Once I get RN licensure, can I still work as a CNA?

  1. 0 Hi everyone,
    I am graduating soon with my RN and hope to take the NCLEX at the beginning of June here in MN. I don't have a job lined up yet, but have some possibiliites. I am currently working as a CNA in a privately owned LTC facility, and would like to keep working there until I get closer to starting a RN job this summer. I would like to keep working there after I get my licensure, to fill the gap until I begin a RN position.
    I remember one of my instructors telling us that once we are licensed as RNs here, we cannot work in a position designated as a CNA, because we will be licensed as RNs. I don't know if she was talking about hospitals, LTC, or both. I'm concerned that I will have to quit my job sooner than I would like to, because of this issue. I tried contacting HR at my work, but haven't gotten a response. Does anyone have any insight?
  2. Visit  sam1998 profile page

    About sam1998

    From 'Minnesota'; Joined Mar '08; Posts: 23; Likes: 5.

    14 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  cursenurse profile page
    Uh why would you want to continue working as a cna after you pass boards? and the way that i understand it is that you can do cna duties, but if you are an rn, if something happens, and you don't act appropriately r/t your license and your knowledge base, as opposed to the position that you happen to be working in (cna) you are on the hook for not acting as a reasonably prudent nurse.
  4. Visit  sam1998 profile page
    I said I would want to fill in the gap until I began working in an RN position, not keep working as a CNA just because. It's a financial issue for me. Plus, I don't have a RN job secured yet, so don't want to have to give up my current job when I don't know when I'm starting another. I would only work as a CNA after I passed the boards ifI had a RN job where the start date was a few weeks-month or more after I passed the NCLEX, which is possible. I could wait to take NCLEX, but I want to take it soon after I graduate.

    Anyway, the whole malpractice issue you brought up makes sense. I would be held to the same standard as an RN, so I probably wouldn't want to work under CNA status because that would be a potentially messy situation. Hopefully I'll get a job soon and be able to start sometime in June and won't have to worry.
  5. Visit  -MNC_RN- profile page
    The liability/licensure thing is an issue, for sure.

    To be honest, I don't know of any employers that would let you work as a CNA once you have your RN for the simple reason that most--most--employers have rules about pay scales. You would be one very expensive CNA.
  6. Visit  sam1998 profile page
    I wouldn't expect to get paid an RN salary, I would just want to keep my job till I started a RN one somewhere else. I spoke with HR at my job, and they said I can work as a CNA once I pass NCLEX, if I need to. Hopefully I won't need to do so for long, but I'd rather not have to put my notice in before I even take the exam.

    Honestly, I'm having a rather difficult time finding a RN job so far. I just want some sort of income until I get one lined up!
  7. Visit  -MNC_RN- profile page
    Many employers don't have a say (nor would you) in whether or not you get paid as a CNA vs. RN. Many have rules, union or otherwise, that say that if you have an RN license, you get paid as an RN. Period. It varies from employer to employer, of course, but you simply may not be able to waive your pay once you get your license.

    I'm re-reading your above post. I guess if HR says it's OK, then it's OK. Sounds like it's settled then.
    Last edit by -MNC_RN- on May 6, '08 : Reason: I wasn't finished talking OKAY??
  8. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page
    I find that my working in a nonprofessional capacity after licensure is stunting my professional development. Far better IMO to get started ASAP.

    FWIW the MPLS VA is looking for new grad applicants.



    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on May 8, '08
  9. Visit  gastronurse profile page
    Quote from sam1998
    I wouldn't expect to get paid an RN salary, I would just want to keep my job till I started a RN one somewhere else. I spoke with HR at my job, and they said I can work as a CNA once I pass NCLEX, if I need to. Hopefully I won't need to do so for long, but I'd rather not have to put my notice in before I even take the exam.

    Honestly, I'm having a rather difficult time finding a RN job so far. I just want some sort of income until I get one lined up!
    I passed my NCLEX last week and finally I'm an RN but now I cant get a job anywhere. Spoke to my manager where I'm currently working as a PCT and she said to me that there are no RN jobs vacancy left for me, she said that the hiring job was done in oct. And I was too late amd missed the hiring list. So basically the job vacancy's that they have posted and are still posted online dont matter to them if people applied online for those vacancies bcos they already hired people. So what the hell is the point of still putting the vacancies online if they're already been filled. I am applying everywhere but they dont seem to consider my 5 yrs experience med/surg and charge nurse in U.K, they want critical care experience for at least a year here in U.S. So now I'm applying for another PCT job to make ends meet atleast I can be sure that I have some job. and plus I signed up for shadowing an RN, it's the next best thing to being an RN and no pay. I havent worked as an RN since I left U.K last year sept. And now that I'm an RN I still cant seem to do that. so frustrating, if I knew that this is what's going to happen here in U.S I would have just stayed in U.K. I dont know what the big fuss is all about working here in U.S as an RN. What a palava. The confidence that I had as an RN was crushed when my manager turned me down, i feel that I'm not being treated fairly.
  10. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    Sounds as if there is not much respect for you where you are currently working. This is the downside of working in a lower capacity. Have you considered going to the staffing agencies? You could keep your CNA job and start to pull shifts as an agency RN until you find a permanent position. As it is, I wouldn't want to continue where you are if that is the attitude toward you. Good luck.
  11. Visit  gastronurse profile page
    thank u. but if I do the agency RN I think they might want someone with experience here in California and I dont have that yet as RN. Unless will the agency and hospital give me 6 weeks preceptorship?
  12. Visit  Valerie Salva profile page

    Sorry you are going through this. The false rumour persists that nursing jobs are a dime a dozen, and that US nurses are so in demand that they can write their own ticket.
  13. Visit  jjjoy profile page
    I had many classmates that after graduation and taking the NCLEX continued working as NAs until they got/started jobs as RNs. Locallly, there had been many nursing layoffs and the market for new grads was tight. These classmates had been working as NA while in school and didn't get RN jobs for several months after graduation. As the OP noted, it was to fill the gap & pay the bills til they could start as RNs. It may not be doable everywhere but it has been done some places.

    I've heard the argument about being held to a higher standard... well, fine, I'd expect that as a professional, the NA/RN would be practicing to the best of their ability and knowledge. The NA/RN's responsiblity should end upon letting a patient's assigned RN of any problems. So as long as there's sufficient staffing to take of patient nursing needs, the NA/RN shouldn't end up in any compromising situations. There IS greater risk of liability as an RN, which means the NA/RN must accept responsiblity for protecting their license if there is risk of its compromise, such as if the NA/RN was being counted as part of RN staffing or if they were being delegated RN responsibilities in addition to their NA work.

    It just seems unreasonable to me to expect nursing graduates to be essentially forced to immediately quit their jobs as NAs upon receiving their RN licensure even though it may be months before securing a job as an RN.
  14. Visit  caliotter3 profile page

    You have experience from your work in the UK. Agencies are more likely to recognize your experience as there are many agencies that will hire people right out of school. However, you can't expect orientation from them. You would get a brief orientation to the unit on the job but then would be expected to jump right in and function. I'm sure that with your prior experience you could handle it. I had a friend in school that went to work for an agency with no experience and she did ok although she said it was difficult for her.

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