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Thank you for taking our class! Good luck with your job hunt PCC and Valley College Students!

RN graduating class of 2012

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Congratulations to the graduating classes of Glendale Community College and Pasadena City College! We really enjoyed teaching you!  Good luck with your future nursing career!

Just Say No!

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Recently in Glendale, CA a 20 year-old under the influence of “bath salts” took a shovel  and hit a 77 year old lady over the head.

 Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

And this is a photo of him screaming “God love you”. Yup, which God is that?

What? Bath salts are not illegal, they can be sold over the counter, and there is currently no drug test for it. It is highly addictive, with numerous side effects (allegedly including Zombie Cannibalism) and definitely not on my bucket list!

For more info on bath salts, check out this article from Forbes.


Free nursing magazines

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Being back in school means researching numerous nursing articles. My school’s online database is sufficient, but the articles can be incredibly boring. I found a link to receive free nursing magazines

I remember receiving these magazines as a new grad RN, but I’m not sure what happened to my subscription. According to the website, as long as you are an RN in the US, you are entitled to a free subscription.

I also came across an interesting website

which puts all the medical jargon into simple English. Unless you subscribe to the magazine, not all articles are free. I did find one article that would be helpful for this week’s homework assignment, so it’s a bonus for me. I’m a fan of the “- made easy”/ “-for dummies” books.


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Check out

They have a bunch of frames to choose from. You will need to know your prescription information to complete the order. All you pay for is shipping. My husband was in desperate need of new glasses. I was embarrassed because he was using PAPER TAPE to hold the frames together. He got a new pair of glasses  in the mail for $15! It’s a great deal. Just enter the code: FIRSTPAIRFREE

It’s not a gimmick. I think their website is trying to increase their web traffic.


I got your back!


I’m guilty of complaining about my workplace. After a rough year with a tough manager who was on a rampage to fire anyone that crossed her path, she’s left everyone on edge. The level of trust on my unit is low and it is so difficult to bring it back to where it used to be.

According to American Nurse Today:

“How to increase trust on your unit

If betrayal risk scores are high on your unit, you might want the entire unit to make a new start toward establishing a trusting work environment. Set a date for the new environment to begin. Mark its arrival with signs and unit activities. At the designated date and time, end the old norm of backbiting and incivility.

Display available data on measurable outcomes of the cultural change toward trust, including improved nurse satisfaction, reduced staff turnover, and quality indicators for patients, such as falls and hospital-acquired infections. Include unlicensed personnel (for instance, environment service technicians and students) in this culture change.

Finally, show your care for colleagues in tangible ways, such as sending positive e-mails or notes and making sincere compliments. Celebrate each other’s successes publicly—but recognize this may require you to lose your competitive edge and think less about who’s better or worse than you.

Take the first step toward trust

Trust in the nursing workplace is worth building, safe-guarding, and mending. On units where mistrust prevails, someone has to jump-start change. A wise nurse can venture out and start talking about the risks and benefits of trust, mistrust, and betrayal. That nurse can self-evaluate personal trustworthiness, ask for a peer review, and begin to change individual behaviors and conversations. Colleagues seeking a professional, high-performing workplace will join in.

Expect shifts in the unit’s culture to occur one conversation at a time, as the language of trust becomes commonplace. Norms for relating to each other will increase in civility and warmth. Work will become more meaningful. Stress will decline as the soft sound of humming replaces the loud grinding of teeth around the time clock. Take the first step.” For the complete article, click here: Article.aspx?id=8396&fid=8364

Taking that first step is going to be tough!

Back to school!

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Online classes resumed this week for my BSN. Didn’t realize one of the classes I was taking required clinical hours. I feel behind already! Good thing online classes are a little more forgiving than actual classes!

Is it necessary to get a BSN to advance in our career?

According to our old co-workers at UCLA, they are no longer hiring new-grad RNs if they do not have BSN degrees.

At our current hospitals, both our managers have individually stated they are only looking at BSN new-grad RNs. So, as an experienced nurse, our safety-net is in our experience. I’m not going to leave it to chance, I’ll finish my BSN!

Hands on this!

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Just got back from a CPR instructor update course feeling inspired by new statistics and the endless opportunities to save a life. One shocking statistic is the simple fact that only 1% of the entire US population has knowledge of how to perform CPR. 1%! Shocking, isn’t it? I know it seems like it really doesn’t matter or a situation to perform CPR may never come up. What if it did? Would you feel comfortable enough to start pushing down on someone’s chest? Recently someone suffered a heart attack at a local gym and no one knew how to respond. The employees hopped on their cell phones to dial their MANAGER! Wouldn’t you at least call 911!

