CNA or Not?

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    I am new to the nursing field and am wondering if becoming a CNA will be beneficial to getting a job after graduating from a BSN program. I am currently finishing up pre-req's online for the BSN program and could take an online/hybrid course for CNA. I'm wondering if it would be worth the money to do so (it cost approx $1000.) or if it is fairly easy to land a job after graduating the BSN even without experience. I used to be a veterinary technician so I do have some "medical" experience, it's just not of the human kind. I only have 2 semesters of pre-req's left, so will I even have enough time to work as a CNA and gain experience before starting the BSN program? They don't recommend working a job while in the BSN program, so I'd probably have to quit once the program started. Anyone work a job while in a full time BSN program?
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I would say this wouldn't be worth it. If you're getting a BSN, after the first semester you should be able to be a CNA anyways, so it'd just be a waste of time and money.
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    Find out if you can get certified through school, many programs give students their cna part way through. It is definitely worth getting for your skills. You should also be able to get per diem work while in school. I did it, and I recommend it
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    I know that most nursing programs around here require the CNA license before you can even take your first nursing course. To be honest, I'd go for the CNA experience. I did, and it helped me to decide if the health field was the right one for me. Work one day on the weekend, even if it's just for experience. You'll benefit. Textbooks have nothing on real life experiences
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    hey pink30! I have been a CNA for about 5 years now and I have found my experience very benefical. It has given me a lot of patient experience and it gives you a close look into the norml day to day tasks of the nurse. I found that a lot of my fellow students felt overwhelmed on their first few clinicals and a lot of time and opertunities where wasted because they felt nervous around the patients. Plus if I choose to I probably could get a job where I work after I graduate which is a nice little insurence given that more people are holding onto their jobs given our current economy. Plus I am able to use my coworkers as references. I have also been told that jobs in certain facilities are compedative and that having patient experience outside of nursing school can increase your chances of landing a job. These are just things that I have found to be true for me personaly, whether you choose to be a CNA or not is not really a big deal because anyone who has ever truly wanted to get a job as a nurse gets one. Good luck!
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    The value of the CNA is the bedside skills and experience portion, not the credential itself. In a lot of places you can't fill a CNA job once you have your RN licence so it's not job security, if you are that close to finishing.

    Also in some areas CNA jobs are hard to come by.

    For someone at the beginning of the path I'd say go for the CNA and work on a med surg unit, what you see and do there will help you enormously down the road. If you are less than a year to completion I'd say it's more of a distraction.
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    Sorry I did not make myself clear, it is job security because were I work they are always looking for good RNs and because I have been working there and they like my work they would be happy to keep me on there but as an RN not a CNA.
  10. 0
    I just finished my first semester of nursing school and I found being a CNA for 1 year (almost 2 now) has been very beneficial to understanding some of the basic stuff in the first semester. Another thing to consider is that if you get a CNA job, it will make it easier to get an RN job with the same hospital or LTC if you stick with it.
  11. 0
    Hi I am taking pre reqs in order to apply for the Rn program at my local community college. I am a CNA and I love the experience! If you can swing getting your CNA I would recommend it. It is an amazing learning experience and has shown me even more that nursing is my passion. It is true once you get your RN you will have to "give up" CNA liscence but while you are in the bsn program you can work per diem when you are available during school breaks and that way you have an in when you graduate from bsn since you were a CNA


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