Working as a NA while going to NS or a p/t unrelated job?

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    I start NS in August (yipppeee!!!!) and I currently work p/t in what I call a "brainless" job. My sister is my boss and so it is easier for me to have a flexible schedule and such.
    I got a call to interview at a local hospital for a NA position or for a unit clerk position. The unit clerk job is nights and so I can not do that (shift ends at the same time my classes will start in Aug) but I have been considering the NA job.

    To make a long story short....
    Will working in a hospital setting help me when I get out of school and am a new grad looking for a job? (with ANY hospital, not just the one I'd be a NA at)

    I keep going back and forth about just staying where I am and having the flexibility of my current job while trying to do ns or getting the clinical experience of working in a hospital while going to school.

    Opinions?

    Kim
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  4. 9 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I worked in hospital as an NA just until NS school started. The experience really helped me especially in terms of getting hands on experience with patients. I also got a good view of the different areas of nursing within the hospital setting.

    That being said, I decided to quit because I really wanted to focus on school and I'd rather live on loans than risk flunking out of school. If money is really an issue for you, then I would stay with the job that offers the most flexibility. It's hard to say how difficult school will be for you - and when you might need time off to study for finals, etc.

    I'm in an ADN program, and students typically look for NS work during senior year - in the semester before graduation. A lot of students end up getting jobs in the units they work on during that time. You might want to ask around at your school to see if there is a similar setup there. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  6. 1
    I have 3 weeks of school to finish my first year of nursing. I will be taking state boards for LPN in about 8 weeks. I have been working night weekends, fri, sat, sun for over a year as a nursing asst./nurse tech/cna, whatever you want to call it, they are all the same thing. I can tell you that the experience that I have had with this hospital, by the way it is in the med surg department, will help me get more pay because of the experience, will help me get a job before another new nurse with no experience and I have learned so much. It is a great asset to be where I am while in nursing school. I work weekends and go to school during the week. Yes it has been tough balancing both but I had to work because I had to have the health insurance. I have been assigned to ICU when they were short of nurses because they couldn't get one to come in so they sent me because they knew that I would know what to do to help the nurses because of my experience as a tech and being in nursing school. I have seen more codes, more critical things happen, I've seen so much that as a new nurse, I would have probably freaked out, so yeah, I would say go for it. Plus, you are going to have days where you might not have a nurse tech or a cna as a nurse and you are going to have to do those duties. You would not believe how many nurses I work with that have been nurses for about five years now and have no clue how to turn and reposition a patient, don't know how to change an adult diaper, don't even know how to change linen on a bed. So yeah, I would say do it. If they won't work with your nursing school schedule then don't, but my hospital works with me. They have let me come in late, be off and they even let me miss mandatory meetings. They let me do things like assist in inserting foleys, change bandages, ect. They did not let me do those things until after I finished my second med surg class and saw me there doing clinicals but there is so much to see working as a nurse tech. Plus, I am able to watch them chart nurses notes, and learn a few tricks of the trade that you don't see in clinical. You'll know what I mean when you finish school. I say go for it. You can't go wrong. Plus, I see and learn how nurses communicate with doctors with sick patients. Some things stick better when you actually see what you are studying in class. I work with some of the best nurses that are great in helping me study when we are not busy, ect. It has really benefited me and I'm sure you are going to hear from more of us like me.
    KarmaInMotion likes this.
  7. 1
    While it would be good experience, I would stick with your current job due to the flexibility factor. I currently work from home so I get to choose my own hours (and I love it). Nursing school is stressful and time consuming enough as it is. I think you will get plenty of experience in clinical, so I wouldn't worry about it.
    Jules A likes this.
  8. 0
    I just finished my first year of my ADN and I am a NA. I have gotten so much valuable experience. Once as the nurses know that you are in nursing school, they get you for all the interesting proceedures. I have assisted with a wound vac, caring for a multiple faciectomy, insertion of a midline and many others. I have usually seen most skills performed before they are introduced in class. Because I had worked with people in a health care setting, I was not intimidated like most of my fellow students. I also had a well rounded knowledge and experience in the skills we were getting checked off on the first semester. My experience made me feel like I was ahead of the curve.

    As far as fexibility, a NA position can be extremely flexible, especially if the hospital is aware of your status as a student. I set my own hours and as long as there is work available I get it. If they are short-handed they call me and I have the option of saying yes or no. During finals or if there is so major time consuming project, I can cut back on the number of hours I work.
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    I think you should go for the nurse aide position. You would gain so much valuable hands on experience. I really feel that the training you would get on the job is better than that of a clinical instructor. It will give you a lot more confidence when it comes to clnicals.
  10. 0
    I agree with those that say it is good experience however it normally doesn't pay very much. Since you have flexibility and a great boss, lol, at your current job I would stick with what you know. Either way good luck!
  11. 0
    I'm in a similar position. All I can say is weigh the pros and cons, rate them in importance and determine which is best for you.

    Right now I've chosen to stay where I am. I interviewed for a CNA training position but it didn't work for my schedule. I'll be certified by the end of the year so I'll look at it again and see what I want to do at that time.
  12. 0
    depends on what you want....the concrete learning...and the low pay/non-flexiblity is one thing...but it may give you a leg up when interviewing...I'm going into a RN position as a 2 year workers...so in 3, I'll be getting the 5 yr changes in benefits vs. just being a 3 yr....also, I got to know a lot of people, and know who to contact...so it depends on what you want...
  13. 0
    The in-hospital experience will definitely be a plus, but let us not forget the best part.........TUITION REIMBURSEMENT!!


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