VITAL SIGNS - College of San Mateo

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					    Volume 2, Issue 3                                                                           April 9, 2010

                        College of San Mateo

                        VITAL SIGNS
                        Nursing Newsletter
Inside this issue:
1-2   The New Health and
      Wellness Building

3-4   The Future for New

4     NCLEX Checklist

5     Get to Know Your
      Instructor: Amanda
      ―Mandy‖ Anderson

5     References

6     Nurstoon

6-9   Pictures!!!
                                  The New Health and Wellness Building, on a rainy afternoon.

The New Health and Wellness Building
By: Wendy Chin, Ruth Palmeri, & Amber Rhodes

On March 24, 2010, the College of San Mateo welcomed its new Health and Wellness Building (Building
5) with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This 3-story building is to house the cosmetology, dental assisting, and
nursing programs. In addition, the new building includes the new San Mateo Athletic Club and Aquatic
Center, and a fitness center for physical education programs. This new building was built in part of a $220
million CSM Design Build project funded by the bonds from the voter-approved Measure A and C of the
San Mateo County. Other improvements seen on the CSM campus (repaving of roads and parking lots,
landscaping, lighting) are also funded from these bonds.

Since the beginning of the CSM nursing program in 1963, skills lab had always been held in Building 23.
With the new facility, nursing students will be able to practice their skills in an environment suitable for
today’s modern technology. We have interviewed Jane McAteer, Director of Nursing, about the specifics
of the new facility.

Who is involved with designing and constructing the new building? Kwan Henmi Architecture and
Planning firm and McCarthy Building, Inc.

Who designed the layout of the skills lab? Jane McAteer, Janis Ryan, and Susan Hantz, with the help of
the Media and IT department.
               VITAL SIGNS                                                                                     Volume 2, Issue 3

Continued from page 1—The New Health and Wellness Building

What are the skills lab rooms like? There are 8
rooms—6 regular rooms with 2 beds each and 2
simulation rooms, equipped with cameras. There is
a one-way mirror in the control room that looks out
into each simulation room. Available in each room
are sinks, bedside tables, linens, vital sign monitors,
IV pumps (double pumps!), and IV poles.
However, no call lights have been installed.

When will the students begin classes in the new
building? Unfortunately, the new lecture room
(that seats 60 students) is not yet ready for use.           Skills lab in Building 23

Sadly, the graduating class of 2010 most likely will
not be able to utilize this new facility. For those of
you who have not toured the new building, here are
our thoughts…
Amber Rhodes—I was so impressed when I first
toured the new building under construction. It was
obvious that a great deal of planning and funding was
needed for this project. It was amazing to attend the
ribbon cutting ceremony and finally see the finished
product! My favorite part about the new classrooms is
the pop-up outlets on the desks to charge our laptops
(and of course the magnificent view). The skills
lab replicates hospital rooms, which helps us relate to      Skills lab in the Health and Wellness Building.
working in the hospital when practicing our skills. I
also think that having the fitness gym is a great bonus
to the building since it promotes health and wellness;
which is a major focus of nursing. I joined the gym
along with a few of my classmates and I am looking
forward to using the facilities as often as possible.
Ruth Palmeri—Stepping into the skills lab feels like
walking into an ICU – huge gleaming windows and a
foot pedal for the sink too! I’m envious of future
nursing students who will be able to study in such a
modern and expansive space.
Wendy Chin—As I walked into the new building, I
was in awe. It’s an amazing feeling to know that the
                                                             Lecture room in the Health and Wellness Building
cosmetology, dental assisting, and, of course, the
nursing program will be taught in such a modern
facility. Like Ruth, I found the skills lab to be the        Special thanks to Jenny Kinsel for providing all the
most impressive. It looks better than some hospital          images of the new Health and Wellness Building and
rooms!                                                       of the current skills lab.
      Page 2
              VITAL SIGNS                                                                    Volume 2, Issue 3

