What Jobs Can I Get Hired For While In Nursing School?

  1. Hi all,

    First I want to say that I have gotten so much valuable information from these boards. Thanks guys, you rock!

    My question is this....I want to work in a hospital while I am in nursing school. (Starting soon I hope..) The thing is, this is a second career for me. So I have absolutely NO medical/hospital experience whatsoever.

    My background is rooted solidly in sales/management, customer/client services. I have been awarded many times with having the highest sales, best customer service for the month, etc. But I want to get out and follow my lifelong dream of being a nurse.

    What can I get hired for in a hospital with this experience????

    I am in South Florida. Do I go around HR in the surrounding hospitals and talk to them? Tell them I am going to be going to nursing school and want to work there? Please advise me on what you think I should, could do.

    Thanks
    Julie:kiss
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Hooligan
    Hey Jules,

    Why not look into becoming certified to be a nurse's assistant? I'm not sure if you're going the BSN route or the ADN route but a lot of jr. colleges and even some hospitals provide classes to prepare you for certification. Check around and see what comes up! My ADN program requires you to become CNA certified before even entering the program. That's what I'm doing this semester! Good luck!
  4. by   psychonurse
    I would suggest the same thing to you.....there is nothing compared to working as a CNA in the hospital while you are going to school. It is amazing what you learn while doing that. I was an CNA for 4 years before I became an LPN and an LPN for 8 years before I became an RN. I felt that the experience that I got was the best thing. You could certainly tell the nursing students that had been in the trenches before they went to school They are more prepared than the ones that had no experience. :roll
  5. by   James Huffman
    I would encourage the CNA route as well. Working as a CNA is very hard work -- I did it while in nursing school myself -- but it gives you a feel for the trenches like nothing else can.

    Just don't let the hard work discourage you from your goal of a nursing career. Working as a professional nurse is an entirely different ball of wax from being a CNA.

    Finally, down the road, when you are ready to graduate, do NOT plan to work at the facility where you have been CNA. You will be changing roles, and you will need a fresh break between the roles of CNA and RN. Doing that at the same facility would be difficult.

    Good luck to you!

    Jim Huffman, RN

    www.NetworkForNurses.com
  6. by   Hooligan
    Finally, down the road, when you are ready to graduate, do NOT plan to work at the facility where you have been CNA. You will be changing roles, and you will need a fresh break between the roles of CNA and RN. Doing that at the same facility would be difficult.
    Wow! I never would have thought of that! I alway thought it would be good to get a feel for which hospital would be good to work at! Thanks for giving me something to think aboout!
  7. by   maizey
    I also agree with the CNA route. It will give you a feel for what you will be dealing with and you will be around the nurses and see what they are doing for the most part. You will be the nurses assistant and that will give you a lot of contact with the patients and the nurses. I also agree with not working where you do your CNA. Another option might be a ward secretary which would give you a feel for the paper work but not the patient care.
  8. by   Ortho_RN
    I agree with everyone else.. I just started working at a hospital this summe as a PCA (same as CNA), and I am fixing to start my 2nd semester of an ADN program.. And just the experiance with dealing with pts, dr's, and nurses has been wonderful... If you do this before you start nursing school, it will make your first semester much easier, b/c alot of the first semester is taking care of ADL's (bathing, changing bed, cleaning accidents, etc) Many hospitals would prefer to hire someone who is going into the medical field rather than just someone needing a job...

    Good Luck
  9. by   BBnurse34
    You could also work as a HUC, or see if any hospitals in your area have a nurse extern program.
  10. by   mario_ragucci
    Just like you said Julie. I did just what you said you are fixing to do back in Feb02 and started working as a CNA, in a great hospital, 2 months after I achieved my CNA license. Follow your best advice, your own, because its right on.
    I was daunted immediately after passing the CNA certs because most people told me Iy'd hafta start in a long term care facility and work at such a job for at least a year before any hospital would consider me for employment. I was very bewildered at first when I scanned so many hospital jobs that all talked about requiring at least a year hospital experience before even being considered. I respect long term facilities.
    My plan of attack was pretty risky. I applied to the best hospital in Portland and just waited. After not hearing anything for 4 weeks (gulp) I decided to start applying everywhere. At week 5 I heard from my number one choice, plus every other place I applied the week before. Blah-blah-blah...I accepted a job at a cardiac overflow unit (never expecting that) with no prior health experience whatsoever! Good luck had stung me hard.
    What got me on is the fact that I am also starting nursing school in the Fall. Getting accepted to nursing school, and bringing all the communications with the college confirming this at my interview, got me hired on the spot. As you know, getting into nursing school means you hafta complete pre-req's, and having all this new knowledge in my mind fresh allowed me to have a great command of knowing how to care. Many of my CNA counterparts, after graduating the CNA school, still didn't know the difference between a hormone, or enzyme, or plasma, or glucose. The CNA course basically taught you how to provide proper care. When you complete CNA training, and have just spent the last two years also completeing all the nursing pre-req's, an employer would hafta consider you in a big way.
    Good luck, and don't chew worry. You pick the best place...the place you want to work at, and start your job. It's waiting.
  11. by   Dr. Kate
    By far and away CNA or PCA is best.
    But, you could also think about unit clerk, staffing secretary, monitor tech (after taking an EKG class).
  12. by   nursesrthebest
    If you cannot find a job as a CNA...by all means try to work as a unit secretary...you will have lots of practice reading the doctors beautiful handwriting...:roll :chuckle
  13. by   RNIAM
    A CNA or a PCT either way good experience.

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