Hospital experience before getting RN license

  1. Does having hospital experience before graduating from RN School help your pay rate? Alot of people have told me to work in a hospital about a year as a CNA while going to nursing school so that way when I do graduate I can start out at a better pay rate for my experience. Is this true? Please help!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    Every place I've worked it's the years of working as an RN that determine (somewhat) your pay scale. That may be an Oregon thing. If you don't have to work, put all your energy into school. CNA is HARD work!
  4. by   kittykash
    I agree, hospitals hire you based on the years experience you had as an RN. I worked in Medical Records and other than the lingo coming easier for me in school, that didn't help my pay rate when I got hired as an RN (providing I pass the boards). And I was told by the human resources director that I might actually make more, but she was wrong. Some of the hospitals will give you credit for being an LPN, though--like if you've worked 6 years as an LPN, they'll give you an RN salary commensurate with 3 years experience.

    Another thing you might consider--working as a CNA is HARD WORK. Not that you can't do it, but nursing school is also HARD WORK. Remember that it will be hard to settle down and study for that exam after caring for 8-10 patients during a shift (and unfortunately, the pay for CNA's isn't that great). Just keep that in mind. You could make the same (or more, like I did, in Medical Records)in an easier, less stressful job.
  5. by   BeBeSweet
    Most hospitals offer an extern program for students after the first semester.It's a little more than cna work, and can help familiarise(sp!) you with the layout and inner workings of the hospital. Also, if you hava a certain area that you want to work after graduation, the experience will help. Staffing nurses usually will work more with you on a schedule than they would a cna. Good luck.
  6. by   kbrn2002
    At least you all say CNA is hard work! You bet it is, and while it probably won't help you get a better rate of pay, it will give you invaluable experience in direct patient care. I was a CNA for 8 yrs. before returning to school and clinicals were so much easier since I wasn't afraid of patient care. Any experience in the field can only make starting work as a new graduate nurse easier. If you are worried about it interfering with classes, just work on call. Better yet, see if your state allows nurse tech. That is what I'm doing while in school. It's the same as being a nurse (I can do pretty much all but IV's), the experience is priceless and the pay is not bad (over $11.00 an hour).

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Hospital experience before getting RN license