18 years old fresh with aspirations

  1. hello everyone im a new member as you can tell =]. Well I found this site by googling out what a CNA is/does. I stumbled across these forums and I can tell this is a very helpful site. Well I am 18 years old attending a junior college for the first time and im half way into the semister.

    My current goal is to be a RN, but that path is very very confusing for the first timer. My mindset right now is to get my 2yrs of pre-reqs then apply for a RN program. I heard of a CNA today from my aunt and she said its a good start to becomming a nurse. Well basically I just want to ask for opinions and advice from everyone out there who is already experienced.

    I have thoughts of doing the CNA course after my semester ends, then hopefully go to school AND have that cna job. Money is a huge factor for me, as I will be paying for my own future education ( due to family instability ), so I thought that I'd be a CNA to raise my pay from my current part time job of $8.00/hr.

    I called the place where they have the CNA course and its $795 + $100 registration for a 6 week course. They also have a lvn course which is $2300 and takes 14 months. The mind boggling questions that are floating above my head are:

    Should I work as a CNA full time and save up for a lvn program?

    Should I work as a CNA and still go for my pre-reqs?

    OR save up right now and enter the lvn program ?

    I know that there can be thousands of insights on how I can approach this, so your comments are very much appreciated.

    Edit:And by the way, the name's Jared. Thanks for reading !!:wink2:
    Last edit by jayology on Oct 19, '06
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    People take all sorts of routes into nursing as you suspected. There are many ways to gain exposure to healthcare. If you're still pretty confused about the various patient care roles, you might consider volunteering at your local hospital until you have a better idea of each team member's function. Then you could make the most informed decisions about which programs to pursue.
  4. by   lauraelena
    Yes, I would encourage you to be a CNA. You will get the benefits of experiencing all the negatives, and how hard the work is, physically, emotionally, before making a commitment to nursing. School ismuch easier than the work, so it is not really a good representative example.
    Also, if you do become an RN, you will have compassion for those you supervise and how hard they work. I started this way, CNA, became an LVN, then RN. I can tell you, its a big commitment, and you'd better love nursing, or you will hate your decision if it is not your thing. Those nurses who do not really like their job are miserable all around, to patients, to staff and it shows. DO IT !!!! I hope you love it and go on to be a great nurse. Laura
  5. by   mcknis
    Jared,

    I am in my first year of nursing (RN) school and love it. I have been a CNA (not certified though, in a hospital) for three months prior to the start of school. I am now about two months into my program, and let me tell you, the experience you recieve from working in patient care will help you so much. In the hospital setting, I am able to do so much more than the aides in nursing homes can do. I am allowed to remove catheters, IVs, set up O2 (oxygen), do vitals (some aides do this in nursing homes but not in my area), assist in some procedures, plus so much more.

    The direct patient care will allow you to fly through school so you can concentrate on the tough stuff like meds, procedures, theory, etc. Once you have the basics down, it all just comes so easily. I take it you are a guy (based on your name), so let me tell you this...males are snatched by managers before anyone else can grab on. Go talk to some female nurses/aides and ask them if they like having males around? I guarantee they will say yes for many reasons.

    Go shawdow and aide, LPN, or RN on a shift and find out exactly what they do. I bet it will surprise you, plus it is one more way of getting your foot in the door to that facility.

    If you have anymore questions/comments please feel free to PM and I will get to you when I am not in school or at work.

    Scott

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