Should I work as an NA while in school?

  1. I'm currently taking some first year nursing courses while I wait from my program (Sept. 2005). I'm working part-time as an Administrative Assistant and commuting 40 min. to my job (different town). I also work from home as a freelance writer.

    Here's my situation ...

    I have the opportunity to apply for a Nurse Attendant position at LTC facility in my home town. This will mean a 15 min. commute, less guaranteed hours (15.5 vs. 22.5), and a $1 decrease in pay.

    Here's my question ...

    Would I be crazy to switch jobs? I think the experience would be valuable and maybe I could keep some shifts when I start the nursing program full-time. I'm hoping that I could take an extra shift here or there to make up some of the lost hours/wages.

    What is your opinion? Thank you!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Berta
    I just finished my first year of nursing school and took a job as a nurses aid. I am learning so much. All the nurses on the floor know that I am a student and make an effort to teach and show me stuff. Also, when I come across something I am not familiar with, I jot it down and look it up when I get home. The experience has been wonderful. It is really helping me apply a lot of the material that I learned this year in Nursing 1, 2, & 3. Heck, I am even learning about pharmacology, which is a major weakness for me.


    The money isn't the greatest, and there isn't always time for the nurses to take time out to show me stuff. But overall, its been really worth it!!

    Berta
  4. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from RN2B2009
    I'm currently taking some first year nursing courses while I wait from my program (Sept. 2005). I'm working part-time as an Administrative Assistant and commuting 40 min. to my job (different town). I also work from home as a freelance writer.

    Here's my situation ...

    I have the opportunity to apply for a Nurse Attendant position at LTC facility in my home town. This will mean a 15 min. commute, less guaranteed hours (15.5 vs. 22.5), and a $1 decrease in pay.

    Here's my question ...

    Would I be crazy to switch jobs? I think the experience would be valuable and maybe I could keep some shifts when I start the nursing program full-time. I'm hoping that I could take an extra shift here or there to make up some of the lost hours/wages.

    What is your opinion? Thank you!
    If you can live on the reduced salary it would surely free up a lot of time you can then spend on studying. And, experience as a CNA will give you tons of things to draw on after graduation!
  5. by   RN2B2009
    Thanks for responding Berta.

    What were the qualifications for the nurses aide position? I'm not done my first year so I'm hoping I would qualify. The job posting said "LTC experience preferred, standard hospital educational requirements". I'd love to have the chance at this job!

    What is your job description?
  6. by   SSTnurse2b
    I think you should go for it if you can Heather...and I agree with the other poster that it would be a great learning experience for you...
  7. by   RN2B2009
    Ah ... We meet again Karen! I think I'll definitely apply, but whether I'll be considered is really unknown. I know I could do a great job, but no experience or training in LTC may be my downfall. Then again ... if it's meant to be it will be. Time to give it to God!
  8. by   Berta
    Quote from RN2B2009
    Thanks for responding Berta.

    What were the qualifications for the nurses aide position? I'm not done my first year so I'm hoping I would qualify. The job posting said "LTC experience preferred, standard hospital educational requirements". I'd love to have the chance at this job!

    What is your job description?
    There were really no qualifications required. I did have a good reference from my nursing instructor. Having said that, there were quite a few people in my orientation class that had no nursing experience at all. The hospital is interested in them because they become potential nursing employees in the future. So don't let inexperience stop you. Also, during my first semester of school, some of the LTC begged the nursing students to apply for aid positions. They are willing to train you.

    My official duties as an aid at the hospital include: vitals, assisting pt wash, bed making, ambulation, taking blood sugars, emptying foleys, charting I & O, feeding pts, obtaining urine and stool samples, and sitting with patients. My "unofficial" duties include anything the nurses are willing to teach me and let me perform.

    Good luck, Berta
  9. by   suzanne4
    I would go for it if at all possible. Nurses that worked as nursing assistants while in school are that much further ahead when they finish. You really learn how to prioritize as a nursing assistant. Your training will also help you with your schooling.

    Good luck....................
  10. by   RN2B2009
    You've all been a great help at motivating me! Thank You!

    I'm going to spruce up my resume today. Closing date is July 14. Do you think I should drop of the resume and then inquire in person to the supervisor? This is a small rural LTC facility.
  11. by   SSTnurse2b
    Quote from RN2B2009
    You've all been a great help at motivating me! Thank You!

    I'm going to spruce up my resume today. Closing date is July 14. Do you think I should drop of the resume and then inquire in person to the supervisor? This is a small rural LTC facility.
    I ABSOLUTELY think you should do that!! Nothing says success like confidence, and going in person to speak to the supervisor. Good luck and God bless....
  12. by   RN2B2009
    Quote from SSTnurse2b
    I ABSOLUTELY think you should do that!! Nothing says success like confidence, and going in person to speak to the supervisor. Good luck and God bless....
    Karen ... would you hand it to her in person ... or mail it and then check in a few days later? I don't know why I'm so nervous about how to go about this. I've applied for a position and been successful many times in my life. I'm just such a perfectionist.
  13. by   SSTnurse2b
    Quote from RN2B2009
    Karen ... would you hand it to her in person ... or mail it and then check in a few days later? I don't know why I'm so nervous about how to go about this. I've applied for a position and been successful many times in my life. I'm just such a perfectionist.
    lol...I understand completely...been there..done that...got the t shirt!! Speaking from the employers point of view, there are certain things that can make or break you before they even look at your resume. I have been in a position to hire people many times over the years, and let me tell you that the best way to impress a potential employer is to actually ask to speak with them. Show up dressed professionally, shake hands, and go from there. They may not have a lot of time to speak with you at that moment, but that first impression goes a long way. Try not to show up at meal times or when you think shift changes may be. Being nervous is a given...and the supervisor understands that. Look at it another way: I have 12 employees under me right now in the dietary department at our residence....and I am interviewing for 2 openings...and you know what?? I am nervous when I do the interviews..even though I have done this many times..and most of the potential employees are young enough to be my daughters!! You will do fine..and I am sure if you get the job you will be a great asset to the residence. You sound like a very caring individual...and they will be lucky to have you.....
  14. by   RN2B2009
    Quote from SSTnurse2b
    ...You sound like a very caring individual...and they will be lucky to have you.....
    ... and you sound like the boss I hope to have! Thanks for all the advice ! I will take the resume in personally on Monday. I'll let you know how it goes.

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