Monday, April 29, 2013

Pondering My Future

I've decided that every month I'm going to answer the same questions for the 2 years I'm earning my R.N. I thought this would be a fun way to get me through nursing school, so here goes!

1. What have you thought about most today?
       What on Earth I'm going to do to fill all my FREE TIME
2. What did you learn about today in Class?
       Absolutely nothing!! No class!!
3. What was your most recent test on?
       Considering it was my comprehensive final, everything!
4. What is your next test on?
       My next test is the NCLEX-PN...
5. What was the best part of today?
       Eating cake with friends at Donna's retirement party.
6. What are you stressed about?
       The NCLEX
7. What/Who do you miss right now?
       I'm going to miss my friends who are moving elsewhere.
8. What did you have for dinner today?
       institute is feeding us this week. Today was breakfast!
9. If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?
       I'm thinking Florida. Anywhere with a beach, really!
10. What field do you want to work in?
       I'm really liking the idea of pediatric med/surge!!

Let's Check Off Spring 2013

I almost can't believe it! I'm done with my LPN year!

 Look at all those beautiful blue X's through 4 months of hard work!
This past month was like a mine field of tests and papers and ceremonies.
Our kitchen calendar proves that.

I've started posting stuff around my room to get me through those rough days,
but this magnet bought for me by my mom is probably my favorite.
I think it's become my mantra.

So excited to continue to the RN program with these people!! 
(Top row) Trent, Karen, Adam, Andy, Madi, Jen
(Middle row) Me, Stephanie, Lindsey, Brooke, Brooke, Ashlyn, Julie, Mikka
(Bottom row) Reanne, Celessta, Jisoo, Sarah, Catherine, Nicole, Rhonda

Pinning ceremony was nice, and it was so good to see my family down in Price, 
Instead of me up in Salt Lake!

Now I get to enjoy my short summer, and focus on this intimidating application

 Here I come, NCLEX!
Don't know when exactly, 
But I'll be kicking your trash around the month of June!


Friday, April 26, 2013

A Week of Music

You know, I've grown up around music.I started choir in 8th grade, did Women's Choir as a Sophomore,  Jazz and A Capella as a Junior, and Madrigals as a Senior.
Then I graduated high school.
And went 3 years without choir.

I was focusing on school, pre-nursing classes, finding a balance between spending and earning money.
It was good, and I made it a point to sing around the house and in the car.

The beginning of this semester, I looked at what I was doing with my life
(nursing school and work)
and realized I needed, and had the time to add choir. So I did.

Every Monday I've spent an hour singing church songs, and it's been wonderful.
We had our one and only performance today, and it was so, so nice to sing in public!

On Monday I was sitting in the Institute library when my friend, Alex popped her head in and told me she was going to an audition for a musical showcase. She said it was an open audition and that she was super nervous. I asked if anyone could try out and she said yeah. So I, in some odd and crazy lapse of judgement, grabbed old music from my memory and went with her and auditioned. 

I sang Taylor, the Latte Boy from memory (without messing up a single lyric) 
and got 'in' to the showcase. The theatre director asked me where I had been all this year, 
and when I said that I was in nursing school he responded "but you could have been my lead in next year's musical!"

That was a nice pat on the back, for sure!
So I auditioned Monday, practiced once Tuesday, and performed Wednesday.
It was. Awesome.

It was so amazing to get up on a stage, feel that spotlight shine on me, and sing my heart out!
Yay for musical weeks!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Words of Encouragement

On a non-nursing related tangent, I've gotten a few letters lately with some really wonderful words of encouragement and love. Because I'm such a big fan of keeping as little paper clutter as possible, I've decided to put them on here so I have access to them forever.

Obviously this post is more for me than it is for you. This is my online journal after all :)

Sister Mantz is the Institute choir director, and I got this note from her a few weeks ago. It's been sitting on my desk, so I'm anxious to get it off my work space.
Courtney, This is the girl with the beautiful smile and equally beautiful voice. on the days you come to choir, our sound becomes rich and full in the soprano section. i hope you're willing to share this gift, oh how we need a powerful soprano section for some of our songs! i promise it will bless your life and all who hear you. 
 Quite a while ago, I went to a relief society activity with my mom when I was home over spring break. We had a dinner, and we all passed around cards with a person's name on it, and we wrote some of their talents anonymously. I didn't know a few of the women at the table, so I think they just copied what others had written, but here's the random list I got on my card.
Open to new things. Generous in sharing with others. Gift of being a good student. I can see how much you love your family. compassion. Beauty. Strength. endurance through trials. Love of learning. kindness, knowledge, endurance, joyful, talented. Kind, patient  loving, thoughtful, spiritual, helpful and dedicated.  
With this being my last week of school for my LPN year, it's nice to have a few happy words to dwell on while I head into final exam stress!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm In!!

