Does becoming a CNA help you if you want to become an RN?

  1. 1 How has being a CNA helped you?
    Is it an easier transition from a CNA to an RN?
    Does is help you become more experienced?
    tell me your story.
  2. Visit  BeccA81494 profile page

    About BeccA81494

    From 'Uniondale, NY, US'; Joined Jun '11; Posts: 49; Likes: 15.

    34 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  lovethecrazylife profile page
    1
    Being a CNA will help you get the basics of caring for patients. I feel it should be a requirement to become a nurse
    Texas02 likes this.
  4. Visit  schnookimz profile page
    0
    Of course any experience in the field helps.
  5. Visit  duskyjewel profile page
    2
    From the perspective of a CNA who works with nurses, let me tell you I can tell the difference. The ones who were CNAs first are better nurses, and they also almost never have that uppity attitude about how they "don't do aide work."
    Texas02 and LifeIsGood76 like this.
  6. Visit  Mela2009 profile page
    5
    Quote from duskyjewel
    From the perspective of a CNA who works with nurses, let me tell you I can tell the difference. The ones who were CNAs first are better nurses, and they also almost never have that uppity attitude about how they "don't do aide work."
    I totally agree with you, I often experience the nurses at my job thinking that they are too good to do CNA work. I know for a fact that nurses who were CNA's before are definitely better nurses. My personal opinion is that you should always remain humble what your job title is, and most important never forget where you came from and what it took for you to get to where you are today.
    Zico, bluesky94, HollyBay, and 2 others like this.
  7. Visit  Mela2009 profile page
    0
    Quote from Mela2009
    I totally agree with you, I often experience the nurses at my job thinking that they are too good to do CNA work. I know for a fact that nurses who were CNA's before are definitely better nurses. My personal opinion is that you should always remain humble what your job title is, and most important never forget where you came from and what it took for you to get to where you are today.
    Sorry for the typo, I meant to say that we should always remain humble & grateful no matter what our job title is.
  8. Visit  kaydensmom01 profile page
    4
    Quote from Mela2009
    I totally agree with you, I often experience the nurses at my job thinking that they are too good to do CNA work. I know for a fact that nurses who were CNA's before are definitely better nurses. My personal opinion is that you should always remain humble what your job title is, and most important never forget where you came from and what it took for you to get to where you are today.
    Not meaning to sound ignorant, but I have never understood what gives a nurses aide the qualifications to determine what is considered a "good nurse"? So in an aides eyes a "better nurse" is one who is not afraid to do the "dirty work", when in reality nursing is so much more than that and that should be taken into account when determining what a "good nurse" is, not only if they will do the dirty work. No offense, just wondering.

    To the OP, being an aide certainly does help with being more comfortable with the basics of patient care and patient interaction- it helps with little after this though. Regardless if you are an aide or not you ARE able to be a good nurse, it will just take a little more time to get "comfortable" around the patients.

    A nurse should never consider themselves too good to do anything, but a nurses aide's job and a nurses job are two different things- everyone should remain a team though.
    onmyrnpath, macawake, Hygiene Queen, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  duskyjewel profile page
    5
    IME the attitude of being above "aide work" almost always rides along with bad attitude, lack of caring presence at bedside, and the minimalist tendency to do the absolute least they can get away with during a shift. The ones who would spend ten minutes looking for me to tell me to put someone on a commode instead of doing it while they were already there were the same ones facebooking on their phones while ignoring call lights. I think you'd have to agree that none of those constitute being a good nurse. I'm sorry you feel I'm not qualified, but I think even the most untrained layperson can even usually tell the good nurses from the not-good ones.
    bluesky94, SoCaliCNA, Texas02, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  glitterglamRN profile page
    0
    Totally! I started off as a CNA and I feel that it helped me a lot as a RN. You'll LEARN so much from the basics and fundamentals of nursing just by being a CNA. plus, you earn a lot of respect I believe because you know both sides as a CNA and RN, which helps with a lot of teamwork. Hope this helps
  11. Visit  kaydensmom01 profile page
    4
    Quote from duskyjewel
    IME the attitude of being above "aide work" almost always rides along with bad attitude, lack of caring presence at bedside, and the minimalist tendency to do the absolute least they can get away with during a shift. The ones who would spend ten minutes looking for me to tell me to put someone on a commode instead of doing it while they were already there were the same ones facebooking on their phones while ignoring call lights. I think you'd have to agree that none of those constitute being a good nurse. I'm sorry you feel I'm not qualified, but I think even the most untrained layperson can even usually tell the good nurses from the not-good ones.
    Of course that is not being a good nurse, but what I am trying to point out is it has nothing to do with if a nurse was an aide before or not. Everyone said "I can tell if a nurse was an aide before 2 minutes after meeting her", implying that a "good nurse" was an aide. You see what you want to see, and see a "good nurse" and automatically want to assume that they were an aide. I have met nurses that had the "aide work" mentality and they consisted of nurses that were not CNA's previously but were also made up just as much with previous aides that "didn't go to school to do the same thing that they had been doing". Being an aide previously does not mean that you are automatically humbled and a good nurse. Nurses that were not aides previously can and are just as good as those that were because as I said before being an aide and being a nurse are two completely different jobs.
  12. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    2
    Quote from duskyjewel
    I think even the most untrained layperson can even usually tell the good nurses from the not-good ones.
    Not really.
    Laypeople have no clue what all a nurse's duty entails behind the scenes.
    Just because the nurse puts them on the bedpan with a smile on her face does not mean she is a good nurse.
    The same nurse who rocks doing "aide work" could be ignoring her labs, not giving her meds, not following up on care, falsifying documentation, missing signs that her patient is starting to circle the drain and goodness know what else.
    A nurse that is too busy to be so amazing as to answer that call light may actually be doing all that really important stuff people don't even know about.