The Future for New Graduates                            There are free websites that allow you to search for
By: Wendy Chin, Katrina Pangilinan, Joanna              ―New Grad programs‖ by state. Try going to
Udasco, & Lisette Varela                       and type in New Grad RN
                                                        and the state that you are interested in. You’ll be
As graduation lurks around the corner, many of us       amazed at the amount of jobs available. Other
fear what the future holds for new nursing              websites, such as , allow you
graduates. For years, we have heard about the           to connect with other new graduates. Try searching
―nursing shortage,‖ which has now become the            California 2010 New Grad Program and you’ll find
―nursing job shortage.‖ In this article, we will        that many new graduates have shared an abundance
present to you our findings about this difficult        of possible job opportunities.
situation and what opportunities are out there for
you as a new graduate.                                  But, many of the students in our program are unable
                                                        to move out of the Bay Area due to family
According to Advance for Nurses, the economy is         obligations. What opportunities are available to
responsible for the lack of jobs. Experienced nurses    those who need to stay in the Bay Area? According
are taking on more shifts or nurses have come out       to Advance for Nurses, the California Department
of retirement, filling up job opportunities for new     of Labor is applying for funding to develop training
grads. In addition, healthcare has been hit hard by     programs for nurses. In fact, Samuel Merritt and
the recession—as evidenced by the lack of new           CSU East Bay are offering RN Residency Programs
graduate programs. So…what does this mean for           right now. As part of these programs, you will be
us new grads?                                           able to practice your clinical, critical thinking, and
                                                        professional skills.
Deloras Jones, MN, RN, the executive director of
the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care      Please visit and
(CINHC), states that ―because hospitals can’t afford
new grad programs,…new graduate nurses could            residency/online-app.php for more information.
return to school and…they would complete a              Do note that you need your RN license to be
residency program.‖ (Advance, 2010) There are           eligible for these programs.
many bachelors and masters programs available in
the Bay Area. Included are California State             Well, we have approximately 6 more weeks before
University (CSU), East Bay, Dominican University        graduation…what can we do now? Nicole Sutter
of California (in San Rafael), Samuel Merritt           and Sarah Fong (graduates of the CSM nursing
College (in Oakland), San Francisco State               program of 2009) have a few words of wisdom for
University, San Jose State University, University of    us…
San Francisco, and the University of California, San
Francisco. However, do note that deadlines for                  N242—Stay focused. Don’t take this last
applications may have already passed or are coming      course lightly. You wouldn’t want to fail out so
to an end soon.                                         close to being done.
Many nurses in the hospitals now are advising us to
move out of the area (meaning the Bay Area) for a              Transition from student RN to RN—Make
couple of years to gain experience. In fact,            contacts at the hospital. Get letters of
Michelle Hughes, BSN, RN, ACIR, CDR, nurse              recommendations from your instructors. Ask if
recruiter at St. Mary's Hospital in Reno, states that   someone at your clinical rotations will be your
"new nurses may have to work in long-term care, or      reference.
move to another area to start.‖ (Advance, 2010)
     Page 3
              VITAL SIGNS                                                                         Volume 2, Issue 3

Continued from page 3—The Future for New Graduates

      NCLEX—Take Kaplan (it’s worth the
money). Take the test as soon as possible…DO                         What have you done to
                                                                    prepare for the NCLEX?
Fortunately, the shortage of nursing jobs is                         Nothing??? Well, cut
expected to be short-term. The aging population                      out the checklist below
(Baby Boomers generation) will soon bring about
another wave of nursing shortage. (San Francisco                         to get started!!!
Business Times, 2009) In the meanwhile, we
should all do what we can to make ourselves
marketable and take it one day at a time.

        ----------             ----------            ----------        ----------           ----------

