15 minutes. I scanned the submitted feedback from the class: "maybe don't go so long", "no hands in pockets or GUM", "don't say 'um' so much", "maybe you should have handouts!". WTF, people, handouts? Are you going to pay for them? Alright, I'm biased, but everyone else's power points sucked ass in comparsion. Stretched clip art, 1000 fonts, not embedding media...

What I'm getting at here in an angry rant is that people made all kinds of great (ahem) comments on our presentation, but their presentations had the same problems if not more. One girl was so nervous I thought she might cry. 'Um' was the word of the day. I may have hand my hands in my pockets but at least I wasn't hiding behind the podium, you know? And I'm just pissed off about this whole thing because the point of the presentation was to MAKE A PRESENTATION ABOUT A HEALTH TOPIC. She didn't give a shit about our content after all our hard work. Her comments were made solely on our presentation skills. It was completely missing the point.

AND, here is my big point, she is fostering a completely negative attitude in the class. Instead of watching peoples' presentation and learning something about health issues, we are ignoring content and just staring at their flaws. Then she pinpoints someone and says "YOU: What could they improve on?" and all it does is make us pissed off at each other.

She is building the eat-your-young attitude. That is SO WRONG.

So I'm trying to formulate a scathing email to the dean but I can't seem to write coherently because I am so angry about it.

Anyway, quick change of topic, I also got my mark back on that awful paper I wrote for English. My strategy appears to be successful - I got one of the highest marks in the class and special mention! My nose is a whole new shade of brown. Also, I picked my English research topic. I'm going to write on euthanasia. If you have any good sources for further reading, let me know :)

I love this place

My bed, of course.

I am curled up with my laptop, reading everyone's blogs, and it's quarter past nine on a Thursday. I must say, my bed is hands-down my favorite place to be. We bought a bitchin' new mattress last January for a mere $900, and it is like sleeping on a big, awesome marshmallow.

So I've been thinking about how a mere year ago, I was just going through the painful early-acceptance rejection from my program and sticking it out so that I finished upgrading with top marks. I knew I was kicking ass in school but you never really know. You know?

That part was unpleasant, but I loved going to school each day and essentially redoing my high-school years. All throughout high school, I thought I just wasn't good at academia. No book smarts here. In fact, I had visions of being, like, the only kid in the world without a college education and somehow trying to spin that positively. There were a few people who tried to tell me to straighten up because I could do better, teachers and my parents and so, but my friends were all the same underachievers as me. We definitely know where the power lies for a teenage girl. So when I went back to upgrade high school courses, and the classes actually made sense to me, and I was motivated to take notes and study, and when I wrote an exam it was not how many questions could I fudge the answer to but how to fit my knowledge into the little box to write a short answer, that was probably one of my personal favorite moments. Not an achievement that would get me recognition by anyone else, but for me, very satisfying to shed that label of underachiever.

Anyway, yesterday I was studying Anatomy for 4 hours between classes. We have a test to write on Monday next week, and then because of Remembrance Day, we don't have classes for the rest of the week! Exciting. I really don't know where to start with homework. Since I'm done almost all of my assignments, I guess I'll get myself started on revising for finals.

The test is kind of intense, just in the scope of the information to cover. There's a lot. Axial skeleton, bones of the skull and vertebrae, upper body muscles, facial muscles, blood vessels and nerves, fetal circulation, the heart, lymphatic system, etc. and so forth. I bought a coloring book to help me study and it's been a big help. Yesterday I focused on bones of the skull and it makes it easier to remember where the crista galli is, when you have to find it and color it in.

Sorry if this post is kinda incoherent... I'm still in la-la land. Need to get up in 30 minutes-ish and accomplish something before my Foundations class this afternoon. If I go. There'll be more presentations to day and that professor makes me want to jab highlighters through my eyes out of frustration.
Sunday, November 2, 2008

This message is brought to you by the letters G, B, and E

Grouchy, brain-dead, and exhausted, that is. E may also stand for enthusiastic, because even though I'm all of these things, I still love the fact that I'm in nursing school.

I don't have any more assignments due this semester, which adds to the sense of ahhhhh-relief.
Well, there is a research paper for English, but that's on a topic of my choice and not due for a couple more weeks so it's completely off my radar. I'm pretty lucky in that my group had to go first for both presentations. Some people don't present for another month. I'm glad there's not really anything left on my plate except studying for exams.

Speaking of exams, I have a Physiology midterm on Tuesday that I have spent the past 6 hours studying for. A lot of it is rehashed senior biology, i.e. special senses. Every day I'm in that class I feel deeper gratitude for my high school biology teacher from a year ago. Everything he taught me has stuck like glue, so I'm really confident this year. I'm probably going to send him an e-mail saying how awesome he is. Maybe. If I get around to it... :)

It seems that the only way I can seriously study is if I'm completely removed from distractions. Today, my boyfriend and I went to the big library at the university and brought a picnic, and we've been here since 14:30. I'm not leaving until 21:30, and I've accomplished a lot! I'm only taking a break now because my hand hurts from writing. 

Anyway, sorry for the short post, but I should probably get back to studying. You shall hear more from me later this week, once I am all caught up on sleep, readings, and studying! A small point of interest, the fantastic Sue Johanson (warning: NSFW!), RN, senior citizen, talk show host, and all-around sexpert is hosting lectures this week. I'm so excited. I grew up secretly listening to the Sunday Night Sex Show after bedtime when I was 10 through 13.

Here's a little glimpse of my evening so far (sorry about the reverse image... gotta love Photo Booth):