nursing student

Enjoying a Rapp Pale Ale at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou.

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Enjoying a Rapp Pale Ale at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou.

I was FINALLY able to relax on the patio of Cajun Cafe on the Bayou (Pinellas Park), and enjoying a couple of beers, after the end of Nursing Level III. Grades were officially posted and I have a little time off, before next semester.

Cajun Cafe is a local legend, and provides the closest to New Orleans, Creole and Cajun cuisine in all of Florida. It is the only place I have found, that makes boiled crawfish like you would find in Louisiana.

The Cafe also features items from local and craft breweries. I have found a new taste for freshly brewed, IPA (India Pale Ales and sours. Why order something brewed in a factory, when you can sample a delicious, handmade beer?

Level III Down – Only One More to Go

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Yesterday I celebrated getting through Nursing III and Psychosocial/Mental Health Nursing.  Nursing III, at my ADN program is a combination of Medical Surgical Nursing and Pediatrics.  The other component is Psychosocial Nursing, or what I like to call, “MY PEOPLE!”  My celebratory drink of choice was a Sangria, with copious amounts of red wine.

Before starting the program I knew I would be most attracted to Psych Nursing.  After all, my B.A. and graduate work was in Criminology and Public Administration.  So, not only am I already interested in the subject matter, I am fascinated at how our minds work.   The complexities of the brain are endless.

I had the honor of being placed in the clinical rotation at our local Veteran’s Administration hospital, a place I am familiar with, as the wife of a Gulf War-Era Veteran.   The experience, as a Student Nurse, did not disappoint.  In fact, it has been, bar none, my best clinical experience in Nursing School.   I live in an area with  outstanding teaching hospitals.   And, I attend the ADN program with the best local reputation, for preparing students well.  Better than the four-year colleges.

The VA was a dream clinical assignment.  Everyone, from the Veterans and their families, to the nurses and doctors were welcoming.  I was asked repeatedly, “When are you graduating?  Are you coming to work here?  We need more nurses, here, you know?”  All I wanted to say was, “I WANT to work here!!”   Because I do.  Specifically with mental health and/or PTSD patients.

Next Semester, my final semester, I have the opportunity of going back to the VA.  In fact, there is a strong possibility that I can go back to the same unit I worked on this semester.  Not only will I already know the charting and MAR systems, I will know the nurses and may likely select a Nurse Preceptor from that group.   My other option is to select a different clinical site, to learn another system and expand my professional circle.

For now, however, I am enjoying some much needed time off!  My pedicure is scheduled for tomorrow and I am volunteering at the Pinning Ceremony for the Spring 2013 graduates.   I will bid them good luck and Godspeed and prepare myself for Level IV.