Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Find a Nurse Practitioner Preceptor?

Prasanna Basnet
Many times I have heard the frustration of the Nurse Practitioner students not finding a preceptor for their practicum. I had been through the same situation, so I understand how cumbersome it is to find a preceptor. Those students who found their preceptor without any effort are really lucky.  I would like to say ‘Don’t Give Up’ for those who have tried their best, but with  no luck. If you have already started your journey and if you are passionate to become a nurse practitioner, there is no doubt you will be there. Give continuous effort without giving hope and try reaching each nurse practitioners or MD as you can. Different strategies that can be implemented to find preceptor are:
1)      Find the list of the clinics nearby your place and contact each of them. You may not be able to talk to NP or MD directly over the phone or in-person, speak with office manager or leave your contact information, message, and resume and ask them to contact you back or the best time person and number to follow up with them.
2)      Become a member of ENP network to access the list of the NP preceptors who are willing precept NP student. You have to pay some amount to get access of their list. Here is the link
3)      Best worked option for me was charitable clinic. You might want to check the association of charitable clinics in your States and email or call each of them. In Texas, they have Lone star Association of Charitable Clinics, I sent email to all clinics under Lone star association of charitable clinics. My experience is sending email works better than phone or in person. This is my last week of first practicum and I can say charitable clinic a great place to begin your preceptorship.
4)      Contact your state or local nurse practitioner group and be a member to attend their meetings so that you can do networking with other nurse practitioner and also can access the list of the interested preceptors.
5)      Create a LinkedIn account and update all your professional information. It is a professional networking web site, search for the nurse practitioners, send them friend request with message including your interest and NP school’s requirements.
6)      Continuous follow up is the key. You might have sent a lot of email and called many places, but getting no response is overwhelmed and leave a bad experience. Contact second or the third time to those places where you were not able to contact for the first time. Make a list of preceptors who have asked you to contact after few months and follow up with them in time.
7)      Planning a head can make your search easier. Plan at least 5-6 months before the start date of your practicum.
8)      Asking with your colleagues, relatives, and primary care providers can also be an effective approach.
9)      If a nurse practitioner or MD said they are not available to precept you, ask them politely to refer their friends who might be willing to precept. Also, if you have found one preceptor they can help you find another preceptor. My preceptor is helping me find another preceptor.
10)   Most of the time you might not find the right email and phone number to reach to the right person and you may end up with none, despite your effort. Try to contact the clinic manager and talk to them that will save your time and will be more helpful as well.
11)  Joining Facebook page of different groups of nurse practitioner and sharing your search in their page can be very helpful, such as ‘Nurse Practitioners Offering to be a Preceptor’ and ‘Family Nurse Practitioner Networking Group’

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Awareness on Mental Illness: Let’s Be Positive!

Prasanna Basnet
I was overwhelmed by the responses that I received from my followers on “Let’s Talk about Stigma on Mental Illness.” I would like to thank you all for reading my post and encouraging me to write more on this topic.
I often encounter patients who have co-morbid conditions along with mental illness. Despite the fact that there are different types of mental illness, the first step is to tackle and accept you have a problem. Focus should be given on finding the reasons of a problem and what you can do to make this better from today onwards is important than neglecting the troubles that you have faced. Since I am doing my preceptorship in charitable clinic, most of the patient I see every day cannot afford healthcare, some of them are homeless, do not have insurance, job, and abused. It is obvious to have mental problem when they are living in insufficiency/failure and I do not feel that they are responsible for all bad things that happened to them because life is unpredictable and time is inescapable. Those people who scamper with the time, despite the circumstances learn to gain stability in their life. However, if they dangle from the track even at once it will take a while for them to pull alongside where they were left behind. Often I relate the life of a person with the Erickson theory of psychosocial development and I find it confides with the life of an individual in real. Each stage of life from birth to lifespan plays a critical role to make an individual satisfied and unsatisfied. According to Erickson, self identity is all teen want, young adult want intimate loving relationship, adult want a family, older adult need a sense of fulfillment when looking back on past life. Success in each stage gives a sense of worth on being wise, useful, and full, while failure leads to regret, loneliness, and despair. Mental illness is just an emotional state of mind if you deny catching up the day you missed and undervalue the need to recover, it will get worse every day and turn into a form of psychiatric disorder.
Each individual has a unique personality, style to analyze failure, and strategy to tackle the problems. For some person it takes a while to get over it, some needs counseling, some needs medication to numb their emotions and other heal on their own with time. Learn to give your own needs as a priority, show positive attitude towards others and abscond jealousy nature. Develop an effective strategy that has worked for you in the past and learn to live gracefully by bringing positivity that is hidden somewhere inside you. Psychiatric medications do not only numb your emotions, but also delay the normal healing process. Thinking too much about stressful situation and ignoring your feelings both are harmful, so you need to ventilate your emotions with the person whom you trust that will help you to heal sooner. If you try you will find a way, if you do not try you will never know if there was way to reach where you wanted to be. It is never too late to restart; you can make this day as day One and set a goal to make you happy and go for it. It might be hard to forget the past and scars that you got, but do not let that distraction to be a hindrance of your path to be a healthy person. I wish you good luck and a lot of positivity in your life.

