Sorry for the delay! With my new grad position, per diem position (more on this coming soon), and taking classes, I decided to do a combined post going over all the first classes you will take after you get your BSN! I petitioned to take 3 classes Semester 6 because I had not started working. I began working a full-time position in November 2018, which is why I took GNRS 515 and 594 separately. You can take them together if you can fit it in your schedule!
This is the order I took my classes:
- Fall 2018: GNRS 506 + GNRS 513 + 1 elective (Spanish)
- Spring 2019: GNRS 515
- Summer 2019: GNRS 594
- Fall 2019: GNRS 512
GNRS 506 Spiritual Concept Analysis
Compared to the first 5 semesters, this will be a walk in the park. I would recommend taking the online version if it is available. It made it much easier for me to balance when taking 3 classes since I could work on the class during my own time. The whole class is based on one major paper that you slowly build on throughout the semester. As long as you stay work on it a little bit each week, the paper is manageable. I would recommend picking an easy word that can be found in plenty of verses. This will make your life MUCH easier in the end. I used the websites recommended by the professor to research the word!
Note: I only rented books for this course!
GNRS 513 Advanced Nursing Practice
This class reminded me a lot of the leadership class in the pre-licensure portion of the ELM program. This is to prepare you for being a nurse in the advanced practice role. It is more of a discussion course with some small assignments, which will require the book. Key to passing this class?
Literally, just rent the books and do the small assignments. There are no quizzes or exams!
GNRS 515 Advanced Pathophysiology
This course can be heavy in terms of content. Good news – If you are apart of the ELM program, this is very similar to the material covered in the patho course taken during undergrad. Bad news – It is a TON of material condensed into one semester. The slide decks are HUMONGOUS. I would always be present during class and ask questions regarding what we needed to know for the exams. It is impossible to fully digest every slide. A study guide was provided for me fo this class. Make sure to follow that and ask the professor for a review before class. Make sure to pair up with a good group for your group presentations. I strategically picked ones that were not near exam dates and less so based on topics I was most interested in.
Note: I did rent the book for this course, but barely used it. You may be able to getaway without a book this course.
GNRS 594: Pharmacology in Advanced Nursing Practice
This course is INTENSE in a way that is different from previous course during the ELM program. The amount of material to go through isn’t ridiculous, but this is a whole new way of looking at pharmacology. This isn’t like pre-licensure pharm where you are taught each and every single medication you need to know in each class. In this course, they expect you to have some knowledge of medication already as an RN, which is why the expect to have worked as an RN by the time you take this course. This course teaches you why you would pick one medication over another in certain situations. My advice (and the professor’s) is to have a go-to and a back-up go to for every situation. Also, as an NP you will be able to use resources in the office so the professor did make some of the harder exams take home (Thank GOD)!
Note: I did not buy/rent any books for this course, but I did study the HECK out of the slides.
GNRS 512 Advanced Health Assessment
This course was one of the scariest, but also one of the most useful. There is so much to learn and you can’t fall behind because you will be not only learning but DOING in lab. However, you finally start feeling like a NP student in this course. You must pre-test to stay enrolled in this course. You will be sent a rubric for grading. MEMORIZE THIS! If you hit everything on the rubric, you will be fine. Essentially, you will be regurgitating your pre-licensure health assessment final for the pre-test. The slides can be long, but you can easily pick out the essentials. You need to know how to perform all the speciality tests. If you weed that out from the sprinkled pathphys among the slides, the slide decks are less daunting.
How to survive the course?
After the guided assessment during lab, practice yourself with a partner until you have the assessment down. ASK FOR HELP if you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right or can’t see what you should be seeing with the different scopes. Do the scenarios they give at the end of lab for the SOAPs. Pretend it is real and actually go through it as if you were in clinic. Also, more is more in the beginning with SOAP notes. They will tell you what is excessive and what to keep. Use the printed handbook they offer at the beginning of class. It has an example of how a SOAP for each system should be written. Also, the common symptoms guide is amazing for helping with possible differential diagnoses.
*Spoiler: you can use the common symptoms guide in the 5 min prep time you are given at the beginning of the final so know your way around it!*
How to pass the final?
PRACTICE IN SCHEDULED LAB AND OPEN LAB! There is no magic answer for this one. You must be able to perform a patient interview and focused physical in 20 minutes. Find a routine for every system’s focused exam and what each specialty test is for. This way you know what to keep and cut out when you do your physical for the final. At the beginning of the course, you will feel like this is impossible. I felt the sameway, but you will do it by the end! Their focus in safety. They need to make sure they can safely send you out into the community. If you forget a couple minor things, you will still pass. If they are coughing and you don’t ask about bloody sputum (TB) or difficulty swallowing and drooling (epiglottitis), you are not ready to serve the community yet!
Note: I did rent the physical health assessment book, but barely used it. You probably don’t need it if you just read the slides. I 10/10 recommend renting the common symptoms guide
Hope this helps! I am so glad to hear this blog has been helpful to you all! I will continue to post as much as I can at the very least I will post about each class (or group of classes) as I take them! Wish me luck as I will start clinicals next semester. Happy Holidays