♥ [I am an LPN thinking of being an RN but,] I have nightmares on [CELBAN] writing.

Hi Kim,
I’ve been reading your “Dear Kim” blog less than a year. I’ve contemplating to do my bridging program for RN in [province]. I procrastinated though, due to my fear of not passing the IELTS.
[My city] is such a nice place, it’s growing so fast. Sometimes, I like it. Sometimes, I don’t. I came here to Canada 5 years ago as an LPN from the Philippines. I used to be an RN back home. I am currently working in a busy floor, it’s a combination of Labour and Delivery, Postpartum Unit and Gastrointestinal Surgery. Once in a while we also get the not so very young. I have a permanent resident status and just recently submitted my citizenship application.
I love what I do, I know that I was born to be a nurse. Lately, our LPN scope of practice in Alberta has expanded. There are only 3 things an LPN in our unit can’t do. Be an Obstetrical Nurse, spike a blood bag and be a charge nurse. Other that than, LPNs do everything. However, we get paid less. Less than $20/hour. I want to be honest with you, I want more. I want to get paid more on how good I am. Does this make me a less nurse? I hope not.
I have a long history with IELTS. Back in 2007, I started taking up the test in Manila for my New Zealand application. They were requiring a band score of 7 on each modules. I took the test 9 times! You know why? Because my writing was always a band score of 6.5. So, I gave up.
Last July of 2014, I took the plunged again. I sat for IELTS exam. Even though, at the back of my mind, I should’ve taken CELBAN. My test score was L: 8.5 R: 7.5 W: 6.5 S: 7.5 Overall Band Score: 7.5. I was broken-hearted. I was 0.5 away, again.
I speak English everyday at work. I am well-read. I follow CNN newsfeed on social media and loves watching documentaries. I love travelling. I can speak with confidence and smitten anyone with my charming genuine smile, but I suck on writing.
After checking the CELBAN site that test dates and locations will be posted soon, I decided to seek your help. I promised to work hard. I borrowed all the IELTS materials I could borrow from our public library. But, I have nightmares on writing. So, could you please help me prepare for the test? I need your guidance.
Thank you for your time and I hope to talk to you soon.

Smiling Physician near New FamilyDear F,

First off, congratulations on your success! You have done very well for yourself.

Thank you so much for your message and the compare and contrast nature of it in comparing and contrasting the difference between an LPN and an RN. Only IENs in those positions can compare and contrast. And one of the contrasts is wage. If scope of practice for LPNs has expanded (due to a shortage of RN’s) yet the wage does not reflect the change in responsibility then no you are not a less of a nurse for knowing your value and worth! You are not less of a nurse for knowing you deserve to be paid more. But, as you know, you have to be willing to endure a lengthy, and often expensive, process to become an RN. However, as an LPN you have a lot of things going for you and your process will proceed more quickly because of what you are learning on the job. You are also making a better wage than people who are working in survival jobs, like being unlicensed as a Nurse Care Aid, Personal Care Assistant or Nursing Assistant.  So there are many reasons for you to have hope and feel confident in your decision to move forward towards your RN. 
Procrastination is a killer. It is something I see often and warn against. See: Word of WARNING: the tragic consequences of procrastination
Your experience with the IELTS is common. Have you seen:
You do not suck on writing! I am going to tell you what I wrote to someone else, in a situation much like yours, recently
Chose another path

“If what you are doing is not getting you where you want to go, change what you are doing.”

