Job while in RN school

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    I am trying to figure out the best path to follow while I am enrolled in my nursing program. Since I have already done my basic patient care skills course I know I could take the STNA test, but would it even be worth it? Or should I just apply to jobs as PCT/PCA/PSA's without doing this certification as the only hospital that looks like it really requires it for patient care positions is Nationwide Childrens. I was also thinking about finding a phlebotomy job while enrolled. Which option would be the most beneficial for obtaining an RN position after graduation/NCLEX? Thanks for any help/input/ personal experience!
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

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    Any job that gets you in the hospital! I know a lot of nurses who worked as an aid or PCT in the hospital while they were in school and then ended up getting hired right after passing boards (myself included). So, wherever you want to work, apply there and do the necessary certification to get in.
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    Thanks so much! I am considering obtaining my STNA only because when I start up my nursing program again in May, I will be starting in my 3rd out of 6 semesters, which will put me right into clinicals in LTC facilities (I did my 1st 2 semesters a few years back at the same school, and am now finishing them up). It's been a while since I have done "basic patient care" skills and I will not be retaking what I feel, is a very vital class that helps to build a strong foundation. Do you think the STNA will help me "relearn" those fundamental skills? Also do you think this would help me get a leg up when applying for PCA positions?
  6. 0
    Quote from lnsjes
    Do you think the STNA will help me "relearn" those fundamental skills? Also do you think this would help me get a leg up when applying for PCA positions?
    Yes and yes
  7. 1
    I really appreciate your input and help! I am going to call around this weekend and get signed up for a class. I'm excited to get back in the "groove" of things, and relearn everything that I haven't been practicing in the past few years!
    Keep_Calm likes this.
  8. 1
    I also agree with any job that can get you into a hospital! And I also agree that having your STNA will help you "relearn" those fundamental skills.

    I didn't get my STNA prior to starting nursing school. I found a job as a PCNA (patient care nursing assistant) that didn't require an STNA, they just required you to be enrolled in an accredited nursing program. I then found a job as a NT (nurse tech) which had all of the same roles as a PCNA but I was able to draw blood, start IVs, do dressing changes, obtain cultures (including blood & wound), insert foley catheters and do trach suctioning and care (my home unit had a lot of trachs). Again, that position required me to be in a nursing program for at least a year. The experience from both (but especially the NT position) were invaluable. I'm a bit of a "wallflower" and those jobs not only helped me become more comfortable in the hospital setting, but it also broke me out of my shell and gave me the opportunity to practice those skills. I think I only did a couple of IV starts and maybe inserted one foley throughout my entire nursing school career, so working as an NT provided more opportunities in those areas

    Best of luck to you (and I'm from Ohio, too! But I don't live there anymore )
    Keep_Calm likes this.
  9. 0
    Because I worked as a PCA in the hospital during nursing school, I was offered jobs at OSU, Grant, Mt Carmel, and Cleveland Clinic.
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    A little late, but definitely work in a hospital! Not only will it help you get a job, but it will help you in nursing school too - while your classmates are trying to figure out how to work the blood pressure cuff or are nervous about going into a patient's room or wiping butt, you'll be able to focus on giving meds, starting IVs, and other skills - because you have all that basic stuff down from doing it all the time at work

    I work as an MST for Mt. Carmel so we also do phlebotomy and 12-lead EKG's, which is nice. My manager told me he didn't even realize I had my STNA license, so in terms of getting that I don't know how helpful it is. They're just looking for somebody who's passionate about direct patient care and won't quit after a month because they're grossed out.

    Best of luck!


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