After a couple jam packed weeks at home over the holidays, here I am, back up in Baltimore, shivering and preparing for the upcoming semester. The summer accelerated class is already back in full swing with their spring classes, while the rest of us are either taking one of the many 2-week courses offered during January, orienting for student nurse jobs, or still at home recovering and relaxing. The spring classes for my September accelerated group do not actually start until early February, so we get about 6 weeks off. During this time, I am taking a 2 week Spanish course, and attempting to get hired on somewhere as a student nurse. After many many frustrating experiences with this, however, I thought I would post some pointers on how to make the best of your 6 weeks off during the program.
**Disclaimer: These are my opinions, and what I have found to be helpful going through these processes. If something changes, don’t panic and email administration with a “Karen said!…”
If you want to be a CNA/CNE/Student Nurse…
1) Start looking for the job openings early! JHUSON offers an informational meeting on the CNA positions, but the jobs have likely already been posted for several weeks prior to this meeting. Unfortunately many of us did not get positions at JHH because of this, so it’s never too early to look and start applying.
2) You are eligible for your CNA license at the end of the first semester, but most hospitals will not interview you until your license has been processed. So, I recommend getting the application packet for your license early, completing all the necessary components (including fingerprints) and having it ready for when grades are posted after finals.
3) Fill out your transcript requests early also. The registrar is very accommodating if they know you are trying to complete your license application and will process yours quickly if you have filled out the request form ahead of time.
4) Hand deliver your application to the Board of Nursing, or bribe a friend that lives in the Baltimore area to deliver it for you if you’re already gone for the holidays. They process hand delivered applications faster than those that are mailed in.
5) Don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. The more times you call the BON, the more information you get, and the less painful the process will be.
6) If you’ve applied to a job and have not heard anything back, CALL!
If you’re interested in taking a course in January…
1) Go to the informational sessions. Here they will provide you with a listing of the courses offered, as well as any fees you may have to pay.
2) Some of the courses are offered through the SON and are included in your tuition, some are not. Pay attention to whether or not you have to pay for them.
3) Many of these courses have “applications” you must fill out to be considered for enrollment due to the limited number of seats in the class.
4) Pay attention to the dates. Some of them last two weeks and only meet a couple times. Some meet every day, but only last one week.
If you’re interested in traveling abroad for a two week clinical experience…
I personally do not know much about these, but there is an informational session on the opportunities available. Go to this! If you know this is something you might want to do, start planning early for how you will finance the trip as it is mostly out of pocket expenses.
If you are in need of some serious R&R after your first semester…
1) STAY HOME AND RELAX!
2) You have 6 weeks off, and if you have not had a chance to visit friends and family, now is the perfect time. There is plenty of opportunity for study/stress time later.
Those are just a few pointers I thought might be helpful for those of you wondering what to do with a 6 week break in the middle of an accelerated program. Now it’s time for me to get back studying for my Spanish class….adios!