Is it worth it to become a CNA on my road to becoming a nurse? - page 4

by sucess2012

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Is it worth it to become a Cna on my road too becoming a nurse. I am still not done with my prerequisite and am looking to gain experience. I am thinking about getting Cna training and trying to find a job. But I have a question... Read More


  1. 0
    I am a PCA/SNA which is similar to a CNA. Some nursing schools require your CNA license as a prerequisite.

    I work as a PCA in two hospitals. The experience is invaluable and it helps to have a little income to pay for books and tuition. My higher paying PCA job pays me 11.10/hr, not including shift and weekend differentials (which boost me to about $15/hr.) Not bad for someone who only has a high school diploma. Plus it looks FANTASTIC on the resume.

    Also, if you are looking for something less hands-on, try a sitter spot. I was a sitter for over a year and it was also great experience.
  2. 2
    Working as a CNA has helped dispel many delusions I previously held about the healthcare industry; I used to be the sweet, touchy-feely girl who wanted to sit and chat with every single resident over tea and crumpets.

    When I was a new CNA, I was concerned with doing everything the way I learned in school. One day, a resident (A&O) screamed at me. "OH FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, can you PLEASE just get on with it? Stop explaining EVERY SINGLE TIME you wipe my ***!" she yelled. We both had a good laugh, but it was a major wake up call! Sometimes, the people in our care don't want touchy-feely...They want honesty and support.

    It's not that I've become uncaring; it's that I am now oriented to reality. I don't think that nurses necessarily spend their whole shifts running about screaming, "Get the crash cart!" while holding the dying patient's hand dramatically, monitors beeping in the periphery. Doctors never bring room trays, nor wear their stethoscopes with the earpieces pointing the wrong direction like they do on TV.

    I have learned that nurses have to plow through the Himalayas of paperwork, and that med passes are much, MUCH harder than they look. Certain nursing assistants ALWAYS make up vitals and lie about shower refusals. Certain administrators will purchase all-in-one latte machines in lieu of equipment that is needed on the unit. Sometimes, she will accidentally order thermometer probes that could double as condoms but is too cheap to return them. Patients are not always the gentle, compliant patient roles that we act out in lab.

    Healthcare is not all rainbows and glitter, but I've made peace with that.
    gummi bear and Kandy83 like this.
  3. 0
    OP I considered getting my cna as well and working as a cna in the future while I take pre reqs for a bsn through an accelerated program. It would be a big pay cut for me but I am in a non health care profession and I feel it would increase the likeliness of getting accepted into an absn program, as well give me better job prospects when looking for an rn job. It would also allow me to see if I am making the right choice in switching career fields. I am in my 30s so I need to be sure before I make such a drastic change. Good luck!
  4. 0
    I don't know about California BUT, in PA where I live, CNA's make between $11-$23 dollars an hour especially in a hospital. I know plenty of CNA's that make a great living and from my experience, CNA work and Votech has helped me a lot in Nursing Fundamentals and on clinicals that is about it. Also, I have plenty of girls in my class that work as CNA's and HHA and have jobs waiting for them once they graduate.
  5. 0
    Quote from DivaLaJuicy
    I don't know about California BUT, in PA where I live, CNA's make between $11-$23 dollars an hour especially in a hospital. I know plenty of CNA's that make a great living and from my experience, CNA work and Votech has helped me a lot in Nursing Fundamentals and on clinicals that is about it. Also, I have plenty of girls in my class that work as CNA's and HHA and have jobs waiting for them once they graduate.
    where do you live!? I am from Pittsburgh and new grads start off at like 24$ an hour!
  6. 1
    Quote from klynn81
    No state. Province. I'm in Canada

    with that said..I am American and my sister and I have talked about the wages that CNA/LPN/RN make in the states and I've come to the conclusion that I'd probably never move south of the border again especially without going back to school for nursing first because I find the pay insulting. (been there done that, I worked as a CNA in the states oh say probably 12yrs ago and got paid A LOT less. I believe it was $8 or $9 at that time).
    I'm finding it difficult to relate to the wages made in the US. I'm at a little over $20/hr now as an aide. I can hardly wait to get to my lpn wage of $33/hr. Some of the lpns in the US don't make what I make as an aide.
    Kandy83 likes this.
  7. 1
    Here in SoCal, $10 at SNFs and around $14 in hospitals.

    As for me, I would tell fellow students and in job interviews that I did CNA to gain nursing experience. That's a partial truth. The real truth is that it was very easy to get a CNA job (early 2012) and my aim was to work wkend nights so I could do my pre-reqs with minimal distractions.

    Overall OP--besides being a bit more comfortable in the health care setting--becoming a CNA first is good for full-time students who'd also like to pull in a humble paycheck. Would I recommend it? I have to say I'm neutral.
    And my personal view is this: A brand new RN grad with CNA experience is no more than 2 days ahead of a brand new RN grad w/out CNA exp.
    Kandy83 likes this.
  8. 0
    I didn't become a CNA for the money personally. I became a CNA for the love of people. I love people and I love my job. I do want to go to school and become an RN eventually, but right now, being a CNA is where I'm at in my heart. $17/hour is great pay for CNA. I make a little over $8.
  9. 0
    I think all nurses should be required to be CENAS first Some of my nurses, you can TOTALLY tell they have no idea how hard our job can be!
  10. 0
    I live in Sacramento as well and I graduated with my BSN in May and I've been thinking about testing out and getting my CNA license for experience since the market isn't kind to new grads. However, I'm worried that because I do have my RN license I won't get a CNA job because the hospital would see me as just uping and leaving once I get an RN job which is technically right but I'm not sure what else to do at this point.


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