CNA before ADN?

  1. Hi, I just had a question. I will be enrolling in an ADN program in one year. I have heard different things from different people. Should I become a CNA before I get my ADN for some experience? Or does it matter if I do that or not. I know some people who are going to become a CNA first, and some who are not.
    Thanks,
    Christine
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   NurseLatteDNP
    I did it as soon as I got accepted into the nursing program. I can only talk about me and it has helped me a lot. We are doing our clinicals now, and in my group I am the only aide, and I am helping my classmates a lot, because they have never worked in a hospital setting before. I am very happy that I made the move to become an aide. However in the last two semesters all students should be on the same level of clinical experience, because aides can not do IVs, meds or any of the things students do towards the end of the nursing program. I would recommend it to you, you can just do it once or twice a week (PRN) until you get more comfortable.
  4. by   bethin
    Definitely!! No question, you will be ahead of the other students for a bit, but maybe also you won't be so nervous around pts. Another thing, after you're a CNA for a little while, you might look into being a patient care assistant. In Indiana we can start IV's, insert/remove catheters, perform EKG's, do blood draws and the list goes on. Just imagine being able do to all those things before anyone else!

    Also, being a CNA you pick up on medications, diseases, disorders, surgeries, etc.
  5. by   NurseLatteDNP
    I have also found that being a unit clerk can help out a lot. They learn about different labs that need to be ordered, they learn how to read doctors writing (you know that's not easy), and they learn about different meds that need to be ordered from the pharmacy. And the best thing about a unit clerk in my opinion is the use of medical termenology.
  6. by   Question
    Quote from bethin
    Definitely!! No question, you will be ahead of the other students for a bit, but maybe also you won't be so nervous around pts. Another thing, after you're a CNA for a little while, you might look into being a patient care assistant. In Indiana we can start IV's, insert/remove catheters, perform EKG's, do blood draws and the list goes on. Just imagine being able do to all those things before anyone else!

    Also, being a CNA you pick up on medications, diseases, disorders, surgeries, etc.
    I start the ADN program in Jan and I was wondering if it would worth becoming a CNA once I have already started the program or just not worry about it?
  7. by   bethin
    I would check out your options. I got my CNA certification from a nursing home that paid me while I took the classes. I think it was 2 weeks in class and then I went to the floor. I know if you take the classes at a hospital or nursing home that the time spent is shorter, since you probably don't want to be doing this in Dec. Going to a community college you can spend a semester just on nurse's aide procedures. Honestly, it's pretty basic stuff. What helped me was that a nurse asked me if I had ever given a baby a bath, changed diapers, etc. I said yes. She then said it's doing the same thing except on a big person. If you want to do this, I would start looking for facilities that offer classes ASAP.

    Good Luck!!!



    Quote from Question
    I start the ADN program in Jan and I was wondering if it would worth becoming a CNA once I have already started the program or just not worry about it?
  8. by   KatieBell
    Yes. You can work as a CNA during school- and you will be waaay ahead when it comes to taking boards (if you pay attention to what is happening to your patients beyond just giving baths and bedpans), and if you want to work at the facility you worked at- you will already have time in- at some places thats important for retirement bennies etc. You will have a much easier time during clinicals if you have already been around patients.
  9. by   Nurse_Diane
    Quote from Sunshine1313
    Hi, I just had a question. I will be enrolling in an ADN program in one year. I have heard different things from different people. Should I become a CNA before I get my ADN for some experience? Or does it matter if I do that or not. I know some people who are going to become a CNA first, and some who are not.
    Thanks,
    Christine
    I work in a hospital pharmacy (both outpatient and inpatient basis). I find that being a pharmacy tech is very helpful as well, because you learn the names of drugs, dosing, what they are used for, drip rates, etc.
  10. by   Sunshine1313
    Thanks everyone for your input, it helps out a lot!
  11. by   truern
    Quote from Question
    I start the ADN program in Jan and I was wondering if it would worth becoming a CNA once I have already started the program or just not worry about it?
    Hi I'm almost finished with my ADN program, and we were certified as CNAs at the end of second semester (we didn't have clinicals until then). Check with your program to see if it's the same.
  12. by   rayofsunshine
    I live in Maryland and we're qualified to work as a cna after our FIRST semester of school. I have never worked in a hospital setting before( I did work as a physical therapy tech for six years) but I'm not too worried about it. It will all come in time. I start clinicals tommorow!

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