Do CNAs make for better nursing students? - page 2

This is for all the nursing clinical instructors out there: Do CNAs make better nursing students? I spoke with an RN friend of mine who teaches clinical at my hospital for a local university and... Read More

  1. Visit  MBARNBSN} profile page
    1
    i agree with the others that point out that it does not matter. in the first semester of clinicals (ltc) the cnas in my class rocked!!! after first semester, they were not better then any other student. in some cases they were worse because now we had to critically think. in fact, the cnas failed out of my nursing program at the same rate as the non-cnas. on the other hand, some cnas were good academic students along with many non-cnas. therefore, it does not matter if someone is or is not a cna. being a good nursing student comes from being able to think critically and work hard during your studies. gl!
    leslie :-D likes this.
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  3. Visit  cjcsoon2brn} profile page
    0
    I think that being a CNA usually makes a really good nursing student because they tend to be confident working with patients due to their experience and are just more comfortable overall in the patient care settings. I will say that it can be tough for them (myself included) to separate what they do at work from what they learn in school and that's something you need to work really hard on doing. I try to not mention the fact I am a CNA until I am absolutely sure that a professor doesn't have a anti-CNA mentality (and believe me some do). If they ask you directly then be honest but if they don't you should keep it low key until your certain that you won't have different expectations as a student simply because your a CNA.

    !Chris
  4. Visit  Dazglue} profile page
    1
    I think there could be advantages and disadvantages to everything. Lol. Well, the good side I think they have great clinical communication and interact well with patients. On the bad side, I've seen most of the CNA's, MCT's, LPN's miss a lot of questions on delegation because of what they are allowed to do in their facility. Here, a MCT can draw blood but according to our HESI, they can not, and unless the question states they have certification the answer is never that. And as soon as they miss the question the first thing they say is, "Well we are allowed to that where I work." But that doesn't mean that won't make a good nursing student. And that also doesn't mean someone who doesn't work in the medical field already won't make a good nursing student either.
    OldNurseEducator likes this.
  5. Visit  forevamber} profile page
    0
    i truely belive cnas make better nurses ..i have come across some real scary REAL NURSES that went straight from high school to nursing ..there for not having a clue once they hit the floor literally..see i am just a low paid nurse LOL l.p.n before that i was a cna ..and then there are some nurses whom i wouldnt hand my hamster to ..;] like the r.n who hooked up a supra pubic cath to jevity 1.2 @ 90 cc hr ...FABULOUS or the one that hung vanco in a peripheral free flow ..then me trying to explain that this is a vesicant solution..so in my career i have seen some really crazy RNS AND LPNS all of whom never had the ladder so to speak cna lpn rn arnp ...but it is a ladder of success trust me it does make a diffferance
  6. Visit  leslie :-D} profile page
    2
    Quote from merlee
    It may make a difference in the beginning, but when we get to the critical-thinking skills, complex meds, and teaching, I think students are all mostly on the same page.
    yep, i agree with this.

    the cnas in my class, clearly had the advantage in clinicals...
    and believe me, they let us know, too.
    ...cocky, precocious lot. (the ones in my class)

    but the bottom line is, that self-assurance quickly dissipated when struggling with didactic portion of nsg education.
    as stated, just as many flunked out as the non-cna's.

    so...for clinicals, yes, they probably do make the better students.
    but in the big picture...their experience has little relevance.