You will succeed because you are doing exactly that! You already have a successful strategy for reading, listening and speaking. It is your strategy for writing that needs to be changed. And you are doing that by contacting me. 
Writing letters, emails and reports is a different experience from writing for an exam. There are test taking strategies that you require for the written portion of any exam: be it IELTS, CELBAN or TOEFL. CELBANPrep Writing Level One has been created to teach you these test taking strategies. 
Many people taking CELBANPrep get frustrated with CELBANPrep Writing Level One. They think it is pointless, because the assignments do not cover writing in a nursing context. (That is covered in CELBANPrep Writing Level Two.) Many people want to skip level one and go straight to level two. But that is not how CELBANPrep has been created. Level One is a prerequisite for Level Two. People must demonstrate these skills for the Mid Session Evaluation. When they do, they proceed. Some people have the skills and knowledge to do this in only a few months (you will be one of those people) but others need much longer to learn the skills, to improve their grammar, and to learn the Canadian Culture. 
When people complete CELBANPrep Writing Level One, and passed the Mid Session Evaluation, they have mastered a transferable set of skills that will allow them greater success on any and all future exams: the CELBAN, the IELTS or other written licensure exams. 
C0UP0NSmI am certain that in your case, it is not a matter of being a poor writer. It is a matter of identifying your weaknesses and turning them into strengths. It is a matter of knowing what you are doing wrong, and how to ensure you do not make that mistake again. That is what CELBANPrep and Writing4IEHPs is about. As companion resources, they create the pathway to success when it comes to CELBAN writing. Why? Because you work one-on-one with a Writing Coach. This makes all the difference in the world. I just had a thought that you might like to know about the history of CELBANPrep Writing and Writing4IEHPs. Because CELBANPrep is not just about preparing you for an exam, it is about so much more! 
So, F, with the dates for the exam to be announced soon, the time to Wr1t1ngAssessprepare is now! Once that announcement comes, spots for CELBANPrep will be filled and I will be having to turn people away. for you, I recommend you start with a Writing4IEHPs Writing Assessment. In your report I will make recommendations as to whether you need Writing4IEHPs, or not. If you need only one module, I will tell you that. If you need all of them, then you will want to consider a CELBANPrep Bundle that includes Writing4IEHPs. They are: 
  • the CELBANPrep Platinum Bundle (Writing4IEHPs, CELBANPrep Speaking Course Bundle, CELBANPrep Writing Course Bundle ~ levels one and two, and the Reading and Listening Study Bundle), or
  • the  Focus on Writing Bundle (Writing4IEHPs, CELBANPrep Writing Course Bundle ~ levels one and two).
CPVideo FirstFrame
You know F, I have to tell you I love your perspective, “I can speak with confidence and smitten anyone with my charming genuine smile, but I suck on writing.” I can tell you are charming and genuine from that statement! 🙂 But, we need to change that last independent clause. When you rewrite that sentence, after taking CELBANPrep what verb and or adjective(s) will you use? Let’s reframe it now. Then I want you to do something with that statement. Write it on a sticky note and post it somewhere. Use a sharpy or lip stick to write it on a mirror. Create a poster. Put it on the wall or on your fridge. Take a picture and use it on your phone, on your desktop. Undo that negative thinking by flooding your living space and reality with positive messages! Then send me a picture! 🙂
I come to your parting comments and tears surface. You wrote, ” But, I have nightmares on writing. So, could you please help me prepare for the test? I need your guidance.”
It touches me deeply that over the “less than a year” of reading Dear Kim you have come to know me and have confidence and trust in me to know that: I can guide you; I can help you prepare for the exam; I can assist you in obtaining your dream of being an RN in Canada; but more than that I can validate your understanding of your value and worth and that you deserve to be paid accordingly. This is not being less of a nurse, nor is it being greedy. This is being realistic. It is knowing your value and worth. And that is what life in Canada is about! 
You already know that I will help you to prepare for the CELBAN. We will work with you, on your writing, to ensure you enter that exam with confidence. Imagine for a moment what that would be like. Imagine for a moment what that will feel like. Imagine that every time you feel apprehension, or your procrastination kicks in. We will get you to that place if you are not only willing to work hard but are willing to overcome your fears, your apprehensions and your procrastination. 
You have the ability to choose whether your dreams are nightmares or if they are everything you ever imagined. You have the ability to choose. 
In that piece I wrote to the other person who has similar thoughts and feelings about his writing I wrote: 
  • Decide on the dream.
  • Commit to that dream.
  • Find quality coaches with quality training.
  • Ignore the naysayers.
  • Practice your skills until they become a natural extension of yourself to overcome obstacles.
  • Then, with passion, achieve your dream.
 F, you have decided on the dream. You are committed to the dream. You have found quality coaches with quality training. Now it is time to “Practice your skills until they become a natural extension of yourself to overcome obstacles. Then, with passion, achieve your dream.” 
You are so very welcome! I can not wait to celebrate you becoming an RN! 
Dear IEN,
If you were inspired by the idea of writing a motivational quote and did so for yourself, for you as you prepare for the exam, please let me know! Write a comment. Send a picture. It would be great to start a collection of encouraging quotes for IENs!


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