Saturday, March 10, 2018

Why I chose the part time route for nursing school

I should preface this post but apologizing ten fold. Life has been busy and literally, this blog is the last thing on my mind at times. Sometimes, if I am walking to my car or doing something mindless, I think about coming here and uploading new content but then I inevitably brush it off. In any case, I will try, once again, to get this blog back on track.

This post is an explanation on why I chose the pt route for school. For me, the ft program was not an option as I am not a conventional student. Yes, I do not have kids or a partner etc., but I do need to work. Every time I think about quitting my job and getting a part time gig instead, my panic buttons go off. How can I do that when I still have insurance, car expenses, books, tuition, rent etc., to pay for? So, I keep doing what I need to do. I have opted to take the bus as an option but my school is in Toronto, and I live outside of that city and the cost of transit is just as much as gas and insurance. Plus, the time public transit takes would eat a lot into my precious study and sleep allowance.

If I had a choice, I would have up and left my job a long time ago. It is a well paid, enjoyable at times, job. I am grateful for the benefits and being on salary but I really wish I could leave it just to finish my schooling. On average, I take three courses per semester but ideally, I would have liked to get up to five. Currently, I cannot afford to take more due to the rigors of intense classes, trying to keep a high GPA (so I can be accepted in the BScN program) and a very demanding job.

As mentioned, my job is extremely demanding. I work an obscene amount of hours per week, even going in on weekends, when need be. The company is prosperous (for which I am again, very grateful) but it does cause me high amounts of anxiety. I want to take at least four courses per semester, but when I think about my work obligations and how it will effect my marks, I get skittish.

At the end of the day, working ft and going to school pt, is the only option for me. Things may change in my life but not for the foreseeable future. And, that is why I am going to school part time.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Update coming soon....

I cannot believe I have not updated this blog since September 2016. For shame.

I have so much to update on and all good. I am currently in nursing school (yes, it is tough). Semester one complete and in the midst of the 2nd.

I promise an update in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Upgrading final marks and what now?

I completed my upgrading program about three weeks ago to success. My final marks are as follows:

- Biology 100%
- Chemistry 98%
- Math - 93%

So, my marks were all submitted to OCAS and the school that I applied to, administrations department had received them. I was successful in getting a seat in the full time program! Success.

In the meantime though, while completing my math course, I came across an article on Allnurses about my school offering the nursing program on a part time basis. I believe I had heard about it before but never thought about it at all. However, I started to think about it and looked into the program due to some changes that took place all in the last month of my life.

An important thing that took place is that I was offered and accepted a new job. It is not in health care and is actually in the current field I am trying to break out of but there was a reason why I took the job. At my current place of work (which I actually leave tomorrow), as a part time worker, I do not have access to full on benefits or company RSP contributions. We all know how important it is to save for the future and this was just a perk of the job that I no longer enjoyed. As an adult, health care benefits is incredibly important. This new job has afforded me health insurance, a retirement savings program and also the ability to start and finish early daily. Plus, a different environment.

I did not really have a problem, per se, with my current job but things are very strained here. A lot of people have been let go in the last few months and due to my status, I did not think my position was very secure. Not that my new position will be secure because, really, there is no job security these days. However, change is good.

So back to the part time program. I applied and am waiting for a reply on if I am accepted or not. I do think I have a very good change but I will see. I should know latest tomorrow. If I do get in, my plan is to take 2 course this semester while working full time. I have a firm plan in place for this program but I will talk about that more in my next post. In the meantime, I am waiting here for an update on acceptance to the part time PRN program. Update on that shortly.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A bit about the person behind the blog

A few things about me -

  • A goal of mine is to attain a Biology Degree for no other reason than for myself
  • I love to read
  • Favorite romantic movie is The Notebook
  • Movies where things are being blown up are my favorite
  • Have a burning passion for horror movies
  • Seen as many horror movies in the theatre as I can
  • Hate clothes shopping
  • Makeup is my life
  • I am addicted to shopping for makeup
  • My Youtube subscriptions are made up of 98% makeup gurus
  • I once dreamed of an eye shadow palette that I could not afford for five nights straight. I eventually went back to get it and have felt nothing but happiness since then
  • Until recently, I had not watched TV for about two year
  • My new TV love is The Walking Dead
  • The Walking Dead is the only show I currently watch
  • Michonne from TWD is my bae
  • I would rather work out for the rest of my life than be on a diet
  • I was vegan, currently vegetarian but transitioning to a vegan diet
  • I love breakfast for dinner
  • I hate noise
  • I love candle light
  • I am passionate about the empowerment of girls
  • I used to run an online magazine to empower girls in my city
  • Site is now debunked but once I am finished school, I will reopen
  • I want to own my own business (through my girls website)
  • I am easily bored
  • My favorite time of day is early morning with sun shining on my face
  • I am not fond of nosey people
  • I am a classic introvert
  • I love the ideas of parties but clam up around a lot of people
  • Having children is not something I ever want. Ever
  • I hate romantic song and gestures - cringe worthy to me
  • I am forever single and prefer my life this way
  • I am a loud laugher
  • I like all white rooms with pops of loud color
  • Music blasting in my car is imperative but quiet in my house

