CNA or Volunteer work?

  1. 0
    Hello,

    My name is Matthew and I'm trying to become an RN but, unfortunately, I'm going to miss the deadline for applying to my schools RN program this year because I just don't have all my pre-reqs yet. I'm trying to figure out what I should occupy my time with this year to increase my likely hood of being accepted into the program next year. Basically, I've been debating with myself between getting my CNA license and working a hospital (or possibly and probably more likely, a nursing home) to increase my chances of acceptance in that way, or by simply volunteering as much as I can at the local hospital over the next year.

    My only quarrel with getting my CNA license is that from what I've heard, it BARELY helps any more than by volunteering . I've also heard that good references can be a lot more important than CNA experience. For instance, if I were to volunteer at the hospital, I might have a much better chance of getting a great reference from, say, a doctor or an RN, as opposed to if I were to work in a nursing home where there would less of a chance of me getting such references. I've also heard CNA experience can be undervalued and not really worth the effort -although I have also heard it can give you a big boost in during clinicals.

    Also, if I were to volunteer as opposed to working as a CNA, it would leave me alot more time to bring my Spanish up to par which i know will be a big asset to me, possibly alot more so than the CNA experience would be.

    Any opinions on this subject would be GREATLY appreciated. I just don't want to spend this year wasting my time.
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I was a CNA throughout nursing school and would not trade it for anything. A lot of my friends did not work throughout nursing school and have still yet to be offered an RN position after graduation. I received two job offers at the hospital I work at and accepted one. I know that getting a job in this tough economy (even for healthcare!) was largely attributed to my CNA experience. I also did volunteer throughout school as well. Being a CNA also taught me so much. I am more confident and have seen so much more than my new grad peers. I would HIGHLY encourage being a CNA.
    nrz2bee likes this.
  5. 0
    I say both! I am a CNA and a volunteer at a free clinic. Don't know whether Im accepted into nursing school but I hope I do.....
  6. 0
    Do both! Just don't do too many days a week of CNA and Volunteer work, so that you leave time to work on Spanish! I'm going to do both too, and I hope to become fluent in Spanish myself. Good luck to you!
  7. 0
    I've heard from many RNs that being a CNA is very valuable. In North Carolina (where I live) it is a newer requirement for the nursing programs and I've heard from many people that they wish they would have done the CNA program. The hands on experiences seem to be worth it to many people.

    I took a CNA program and was certified in October. As of right now however, I have yet to be employed in that field. I am also looking into volunteering at the hospital here I did my clinicals for my CNA program.

    In my opinion... I think doing both is a great idea.
  8. 0
    I have found it is VERY difficult to get a CNA job in a hospital without experience. So how do you get experience if you can't get hired???? I'm not sorry I got my CNA license but it isn't as easy to get a job as you think. I may apply for Home Health Care but that isn't really what I want to do. Just thought I'd add that bit of information into your decision. I've also applied to volunteer and haven't heard anything yet; some hospitals have waiting lists to volunteer!!!! Try both if you can. It sure doesn't hurt to have your CNA.
  9. 0
    Do both if you can! The CNA job will provide you with invaluable insight and experiences alot of your classmates will not have. The volunteer experience will allow you to see other areas of healthcare.
  10. 0
    This is a little off on the discussion however, I just registered for a CNA course, and was wondering if you have any feedback on how difficult the course is. Is the work load a lot, I've taken all pre-reqs to enter the RN program i just figured i would take this course while i wait.
  11. 3
    If you have taken all the pre-reqs for your RN you should not find the CNA course academically difficult.
    nrz2bee, Andrew12, and KimberlyRN89 like this.
  12. 1
    I agree completely with kewsey407! If you've conquered AP I & II, Microbiology and Statistics, taking the CNA course will make you feel like you are in kindergarten! You'll enjoy it.
    nrz2bee likes this.


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