    Where are people working that they have coworkers on Facebook?
    I have honestly never seen that.
    macawake and kaydensmom01 like this.
  13. Visit  duskyjewel profile page
    0
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    Where are people working that they have coworkers on Facebook?
    I have honestly never seen that.
    I wish I could say I made that up. Now, let me be clear here: if you hit a slow patch during your shift and you take a look at your phone, I'm not going to get all up in your kool aid because I do the same thing. But when there are call lights going off and they're not getting answered because everyone is busy, put it down and do your job. And call lights are everyone's job.

    There were many reasons I needed to leave my previous job, this was just one of them. Once while I was sitting at a workstation charting vitals, I witnessed the charge nurse and another aide not only work around the IT block and get to facebook, but hack into a third party's account after that. (This same charge nurse openly admitted to pretty much everyone on the shift one night that she was plaigiarizing her BSN papers, as well. Her maturity level left a lot to be desired, obviously.) I witnessed so many things that I wondered how people didn't get fired or written up..... and this was at a major hospital chain that is currently working toward magnet status. If I said the name, you'd all recognize it.

    Some places just have toxic culture.
  14. Visit  november17 profile page
    8
    I was an aide for several years before and during nursing school.

    Being a CNA is practicing the art of basic nursing care. That is taught in nursing school, sure, but it isn't practiced very much during clinical. People that work as a CNA on the other hand, may have had years of practice with basic patient care while working before they ever even set foot in a clinical setting. It helps immensely during school since you won't need to spend very much time mastering basic nursing skills - personally it made my first semester a breeze.

    It would help you understand that healthcare isn't some glamorous job like they show on TV, where everyone is hanging around the nurse station saying witty one-liners or there's some kind of drama happening.

    Also, becoming a CNA would be the first step to assuming your identity as an RN. I know when I started working as a CNA I was really proud of it. Like, I provide healthcare, this is what I do. Now many years later I can look back on my resume and I'm proud to say that except for a short gap when I tried to switch fields and be an electrician, nursing care is what I've always done in one form or another.

    I remember I had a classmate drop out of RN clinicals after a month and a half when she was exposed to the reality of nursing care. She didn't like it. She decided to be a respiratory therapist instead. But if she had been a CNA she would have had an idea of what she was getting herself into. In that sense, being a CNA is a good way to test the waters and see if nursing is a good fit for you. I remember being 19, in a CNA program, and setting foot for the first time in a clinical setting. I walked in and said hi to the patient I was assigned to, he mumbled something and pointed at his butt, I looked under the covers and there was poop EVERYWHERE. That was my first lesson in assisting someone that was dependent on me for their care. Its never really got any better but at least I knew what to expect after that.

    I also got to work in several different areas as a CNA- something that I'd never get to do as an RN without extensive orientation. It helped me figure out which area was a right fit for me and I was able to pick a job I liked right after graduating - some RNs graduate, take a job, hate it, then switch areas within the first 6 months and then bounce around until they find one they like.

    Does it help your time management? Yes. It helps you learn how your day should be structured into manageable parts to get the tasks done that need to be done. Show me a new nurse that skips breaks or stays 3 hours after their shift charting and I'll show you a nurse that probably never worked as a CNA. Being a CNA taught me how to get done the things that needed to be done in a certain timeframe (generally revolving around when it was time to eat).

    Does it help you learn the tricks and techniques you need to provide care? Yes. I'll use an example, putting a plastic bag over someone's foot while getting their TED hose on makes the process as easy as putting on any pair of socks. They didn't teach that in school, I learned that on the job as a CNA. I make sure every single one of my patients gets a bath everyday, even if I have to do it myself...something I learned as a CNA. Some of my RN coworkers don't even pay attention to whether their patients get bathed or not. If there's an RN reading this, when is the last time you asked your patient the last time they got bathed? When is the last time you made sure your patients belongings were in reach when you left the room so the patient wouldn't hit the call light 50 million times for this or that? When is the last time you got up and rounded on all your patients to make sure their needs are met before you went on break so you don't get interrupted? There's many many other examples I could cite that I simply learned or got in the habit of during my experience as a CNA.

    I don't know any nurses that think they are above CNA work, however I do know a lot of CNAs that think RNs are lazy or purposely avoid answering call lights etc etc. I think there is a huge misperception and blurring by CNAs over what exactly the RNs role is in the clinical setting - I know I used to carry that same misperception. However, having been a CNA before being an RN, I can see both sides of the coin and I understand where they're coming from.
    macawake, proudcna, bluesky94, and 5 others like this.


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