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Upgrading Experience

In my last post, I promised I would do a write up on my experience in the upgrading program thus far, so here we go. Initially, I had no idea this type of program even existed. When I was unsuccessful in my attempt to get into nursing school the first time, I moped around for about two weeks and then got back on the horse. I knew what I wanted and had to make it happen.

I found out about the program through the schools (that I am currently taking it at) program advisor. In almost all correspondence, she kept telling me to look into upgrading. I was of the mind that it would be an inconvenience and since I had to work, I would rather take my upgrades at night. When I finally took her advise, I realized that it might be a viable option. Now, for me, my boss has been very nice and let me take off in the middle of the day to attend class. This might not be allowable for everyone. I do make up my time so that means I work a lot of after hours and hardly ever take lunch. It is worth it though. The beauty of the program is that it is free. Each of the courses offered by colleges overall, if you take it outside of the program, is around $350.00 each. So, that is a major saving.

So far, the courses are really interesting and good. In comparison to taking the pre-health program (which is university bound), the upgrading courses are almost a cake walk. Almost. It is full and the course material is extensive but in comparison, pre health is a lot more intense. To compare and contrast, pre health went extremely deep, to a micro level, on body systems. Upgrading did also but not as deep.

My school's upgrading program is a highly run, smooth machine. When it was time to send our grades to OCAS, they did it within a few days and the applicant schools had received them quickly. It was all run pretty smooth. The only fly in the ointment for me is that the classes are run in the day. That is a huge turn off for me and was upsetting. I personally have to work so taking the time off when needed and rearranging my life to accommodate this was a struggle. Now that I am close to completely it, I would still say that if you have to work during the day, this program is a bit cumbersome.

Overall, I would recommend the program due to a few things. One, it's free. Two, the subject matter is interesting and accepted by all colleges in Ontario (at least). Three, it gives you what you need and nothing else (ie, no fluff). Four, the books are free as well. Five, the material is intense but doable. Downsides? One, I would have to say the time of day it is offered. Two, the online courses are not available for each class and three, most in-class courses run anywhere from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Not very handy if you have to work. Overall, I would recommend this any person out of high school at least 7 to 10 years and needing a career change or returning to school for whatever reason. Just be prepared to work.

If you need more information on this program, please leave me a comment below.

Monday, June 13, 2016

On how I faired last semester

I finished my last semester about 8 or 9 weeks ago to some great results. I am currently completing the last math that I need and that will be that in terms of upgrading. I have to admit that I cannot wait until the end of August when this will all be done. I am so looking forward to being done. I hope to take a mini weekend vacation in September and enjoy a few months off.

Eight or 9 weeks ago, I was busy studying for my finals. I was super busy and enjoyed as well as dreaded this time. I had two exams in one week and another the week before. My study methods were pretty simple. I created study notes for all classes and reviewed, reviewed, reviewed. Cramming is not for me so I could not do that. I was a nervous mess for all exams but in the end, I performed pretty good.

The final marks were posted with two days of the exams being taken so less stress for people like me who like to know how they did pretty much right away. My final marks were as follows.

Chemistry - 98%
Biology - 100%
Math 1 - 96%

Not too bad. The biology I was pleasantly happy about this (to be fair, I have always excelled in this course because I love the subject matter). I walked into the exam pretty confident but when I sat down, I got super nervous. I will say that chemistry exceeded my expectations. I have never enjoyed or liked the subject. Ever. I am not a technical person and find chemistry extremely boring. Or I should say, I just don't care enough. Even though I struggled in that class to keep the motivation up, sometimes it was lagging. I always had to force myself to really keep determined in this class but overall, I did pretty well. And, I am proud of my marks.

