CNA before RN

  1. 0
    What do you guys think of being a CNA before you become an RN?
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  5. 1
    This is a personal matter. There are advantages but it is not required. I do not recomend it unless the facility will pay for your school while working as a cna. If that is the case do it.
    sevensonnets likes this.
  6. 1
    I know that it is not required, but if you can I would. It is really helpful when you get into clinicals. I sort of look at it this way... if you are at least familiar witht the routines, environment and procedures in the hospital setting you are ahead of the game and can spend your time in clinicals focusing on the new nursing stuff. You have so much info thrown at you at once that you cannot possibly absorb it all and if you are already familiar with the environment then you will absorb more of the info.

    I am very glad that I chose to get my CNA and think that my experience has been invaluable. I am currently in school with eight months left. Good luck!
    vegmom likes this.
  7. 2
    I think every nurse should be required to put in some hard time as an aide. I worked in a nursing home 3+ years while I was in school, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I honestly believe that doing what some RNs (at my hospital anyway) consider "grunt work" for a living makes me a better nurse. It was a HUGE help in clinicals, especially first few quarters. Everyone else was stressed over changing a diaper, I could concentrate on meds and such. In addition to that, I have a lot more respect for my aides! I can't even begin to describe the difference that makes in my work relationships. They know I've been there, and I know what they're going through. Even if you only do it a couple weekends a month or over a summer or something, you should definately do it
    marjibme and vegmom like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from phriedomRN
    I think every nurse should be required to put in some hard time as an aide. I worked in a nursing home 3+ years while I was in school, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I honestly believe that doing what some RNs (at my hospital anyway) consider "grunt work" for a living makes me a better nurse. It was a HUGE help in clinicals, especially first few quarters. Everyone else was stressed over changing a diaper, I could concentrate on meds and such. In addition to that, I have a lot more respect for my aides! I can't even begin to describe the difference that makes in my work relationships. They know I've been there, and I know what they're going through. Even if you only do it a couple weekends a month or over a summer or something, you should definately do it
    I totally agree:yeahthat: , I was an aid for 8 years before I went back to school to get my RN. You would not believe some of the simple things that the RN's on the floor(who had never been aids) did not know how to do. For instance, I had an RN place a fracture pan underneath a pt for me one time. When the pt put her light on for me to take it out I saw her bed was soaked...the RN had put the pan under the pt backwards. If there is one thing I can say about CNA's, they are professional pan placers...among many other things!
    xO1000wordsxO likes this.
  9. 1
    I did fine going straight for my RN. Would do it again that way.
    sevensonnets likes this.
  10. 0
    The school I attended required that you become a CNA before you even started. Although I did apply for a job as an CNA when my husband was laid off, I was actually offered a unit clerk position which held better hours and more $$.

    I'm glad I took that CNA class, tho- made me so much more comfortable during clinicals. I think our school required it because they would lose a certain % of students in the 1st semester when they taught the CNA stuff- alot of people decided nursing wasn't for them!

    I'm glad I took the class, even if I never officially worked as a CNA. I was, however, a darn good clerk and did many things "above and beyond" the call of duty- all within my legal boundaries, of course! :spin:

    Good luck!

    S
  11. 1
    Not necessary. The nursing program will teach you everything you need to know. If you want to be a CNA to make a decision on whether or not to go to nursing school, maybe it's OK. The job of a CNA and the job of an RN are different. You can only stand by and observe what an RN does until you get your own license. While the RN knows how to do the nursing care a CNA does, she spends a much greater part of her time managing and supervising not only the nursing care, but other aspects of the patient's care as well.
    sevensonnets likes this.
  12. 0
    This is an interesting thread for me. I am a BSN student who had NO clinical experience before switching my major to nursing. I am entering my final semester before graduation and I feel that I would have benefitted from "clinical exposure" before or during school.

    In my case:
    The number of hours I am able to work are so limited due to class and clinical. Because of this- I did not feel that I could absorb the pay cut if I switched to an aid position. BUT, I now know that many hospitals will pay nursing students a decent aid wage if you agree to work in a resource/float pool. (resource/float pool=no benefits)

    In my daughters case:
    My daughter is a CNA working full-time in LTC. She's been a CNA since she was 16yrs old. Her plan was CNA,LVN,RN; in her high school she was able to do her aid training and LVN prep courses. Now that she has graduated she is rethinking her plan. In her case working as an aid turned her off to nursing. But, it is not the work of an aid or nurse. It is the nurses. She loves her job and residents. She is young and impressionable. The majority of the RN's at her facility do not leave the nurses station. The RN's who took the time to get to know her are filling her head with stories about "how they remember when they thought they'd make a difference, improve healthcare, etc..." and then crush her dreams and aspirations with their version of a burnt out reality. Still, I have faith that she will find her way.
  13. 0
    NanSeeH,

    > My daughter is a CNA working full-time in LTC. She's been a CNA since she was 16yrs old. Her plan was CNA,LVN,RN; in her high school she was able to do her aid training and LVN prep courses. Now that she has graduated she is rethinking her plan. <

    You should be happy that your daughter is rethinking her plan. It's much better to consider some of the disadvantages of a career before paying out a lot of hard-earned money for tuition and books! With you as a good role model, however, I feel quite sure that your daughter will see nursing in a much more favorable light than do some of the discouraged nurses she has been working with.

    If she needs to work while going to school for her RN degree, remind her to think about how much more she will be able to earn per hour as an LVN, as compared to what she has been earning as a CNA. If she decides that nursing is not her career choice at this time, so be it. Nobody should ever go into nursing, or any other field, if they have major doubts about it. However, people do change and I feel that it's best to leave options open for future revisions.


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