On top of the regularly scheduled shifts, we had daily research to do on our patients’ diagnosis, medications, and treatments. We also had the mandatory assignments set out by Stenberg College as well as the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP): Our leadership projects (where each of us chooses a topic on best practices or new technology/advancements in the facility), several concept maps, daily journals, and our final evaluations (which we go through and write examples for each of the skills we were able to perform). On top of this, many of my classmates and I have part-time jobs and families! As this placement fell over the holidays, it has no doubt been a busy two months!
Rest before the storm
This week, we have a bit of time off. It really feels like the first rest I’ve had in a very long time, and I am so grateful for a chance to take a break and relax. That being said, we are back to campus in order to complete or final course of the program: Transition 450. This is a week-long course that is meant to prepare us for our Practical Nursing Licensing Exam.
We have been given many, many resources and a refresher on how to “study smart.” We have also been given the opportunity to write an actual practice exam and see how we do and what we need to focus on for studying.
The Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) is the national exam for all recent grads in Canada. It is the final step in becoming an LPN, and written three times a year. Although it’s still several months away, I’m very thankful for this course and all the knowledge and tips I’ve picked up so far! From what I can tell, this is what set this program apart from others: PN students that graduate from Stenberg are likely to pass on their first writing of licensing exam, according to BCCNP’s website.
I am reflecting back over the past two months of being on the Sub-Acute Unit with my classmates, instructor and the staff that I’ve gotten to know at VGH. I’m also thinking about the last 16 months of the program and can see how far my classmates and I have come. We started out in the program with the first course: Anatomy & Physiology. We then moved on to jugging 4+ courses at a time. Then we moved into clinical where we had only one patient and were not giving meds. Now, we have a full load of patients with complete responsibility and are starting to study for the CPNRE!
Although I’m feeling comfortable and accomplished right now, I know this feeling is going to end soon, as I am starting up my new practicum.
My fifth and final placement is at St. Paul’s hospital on the Inpatient Surgery Unit.
I am excited to see what next clinical brings, but as the day gets closer, the anxiety becomes more and more heightened. My time at St. Paul’s will be a preceptorship. This means I will not have my classmates or instructor with me anymore and there is another whole unit, hospital, and team that I need to get comfortable with. It’s always nerve-wracking to start a new practicum but the fact that I am all on my own for this placement makes it even more terrifying.
Check back soon for an update on how my final months in the program go!
Check out this video of our Practical Nursing Program.