- 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!
- about me (18)
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Until September, or random points in between, I bid you adieu. In the meantime, I'm hoping to work in Banff for a horseback mountain guide position. Should be good!
I am happy that you finally reached a technical support rep who speaks - how did you put it? - "American". I'm even happier that I was able to fix your ancient computer's innernet connection and get you back onto your AOLs. I know that missing out on a long night of internet poker games would have been really detrimental to your customer experience. You might even have asked to speak to my manager had I not come to a quick resolution with the teeny bits of fragmented troubleshooting you let me do! Lucky me.
Lucky you, my company has recently instated a policy which allows you the benefit of contacting me directly via my company e-mail at any time you should so desire. Even better, this e-mail contains both my first and last names so that you know exactly who I am.
However, this is not an opportunity for you to use my name to harrass me on Facebook or Myspace in hopes of developing a relationship (or whatever it is you are trying to accomplish!). In what dimension is it socially acceptable for you to e-mail me a picture of me and my dad? My involvement in your life ended when you hung up the phone. That is all.
*looks wistfully at calendar*
Only 6 months and 18 days until I can get a non-responsible, school-supplemental, menial job at a grocery store or something.
I hope I can make it.
She provided lots of cool tidbits about how to cope with nursing school. Later I will groom through it and pick out some the highlights.
Yeah Katie! You made my day.
Note: The work reprimand was nothing major. They decided to close my entire job site last week so we are all soon to be laid off. It's funny to get reprimanded by someone who is just as screwed a month from now as I am. Funny in a passive-aggressive, sad kind of way...
It got me thinking. I want to provide honest opinions and feedback - isn't that the point of blogging? So I went through my last 2 posts to remove any identifying details. I'd hate to provide feedback on my instructors and then have that bite me in the GPA. I now attend Generic School, in Anywhere, Canada.
Pick your school
I don't have a lot of insight for you on this one. Some provinces are smart, like BC, where you have only one admissions portal for all the different schools. Alberta is not. Most students looking to get into a difficult program simply apply to all of them - but that can be expensive. The universities both charged me $100 to apply, and all the other colleges were in the $50 range. I ended up applying to both universities and three different colleges. There are a lot more places to go in this province, but I ran out of application money. University transfers also don't appeal to me, as I'd prefer to stay in one spot for the full 4 years. In general, smaller class sizes and getting bedside experience as soon as possible were what influenced my picks. Practical experience is what appealed to me most, and I'm really happy that I got an early acceptance there. I probably won't bother finishing my applications to the other schools, since that will cost me approximately $100 in transcripts alone. This, dear reader, is the fatal flaw in having every school for itself. One student puts out 5 applications, 4 of which are never completed. I really hope the CNA's position regarding coordination of nationwide nursing school applications eventually comes into reality.
The application process
First step: apply early. By early, I mean that if your school opens applications 11 months before the program begins, have your application completed and submitted by 10. It can play an important role in determining whether you get accepted or not.
Not all schools run the same admissions strategy - some admit students as soon as they reach the minimum competitive average set for the year (this year, 80%). If there's a tie for a seat, priority goes to the student who applied earlier. In effect, this means that if there's me with an 83% average, and a brainiac with a 98% average who applied later than I did, and we are both being considered for the same spot in the program, preference goes to me because I applied first. Too bad, brainiac. I like this model because it makes the program more accessible. Academics aren't everything.
The other model is how most universities operate - based solely on GPA. So, if you put my score against the 98% score, regardless of when we applied, the higher score gets in.
Get your marks in, the sooner the better. The sooner you become admissible (in the first scenario, anyway) the better your chances of securing a seat.
Depending on your high school marks, you may be eligible for early conditional acceptance. Generally, they are looking to see how your marks are trending. If you get great marks in your junior-level courses or on half-completed senior-levels, you might be considered for early acceptance. Apply while you are still in high school, if you can. It all hinges on your continued performance though, so don't slack off just because you might be in.
Sit and wait
Ahh, the waiting game. Most post-secondary institutions have a web portal where you can track the status of your application. I checked mine obsessively for 2 months. I then somehow forgot about it until, I shit you not, a prophetic dream prompted me to sign in after Christmas. That's when I found out I was accepted.
I've never gotten as much mail as I do as a student applicant. I get forms, documents, updates, and spam from all the different schools I applied to. I'll focus on the one I got accepted into. I first got an application package about a week or two after I applied. It had a lot of information about the application process and what to expect. I've read it about 5,000 times so far. I'm pretty sure I can quote it verbatim. Probably you won't read it as many times as I have, but definitely become familiar with it, as I found the information was not perfectly organized and found some "due dates" I otherwise wouldn't have known about.
My next letter was one notifying me that I was ineligible for Early Conditional Acceptance. That was no surprise to me as I was still in the process of upgrading my marks at the time. Even still, it was a bummer to see it all spelled out like that. Again.
My final grades for my first semester of upgrading were posted in mid-December. My acceptance letter came just after New Years, indicating the terms of my conditional acceptance. It goes like this (edited for repetition):
- Submit an official high school transcript.
- An acceptable Immunization Record is to be submitted directly to the Nursing Program.
- A completed Health Record that must be completed by a physician.
- Current Health Care Provider Level C CPR certification and first aid; must be Heart and Stroke Foundation approved.
- Submit a current security clearance.
Your acceptance will become final once all conditions are cleared. If the requirements above are not met by the specified dates, your conditional acceptance may be withdrawn. You will not receive a final acceptance letter, but you can track the status of your application by going to our website
That $200 was no joke, as the letter was dated December 22 and I didn't receive it until January 11th.
The other stuff
As you saw outlined in my letter, I have a pile of things to accomplish in the next few months. I made an appointment with the regional health authority, where I am going to get my immunizations looked after, for March 11th. The pamphlet says I can be no earlier than 6 months before the start of the program, so I have to wait until after March 1st. I thought I had patience, but... sigh.
I need to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hep B, and varicella. I also need to get a TB/Mantoux skin test done, whatever that is. Good thing I don't mind needles, but if I did, I expect I'd have to get over that in a hurry or reconsider my intended occupation!
I also had to go back to my hometown last week to get my doctor to fill in this bogus "fitness" test form. The form basically asks the doc whether they believe I am physically and mentally stable enough to participate in the program. I was in the office for 3 minutes and she hadn't seen me for years. Maybe the school wants to make sure I'm not wheelchair bound or on meds for multiple psychoses. I don't see what other purpose that form might have served.