You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination. -Ralph Marston

Friday, August 23, 2013

NCLEX-RN Exam’s Document Processing Tips for Foreign Nurses

I have received number of question regarding the requirement and processing to be eligible to sit for NCLEX-RN exam from the foreign nurses who are residing in different States of the United States. Although I had thought of sharing my experiences and challenges faced while processing the documents in CGFNS board and Texas Nursing Board, due to heavy study loads of Nurse Practitioner school I was not able to do so. Anyway, I came here in the United States in February, 2011 and at that time I only knew I had to give NCLEX-RN exam to be Registered Nurse of Texas, but I did not know the steps to be able to sit in that exam. I started researching on my own through google. Google is great, just type a word that you want to search then it will provide you tremendous amount of information. However, finding the reliable and correct information depends on the sources of information available on the internet. Each certifying body has their own site and if you look at their website you will be able to find the desired and correct information that you are looking for. I used to search randomly it took time for me to understand those things. Believe it or not, a habit of searching independently has helped me tremendously for my professional and personal growth. I am studying MSN-FNP online, felt convenient to address the online issues and sometimes I found myself offering suggestions to my colleagues. Trust me! I know it will take time to find right information or understand a thing or process, but develop a habit to do independent search because it will help you grow in some level.
Every State has their rules and regulations for foreign nurse to obtain RN license. Go through the website of Board of Nursing (For instance, Texas Board of Nursing, California Board of Nursing, Colorado Board of Nursing, etc.) and look for the requirement and process to submit the application. According to my understanding, most of the States (there are some exception as well) ask you to evaluate your educational credentials from CGFNS where I did mine. Since, I was the first student who applied to CGFNS from my University; I had to face troubles while evaluating my documents. Sometimes, they asked clarification for the clinical and theory hours for psychiatric and sometimes for the geriatric. It was so exhausting to wait for a long time and again had to send another documents. During that time, one nurse suggested me that I can ask my University to send whole curriculum/syllabus because she knew a nurse who did the same and that eased her problem. I did the same and surprisingly that made my process faster without more queries and as a result I got my CES Report. I started my process in February and got CES Report in June (within four months).
Next step after getting CES report is to apply for Board of Nursing. You do not have to send CES report to board of nursing because CGFNS will send it directly. At this time, visit your Board of Nursing website for the next step. I have used Board of Nursing online chat box, phone, and email options to communicate the Board of Nursing for my next step about the process, so you can also search the way to communicate them using the contact information in 'contact us' area. Then, you had to send paper or online application, fingerprint and also need to register for the Pearson/Vue, after that only you will receive Authorization to Test (ATT) from your board. I received my Authorization to Test (ATT) in 27th September and took my exam date for 22nd November. When I applied to the Pearson/Vue, I started preparing for the exam and took Kaplan Online Class, which helped me significantly to pass the NECLEX-RN exam and to be a Registered Nurse. Just do step-by-step and do follow up every time by understanding the estimated time that will take usually for your process. Stay committed because you already decided you will work as a RN in the United States, but don't get overwhelmed or panicked by the challenges that you have to face. Explore more options, but never give up because there should be some way or some person or some words that will come or you may find as a solution.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Experience of a Nurse Practitioner Student

