CNA class...

  1. I will be starting school for my ADN in January, but need to work at the same time. I have a clerical job now, but want to really get some good experience by being a CNA. There's a class I can take in town that is 4 weeks long and only 4 hours a day with 2 weeks classroom study and 2 weeks clinicals. It costs $750. The next class starts in 2 weeks so I could get it done before school starts. Does this sound like a good deal? My other option is after my nursing fundamentals class we can be certified as nursing assistants, but that would be a year away. What do you guys suggest? Thanks!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Blueeyes,

    I am starting clinicals next fall and have looked into becoming a CNA for the experience and so that I could work while in school.

    I do think that being a CNA is good experience but for me things didn't work out because the CNA classes here are full time- 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for about 3 months and I could not afford to be out of work for 3 months.

    I was offered a place in a program at a facility where they would have paid for my training and would have paid me part time while I was in CNA school and then afterward they would offer me a position but this also was not a good deal. I would have to work for them for a year or else repay them for the classes. During the year that I would work for them I would not be guaranteed a full time job and if I ended up working part time for them I would only make half as much an hour as if I was "full time". Plus, I would have to work every single weekend and holiday.

    So, I have stayed at my present job because the money is quite good and I can schedule classes around it.

    I think you should see how much CNA's in your area make and what types of benefits (vacation time, etc.) they usually recieve. Then, weigh the pros and cons of staying at your current job or becoming a CNA. Determine if it makes sense financially.

    Once I considered the money I would give up plus that sick time and vacation time that I get with my current job it just made sense to stay for now rather than jump into a CNA position. I do hope to get a Patient Care Tech job after my first year of clinicals though.
  4. by   colleen10
    PS, where I live after you complete your first year of clinicals you are usually able to get a job as a Patient Care Tech which here makes quite a bit more money than a CNA and also provides more "technical" care to patients.

    Depending on where you live you may want to examine this avenue also. For me it makes more sense to get through my first year of clinicals while working my secretarial job and then hopefully I'll find a Patient Care Tech job where I will make more money than I would if I was a CNA.
  5. by   sjoe
    Yes, it would be good training and experience to have.
  6. by   shabookitty
    Wow Colleen I did not know that!
    I am currently seeking a PCT or Psych tech position...well, trying to transfer into one. You know me from my previous inexperienced lab-blood drawing posts! haha! I am trying to fleeeee!
    I always assumed CNA's made more than PCT. I really haven't done much research in the pay difference. I am not really sure of the difference. I have heard PCT do bathing, dressing, and transport patients. But, I thought CNA's do the same thing. I assumed that if you were "certified" you just made more $$.
    Who knows! haha! At the hospital in my area, you are hired as PCT in respect that you will be going to school and then you graduate into CNA after fundamentals course. Much like your situation, CNA are stuck EVERY holiday working especially if you are new...no rotation and every other weekend. Pay here is only 6.75
    Anyways! Just want to say thanks for your help in previous posts
    Blueyes...both CNA/PCT are all good beginnings. It helps you build confidence with patients... It will definitely get your feet wet. Good luck with your decision!
  7. by   almostanurse
    wow, thats alot of money. Almost every nursing home you go to will train you for free, and some times pay you while you take there class so when you are certified you can work for them. call around and i bet you can find one. I would not pay that much. being a cna has its advantages and dissadvantages.

    advantage: you get use to being with clients, talking to them. the first 4-6 weeks of lab is centered on cna work so you will feel confadent when your in your first few weeks of lab. and I think the most importent lesson you learn is that when you become a nurse you will know how to treat your cna and pca's. That was my biggest this is I said when im a nurse I will not walk around, pass a call light in search for a cna and say hay so and so room 105 has the call light on. grrr. or when they would do a tube feeding and leave the formula that exploded all over the bed because they forgot to pinch the tube, then they would say so and so needs to have there bed changed. any way now as almost a nurse with a little experience under my belt I see that sometimes you dont have the time to change the bed, ect.. but it has made me more considerate, if i have the time, you bet ill stop and help transfer, feed, take a person to the toilet, ect... and you will never catch me walking and searching for an hour for a cna to tell them the call light is on


    disadvantage: you wind up saying things in class like thats not how we do it at ware i work, and teachers really hate that. another issue at least for me was letting go of the cna role. ide be making beds, and helping old ladies cut up their meat when I had meds to pass. Ive gotten over that now, but I still have some compulsions to do those things, if i have time to do extra, then I do. please pay no attention to my spelling, its bad I know. any way good luck
  8. by   almostanurse
    I know you said that you one place did offer to pay but if you were not there a year you would have to pay them back, this is not the norm. most places dont make you pay it back. and I dont think they can make you pay it back. I have never heard of such a thing
  9. by   cna on her way
    I am a CNA at the local hospital here and I have been here for a year. I am hoping to start the LPN program this fall and then complete the ADN. I would urge anyone who can to work as a CNA first. THe experience is wonderful and you learn so much. Especially at a hospital. I make 9.55 an hour now. Thats 8.80 base pay and .75 shift diff for third shift. Starting pay at our hospital is 8.00. I didn't go through the usual schooling for my CNA however. I decided to challenge the exam and passed. I had worked in an assisted living facility for 6 months prior to testing not certified.
  10. by   cna trainer
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    150.00 gets you a book written by me!, simulated state exams clinical study guide and step by step instructions, and much more!
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  11. by   nursecompassion
    That is a long CNA class! My CNA (STNA) class was only two weeks in length, we went from 8-4 for two weeks. Two of those days were clinicals.
    However, I guess with two weeks of clinicals you would not be as green as I was when I first started my job.
    I am currently pursuinig an ADN, and my clinicals will start in the fall. I think it will give me an advantage as far as general patient care and compassion etc.
    Also, if you are lucky to meet some nurses who are willing to help, they may let you watch or assist them with dressings, vitals, etc. However, not everyone does things the way they are supposed to be done. Example, washing hands, wearing gloves etc. So, if you become a CNA, get in the habit of that quickly.

    On a personal note: I really enjoy my job, and I believe that you can tell the difference between aides who do and who don't. You can tell by the way their residents are dressed, their hair is combed, if they answer their call lights promptly. However, it can be stressful if you are on a more alert hall and have al lot of lights. Just put yourself in their (r)position.
    Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    sincerely, jules
  12. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by blueyes
    I will be starting school for my ADN in January, but need to work at the same time. I have a clerical job now, but want to really get some good experience by being a CNA. There's a class I can take in town that is 4 weeks long and only 4 hours a day with 2 weeks classroom study and 2 weeks clinicals. It costs $750.
    Keep looking-there are nursing homes and hospitals in this area that will PAY YOU to take the training.....
  13. by   BlueKnight
    i am new to all this and i have a chance to be a CNA or go to school for a MA. I am male and have read hundreds of posts of male MA nightmares..My goal is to be a nurse was wondering if someone could give me somew advise on which path is best to go into to start my dream of working in a hospital
  14. by   BlueKnight
    ooops double posted sorry

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