     Here at Utah State University- Eastern, the nursing program is divided into two different programs. The first year is the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program, and the second year is the ADN (Associate Degree Nurse) program.
     Getting accepted into the LPN program does not guarantee acceptance into the ADN program. Some people choose to stop schooling after getting their LPN, others get their LPN, then go to different universities to finish their degree. The only other program in Utah that accepts LPN status is Weber, and their program is online. I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to move to a different school to finish my degree, but when I found out the program was online based... I changed my mind. I need to be in physical class, I know myself too well.
     So the ADN application was due a few Friday's ago, and I was stressed out, to say the least. I only applied here, I didn't even bother with Weber, so I was so worried that I wouldn't get accepted, and I wouldn't know what to do with myself for an entire year.
     The professors met together yesterday to select the ADN students. It was a point system, so my name wasn't on my application for the teachers to be swayed either way. I had worked this entire semester to be a great student so the teachers would pick me for the next year, so when I found out it was anonymous, I was worried I wouldn't be selected.
     So, day after mailing out the acceptance (and rejection) letters, I ask my roommate to go check the mail for our letters. She texts back (I was home for the weekend) saying the letters were, in fact, already at our apartment. She opens hers and texts me excitedly that she got in. I ask her to open mine, because there was no way I could wait the rest of the weekend to know my fate. A few (painfully, torturous, long ) minutes later she responds with "YOU"RE IN!"
     So, dear readers, I'm in! I will graduate from nursing school in May, 2014. One more year here in this tiny town, and i'm free to go wherever I want, and work in whatever hospital, on whatever floor I want. I am so excited! I'm so happy my life long dream is so close to happening, it gives me all these excited feelings in my stomach.

~Courtney (RN in 2014)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pediatric RN... It's Inevitable

I've been on the Med/ Surge floor for 2 weeks now, and I've got 2 weeks to go until LPN year graduation. Last week, I worked with a 54 year old male, pretty much because he was the youngest patient on the floor. I'm not a huge fan of working with the elderly. They can be really sweet... or incredibly needy, and I just don't like signing myself up to deal with needy.

When picking my patients for Med/ Surge clinical rotations, I have a tendency of looking at the age first, then the reason for their hospital stay. You can imagine my excitement as I flipped through the patients to find a cute little 6 sitting in the age box. My name went next to that patient before I even bothered looking at the diagnosis.

I love working with kids! Yeah, they have mood swings, and yeah, they can be difficult to work with. Come on though, working with kids is so rewarding.. Stuff like getting my patient to swallow his medicine, and then spending 10 minutes talking about our siblings together to distract from the awful taste (It smelled horrendous, I can only imagine how it tasted) or walking in at 6:45 AM to take vitals and having the cutest little conversation with a half awake little boy ("My arm hurts" "Is there anything I can get to make it feel better?" "No, my bed will make it better") is just so much fun for me. Watching him start out his day saying his arms hurt too much to move, to raising them a few inches off the bed a few hours later, then full fledged punching my hands during my assessment at 11:15 made me feel like I was doing the right stuff to help him feel better.

Adults rarely show progression in such a small amount of time, but it's typical for kids. I love being able to see the change from hour to hour. I love letting kids listen to their own hearts and stomachs, watching their faces light up with wonder reminds me of the same fascinations I had the first time I heard my own heart. I like figuring out ways to calm them down, to reassure them that i'm not there to hurt them, and getting that smile out of them is the cherry on top.

I'm good with kids, I knew this already. So maybe pediatrics is really where I"m meant to be.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Life Plans

I'm kinda funny. Maybe I'm not the only one on this, though. I'm very big on life plans. As a kid, my life plan was to be a nurse and a  mom. I'm working on one of those, and being patient on the other.

As of late, I make a life plan, get really, really, really excited about it, and end up tweaking it, or completely changing it a few days or weeks later.

My first dramatic life plan was to go to Florida over summer, to get all my hours in to stay seasonal with Disney. Then I reluctantly accepted reality, and decided to do another College Program after nursing school graduation. Then, I tweaked that plan to include permanently moving to Florida, and working as a nurse full time, and as a character when I felt like it.

While that's till a fantastic, and very possible life plan, I'm starting to tweak it again. I think what I've learned recently is to be open to living life. Go wherever Heavenly Father leads me. Take the opportunities, go travel a bit, heck, maybe even get married.

What I'm trying to say here is I finally figured out I don't need a life plan to live my life.

I't a freeing feeling, knowing I don't have to have a set plan.