CNA schedule and Nursing School

  1. 0
    I am contemplating on getting my CNA certification so I can start working in the healthcare field while in nursing school. The program that I have applied to is part-time with classes two nights a week and clinicals on the the weekends. I would need to work full time and I was wondering what a full time CNA schedule looks like. How many days during the week do most work? Are the 12 hour or 8 hour schedules the best? What settings are best for that type of schedule (ex. Is long-term better, Hospice, etc).

    Sidenote: Currently, I am working fulltime as a teacher so this would be a whole new career change and major pay cut for me. However, I would love to gain some healthcare experience plus I don't know how wise it would be for me to still be teaching while going to nursing school. You can give me your opinions on that as well! Thanks a lot
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Depends where you work. Some places are 8 hour shifts and some are 12 hour shifts. Once you complete your first semester of nursing classes some places will allow you to work as a student nurse (as a CNA). At least they have that near me in Massachusetts. Good luck.
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    Thanks for the response! So it's probably better if I wait to see if I get into a nursing program and go from there?
  6. 1
    In Ohio you can take the STNA state certification after your first semester of nursing school or after you take your fundamentals of nursing class.
    I had my STNA license before going to school so my schedule was something like the following for my first semester:
    Sunday: work 11pm-7am Monday: School 8am-3pm, work 11pm-7am Tuesday: school 8:30am- 2pm, work 11pm-7am Wednesday: school 8:30 am-3pm Thursday: school 11am-1:30 pm work 11pm-7am Friday: clinicals 8am-4pm Saturday: work 11pm-7am
    That was rough, but it made my semester fly by

    Now I am doing three 12 hour shifts a week (7pm-7:30am) and going to school and clinicals 4 days a week. Still hard at times, but I think having the two extra days off makes things easier!

    You really just have to find what works best for you depending on how much you have to study, whether or not you have kids/husband or some other obligations.

    Best of luck to you!!
    1feistymama likes this.
  7. 0
    Wow! Wanderlustgirl, that is a crazy schedule! Do you have any children? Are you completely burnt out, or do you feel ok? I currently work as a teaching assistant and am taking my nursing pre-reqs in the evening. Ummnasi, I am also thinking about doing my CNA certification over the summer so I can start working in the medical field. I would love a weekend CNA job once I start my RN program.
    Last edit by LifeIsGood76 on Apr 22, '13 : Reason: spelling
  8. 1
    Quote from ummnasim
    I am contemplating on getting my CNA certification so I can start working in the healthcare field while in nursing school. The program that I have applied to is part-time with classes two nights a week and clinicals on the the weekends. I would need to work full time and I was wondering what a full time CNA schedule looks like. How many days during the week do most work? Are the 12 hour or 8 hour schedules the best? What settings are best for that type of schedule (ex. Is long-term better, Hospice, etc).

    Sidenote: Currently, I am working fulltime as a teacher so this would be a whole new career change and major pay cut for me. However, I would love to gain some healthcare experience plus I don't know how wise it would be for me to still be teaching while going to nursing school. You can give me your opinions on that as well! Thanks a lot
    I work as a CNA now and I'm starting nursing school in January. Currently I work full time 11p-7a and when I start in jan I'm switching my schedule to work doubles on the weekends fri and sat 3p-7a and and sun 3p-11p to make sure that I can cover my bills while in school. I think what you can do is all according to how you feel. You will need to make sure that you have adequate time to study and you're not sleepy during clinicals and classes. Can you handle that. It's gonna take a while to get your body adjusted to the lack of sleep so I wish you the best of luck
    1feistymama likes this.
  9. 0
    I would actually recommend waiting until your junior year and continuing on as a CNA after landing an externship. An externship is something a lot of hospitals offer in the summer between junior and senior years. You shadow a nurse preceptor for 10 weeks or so and do CNA work. The advantage here is that some hospitals (at least the one I work at) allow you to keep your extern salary while continuing on as a CNA. They pay CNAs $9.60/hour at my hospital but they pay externs $15.... because I worked as an extern and stayed, I am now making $15 as a CNA. You really can't beat the huge salary increase that comes from working as an extern first. I personally don't think being a CNA is worth the money unless you do get some kind of salary increase. It is really hard work and $9.60 an hour or somewhere in that range is nothing!
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    Quote from pamlepper
    Wow! Wanderlustgirl, that is a crazy schedule! Do you have any children? Are you completely burnt out, or do you feel ok? I currently work as a teaching assistant and am taking my nursing pre-reqs in the evening. Ummnasi, I am also thinking about doing my CNA certification over the summer so I can start working in the medical field. I would love a weekend CNA job once I start my RN program.
    When do you start your program? I have been taking my pre-reqs in the evenings too. I will be done this semester and hopefully start in January. I am trying to decided do I want to keep teaching while doing nursing school since the program is part-time.
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    @pamlepper No, thankfully I do not have any kids yet or I don't think I could do it! It does take a toll on me sometimes, but I just keep telling myself it is a short term situation to reach my goal! I have learned a lot of helpful skills from working as a PCT while in school. Plus there is usually some free time on night shift to study and do homework which is a huge bonus!
    Money-wise I have no choice but to work full time while in school. But it just goes to show that it can be done!


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