Considering becoming a CNA?

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    I'm considering becoming a CNA then later becoming an RN. I'm wondering is this worth my time & effort. I've seen that the pay is quite low in Illinois, could be $11 hourly, I know it's good for experience but I don't want to be over worked and underpaid. Especially with the things they have to do.

    My questions are basically how much is they pay, is it worth it & what are some tasks that they do?
  2. 36 Comments so far...

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    Hi MsKim,
    Im starting my cna program in December and can give you some info since my mother has experience in this field. Working in Illinois as a cna can range anywhere from $9.50-12/hr,depends on whether or not you are working for a nursing home,rehab facility,in home care(private duty) or hospital. Working for the government or state pays much more Can be more in the suburbs but but not too much. I have seen folks work in temp agencies making $12/hr but usually no benefits..A CNA help older or disabled adults with their daily living,like bathing,dressing,feeding,vitals,blood pressure,and even light housekeeping duties if doing homecare. If you want to get your feet wet and gain experience then this is the way to go,the amount of work that it takes to care for patients is alot. You do it for the love of being in healthcare,a rewarding career with numerous possibilities and of course a paycheck lol Pay is good but dont just base your decision off that alone. It takes the right personality to fit this career,and in this economy nurses are always needed!! You can also looking into an LPN program,the pay starts at 14/hr and go to about 20/hr,you can do a bridge program right into an RN. My sis in law works at an adult daycare and makes $17.50/hr,the weekends she works at a temp agency making $20/hr for 2 clients at home.
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    It's really good experience for nursing school but certainly not the only way to get experience. CNAs are, arguably, always underpaid for what they do, if they are doing it well. Being overworked in understaffed facilities is more the rule than the expection-- but hey, that's good experience too, right?
    ShaynaSmart likes this.
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    Hey MsKim,

    I was a CNA for a little over a year before I hurt myself (not at work) and had to stop.

    We provide the basic care: bathing/showering, dressing, feeding, changing briefs (diapers, which is a term you shouldn't use), transferring patients/residents from bed to chair and vice versa, passing snacks, and other various tasks. It depends what setting you work in.

    Just a word of caution: research pay rates in your area. It will vary, and do not depend on hearsay from others. Someone mentioned that their sister in law makes $17.50 an hour at adult daycare... That seems more like the pay rate for a CNA who is medication-certified. This requires extra training in various forms. Typical CNAs working in LTC or rehab rarely make more than $12-13 an hour.
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    i live in northern il. for the first time last week, i heard of someone making $9/hr. that seems scary. i would never take that pay even though i'm just out of school. most CNAs i know make between $10 and $12/hr
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    Heard anything from 9.50-14.00 here in the suburbs of Chicago. More in the city of Chicago of course. It is a great entry point to bigger and better things in nursing, such as LPN and RN, the experience you gain is awesome!
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    @ FutureNeoNursing : Oh, Thanks your info helped a lot. Where can I find an LPN bridge program? Can I do that at any school? Say I get my LPN at one school then decide to go to a different school for the RN, will it help me get my RN quicker? I guess I don't really understand what the bridge programs are.lol

    @ tigerlogic : I hear u, it is good experience but I don't want to be THAT underpaid lol I've got 3 kids so the field I go into has to absolutely be sufficient enough.

    @ nguyency77 Really? Interesting . . the pay rates seem like not one can agree on a set rate but I understand it's nursing & experience plus certifications vary on the pay rate. What is LTC?

    @ nurse_tobe I wouldn't be able to accept $9 an hour either. Thank you.

    @ irisheiesrsmilin I'm in the burbs also. I thought because is just an assistant type of job and not actual nursing it would only give experience in dealing with people.
    Last edit by MsKim on Nov 25, '12
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    MsKim a bridge program is where you take your LPN or RN license and advanced your degree to another part of nursing,You end up with either an RN license or BSN. you can locate a school that has the LPN to RN component,not all schools have them but some off the top of my head are: Chicago State University,City Colleges of Chicago(Truman,Wright and you have to do the LPN course there),Illinois Central College,Prarie State College,Triton College,South Suburban College,Saint Xavier University(Lpn to BSN),Indiana State Unicersity online or campus & Ambria College of Nursing(RN and LPN to RN). I start my CNA class next week,my LPN course will start next year(no waiting list) and I plan on bridging into an RN or BSN following completion Im using the cna license to work while in school since Im a single mother and need those funds for bills and stuff. Different ways to get where you wanna go,just write down your goals and check them off as you go!
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    Quote from FutureNeoNursing
    MsKim a bridge program is where you take your LPN or RN license and advanced your degree to another part of nursing,You end up with either an RN license or BSN. you can locate a school that has the LPN to RN component,not all schools have them but some off the top of my head are: Chicago State University,City Colleges of Chicago(Truman,Wright and you have to do the LPN course there),Illinois Central College,Prarie State College,Triton College,South Suburban College,Saint Xavier University(Lpn to BSN),Indiana State Unicersity online or campus & Ambria College of Nursing(RN and LPN to RN). I start my CNA class next week,my LPN course will start next year(no waiting list) and I plan on bridging into an RN or BSN following completion Im using the cna license to work while in school since Im a single mother and need those funds for bills and stuff. Different ways to get where you wanna go,just write down your goals and check them off as you go!
    That's great advice & I truly appreciate it. I'm going to start looking into these programs because I do want a BSN. I was hoping UOI at Chicago would have one because that's where I wanted to go for the BSN but any school will have to do. Does the bridge program make getting the RN quicker? Thank you so much. Oh & good luck with all your scholing & the cna.
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    Yeah the bridge program is something like an accelerated course(fast track),you advance into the program with your pre reqs and certification,should be completed in less time like 12 to 18 months depends on what you are pursuing. Also there are a few RN to BSN online schools so you can still work and complete your degree. I know UIC and Loyola Univ has this. Do your research and find a path that works best for you


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