Can an RN work as a CNA?

  1. Hello all,

    I am from the El Dorado Area, but attended and graduated from Nursing School in VA this December. Being the foolish dreamer that I am, I moved back to CA to live with my boyfriend. However, despite my work experience as an unlicensed assisstive personnel and two degrees (ahem both with 4.0's...) I cannot get a job. I know I'm not alone in this boat, as there seem to be a frillion nursing graduates for every new grad job. However, my student loans are going to kick in soon, and my job as a coffee shop supervisor is wearing thin on my nerves. I need a better paying job that is at least somewhat nurse-related, and I don't see any hope for an RN job on the horizon.

    I'm sure you are all tired of the sob story, so I'll just cut to the chase. Can a Registered Nurse in California work as a CNA? I don't see why not, as they kind of overlap, but common sense does not always agree with the law. If any of you lovely nurses/students have any clue, please let me know.

    Thank you kindly.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   morte
    probably not, for you are held to your highest lic. And since you wouldn't be oriented to that job, you couldn't fulfill it. It would put the employer at risk....good luck
  4. by   ursuscalifornia
    Thanks. That's not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but it certainly makes sense.
  5. by   ExPharmaGirl
    Yes, you can. I know of a couple that do. You cannot work as an LVN, but you can work as a CNA. You are still held to the standards of your highest license though.
  6. by   ursuscalifornia
    Oh, Ok, that's also good to know. I'll have to start checking around for possible jobs at the local hospitals. Hopefully I'll have better luck than with the RN job search.
  7. by   ExPharmaGirl
    Good luck to you!
  8. by   aloix14
    From what I've heard, if you're already working as a CNA you can keep your jib up to one year. If you're not alteady employed as one your RN license supersedes.
  9. by   aloix14
    Sorry for the typos. "Job" and "already" typing on my phone! Good luck!
  10. by   Morningdew2112
    OP: where in California are you living? Yes, you can work as a Nurse Assistant in California, and with your RN license, you are not eligible to sit the CNA exam. However, it's hard to find a facility that will hire you to work as a NA.

    I was gonna work as a NA with my license, but I was lucky enough to find an RN job. PM me if you haven't found anything, and I will hook you up. Hopefully you live near to where I'm living
  11. by   Morningdew2112
    Duh... You current live in El Dorado. I live in Southern California :-(
  12. by   Morningdew2112
    Sorry, just saw that you live El Dorado. I'm live in Southern CA
  13. by   ursuscalifornia
    Thanks everybody. When I lived in Virginia, I worked as a 'Care Partner' which was kind of an unlicensed assistive personnel type position, but with a lot of lee-way. There aren't as many jobs in San Francisco or El Dorado County that don't state they 'prefer' a CNA license. In fact, the hospital my dad works at is laying off a lot of their unlicensed staff. However, there are jobs as 'Hospital Assistants' and other unlicensed jobs that don't necessarily require a CNA. Would this still be an issue? I just want a job in a hospital so that I have some sort of foot in the door beyond volunteering and because I want more hospital-related experience. I guess I feel like working in the service industry again is working against me. Are other new grads working only as volunteers? I wish I could just devote all my time to volunteering/job searching, but I have to pay my rent.
  14. by   ExPharmaGirl
    Quote from ursuscalifornia
    Thanks everybody. When I lived in Virginia, I worked as a 'Care Partner' which was kind of an unlicensed assistive personnel type position, but with a lot of lee-way. There aren't as many jobs in San Francisco or El Dorado County that don't state they 'prefer' a CNA license. In fact, the hospital my dad works at is laying off a lot of their unlicensed staff. However, there are jobs as 'Hospital Assistants' and other unlicensed jobs that don't necessarily require a CNA. Would this still be an issue? I just want a job in a hospital so that I have some sort of foot in the door beyond volunteering and because I want more hospital-related experience. I guess I feel like working in the service industry again is working against me. Are other new grads working only as volunteers? I wish I could just devote all my time to volunteering/job searching, but I have to pay my rent.
    Just keep in mind you may have a hard time getting hired since they know you will take the first RN job that comes along.

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