Male CNA while finishing prerequisites for nursing

  1. Hello,

    I am a 25 year old male with a strong desire to enter the nursing field. My background is in the aerospace industry, but after 5 years in the business, I decided it wasn't my calling. Over the last year I have been fufilling prerequisites in hopes of entering a BSN program. To be sure that I am competitive not only with grades but also with hands on experience I am planning on working as a CNA for the next year while I finish my prerequisites. Any other males out there take this path? At 25 I don't want to be looked down upon by my higher ups wondering why the hell im just now working as a CNA. Also do men tend to have issues providing care as this is dominently a women's field? Thanks for reading,

    Regards,

    Colin
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurseInfo
    I am also a male, and a pre-nursing student. I also wish to enter a nursing field and my options are ABSN and generic BSN programs. I was thinking of working as a CNA for same reasons as yours. However, my back is not exactly "healthy" at this time to be able to withstand the physical demands of a CNA's job. I do believe, though, if you choose to work as a CNA, it will be a great opportunity for you to gain the needed experience, and it will also allow you to see the real world of nursing from within. As far as the gender stereotypes, I see more and more men entering the nursing field these days for many reasons. I don't think men have problems providing care in terms of competencies. They may, though, find certain tasks a bit gender sensitive: like providing a peri-care to a female patient. Similarly, women may have similar experiences providing a per-care on a male. So, there is no clear-cut, black-and-white, down-the-middle explanation.
  4. by   BuriedSet127
    Hey Colin,

    I started as a CNA at 23 years old and my age never crossed my mind. Mostly it was the fact that I was only one out of 2 male CNA's in a fairly large nursing home. I learned that if you don't make a big deal about helping elder women get showers and dressed, they won't care for the most part. There will be some people who will want a lady to assist them, so just ask if they are comfortable with you. I'm also working towards my nursing degree, and while having CNA experience gives you a great perspective of the work you'll be overseeing one day, it didn't make a difference for getting into a nursing program (for my community college anyways...there wasn't anywhere to list it on the application). Good luck in your schooling!
  5. by   WestKyKing
    Hey, I'm a nursing student currently. I've just been accepted into the program, and I am going to get back into CNA work. I did it for a few months a few years ago, but I ended up going back to my old job which paid more ( i'd also left school during that time). But now I'm back and I figured this is the best route, even though I do also hold my phlebotomy.

    When I was a CNA before I worked in a LTC facility, on night shift, 12 hrs. It was nice, laid back, of course some elderly women did not want my providing care at first due to the fact of me being male, but once they seen my face more often things changed. Even the nurses were surprised how some of the residents had taken a liking to me, because they were " the more difficult residents ". There's going to be some things like that pop up, but just be the best CNA you can be and it'll all be alright. Respect them, and they'll respect you. A lot of my coworkers at the time would adopt the same voice you use when speaking to a child...the one with the fake, over excited tone... I just talked to them like how you would any normal person, like you should.

    BTW, i'm 25 too. And good luck. I say go for it, you'll be happy you did.
  6. by   Ramcharger310
    Having CNA experience while applying to Nursing schools is golden.

    1. You have real world knowledge of Nursing.

    2. If you have been a CNA for a least a year, you got the tough skin required of being a good Nurse.

    3. Some schools require being a CNA for a year to even apply to nursing school. The rest give you an extra point on the application process.

    My background.
    CNA since 2013 and 1st year RN student.
  7. by   49erintx
    I can tell you that being a CNA first has helped me tremendously. I have been a CNA for several years. I started doing adult care in nursing homes, decided that adults were not my cup of tea and decided to look into ped's. I am now working at a Children's hospital and LOVE it and know that I have found my calling. I finally finished all of my pre-reqs and have applied to several programs and hope to begin school in January. The knowledge and experience I have gained working in the hospital (I am now EKG certified, telemetry certified, can do venipuncture, etc. ) is only going to benefit me once I am done with nursing school. If you can get into a hospital, that's what I would suggest, as you will see more and get more out of your day than you ever will in a nursing home. I find that the nurses are more appreciative of you in a hospital too. I am much older than 25 and promise you that age won't (at least it hasn't for me) be an issue. As far as having issues providing care as a male, the only thing I have ever run into at the hospital is the occasional teenage girl (or her parents) that would prefer a female do her EKG rather than me. Go for it. Good luck in your endeavors!
  8. by   Anonymous87
    Don't worry about age. I earned my CNA at 26. Now I am 30 and on the BSN track for summa. The oldest man I have seen earn his CNA was in his sixties. Nobody is going to look down on you if you're pleasant to be around, dependable, and fun to work with. You will probably meet and fit right in with other people your age. The profession is widely like an intramural sport: By and large everyone wants to help each other out and age isn't important.

    Many universities also love and welcome us non-traditionals. Many older adults feel as though higher-education is out of reach. But even at my age I have a great shot at MD/DO/NP programs. If you have a bachelor's from your aerospace experience, then consider looking into an accelerated BSN program.

    Male issues in the field? My impression is that we're apt to be charged with the most laborious tasks. Nursing is unfortunately associated with back injuries and an overall physical toll. Coworkers might think of you and enlist your help for the next bariatric or combative client. There are also some clients with preferences against a man caring for them. There might be situations where a chauffeur might be appropriate as you work with some individuals. By conducting yourself professionally, while also assessing the level of comfort of those you care for, there is nothing to be scared of.
  9. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from Cnick91
    Hello,

    I am a 25 year old male with a strong desire to enter the nursing field. My background is in the aerospace industry, but after 5 years in the business, I decided it wasn't my calling. Over the last year I have been fufilling prerequisites in hopes of entering a BSN program. To be sure that I am competitive not only with grades but also with hands on experience I am planning on working as a CNA for the next year while I finish my prerequisites. Any other males out there take this path? At 25 I don't want to be looked down upon by my higher ups wondering why the hell im just now working as a CNA. Also do men tend to have issues providing care as this is dominently a women's field? Thanks for reading,

    Regards,

    Colin
    I'm 26, male, and have been working as a CNA for almost 3 years (1.5 years at a SNF, 2 years at a hospital). I'm about to being my final year of nursing school. I think it's great that you're planning on working as a CNA while taking prerequisites - you should continue to work part-time or on-call as a CNA/nurse technician while in your BSN program. It'll only help you become a better RN. As an RN, you will ALWAYS do "CNA tasks," because CNA tasks are a part of RN tasks. Might as well master those. As far as "higher ups looking down upon you," this is just an insecurity you gotta get over. Who cares. Your nursing career path is your own, and if people look down upon you for just starting now, then those are people you should distance yourself from.

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