In terms of nursing school options, I made my choice and will be attending January 2017 (only to save money and my sanity). Fortunately, I was accepted to all schools (conditional on this math I am taking right now). I decided to make an informed decision based on the schools themselves. I took a drive to all the campuses and liked one of them the best. One was about 30 minutes away from my house but I did not like the drive. There is a large hill/mountain that straight out scares me. I do not fancy driving up and down that mountain in the middle of winter. And, if anyone knows about winters in Eastern Ontario, they understand where I am coming from. If I had no choice, I would of course made the daily drive. But, I decided to check out the another school. Now school two was my initial first choice but the location of my preferred campus was just too far away. But, because the nursing is so large, they offer the program on three campuses. I visited the other campus of choice for school two, and really liked it. It is an "unconventional" campus but the school is still the same. I was in real like. I gave myself a bit of a tour and saw the nursing simulation lab, the study rooms, the computer rooms, class rooms etc. Everything looks pretty good. The campus is very intimate which is a plus for me.

The third school is at the campus I am currently taking my upgrading courses. Although I do like the school, I chose not to go there. Although small, it is a large school and I prefer smaller campuses.

After stewing over my choices for a few days, I chose school two. I am very happy with my choice so far. It is a hard school/program and that scares me but I don't think any nursing school, anywhere, is easy. I mean, the subject matter is nothing to joke about so of course the material will be heavy.

That is all I have for you now. I have completed 3 of the 4 courses. I should be over this hump of my journey in August. I will do a write up on my experience so far and what this upgrading session does to my time line. Until next time, stay motivated!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Upgrading update: 4 more weeks, the urinary system and application progress

It has been busy around my parts. The upgrading program has been a blessing and sometimes a curse. A blessing in that I can upgrade the courses that are needed and hopefully get a seat in the nursing program of my choice. It is a slight curse only due to the work load and sheer volume sometimes. I am still managing everything like a champ but this week I had a mini breakdown.

I was at my wits end with the constant studying. I felt that nothing was penetrating my brain and that made me panic. But, I think I was just extremely tired. Staying on top of everything all the time in all areas of my life was getting to me. In any case, I was able to get back track. Sleep really is a great thing. Has a lot of resortative properties.

I have four more weeks until this section of the program is complete. I will leave it with a bitter sweet feeling. I have met some really lovely people in the program who are truly good folk. I have one specific teacher who I absolutely respect and think the world of. She is really supportive and wants us to succeed. Overall, four weeks to go and I am geared and pumped up.

I have a really great average right now (95%) so I want to end the semester with excellent marks. In order to do this, I have started to prep for last tests already. The last BIO test will be in four weeks but I am already starting my studying this coming weekend. The units we are learning now are all very heavy and take a lot of work to master. It is just a matter of staying on top of the heap.

The urinary system is a beast! I thought the respiratory system was a lot to know but I think nephrons actually beat it for me. It is a complete and total monster but somehow I completed my test on that section. Marks are not posted as of yet but I asked my teacher and she said that I did really well so that is comforting. I think.

Last but not least, is my application process update. I applied to three schools in total. One school due, really to the small campus size and familiarity to it. I know the nursing program there is a good one. I know it is a lovely campus and the school is highly regarded. My only vice with this is the location. For me, it is about an hours drive. Not too bad in reality and something I can totally work with if need be.

My other choice is a school I didn't know existed, literally, until a few months ago. I mean, I assume I heard about that school somewhere along my academic life but never really paid too much attention. I end up finding out that this school has an excellent program, small campus (which is pretty important to me outside of how stupidly early the library usually closes) and is pretty close to my home. The one other great thing about this school is that it has a RPN to BScN bridging program also. That is a premium as there are very little schools in the GTA that offer this bridge and transitioning phase. Plus, sometimes already being in a school can award you insider information and perks that those applying from the outside don't get.

The last choice is actually at the school I am currently taking my upgrading classes. I used to really like this school as I used to take little side courses there off and on during the years. And, I also attained my PSW certification from this school. But, it has changed and not necessarily for the good. I think it is just the people and there are certain things I don't think I want to deal with. It is a good school. Good location. Good reputation and program. Amazing and big changes are to be had at this school in the next few years but I don't know if I want to stay there.

In terms of these schools, I have received conditional offers from two of the three and one is from my first choice school. The other is from my 2nd choice school. I am really excited about these offers but have not yet accepted. I have until the beginning of May to make my choice. I am waiting to do a school visit at an Open House early next month. I would like to see how I feel at this school (1st choice) as I know I enjoy my second choice school. Oh, on another note my 2nd choice school acceptance is for September 2016 but the 1st choice is for January 2017 start. This  happened because by the time I applied to schools, my 1st choice had closed the registration for September entry.

That's it for me on this now. I will check in again in a few weeks with more updates and news. A lot emotions have been flooding me the last few weeks and I would like to talk about that on this platform soon. Overall though, this has been a good experience.