What was your 1st Nursing related job?

  1. Can you all tell me what your first nurse related job was?

    If this was before school, during school or after school?



    I'm trying to figure out the best way to get my foot in the door..

    someone once mentioned to me being a unit secretary or perhaps a prn, cna? not sure....



    Thanx
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    I was once a candystriper for a summer when I was 14; only worked in the gift shop of that hospital and took flowers to patients' rooms. I do not consider that as being a nurse related job. There was very little (if any) contact with patients or nurses doing that.
    The thing I consider as my first nurse related job was when I started out feeding patients in our local nursing home at suppertime (and lunch time on weekends) at the age of 15. I was too young to be an aide (way back then they didn't have CNAs), but became one once I was 16. This was in the '60's, and I made less than $.50/hr (I think it was probably about $.35/hr, but I don't remember for sure), but I learned that people needed to be treated with dignity and respect for even something as humble as eating. I also learned that nursing isn't always glamorous; you are there to serve the patients, assisting them with tasks they can't do themselves; and encouraging them to do what they can. It was a great start for me.
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Hi Suki...I was a Red Cross volunteer in high school--sort of like Candy Stripers except we volunteered in nursing homes and clinics. This started me thinking about nursing and I eventually did
    go into it.

    Once in nursing school, I took advantage of the offer to work on the hospital floors for pay as a nurse tech (CNA plus) in my spare time...it was great OJT. Good luck to you...you will learn a lot as a unit secretary too!
  5. by   LasVegasRN
    While in nursing school I worked as a "professional nurse assistant" - this was a long time ago, but a designation they used for nursing students that worked in the hospital. We weren't considered nursing assistants because we could do charting and care plans (signed off by the RN) and some procedures if we had them checked off on our skills list. This was in 1984, they paid us $9.17 an hour back then which I still think was great pay (in 1984)! The cool thing was I was going to school in the South, and every time I came home (up North) I would just call, say when I was available, and could work. I even got paid for holidays even if I didn't work - that was how much this hospital supported the nursing students! I stayed on that status through nursing school, had a job there when I graduated AND had some seniority already from being there as a "professional nurse assistant" for 4 years!
  6. by   Huganurse
    Before I was accepted into nursing school, the program directors told me that they were interested in people who had some hospital experience. My first semester doing prereqs I volunteered at the local childrens hospital. It was a great experience and I kept on doing it for a while after I was accepted.
  7. by   jules-RN
    My first job in health care was as a dietary aide in the nutrition office of a rehab hospital. I helped the patients make out their menus, made sure trays were correct, etc. I was an EKG tech my senior year of high school. I got my CNA and worked in a few nursing homes, then went to a hospital as a NA on the heme/onc floor. Did that until after I graduated from nursing school and passed the boards.
  8. by   live4today
    I started out as a hospital volunteer in my early twenties. Stayed a hospital volunteer until my early thirties when I started the nursing program at the community college. In my final year of nursing school, I worked part-time as a Nursing Assistant (they weren't certified at that time so they weren't called CNAs). Then, after graduation from college, my first job was at a D.O. hospital working med/surg.
  9. by   Q.
    My first official job at a medical related facility was as an after hours physician answering service. Worked 4pm - midnight on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with every other weekend and holidays too. Made 8 bucks/hour. I did this while going to school and it paid the bills. At times was even able to study a bit during a lull.
  10. by   prmenrs
    In high school, I volunteered @ the Navy Hospital in San Diego. They taught us to make beds, give bed baths, and other stuff--a lot of running errands, taking labs, etc.

    In nursing school, I worked as a ward clerk--took off orders till my eyes crossed and I had writer's cramp.
  11. by   hapeewendy
    secretary at a drs office.....
    when I was a nursing student
    and it was fantastic because I had done my community clinical rotation there and they hired me on as a secretary but brought me in on tons of cool cases, let me practice some of my skills and were a huge huge knowledge base for me

    cheers
  12. by   CountrifiedRN
    I'm in school now, and not working. But before school I worked as a CNA on a med-surg unit in a hospital. It was great experience, I learned so much from everyone there. Then I cross-trained as a unit secretary. That was much more stressful, believe it or not, but I learned a lot about how to read doctors orders. (It's not as easy as one might think, some of the docs can't even read their own orders the next day! :uhoh3)

    The CNA job definately gave me the best perspective on what nursing is all about.
  13. by   CountrifiedRN
    Hey, my smiley didn't work! uhoh3 is supposed to be !
  14. by   TracyB,RN
    My very first job at 16, was weekend receptionist at a nursing home. I also filled in during the summer for vacations. Then I went to work at a different nrsg home in dietary, then activities, then a CNA.

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