RN goal: HAVE to work as LNA or is volunteer exp enough??

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    Morning all -

    I was following another thread when the OP hit on a topic I am really wrestling with, and I'd love some input please!

    Lotus180 said...

    >>>>"I have researched the nursing career and schools like a crazy person before I started taking classes, and over analyze things to the point of insanity. I have been making all A's in the courses I've taken so far and school is not an issue. BUT...being a CNA is not fun, duh-I know! But...I have injured my shoulder and my knee (which had minor issues before) now sometimes makes a clicking sound. I am very petite, but I do know good body mechanics. I am only working part-time but when I come home I am exhausted, even the next day"<<<

    In my state, one is required to have graduated from a certified/Licensed Nursing Assistant program before/as part of the pre-req/submission requirements for the AN program within our community colleges. I will be completing that course in the fall, then continuing to work on a few more pre-reqs throughout 2012/13.

    I have gotten to shadow three times, and I've been volunteering for 7 months in my community with both the elderly and with a pediatric population. I have a growing friendship now with two people who have worked as LNA's for 8 months, and the other for two years, as well as with an RN who has been licensed and working mainly in a hospital setting for 7 years so far.

    Of the two LNA's, their life situations are different and neither plan to continue on in the Nursing field. They are both positive people, in their early twenties...but their descriptions and the info they have shared with me often in these past six months very much mirror what Lotus180 said in her post ;o/

    I would like to know how much actually working as an LNA trumps a similar amount of time in volunteer experience in either an LTC, group home and/or hospital setting? I am not put off by the seeming 'hard work' CNA/LNA's must do; a strong work ethic is part of who I am. After serving 13 years in the Corps, I can definitively say I am not a slacker. However...I am trying to make a logical decision about the other needs in my life as I finish up pre-reqs, work part-time and study for my entry exam, then go on to make app's to several NS programs in my state.

    Considering the job market currently and in the next four years, (*through my very magic looking glass --- much can change, or some of the current employment challenges in the healthcare field may become even more stringent.

    It would be very helpful to those of us just beginning our journey to hear comparisons of interviews or hire offers in which actually having worked as a LNA seemed to be a very important bump to the resume --or not.

    Thanks so much,
    Glass-Half-Full
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    Working as an NA while you are in nursing school gives the nurses and nurse manager a chance to see if they would like to hire you permanently on their unit when you graduate. Also, employees of the hospital get considered for positions before non-employees.
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    Thanks so much for answering NOAM --

    Def can see how the experience would be helpful generally for getting accustomed to the patient care model and being exposed/getting to 'see' what LPN's and RN's do on a daily basis also. For sure the current job market in my area does not allow for getting a LNA position in a hospital without a year's LNA experience and/or connections. Still figuring out positives and negatives to this. Appreciate your input!
    Last edit by Autymn on May 3, '12 : Reason: Corrected acronym


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