CNA-new here and looking for direction

  1. Hi all,

    I'm assuming CNA's are welcome here even though we're not actually nurses.

    I'm in PA and was wondering if someone could answer some questions for me. I have been all over the web trying to find ANY documentation of exactly what CNA's can or can't do in the state of PA. I can find what you have to do to become certified as a CNA in regards to skills, testing etc. but as for what you actually CAN do, there seems to be a pretty much nothing. Basically all I can find is that we work under the supervision of a nurse...

    I've checked the Board of Nursing, which apparently has nothing to do with CNA's. The only thing I can find is the site that does the actual CNA testing (www.promissor.com) and the nurses aide registry.

    Also, I'd love to go back to school for nursing. I realize that being a CNA in no way compares to what I'd have to learn in nursing school, but is it possible to get ANY credit for being a CNA? Even credit for a basic course (something that teaches ambulating, bathing, feeding ) would help....

    On another note...I work with some wonderful nurses. I work nights in LTC and there's only one aide per wing. The nurses have no problem helping with rounds etc. which is just wonderful.
    I do feel that CNA's on a whole are underappreciated (or maybe I should say "unrecognized" (lol) though....(I don't mean by the nurses) Heck, half the people that I tell I'm a CNA don't even know what that is!

    I'd sure like to hear from any other CNA's here too.

    TIA,

    Lorraine
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   louloubell1
    Hi Lorraine. You are certainly welcome here. I'm sorry I can't help you with your inquiry about what CNAs can or can't do in the state of PA. Hopefully someone will be able to give you some direction on that point.

    I think it's wonderful that you are considering going back to school. I'm sure that schools vary in their policies regarding CNA experience & any kind of credit, but in the program I attended it was not possible to get any credit for being a CNA. One of the reasons was that our first basic skills class included not only the things that you have learned as a CNA (like abulation, body mechanics, feeding, etc) but also the skills needed as an RN (like medication administration, trach care, enteral feedings, IVs, etc).

    Being a CNA may help you get accepted to nursing school though. The program I was in judged applications on a point system, & one of the things that got you extra points was working in health care.

    Good luck to you, & I hope you find the info you're looking for!

    Lou
    Convicted of placenta previa & serving time on couch arrest ~ Day 22
  4. by   2banurse
    I guess it all depends on the nursing program that you are applying for. Some will look at your experience and see it as a plus, and some won't. The most important thing is that you will probably be less intimidated that someone with no clinical experience.

    Kris
  5. by   MishlB
    I think it's pretty much facility policy as to what CNA's can do. Some do more than others...check with your facility.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The nursing school I attended now requires all its entrants to have their CNA before they can be admitted. Right or wrong, they determined they are tired of teaching people how to make a bed, do TPRs and other basics on their way to becoming RN's. I guess this accomplishes this.
  7. by   mario_ragucci
    I heard that if you are a CNA somewhere, you have to leave after you achieve RN because the RN's who worked near you while you were a CNA will bully you to do things for them as if you were still a CNA. I heard they won't let you make the transition because they are used to you as a CNA. I fear this, because I love where I work now.

    Life in/out of nursing school is two different realities. Nursing school is hardcore. It kicks my ass everyday, especially during clinicals, and especially when you rotate to hospitals, and you are forced to know about PCA's, f/c, meds, TURP's, BHO TSO, laparotomies, IV's, D5 1/2 NS w/KCl 125cc/hr, lactated ringer, epidural inj. Plus with work and lectures and labs - I'm dead.
  8. by   LorraineCNA
    Thanks for giving me the "up" side of things....LOL...

    Actually, my current job is not meant to be long term...I'm there because it's ridiculously convenient (about 6 minutes from my house) and until my youngest goes to jr. high which will be next year, I can't work a 7-3. I can't wait...I just can't seem to get used to nights. I only work part-time nights which I think actually makes it harder to get used to. I'm in a LTC facility. I'm hoping to get into the local hospital next fall.

    We're so short at work that I may pick up some short shifts during the day when there are call-offs which are daily.

    Thanks for the input.

    Lorraine
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    Welcome to the board, Lorraine!!

    Our state also requires CNA certification before acceptance to nursing school. But it wouldn't hurt to start learning all you can while at work and using the Net. There are some excellent resources to be gleaned this way.

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