Unit Secretary pay rate??

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    Does anyone know of the pay rate for a unit secretary in the Charlotte area? Looking to work my way through ADN and gain some job related exp. Would prefer to do CNA, but it just doesn't pay the bills. Still plan to take the course and maybe do some weekend work just for the learning exp. I understand it will make a big difference for clinicals.

    I'm guessing the pay is about the same, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask...

    If you have any other info.... job details, other ideas, etc. I would really appreciate it.

    Trying to figure out this whole changing careers thing has kinda got me going in circles. :spin:

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    I was a UC at CMC-University for about a year - just PRN. I worked primarily nights and weekends and made about 10.25-12.00/hour. Not a lot more than a CNA . Now I am working as a CNA in the same hospital. I am getting more experience while in nursing school (not more money, but more experience.) Good Luck!

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    I really appreciate the response. I'm still teaching (Spanish for 8 yrs. now) and need to make some decisions before the new contracts come out. I hope to find something where I can gain some experience while in school. However, since I haven't even started my pre-reqs., I realize that will be very difficult.

    I'm looking to take some med. term., CNA, and anything else I can this summer in order to increase my chances. I did spend the summer working as an admit. clerk in the ER of a small county hospital many years ago... (Loved the job, but doubt it counts for much now) and I do have a BA (in F.L.--useful maybe but doubt it will seal the deal). I would like to take the next phlebotemy course (Aug.) and use that to the pay the bills through school. However, I need something to make it the eight or so weeks of the course and longer if I get stuck on a waiting list. Of course, if the first thing works out (like UC) than I'll stick with that instead.

    I read a UC job description which only asked for "med. term." and must have passed the "test." Could you explain what "test" they mean? Is this some state cert. or something? Also, were you already taking nursing courses to be considered for this? Any details for how prepared you were, job description, etc. would also be appreciated. For instance, did they give you any training?

    This is much longer than I intended, but I guess I'm looking for some "words of wisdom" from someone who has been there. I noticed in a previous post that you also changed careers. I'll be 34 :hatparty: in Feb. and my MOST supportive husband says now is the time if I really want to do it. We've been married for 11 yrs. and are VERY stable. Sadly, we are unable to have any children, but it does mean that I have more time and don't have to make those hard choices. In other words, I feel really good about my decision, it's just the particulars of making it happen that keeps me confused...
    Last edit by Pre-RN on Jan 25, '04
  5. 0
    Where are all the CPCC folks??? I hear it's a great program and would like to find out more...

    Sandy, do you LOVE your program? Please share....

    Working it all out...

  6. 0
    My job as a UC was on the maternity unit and it was a lot of fun. I worked with amazing nurses who knew that I was a nursing student wannabe and they answered all my questions and let me watch procedures when it was possible. I, in turn, tried to help them when possible. Our unit had CNA's, but for some reason the hospital cut them back completely. I jumped up to help my nurses by stocking rooms and supplies, transporting patients, even helping feed babies in the nursery. It was an amazing experience and frankly the only reason I stopped was my boss. I am a soon-to-be 37 year old with 3 kids and a former career as a journalist. I was the same age as my boss, but I am starting all over as a nursing student. I am just finishing up my pre-req's for Presby's nursing school and will start there this August. I am a CNA and CPR certified for healthcare provider, and very ambitious. My boss did not share my enthusiasm and frankly I felt she was a bit put off by me ... anyway, I am now a CNA in the same hospital but on the ICU floor. I start that position in 2 weeks. I am looking forward to starting on that unit - I have talked to many CNA's that are graduating from nursing school soon and have spent many years on this unit. They again say the staff is amazing ... I am anxious to start learning.

    As for your question about the "Test" ... I am clueless. I had taken a medical terminology class already, but it was not required for the position and I did not have to take any test other than a typing test for the hospital.

    I took the position as a UC mainly to make sure I wanted to take the plunge to make this career change and once I started working it was a no-brainer. I am ready to get moving towards my RN. When I graduate, I will move to one of the hospitals in Presbyterian's network and leave the one I am currently employed at - the hardest part will be leaving the people, but I am sure it will be fun in the meantime.

