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This was our last week of clinical and our last week of lecture.  Wow.

The lectures were pretty intense, though; we learned about head injuries and spinal cord injuries.  We have an exam on Tuesday that I plan to study a lot for!  Then on Wednesday we have one of those computerized exams.  It's only worth 5% of our grade, but I still don't like them very much.  I was sad this week to run into a friend of mine whose grades have always been a bit borderline.  She's made it through every semester so far, but I had known that she was not doing well this semester.  After our 4th exam, it was determined that, mathematically, it would not be possible for her to pass the class.  I ran into her in the faculty offices where she was going into a meeting about withdrawing and trying again in the fall.  (Unfortunately, the deadline to 'withdraw' has passed, so she gets an F for the semester and no refund of any prorated tuition.)  I know there were folks in our class this year who were taking the class for a 2nd time, but I'm sorry that this friend will be in the same boat in the fall--now she has to wait through the summer, and she won't get to graduate with 'her' class, and she has to hope she can be successful in the fall (I think you can only repeat a class once).  Yikes.

In our Bridging class, we received our assignments for our Bridging clinical, which is 64 hours with a nurse on the floor of a particular unit.  I'll be on a cardiac floor (the floor that I did an elective on over winter break this year).  We still have an instructor who monitors our progress and, ultimately, grades us.  Most of us will do a combination of 8 and 12-hour shifts to reach 64 hours; I start mine with 2 12-hour shifts back to back.  Anyway, that's still a couple of weeks off.  My last day of it will be the day before convocation.  The other half of our Bridging class was focused on the NCLEX exam.  I can't remember whether I've written about this before, but the NCLEX is a national exam administered in each state.  Candidates for the exam must possess (at least) an AAS in Nursing, which is what I will have after graduation.  (I think some states require a BSN, but NY doesn't as of yet.)  The candidate applies to the state for licensure, and at the same time sends an application to the testing company that administers the exams.  After graduation, the candidate's school certifies to the state that the candidate did, in fact, graduate.  The state processes all of this stuff and notifies the testing company that the candidate is eligible to take the test.  The testing company then tells the candidate they may choose a date for the test.  We've been warned that it's usually 6-8 weeks after graduation before you're approved to take the test and can get a test date.  We've also been warned to fill out the applications very exactly--the state also performs a background check before agreeing to license you.

The last week of clinical went well.  I liked this oncology floor a lot!  Unfortunately, they don't have any job openings right now, but I'll keep checking...   I did put in some other applications last week, so we'll see what comes of them.

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