CNA then on to RN...Good Idea?

  1. I want to go into nursing. But inorder to get into the 2-year programs I need to A & P, and microbiology first. Those are classes I don't want to attempt in summer school. I can however get my CNA this summer. Do you think that getting a CNA will help me with my nursing classes? Does being a CNA help you to get a higher paying job after you get your RN (as opposed to not having your CNA and going right into RN work)?

    Any word of wisdom would be great.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   nursedawn67
    Oh most definately!!! I was an aide for 6 years before I went into nursing school, and it helped alot. Especially in the nursing home rotation, I wasn't afraid of the patients. The people that had never been and aide or into anything medical before nursing school were really nervous. I recommend to anyone considering nursing school trying to be an aide first.
  4. by   Carer
    I have not gone into the FULL Nursing bit. I am a Care Assistant in England. In America we are known as CNA'S. I agree with Greer, that being a CNA then going into the Nursing area, You have that bit more Experience there for things may be easier for you STUDY wise.
    In fact I have 2 friends that were CNA'S now there are Nurses.
    1 of them told me that it was easier for her as she had some knowledge in the Nursing area in the First place. When it came to the Nursing studies they were not so hard for her as it was for some of the other students.

    I hope this helps you.
  5. by   misti_z
    Getting your CNA is a wonderful idea. To second what was said before your fear of approaching patients will be gone and you will get wonderful experience if you want it. However I do not believe it will get you a better job, but it may make getting a job easier, especially if you want to work as a RN where you work as a CNA, although right now it is not hard to get a job as a RN anywhere.
  6. by   tmorgan787
    Speaking from experience (CNA for 3 years before I started nursing school) I agree that is was useful. Just remember..what you do on the floor (while your working as a CNA) is NOT the way you do it during clinical time at school! You learn to take shortcuts when your working and you will need to stop and think when your doing your job with a nursing instructor looking over your shoulder!
  7. by   Mijourney
    Hi. I agree with the previous posters. Under one thread, an article from a nurse educator points out how nursing education differs today from yesteryears in terms of duration and substance of clinical. Working as a CNA is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with patients and their families and learn how to relate to and care for patients in their most vulnerable moments. If you are satisfied and successful as a CNA, once you become a nurse, the hands on part of your job will almost be second nature.
  8. by   bernarma
    Nurses who have "WORKED" as CNA's tend to be better nurses. THose who have not tend to think they know everything and a CNA is beneath them.

    I have worked with CNA's who had done so for 30 years and had far more knowledge than most new grads.

    Also, some nursing programs are requirng a CNA in order to get into a nurses program.

    Last but not least... it may help you decide for certain if nursing is what you want to do and if you are truly committed to putting in that time.

    Good luck
  9. by   Figaro's Mom
    Carmen, it looks like we (you and I) are in the same boat! I am learning so much reading threads on allnurses.com.
  10. by   Sleepyeyes
    Please do take the CNA.; it'll give you an idea of what you're in for and also help you to watch the experts--and the idiots.
    (Warning: you may learn far more from one idiot than 10 experts.)
    I was a CNA for over 10 years before getting my ADN. I learned a lot by watching, asking questions, and doing the CNA job. Enjoy!
  11. by   SGkatt
    LOL amen on the learning from idoits. the biggest thing you learn is NOT to copy their mistakes (* Not to worry, you'll make a lot on your own*)

    Being a cna has taught me a lot with how to interact with people.. Also the advantage of learning to keep your mouth shut ( I learned this the hard way)

    katt
  12. by   b-lansing
    I agree, being a CNA now will be such a help when I start school in the fall. I've been doing the work of a CNA without the license for 3 years at a psych. hospital in NH. I now have my license and am on my way to an RN. My level of confidence is much higher because of all the patient contact I've had. Also, working in a Psych. atmosphere you learn to sink or swim!:chuckle
  13. by   LLDPaRN
    Carmen
    I agree with the other posters....having exposure to patients as a CNA will increase your comfort level when you have your first clinical rotation as a student nurse. Although I was not a CNA, I did have exposure to the medical field because I was an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and went on ambulance calls. In my experience as an RN, I have found that the aides (we call them patient care technicians at my hospital) who are in nursing school are overall better in their job performance (with some exceptions of course). Also, as noted above, you will find out if nursing is really what you want to do for the rest of your life

    Good luck to you !

    Laurie
  14. by   ds23
    i definetely agree with getting your cna first, i am an aide now for 3 years, and it is helping my through my clinical rotations to be comfortable with the patients. but you do need to remember to lose the "bad habits" you learn as a cna in clinicals, the shortcuts are not taken well by the instructors....i am in school right now and the people in my class that have not been in the medical feild before are nervous about the procedures, the atmosphere, and the patients, at least you will have a jump start on patient care before you have to do it in front of an audience i believe it has really helped me get the basics down so i can focus on other things...i recommend it totally

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