    Hope this helps, and feel free to email me if you want any more info.
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    I was curious ... what have you decided to do? I got my CNA at Carolinas College of Health Sciences ... good luck to you!!!

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    Wow! Your timing is so funny....our school is out tomorrow for President's day and I had already decided to check in with you and see how the new job was going. I just know you LOVE it!

    Life got very busy around here with grades due, parent conferences till late and family stuff too. Can't complain though, it's all good. Except my sweetie is sick this weekend. So I've been practicing my "nursing" skills...I'm most excellent at dosage calculations according to the Nyquil directions. Current careplan: Lots o rest, fluids, footrubs (doesn't help his headcold, he just likes it ) and keep him laughing so he forgets how bad he feels. So far, so good.

    As to other news, I finally found an online med. term. course that starts Feb. 23rd. Oh and I called about the test and they said it just meant you needed to have passed the final exam for the course. This one is supposed to include some Spanish which I thought was very cool. It's one of those Ed2go courses offered through many schools around here. Have you ever done this? Kinda confused, since I found out that Southern Piedmont offers it for $60 and CPCC for $80. I mean, am I paying $20 for the school name? They both send you to the exact same website. Only thing I can see is that CPCC is older and more stable. Maybe less conflicts with obtaining grades, etc. but who knows? Plan to register tomorrow so I'll check into both. Which reminds me. You've been so kind to answer my questions and share your exp. that honestly, I have SO many more it just seems rude to ask them. But, here it goes...just quit reading when you get tired...

    The current plan is the med. term., already studying for entrance exams, and want to do CNA, CPR, and possibly phlebotemy ASAP (figure the phleb. can't hurt and might pay for school, also great skill for a nurse, right?). Hopefully CNA & CPR over the summer (wish it were earlier), but next phleb. course seems to be in Aug. All of this depends on waiting lists, etc. of course.

    This is the dilemma---Do I have or can I gain enough skills to secure a job making "close" to what I am now, so that I can change jobs? (BTW, totally retorical question, not expecting you to solve that one!) The way all the courses are scheduled, it seems like I'll end up teaching another year just to be safe. I mean I don't want to take a chance on causing a financial strain just as we are getting OUT of debt (Whoo-Hoo!) Sorry, have to do a cartwheel everytime I say that. It's ugly and things get broke, but it happens. This is the upside: I could stop commuting an hour each way (I actually teach in SC) and most importantly would be working IN healthcare. The exp. alone seems worth it. If I have to sign another contract I'll have the security of the same paycheck, but I also can't make any real commitment to moving forward for a year. I can see working FT in the summer and maybe PT during school (tough w/the commute and the extra hrs. teaching requires), but man I hate that drive! The deal is that I have to sort this all out and have a job lined up by late March/early April (when contracts come out) that I can't even start FT until the end of May. Just seems very unlikely someone will go for that.

    So way too much thinking outloud....my current questions are:

    Why did you choose Presbyterian?
    Where did you take your prereqs?
    Did you have to take any entrance exams for CNA, nursing school? How were they?
    Do you know if the UC or the CNA job offer any benefits (esp. educational reinbursement) if your FT?

    Ok, way too much babble, but I guess I don't post much, so when I do, it's a doosie! To anyone who took the time to read the whole thing----Thanks for listening!

    Sandy, like I said, I feel guilty for abusing your kindness, but you're the only local person that responded and I just don't think the HR/recruiters would give me the time of day at this point. I like hearing about stuff from the folks livin' on the mtn., but where did all the local folks go? Feel free to ignore all this, but I insist on hearing how the new job is going and how you and your family are doing as well. Are the kids praying for snow tonight? How's school for you? Best wishes in ICU!

    Not so confused....more perplexed...
  9. 0
    Hey there!! You sound soooo busy!!! I can relate ...

