Now I know that there are probably hundreds of similar questions floating around this site, but I'm hoping this one is a little different.
I am currently a CNA in a mixed rehab/LTC facility, and I am certainly not happy. It's not changing briefs, or feeding, or any of those things that give me problems. It's the possibility for advancement. For some reason I currently have no idea of, the only local uni that provides CNA level training dropped their Medication Technician, Advanced Skills Nursing Aide, EKG/ECG, and Phlebotomy courses. So now you're either stuck as a CNA, go 'behind the scenes' (RadTech, CT Tech, Surgical Tech, etc.), Patient Care Tech (the national exam type, not the other CNA title), spend another semester in and go for LPN, Or go for ADN.
My dream is a job as an RN in direct wound care types of jobs. It doesn't have to be solely wound care, it's just that my skills are more in that area, more so than pharmacology, etc. and I have little to no problem with the aspects of it people find rather - undesirable, like debridement, ostomies, and the like.
But as things stand now, I'm not making all that much. Every advisor I've had has told me that it's not a good idea to work while in the nursing program, even going so far as to put a suggestion to that effect in the schools
materials. So I have to work.
So the question is, what path would you advise me to take? I keep hearing the messages of "It's sooo worth it!", but often these were women that had either still been living at home with their parents, or with their significant others/spouses through the educational process. I don't want to mess things up by flunking out by not being able to handle the course load, and I don't want to let myself get disheartened to the point that I give up. Should I stick to trying to get in the ADN program, go for LPN and worry about advancement later, or is there some field I'm not even aware of that would be a far better fit.
And before you start being too concerned, I'm not going to make my choices solely on what all of you have to say. But with so little useful information and chances here, it only seems right to reach out.
Thanks for your time.
Jul 18, '17
Since you already are familiar with the healthcare environment you have a bridge to build on. If you like wound care you could go on to become an RN and work in the field. Our wound care specialist has a Masters degree, but I believe you could find work in a wound care clinic, possibly even now as a tech. Wound care is part of floor nursing and home health care as well as the clinic option. It is not a favorite part of my job, but I'm able to do it and do my best for the sake of the patients.
You are smart that you are considering all your options. I was not aware of the many healthcare jobs out there other than nursing. Perhaps I would have been better suited for an allied health position. Nursing has been very hard for me stress wise and I've witnessed the working environment, staffing levels and expectations deteriorate over the years. I like many others have gone on medication to deal with the stress and while part of me feels weak for doing it the other part of me wishes I had done it years ago to help me cope.
From a purely practical economic viewpoint, nursing has enabled me to pay my bills, buy a house, travel a little, and save for retirement. I come from a lower middle class working family without a college background or the necessary social connections to get a good paying job in this world where who you know matters more than what you know. There are moments when I enjoy my job and feel a connection with my patients, but there are too many times of being overworked and over stressed to recommend nursing generally. However with your background you could probably succeed and maybe even thrive.
Many students are able to work while going to school. If you decide to do it check oud your local community college for an ADN RN. It could save you thousands of dollars. Stay away from for profit colleges and from private student loans. Take out the least govt student loans. Once you have your ADN you can then go on to a low cost RN to BSN option, there are now many online degree programs. Western Governors University is among the cheapest option out there. If you are lucky your employer will help pay something toward your BSN.
Last edit by brandy1017 on Jul 18, '17