I am a CMA - page 2

I am a CMA since 2011. I work in a primary care clinic for 3 years rooming pt's, taking vitals, injections, drawing blood. I love my job, recently I applied for LPN program at a community college, I... Read More

  1. by   seanynjboy
    Hi Celeste,

    Let me start by saying that as a CMA, you will not advance too far in your career $$ wise, and are limited in what you can do with your certification. I am in NO WAY putting down MAs as I think they are the backbone of all primary care offices. I used to be an office manager and without the dedicated MAs I had working with me, the office would have never worked as well (Same with the LPNs I worked with - they were my "2nd in command"). I am just laying that out right there to start...

    CMAs have a small potential to take on management roles, I have met a few of them, but are few and far between. A lot of offices would like to see someone with either an LPN or RN license. Although the pay bump at your office is "only $2-3 more an hour" it will eventually pay off, your student loans will eventually pay off and you will always be a nurse. ((FUN MATH - $2.50 x 40 hrs per week x 52 weeks = $5200 (before taxes) more a year.)) For some people that is a car payment.

    I am a HUGE advocate of higher education. In the medical field, you are constantly learning and we have to keep on top of that. A CMA (and LPNs in some place) is a task-oriented roll (as you stated, you do specific tasks, ie vitals, rooming, injections, phleb). Whereas an RN takes on a more assessment and critical thinking role and is usually also a supervisory role in some capacity.

    It took me A LONG time to go back to school. I flip-flopped in and out for years until I finally bit the bullet and went back to nursing school. I started out as a pharmacy tech for 10 years, went back to nursing school and got my LPN while in RN school - the school I was at had the capability - I worked at a long-term care facility ($18/hr to start $21/hr after training complete) to get some experience for a few months during my last 2 semesters of nursing school. I graduated, passed the NCLEX-RN and then got a job at a hospital ($28/hr nightshift). Left the hospital to do nursing IT work ($30/hr). Moved back to NJ and got the managing job ($31/hr) and recently took a job doing chart review ($33/hr). My chart review job is a contract job and I was just offered a long-term contract for a work-at-home position for RNs doing advanced coding ($33/hr). I do have loans - and will be paying them off over a LONG period of time. I make more than enough to cover my payments and after they are over, who knows what I will buy...

    Bottom line...YES you will have loans when you graduate, they go away after a while, your pay bump will most likely take care of the loan payments and you will have some left over. After loans are paid off (and over time getting raises) - you will STILL BE A NURSE and making more $$ than before as a CMA.

    Good luck in ANYTHING you choose. Although I am a firm believer in higher education, a person should also BE HAPPY with their job. You spend 1/3 of your life working (or more) so make sure you are happy. (Same as you spend 1/3 sleeping - so buy a good mattress lol)

    If you ever have any questions about nursing send me a message

    Good luck
  2. by   celeste26
    Wow.Thank u so much for an awesome advised and explanation. I will starting my school on May 26 if everything goes ok. I really appreciated you took the time to explain the benefits . Now more than nothing I know this is not a wrong decision at all !!
  3. by   seanynjboy
    Quote from celeste26
    Wow.Thank u so much for an awesome advised and explanation. I will starting my school on May 26 if everything goes ok. I really appreciated you took the time to explain the benefits . Now more than nothing I know this is not a wrong decision at all !!
    Awesome Good luck! You ever need a pep talk or anything send me a message
  4. by   tixgirl76
    Good for you! I'm an MA too with 16 years of experience. I'm in my third semester of RN program (ADN). I love school! Still working full-time though. I have 3 more semester to go. We can do this! Good luck to you!
  5. by   NursePJ2015
    Go for the RN Program instead!

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