    Anyway, I took the medical term class at SPCC and it was great ... I learned a lot, but you have to be disciplined to keep up. I am taking Psychology thru them right now. Then I have abnormal psych to take over the summer and then I am off to nursing school in August!

    I got my CNA from Carolinas College of Health Sciences (CCHS) and I got my CPR for healthcare professional thru Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. Look on their website for schedules of classes - they don't run very often.

    Ok, to answer your other questions ... I applied to Presby and to CCHS both and got waitlisted at CCHS and accepted at Presby. I actually wanted Presby more than the other because they have a 100% reimbursement plan for tuition. It means if you sign a contract promising to work for that hospital system (anywhere in the system) for 21 months (the same amount of time I will be in school) then they will pay for ALL of my tuition - not books, uniforms or supplies, but hey - that is ok with me. Any place that pays for my education and guarantees me a job is pretty cool. They are also building a beautiful hospital near me to be done just a few months before I graduate!!!

    There are no tests to get into a CNA class (although they are hard to get into around here) or into either of the nursing schools. I had a BS degree from Syracuse University and many of my classes transferred. I took A&P 1 and 2 online, Med Term and Psych ...all through SPCC. Those were the only prereqs I was missing. Now I am off to nursing school and with the exception of my second semester, I won't have more than one class a semester (not counting clinicals...)

    I start working on the ICU unit as a CNA next weekend. I have just finished all my orientation with the hospital and am really excited to start. But, I am a bit nervous. I am working PRN so I don't get any benefits, but if you are a UC or CNA that works full-time, then you are able to get great benefits through CHS. Give their human resources a call - or look on their website for job opportunities. Although, I actually called the nurse manager on the floor I wanted to work on and the job I was hired for never got posted. She agreed to put me on PRN - it might be worth cold calling to different folks if you can get names to see if they are in need of extra hands.

    Good luck with everything and don't hesitate to email or ask!! Keep in touch!
  10. 0
    Hi Sandy!

    I'm glad to find someone on this forum who will be going to Presbyterian SON soon! Congrats to you! I have some questions and unfortunately their website doesn't offer a lot of the info I seek.

    I got accepted/waitlisted for their August 2004 class even though I applied for January 2005 class, go figure, lol! Got that corrected real fast. I was wondering why you took pre-reqs at CPCC and will Presby. accept them? The obvious reason seems cost. You can't beat $35.50 per credit hour vs $140 per credit hour at Presby. You got me thinking about taking psych. and sociology this summer at CPCC. It would definitely lighten the course load the first semester. Right now I work full-time. The plan is to save money this year, quit my job late fall to take Presby.'s CNA course, and work as a CNA while in school. By the way do you know if you could take the LPN exam after one year of nursing school? I've heard in some states you can, not sure about NC.

    I wish Charlotte had an acclerated BSN. I have BSBA in finance and minor in biology. But I hear Presbyterian is a great school and I am excited to start there next year! I appreciate any information you can pass on! Thank you!

  11. 0
    Melissa - congrats!

    I am very excited to start at Presby. I have a BS degree in Journalism and since I have 3 kids and other jobs, I just don't have time to be in school full-time so that is why I am taking pre-reqs before I get there. I am actually taking mine at South Piedmont CC in Polkton, NC, but all of my classes are online. I am in Psych right now and only have behavioral to take this summer and then I am done with everything except nursing classes. Cost was one consideration, but time is the biggest. I got my CNA from Carolinas College of Health Sciences and I did it in an evening class. Now I am working at University Hospital on their ICU. I also got my CPR for the healthcare provider through Lake Norman Reg. Med Ctr. It was one evening class that lasted about 4 hours. Presby has a great program and they just linked up with Queens University so our class (Aug. 2004) will be the first to get an Associates of Nursing from them. I want to start working full-time when I graduate and then get my BSN online and there are a variety of places that offer that. That is my plan - in a perfect world ... but thankfully it seems to be working so far. Feel free to drop me a note or email me - I'll answer any questions!!! I look forward to meeting and studying with you at Presby!!!


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