Please click on this very fun and informative link on basic skills for CPR. On the top right corner of the page is an image of a body with another link that says “Learn hands only CPR on the body you want your hands on.”



Nursing school

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Ever wonder what nursing school will be like? Check out this link.

Remember nursing school?

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The thing I remember stressing out about the most was whether or not I would pass my tests or if I would pass the class. I remember hoping I would get at least a 75% and not a 74.5%. Imagine failing a class by 0.5%! What do you remember about nursing school?

I’m glad it’s over, but for those of you who aren’t or if you are considering nursing school check out this interview with Melchor Magpantay. He is currently a Junior at Mount St. Mary’s College.

As a current nursing student, how did you get into nursing school knowing that the field is saturated?

I decided to apply to a private school, MSMC, because I knew that the chances of me getting into a nursing program at a community college are much slimmer in comparison to a private college. However, even at a private school, getting into the program is also hard. There are a lot of smart people competing for a limited number of spots in the nursing program so I had to make sure that my GPA is high enough to compete with these people. Also, in my school there is a TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) exam that you have to pass because it counts for your admission to the program. Actually, not only pass the exam but score high as well because the higher score you get, the more competitive your application will be. Lucky enough, I got into the program after one year of completing my pre-requisites.

What is the most difficult thing about nursing school?

I can honestly say that EVERYTHING about nursing school is difficult. If I have to choose the hardest thing about it, it’s balancing your everyday life with school life. When I have school, I tend to give up a lot of things I like to do like watching TV, SLEEPING, spending time with family, EATING, dancing and etc. to study. With all the readings, exams, quizzes, case studies that I have to do; I kinda have to give up a lot of stuff to focus in school which sucks. One thing I hate most about nursing school is that it is so easy to fail but it is so hard to pass.
With all of your outside activities how do you balance nursing school?

It’s all about time management, which is no secret. I tend to involve myself in a lot of activities because it helps a lot to have connections with other nursing students and it’s a good stress reliever. You need to spend your time well and not procrastinate (which is hard to do) because you need activities as an outlet for all the stress you get from school.

Do you like MSMC?

I do like MSMC a lot. I mean, besides its reputation for being a good nursing program (according to a lot of nursing preceptors I’ve had), the program has been established for a long time so the faculty really knows what to do. MSMC has great instructors for lecture and clinical which is a must in a nursing program. You really get a lot of clinical experience at awesome hospitals like UCLA RR/SMH, CHLA, St. Johns–Sta. Monica, Veterans Hospital, Kaiser, and etc. Plus, the people you meet (classmates) are the most genuine and sincere people you will ever meet.

Why did you go into nursing?

I would be lying if I said that my mom had nothing to do with my decision to go into nursing school. However, I do thank her now for convincing me to go into nursing. I mean, it’s true that there are a lot of new grads out there with no jobs still but nursing is still one of the fields out there that is constantly needed. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go into nursing school for job security but also because I cannot see myself doing something else anyways besides nursing. I am glad I went into nursing because I never knew how much I liked caring and helping people. Sounds cliché I know but it’s true. I’ve always thought that people who say “you need passion for nursing” is ridiculous but they are right. I wouldn’t have survived the program if I didn’t like it and if I didn’t have passion for it.
What department do you see yourself in?

I’ve had a good amount of experience with different units but the one I liked the most is Pediatrics. I want to start out in MedSurg or ER. I know a lot of people want to go into Peds so if that doesn’t work out, I want to do Adult ER.
How are you trying to stand out in order to get a job after graduation?

It all starts out during nursing school. I try to build good relationships with my clinical instructors whom I will need to write my recommendation letters. Good relationships with clinical instructors really do help a lot. For example, my Pediatrics clinical instructor who works at the hospital I want to work at introduced me personally to the charge nurse of the floor I wanted to work for in the future, which was really nice of her. I was really grateful for that. At the same time, I also try to build good relationships with the nursing preceptors I’ve had at the different hospital sites I go to for clinicals. I remember that some of the nurses I’ve worked with said that they will remember me and recommend me to the charge nurse if I ever needed a job, which was really nice of them. I always try to remember that every clinical site I go to is a potential work place for me so I try not to be lazy and do a good job with everything I do. I try to volunteer also at different events like health screening for the homeless people at Sta. Monica and interning at different programs like UCLA Care Extender Program. Most importantly though, get good grades. A lot of hospitals now require certain GPA for them to even look at your application which is kinda scary.

We wish you the best of luck Mel!

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