NCLEX Checklist
By: Ruth Palmeri

Second year students – will you be ready to sign up for the NCLEX when the time comes?
Congratulations! We are almost finished! In addition to care plans, reading, and study groups don’t forget to
ensure your paperwork is processed so that you can sign up for the NCLEX as soon as possible. Have you
taken the necessary steps?
___Meet with Jane to ensure all graduation requirements are completed
___Turn in the BRN transcript request form to Jane
___Livescan fingerprinting (cost: $70 to $90). Don’t forget to take 3 copies with you to your appointment.
___2‖x2‖ passport picture. Want to save the $15 cost of taking a passport picture? Use your own digital
camera and have a friend take your headshot against a white background. In a photo editing program, crop
your picture to 2‖x 2‖ and paste it six times on a 4‖ x 6‖ canvas. Place your file on a USB flash drive and take
it to your local drugstore and print one 4x6 print. I spent 29 cents for a print and have 6 passport size pictures.
___Check or money order for $105 for the application fee (if you get an interim permit)
___Completed BRN application to test form (look in the N241 syllabus). Double and triple check that your
full name is correct! Does your full name match the CSM school record, your driver’s license and BRN
application? If it does not match, it can cause trouble later when you go in to take the test. This especially
applies to students who have gotten married within the past 2 years and have legally changed their name.
___Mail together: one copy of the livescan form, passport picture, check or money order, and completed BRN
application form. It is recommended that you send your application certified mail with signature upon delivery.
You will have proof that your application was received by the BRN, and peace of mind that nothing was lost in
the mail.
___Pass N242. Once all the grades are turned in, Jane will forward our transcripts to the BRN as proof that we
have completed all the courses.
___Wait for your authorization to test (ATT) that will come through regular mail. Once you have the ATT,
you can go online and sign up for a testing date.

     Page 4
              VITAL SIGNS                                                                               Volume 2, Issue 3

Get to Know Your Instructor:              Amanda        What are your hobbies? When my son was
―Mandy‖ Anderson, RN, MPA                               young, I took him on a fly-fishing trip, hoping to
By: Jill Wylie & Amber Rhodes                           bestow a new hobby upon him. It turns out, I found
                                                        a new hobby for myself, and my son didn’t care for
                   What inspired you to become a        it much. I enjoy fly-fishing in the Sierras for trout,
                   labor and delivery nurse? I was      but I prefer the Sea of Cortez in Baja. I enjoy going
                   a pre-med major for 2 years, and     on road trips, and I have a license in massage
                   then I got married and became        therapy.
                   pregnant, so I enrolled in the
                   Medical Assisting Program at the     What piece of advice do you have for new nurses
                   College of San Mateo in 1985. I      entering the field? During nursing school, I had a
knew that I always wanted to work in obstetrics, so     skills lab instructor who told another student and
I applied to the College of San Mateo Nursing           me that we would never make it because we both
Program in 1990. During nursing school, I worked        had children and were working during school. We
as an Obstetrics technician 32-40 hours per week on     proved to her that if you put your heart and soul in
the night shift.                                        it, you can accomplish anything. My advice for
                                                        nursing students would be to treat your clinical
What inspired you to become a teacher?                  rotations like a job interview. It’s important to make
Teaching has always been a part of my background;       a good impression because these facilities could
I’ve taught summer school, perinatal classes, CPR       potentially be your future employer. I also make it a
certification courses, and neonatal resuscitation       point to respect the staff equally. You will get more
classes. ―I have a passion for teaching and nursing,    cooperation from other staff members when you
and to combine the two, I get the best of both          treat them with kindness and show that you
worlds.‖ After I graduated from CSM, I went to          appreciate them.
California State University East Bay to receive my
Bachelors in Heath Science in 1997, and then
furthered my education with a Master’s in Health
Care Administration in 1999.

What is your favorite part of nursing? I started
working as a nurse on the night shift as a labor and
delivery nurse. There were two nurses that made
my life miserable by assigning me the worst
patients without any support. There was one nurse
who was very positive and compassionate. She
taught me if you truly love what you do; you will       References:
do anything to keep doing your job. I love assisting    The New Health and Wellness Building
a delivering mother through the birthing process,           
especially the mother who says ―I can’t do it.‖ I get           cutting-ceremony-for-csm-s-new-health-and-wellness-
the joy of proving to her that she can do it, and I’m
there to encourage her every step of the way. This      The Future for New Graduates
is such a personal life changing event, and it’s an             y.aspx?CC=214042
honor to be able to share this experience with              
mothers.                                                        02/23/story7.html

     Page 5
             VITAL SIGNS                                                                                  Volume 2, Issue 3

Thanks to Shelly Greene, Connilee Hayes, Bryan Lo, Kimberly McNease, Ruth Palmeri, Michelle Nerona for sending in pictures

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         VITAL SIGNS                 Volume 2, Issue 3

                       HEALTH FAIR

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         VITAL SIGNS               Volume 2, Issue 3

                MORE PICTURES!!!

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         VITAL SIGNS   Volume 2, Issue 3

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