Month: June 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

1st day of work

I spent my first day as an RN watching saftey videos and completing
worksheets. It's kind of weird being part of a huge corporation. So
many orientation materials and check offs and training sheets.

I'm finishing this post on my second day. Much more interesting now.
Learning all about kidneys, like you might expect. Not as much A&P as
I'd like, I might fill in with my own study. This afternoon il learn
how to set up he machines. It's great to be employed.

Day of Making

I made a few things today.

This is a sweater I’ve been working on for a week or so. I started the first sleeve today. It’s so weird knitting a sleeve. It felt like I was building a disembodied arm.

Here’s the first skirt from my stash. I got the cotton print at Joanns, the orange trim was from Ikea. It only took 30 minutes! The selvage edge saves the time of sewing a hem; the waist is just elastic. I was inspired by the instructions on this site.

Then for dinner we had boxed mac and cheese with hot dogs. Because I’m awesome like that.

It’s official

15 days later I was listed as a registered nurse with the state board! Finally. I called my future employment and they said to come in tomorrow to complete paperwork, and to plan on starting my orientation on Monday. Woot!

Jem is at daycare so I have a quiet, calm house. There’s a storm blowing in, like most afternoons this spring and summer. I love them. I hate summer and its heat. The afternoon rain cools down the house and keeps my garden lush. I’ve been crafting a lot in my downtime, reading, and watching old TV series on Hulu. I picked up some fabric from Fancy Tiger yesterday and from Joann’s this morning with visions of swishy skirts. I met Ben for lunch today. It’s nice to break up the work day by having lunch out with family. We’ve done a few times since I’ve been out of school. I hope once I start working we can still do it on my days off.


I posted photos from my Grand Junction getaway on flickr. Here are a few of my favorite photos.

The drive to GJ is gorgeous.

Mom’s garden gets more lush and beautiful every year.

Dad tapes Mom making the dough for our grilled pizza.

Grandma sorts through her art history files for Amanda’s Humanities class.

Reading in a hot tub under the country night sky.

Giving Natasha lots of attention.

Driving back to Denver.

Linoleum with New Anti-Pee Soak capabilities!

One reason I was looking forward to this downtime between NCLEX and job was to take care of a little project. I was sick of the upstairs smelling like a cat box. Molly had peed all around her litter box in the closet. It grosses me out knowing that I can’t ever get the carpet clean enough. (BTW, I want to poke needles in all the house designers who put carpet where the dining table goes. ARGH!)

I got it in my head that I should replace the closet carpet with linoleum. Brian had done his bathroom earlier this month and inspired me. With his help I now have a beautiful, wipe-able floor!

Oh noes! Under the carpet is icky linoleum! After chipping away with hardly any progress except bloodying my knuckles I looked on the internet. A little surfing found a nifty way to steam them off using a wet rag and an iron. Sure, it still took a while, but with a lot less grunting.

Next I laid down new floor boards. I suck at hammering. This took all of the next morning to puzzle together and nail in place.

Laying out the tile, the only fun part of this renovation.

Ta da! A spacious, clean closet. The project had the bonus benefit of forcing me to throw out a lot of junk that had accumulated in there. Now I had room for all my nursing books and crafts.

The skinny on my new career

I have to take a moment to thank all my readers for your thoughts and congratulations! I have the nicest friends. It was nice having some time to breathe this week. I feel like school is finally done and I can switch my lifestyle from student to employee.

My job at SDC (small dialysis company) is as solid as can be without peeing in a cup. We’re still waiting on my official license, but they’re sending me things I can fill out and work on in the meantime. In case you haven’t waded through my recent, vague posts about my job, here’s the facts:

  • I wanted to specialize and get off a hospital floor asap
  • When I had a rotation at this hospital (let’s call it BH for big hospital), I loved the building and location but didn’t like the work atmosphere. I wished I could work there but not for BH. Well, that’s what this job is!
  • I will be an acute care dialysis nurse working at BH on our unit with an unbelievable city view, and down in their ICU.
  • I will work daytime 12 hour shifts. Three a week.
  • Once I’m trained, I’ll be on call for one night per week and one weekend every month or so.
  • They have a thorough 10 week training and orientation.
  • The starting pay is about 20% more than the average new grad salary. They already approved my pay increase after I’m done with orientation.
  • They really truly want me. I didn’t have to “prove” myself.
  • They’re already talking about my growth in the company, saying I would be an excellent charge nurse, that I’m “apheresis material,” and eventually could move into managment.
  • It’s a small company. I do well in small companies, where everyone knows everyone.

So what’s not to like? Seriously, this job is perfect in so many ways. They were a little nervous that I was just grasping at any job opportunity. Smart of them to watch out for that. I went into nursing thinking there were a lot of jobs. I was told that 90% of regis grads get a job offer during their practicum to work there. In my class 2 out of 54 students got a job at their practicum. I hear that 188 nurses applied to 8 openings for new grads at St. Joe’s. It’s tough this year. But I wouldn’t take a job that I didn’t really want to do. I hope I can make a home for myself at SDC.

Oh, one thing I wanted to journal about before I forget this transition period is how grateful I am for the NCLEX studying I did. I might have passed without doing the daily hours of studying, my test scores predicted it. But going over all of what we covered in school coalesced all that knowledge into a useful form. All the bits and pieces gelled. I was able to look at how much I had learned in one year and say to myself “You know this stuff. See? You’re a nurse now.” It was worth the time just to gain that confidence and sense of accomplishment.


The most nerve-wracking credit card information entering experience you can ever have. I’m so so happy to see a good result (though I wish it gave more performance details). I guess I can finally say with confidence I’M A NURSE!

I hope that was the one and only time.

The NCLEX was just as bad as I expected. Like my classmates and previous grads have said, you can’t help but think you failed and want to throw up and cry right afterwards. To sum up, I got 75 questions – the minimum you can get. That means the computer quickly decided wtih 95% certainty that I either passed or failed. I don’t *think* I bombed it. Some of the questions I definitely knew the answer to. But the vast majority were a total toss up between 2 good options. And there were a smattering where I had no idea and no technique to help me, so I just guessed. I think the test was harder than the practice tests Kaplan provide. I’m choosing to interpret that to mean that I was doing well, because for every question you get right, they give you a harder question. So maybe I was performing in the upper range.

GArblaMAALAMALA. blerg.

I wish I had my results.

I’m in GJ, visiting my folks. My plan is to unwind with Tivo, knitting, and a hot tub. Here’s hoping it works.

Blueberry Pie

Spring has been rainy in Colorado. This allows me to indulge in baking so long as the house is cool. The other day I was debating between pretzels or cookies when I found 2 pound blueberry packs on sale. Decision made. (I made pretzels today instead, and they are delicious).

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