Prasanna Basnet, 7/11/2013
Today I am here to share the challenges that I am facing as a nurse practitioner student and the efforts that are helping me to overcome those challenges. I am very excited to share that I will be starting my practicum after two months i.e. from September. I have achieved grade A in each course that I have taken and I am expecting to maintain the same grade in the two courses that I am taking right now. Few days ago, I saw a post of a NP student and comment on her post in Facebook Family Nurse Practitioner Networking Group regarding expression of a frustration and anxiety due to heavy NP study load. It made me think that I am not alone in this situation, but there are many other NP students who are feeling like me.  So, I thought why not share my experiences with the other NP students and those who are willing to be a NP to successfully handle study stress through effective planning.
In this mid of my journey to become a NP, despite the fact that I have faced many challenges, ups and downs, I never let them to become a distraction on my commitment to reach my goal. Even though sometimes I feel like I am so tired of studying and I need some break, at the same time I am aware of the truth that no study come without efforts, I started this journey to achieve something what I always dreamed about and I will keep going no matter how much effort I have to put on. I am studying to become a NP because I love nursing profession and to be an advanced practice nurse by advancing my critical thinking skills, but not to replace primary care doctors or for the desire to be working as a doctor. I am determined and every day I am putting my diligent effort so that I can provide quality and affordable care to my patient. Sometimes people try to put me down, underestimate my potential, try to prove that I am not prepared enough to start this journey, but I never get discouraged by their gloomy words. I always try to stay focused on the journey that I started by thinking actions are paramount and words are just word. What I would like to advise to my readers is; ask for suggestion to everyone listen them, but do analyze their word and filter what will work best for you. Keep in mind, every individual is not same so they do not think in the same way as you do. Also, you are a unique individual with your own identity and you only have a key to control your mind and do not let people to dampen your passion to achieve your goal.
Nothing in this world is easy and simple, more you come closure to experience the beauty of life more you will feel complicated. However, you can simplify the complicated things through appropriate planning and setting a definitive goal. Learning to be positive towards your life will give you great courage to simplify the things. I always remember the first day of my NP study when I was overwhelmed by the discussions and assignments that I had to finish in a week for two courses. The transition from the traditional study environment to online study environment was not easy for me; maybe I was not prepared enough to study online. When I logged in my classroom and looked at resources that I had to learn to complete my assignments and discussions, I was perplexed and was unable to concentrate on which task to begin first. I talked to my enrollment advisor and shared my feelings, and then she suggested me to focus on one assignment at a time. Accordingly, I calculated the number of assignments and discussions to finish in a week and divided the days for each task aligning with the submission deadline. For instance, I had two discussion posts that I had to submit by Wednesday and two assignments that I needed to submit by Sunday, I planned to do one discussion post on Monday, another on Tuesday and assignments on Wednesday and Thursday. Till now I am following the same pattern that is enormously helping me to stick on my plan besides my personal commitments and work schedule.  Fortunately I was lost in the beginning and was looking for help, which led me to become more focused and now I know how to handle my study managing my time. Being more specific on every day goal significantly helped me to maintain my grade and retain my knowledge. I believe tomorrow is another day and it will bring new and wonderful opportunities for me. I understand it is very exhausting to always keep on studying, so it is very important to take rest, exercise and eat healthy foods. To have a person who inspires you all the time is also important, without my wonderful husband support, staying focused with my study might not be possible.
Studying to become a NP needs tremendous efforts, passion and of course an attitude/empathy to help people, feel their pain and most importantly listen them. I am using following strategies to minimize the frustration and challenges faced during my study.
1)      Time management and planning for success is very important to achieve goal in anyone life. Think positive, always seek for opportunities to improve your skills, do not hesitate to ask for help, listen and be specific on what you want to achieve in a day and in a year and from a life.
2)      Lack of good sleep can be great barrier to your ability to think and process your knowledge effectively due to poor concentration. Make a regular routine to go to bed.
3)      Eat good calorie diet which supply energy to your brain and increase your ability to think and concentrate with your study. I find myself eating more calorie foods when I am studying hard than the other day.
4)      Sharing your problems with the people whom you can trust can be another strategy to prevent wasting your time and come back to your business soon. Sometimes, even a small thing can make us overwhelmed and we will end up whole day by not finding the solution to get out from that thing. A small suggestion and small support from your family and friends can be a great relief.
5)      Walk for at least 30 minutes in the evening that can be mind refreshing, help to relieve your pain and give energy to focus on your study next day.
6)      Start networking: The changes that you want to see in yourself and people’s life may not always welcome by everyone, but change is inevitable and necessary for growth. It may produce anxiety and fear, but you will get opportunity to listen and share your problem with the people who think like you. For example, Nurse Practitioner Networking group in facebook, being a member of state nurse practitioner group and attending their monthly meeting, opening LinkedIn account, ENP network, etc.
7)      Volunteering: I volunteer in charitable community clinics 2-3 days in a week where people who cannot afford healthcare and who have no means of treating their complicated diseases without their fault. I feel privileged that I am getting this opportunity to help them and at the same time it is another learning opportunity for me and to implement the knowledge that I studying in school into the real settings. I believe success is not how much money you make in a day; it is about how much difference you make in people's life in a day.
8)      Learn to better yourself not to compete and prove that you are intelligent than others. Just keep moving forward with enthusiasm, wisdom, encourage and grace. Return back not to see who are running behind to beat you, but to give other folks the same chances that help you succeed.
“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”