    leslie
    Last edit by leslie :-D on Mar 23, '11
    sevensonnets and enchantmentdis like this.
  7. Visit  fancyhen} profile page
    2
    I agree that having a background in medical care (such as CNA) helps very much in nursing school. The basic stuff that scares most brand new students will be easier for you. BUT just remember that you have to learn the "right" way to do things and practice that way while you are in school. I had several people in my class that had some problem with doing things their way instead of how the instructor wanted it done. Once you work in the real world, you learn to do things that work for you but when you are in STUDENT MODE, just remember to function as a student.
    Good luck and I know you'll have a great experience.
  8. Visit  OldNurseEducator} profile page
    1
    Quote from fancyhen
    I agree that having a background in medical care (such as CNA) helps very much in nursing school. The basic stuff that scares most brand new students will be easier for you. BUT just remember that you have to learn the "right" way to do things and practice that way while you are in school. I had several people in my class that had some problem with doing things their way instead of how the instructor wanted it done. Once you work in the real world, you learn to do things that work for you but when you are in STUDENT MODE, just remember to function as a student.
    Good luck and I know you'll have a great experience.
    I find that CNA's make much better students, but only if they learn to do things the "book' way (there's time after you graduate to learn to do things quicker but using the same nursing rationale!) instead of continuing with bad habits. If they truly want to learn the rationale for what they are doing and don't rely on what they have seen in practice (may not necessarily be the best way), then they would be a plus to any nursing program. I like they're enthusiasm for working really hard. It's very hard to be a CNA now. They work very, very hard.
    chorkle likes this.
  9. Visit  hkendrick1987} profile page
    2
    I'm currently pursuing my AAS, and i've been a CNA for nearly 5 years. Having the experience in the field that I do has helped tremendously in my classwork.
  10. Visit  Despareux} profile page
    0
    As a nursing student, I usually befriend those who have CNA backgrounds; they have a lot to offer those of us, like myself, who have zero medical background. In clinicals, yes, CNA's are better nursing students--that's almost a given. Beyond Fundamentals' theory, I think it's fairly equal.
  11. Visit  KimberlyRN89} profile page
    0
    I am a CNA & in my first semester of nursing school. Most of my classmates are either CNA's, PCT's, EMT's, Medication Aides/Techs or Medical Assistants. To me, I think the ones who have hospital experience have a leg up on the ones who don't (like me I just have long-term care experience). That's just my observation though.
  12. Visit  ObtundedRN} profile page
    2
    I believe anyone with some prior medical training helps.

    And on the converse, I do believe that nursing students make better CNA's (or something else like EMT etc).
  13. Visit  ZippyGBR} profile page
    0
    as long as they can get their head into 'RN' mode then yes having direct care experience can and does help especially in the early placements because you are not grossed out by a bed full of poop that a demented patient has been finger painting with ...
  14. Visit  AKA_Glamour_Pearl} profile page
    1
    I agree with VickyRN. In my first year of nursing school so many of my classmates were CNA's or in the medical profession already. The first 2 semesters they had it ALL together and were EXTREMELY confident. I fared well but was NOT confident at all. While I was panicked about having to enter a patient's room, they entered, did what needed to be done and were finished. That was the FIRST 2 semesters. After that it leveled off. Working in the hospital is great experience, but later on when we get to down to the bones of things, they were just like me. I eventually began to see where we were equal, and then by the grace of GOD I surpassed them and I'm pretty much in the top 10% of my nursing class. It's all about determination though. I wished that I had CNA experience before hand because it would have made my first 2 semesters less scary. But honestly, by the end of 2nd or start of 3rd semester the CNA advantage wears off completely. You have to remember though, the first semester or two is just the basics: knowing what the equipment is and how to assess vitals, how to make a bed, intake and output, Maslow, etc.
    I'm in my final semester now. Several of the CNA's that were in my class have dropped or failed. At the end of the day, I would say that there is an advantage "skills" wise and being comfortable in the hospital setting. Critical thinking, not so much. Again, it's all about determination and being able to think critically. Some CNA's will make the cut and others won't. Being a CNA doesn't mean that the person can definitely be an LPN or RN. Their road to LPN or RN licensure won't be any easier, in my opinion.
    Just look at being a CNA as having "some" experience and being able to know what the professor is lecturing on, as well as not being freaked by the site of a naked patient, or not fidgeting with the vital signs machine for 10 minutes because you don't really know how to use it, or knowing how to lock the wheels on the bed. A student with CNA experience can give a bed bath and be out of the room in a jiffy. The student with no hospital training, and that's new to it all, will probably STILL be in the patient's room.....sweating bullets. lol
    Just my opinion. Good luck though.
    chorkle likes this.


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