Should all nursing students be required to be a CNA for one year? - page 2

Okay, please dont take my head off......but I hear/see so many students/new nurses regret the career path for whatever the reason maybe. My question is......Should all future nurses be required by... Read More

  1. by   meesa214
    My fundamentals class spent plenty of time on the stuff a CNA does. I'm now in my 3rd out of 4 semesters and we still do a CNA's job during clinicals (The CNAs on the units we go to tend to love us because that means more time for them to handle the patients that we're not responsible for.) Only now we also pass meds and do assessments. It's not until the 4th semester that we actually move into more of an RN role where we don't do baths and linen changes and fall into more of a leadership role.

    Now, I'm not done with school, and I've never actually been a CNA, but I feel plenty comfortable with their tasks.
  2. by   nahjah
    Yes, yes, yes!!!! I don't think it should be a law, but should be required by the school. I have been a CNA for almost three years. In our ADN program, they taught us everything in two hours. We are in our last semester and there are still some people who are not comfortable giving bed baths and can't even figure out how to put clean sheets on an occupied bed I don't know where the instructors have been for the past two years but..... Being a CNA has been such a valuable experience for me- I am able to connect what I am learning in school to certain residents. A few classmates and I had this discussion just last week!
  3. by   grentea
    I'm a nursing student right now and I started out as a CNA. Of course I feel like it gave me an advantage and it's really helped me a lot, but I don't think a law should be made requiring student to be CNAs. It would definitely be in a nursing student's best interest to get some good experience like this, and there is always the option of sitting for the CNA test to get license so that one could pick up some extra hours and expereince while in school. Everyone's paths are different. Some people get their first medical experience through working as EMTs also. If someone was interested in working in trauma, having CNA experience might not necessarily help as much as having experience as an EMT. I would highly recommend it to people thinking about nursing school if it's feasible for them, but you'll learn what you have to learn at some point anyways. Being a CNA gives you a leg up in terms of confidence and understanding things in the beginning of nursing school which can be a big, big help.
  4. by   smk1
    NO! it should be up to the individual.
  5. by   sassynurse78
    I hate to say yes, since I see the effect it would have on people that may not be able to afford to do it, But I think the classes (the class, 75 hours of clinical time or however long it is I know it is not more then a few weeks) and then passing the test should be required as a pre-req. I mean they might as well require that since most require so many things nurses don't need. I mean drop stupid course requirements like English II or something and let someone find out they can do this before they spend their time and energy on something they may find out they can not handle. I don't even remember how many we lost in nursing class when they spent their first clinical in a nursing home and found out that yes nurses do clean up number 2! The clinicals spent in the nursing fundementals course is not a great lesson in my eyes, since it has been my experience that we were given 1-2 pts to bath, and care for. The nursing students that do clinicals at the faciltiy I work only have 1-2 pts also. This is not realistic in the real world and multi tasking is not an easily learned task but very much required in this profession. Just my two cents. lol :chuckle
  6. by   Jennerizer
    I don't think it should be a requirement, but I do think it is quite helpful for those that are not comfortable in the clinical situation. I became a PCT after my first year of nursing school & it really built up my confidence in dealing hands-on with the patients as well as be able to relate what I was learning in school to what each patient's diagnosis was.

    Now that I have graduated & am in orientation as a grad nurse, it's a whole new world of having to learn how to deal with the charting, paperwork, giving & taking report, entering orders, dealing with doctors & other medical staff - things that being a PCT never exposed me to.

    So while being a PCT allowed me to see what interacting with a patient is like, it does not even come close to showing you completely what a nurse's role is in the whole process. That's why I don't think it should be required.
  7. by   BETSRN
    Quote from SophieMae
    Okay, please dont take my head off......but I hear/see so many students/new nurses regret the career path for whatever the reason maybe. My question is......Should all future nurses be required by law to have at least one year as a CNA before being accepted into nursing school? I ask this b/c new nurses are taught, it seems, so little about that level of nursing. A CNA being the most basic of the nursing staff, just does not seem correct if those who will rule over them does not have it.
    As well as, the career path can be examined more closely by rolling up the sleeves and jumping in with body, mind and soul. Finding out if this is the place for you before you spend $$$$, time and even taking the seat in nursing school from someone who really knows this is for them.
    Thank you for reading this and for your gentle response's.
    I think that's an excellent idea. So many people are not suited to being a nurse and that might weed them out. It would also give them some valuable hands on experience befoe they go to school. It might open the eyes odf these nurse wannabes who think they will only do administration and never get theri hands dirty!
  8. by   James Huffman
    Quote from BETSRN
    I think that's an excellent idea. So many people are not suited to being a nurse and that might weed them out. It would also give them some valuable hands on experience befoe they go to school. It might open the eyes odf these nurse wannabes who think they will only do administration and never get theri hands dirty!
    Let's ponder a couple of questions here, folks:

    1. Is getting one's hands dirty what nursing is all about?

    2. If a nurse administers nursing care, is that person somehow less of a nurse?

    3. The bigger question -- related to this thread -- : What's the nature of professional nursing? Bedside care is important, valuable, and a big part of nursing care. But I don't want nursing students thinking that somehow it's the only thing we do. Such a requirement might lead them to thinking that.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  9. by   DDRN4me
    I am torn about this issue. While i do believe that CNA experience is invaluable to have when becoming a nurse, i feel that having it mandated by LAW is a little strong. I think Nursing programs could/should have it as a requirement , though...or at least have a step-up program wher they are properly trained before doing clinicals. I have seen too many "newbies" who freeze when they have to deal with a real person! (never forget the new BSN grad who looked at me when i was an LPN and said "Do something ..she's crying..they didnt tell us what to do about that in school!!!)
  10. by   TZRNER
    I was required to take a CNA class before entering into the nrsing program. It is required at the college I went to. Basically it was to weed out people who don't know what it was like to work in healthcare with patients. I had been a Phlebotomist for years and had hospital experience, but still was required to take the class...It didn't hurt, but was very boring. (and it did weed people out)
  11. by   maxcat
    I agree-maybe not make it a hard and fast requirement, but it's *definitely* a good idea if you can afford to work as a CNA...or at least take the 2 nights/week to take the class while working before applying to school.

    It's exactly what I am doing. I'm a SAHM to 2 (doesn't pay for me to work full time out of the house and pay for daycare) and I am taking a CNA class 2 nights a week this semester. I am considering nursing school as well, and figured this would be a great and cheap (only a few hundred dollars) way for me to test the waters. So far I think I will like it. I plan on maybe working as a CNA a few nights a week in the next year or so for the $$ ($12.50/hour) and experience. No daycare expenses, hopefully, if I work at night/weekends. If you work for a home health agency here, you can make more as a CNA-$15-$20/hour. Not too bad. I would like to think that in nursing school I'll be that much more comfortable dealing with patients, acclimating to the hospital environment, etc.... Maybe nursing school wouldn't be quite as stressful for me. I also plan on taking a phlebotomy course too, to help out with my clinical skills and also give me another employment option pre-nursing school.
  12. by   maxcat
    BTW taking the CNA class is not a *requirement* or pre req for our local cc nursing program, but it is strongly recommended, and since it's competitive to get into most programs, I'd personally feel uncomfortable applying to school w/o it.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from SophieMae
    Should all future nurses be required by law to have at least one year as a CNA before being accepted into nursing school? .
    Thank you for reading this and for your gentle response's.

    Nope, I do NOT.

    And you are welcome.

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