If I hate being an CNA, will I hate nursing?

  1. I've been planning for about 6 months now to apply for MEPN/GEPN programs for fall of 2009, with a nurse-midwifery degree being the end goal. I recently (three weeks agao) started working as a CNA at an LTC while taking pre-reqs and I am miserable. Even with 10-12 patients, I feel like I never get eeverything (even enough) done and I take all my work-related anxiety home with me and worry on my days off about my previous and upcoming days at work. Is nursing different? Or will I carry all this stress with me all the time, and should I get out now before I've invested $$$ in an education?
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Being an RN is different . . although you will still work as a team and have to do some of the same things. Depending of course on where you end up.

    Do you have to work? I'd give up the CNA job or try to find one in another area besides LTC.

    But, no . . you won't hate nursing if you hate being a CNA. Not necessarily.

    steph
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    Nursing is stress, and you never feel like you did everything.
  5. by   Gauge
    My mother was a CNA for about 6 years before she finally finished her LPN this past fall. She said the work is alot more mental than physical now, but she likes her job a whole lot more. Being a nursing student I would have to agree. We did clinicals in a nursing home this semester and every clinical day except one we did total patient care (same thing as a CNA) except we only had 1-2 patients. I couldn't imagine getting 10-12 or even more at some facilities and getting work done. But on the other hand, we got to give medications one day and I love that day! It's a different world between nursing and CNA work, I will be happy to be a nurse, but don't think I could be a CNA. Hope this helps.
  6. by   jackson145
    I worked in the ER at my hospital and took a job as a tech (sort of like CNA) on the Med/Surg floor. The RN's from the ER said I'd hate being a tech and that I should just stick with being a clerk until I went to nursing school. I can't say I hate tech work, but from observing the nurses, I think I'll like nursing more. However, I'm glad I've had the patient care experience that tech work has given me.
    Apparently, a lot of nurses wouldn't like to be CNA's, so I guess it doesn't mean you wouldn't like nursing if you don't like CNA. Remember though, a lot of times nurses end up doing CNA duties. If you can't stand wiping dirty bottoms and making beds you might be unhappy when you find yourself having to do it as a nurse. It's not a main duty for a nurse, but if there aren't enough CNAs/techs, the work must be done!
  7. by   marilynmom
    I worked as a CNA and I hated every SECOND of it! I even worked in a really nice place and hated it (med surg type floors). I just don't like that type of job--it is just very physical work. Comparing a CNA to an RN is like comparing apples to oranges. It ain't the same, not even close. I quite my CNA job after a month. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and I wouldn't do it again.

    I now work as a nurse tech and I LOVE it!! I get to do nursing skills (foleys, IVs, NG tubes, blood draws, etc) and it rocks. I still help clean patients and turn and stuff but there is just a lot more to it. I mean some of the CNA duties are nursing duties. I work in an ICU and we don't have any aides that work there so the RN and the techs have to do it all, no one loves wiping butts but it's not what you do all day long either.

    So no, please don't think that because you hate being a CNA you will also hate being an RN. Once you start nursing school and get farther along in your program (meaning once you learn more and more skills) you will see the difference. You might enjoy CNA type work though on an OB floor.

    I have a friend who wants to work in OB when she is done and works as a CNA on that floor and she LOVES it!

    You really have to find your area of nursing. If I worked as a nurse tech on a med/surg floor I would hate that because I hate med/surg, I like the ICU. also your patient population is a factor. I work in the PICU and that is the patient population I like and enjoy working with.

    If you don't have to work I wouldn't even bother working if you hate that job. After your first semester of nursing school hospitals are going to start recruiting you and you will be able to start working as a nurse tech or something similar and that may be a better route for you to go.
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from jackson145
    Remember though, a lot of times nurses end up doing CNA duties.
    All CNA duties are nursing duties, not the reverse.

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Nursing assistants simply perform those nursing duties for which a license if unnecessary.
  9. by   jackson145
    Didn't mean to sound that way! I just know my husband thought that when he finished with clinicals he'd never have to wipe another backside or make another bed, that there would be CNA's to do that for him. It doesn't always work that way though, does it?
  10. by   beth66335
    I would never work in long term care as a CNA and I have been one for 5 years! I worked in a hospital until I started school and although I got tired of baths and poop, it isn't as hard as a LTC, and you sometimes get to watch or help with cool procedures like central lines or chest tubes! I know I will enjoy being a RN more than an CNA because although there are still some baths and poop there is more of the good stuff! Hang in there, once you get into school you will start to see a difference!
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from jackson145
    Didn't mean to sound that way! I just know my husband thought that when he finished with clinicals he'd never have to wipe another backside or make another bed, that there would be CNA's to do that for him. It doesn't always work that way though, does it?
    It certainly doesn't.

  12. by   emily84
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Surprisingly, it's not the butt-wiping and the bed-making that are getting me down. I adore (most) of my residents and I do like taking care of them. It's just that there's never enough time to provide nearly the level of care that I would like to, or to just spend time getting to know my residents. I'll admit that it's physically trying some days, but it's constant emotional stress that's making me unhappy: my job is never done to my satisfaction and I worry about it a lot while I'm not there. One of my residents passed away last night while I was on the floor (not even one I'd had for more than a couple of days) and I had to do the post-mortem care...at the end of my shift I came home and cried my eyes out.

    My main worry about nursing, even on a OB floor, is that my inability to leave my job at work will make me burnout before I even get started.
  13. by   Daytonite
    In my opinion, if you're worried about the anxiety of being a CNA you can expect to have more anxiety as a midwife since the responsibility of being a midwife is going to be much greater. So, in my opinion, yes, you should get out now before investing $$$ in an education that might prove to be a disappointment. One thing you might do is try to get an opportunity to shadow a midwife to see what they do on a daily basis.
  14. by   onlyhope
    Quote from jackson145
    Didn't mean to sound that way! I just know my husband thought that when he finished with clinicals he'd never have to wipe another backside or make another bed, that there would be CNA's to do that for him. It doesn't always work that way though, does it?

    night shift on my floor we have never had a cna past 10pm for as long as i've worked there. i wipe every one of my patients butts if need be

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