If I hate being a Cna, should I stop pursuing Nursing? - page 2

by Pattycakes85 17,525 Views | 47 Comments

Hi everyone, I have a huge problem. I just started clinical in my CNA class at a nursing home and to be completely honest, I really hated it. I wanted to like it and enjoy it but I couldn't. I was upset because of that. The... Read More


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    My first experience in the medical field was as an LPN student in my first clinical setting, an LTC. I'd never worked with the elderly, knew nothing about the elderly and hadn't experienced being around the elderly since my grandparents had died when I was young.

    I was clueless, I was nervous, I didn't like it at all. I didn't really even know why I wanted to be a nurse.

    But I kept on going to school, and going to clinicals. Even when I got to med/surg clinicals I didn't like it. But I did get to really like the geriatric patients.

    I graduated, got my LPN and still wasn't sure if I wanted to be a nurse. But I kept on doing it, I got a job in LTC...I really liked those old people and they appreciated me.

    I eventually learned to like nursing but I did discover that high stress jobs like acute care are not for me.

    Today I'm working as a homecare supervisor in a large geriatric lodge. I love my job and my clients.

    Keep putting one foot in front of the other...you'll reach your goals.
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    If you absolutely hate it (the very thought of doing any CNA-related work causes anxiety, the thought of doing it day-after-day causes you to sink into a depression), don't be a CNA. If you're going into it because "being a CNA is the only way you might even possibly get hired as an RN", there are still other medically-related jobs/certifications that can look good on a resume. If you just hated working geriatric LTC (it made you uncomfortable for whatever reason), have hope! There are other areas that require CNAs, even though you primarily hear of new CNAs only being able to get into geriatric LTC.

    Don't let what your LPN instructor get you down. Did you volunteer the information that you want to be an RN before this happened, or was she saying it as a generality? Frankly, through my CNA program, I learned to keep my mouth shut from then on about my long-term career goals. Some people you are training or working with wanted to be RNs, themselves, and never got/took the opportunity; some assume, just by the fact that you want to be an RN and not [enter other medical career], that you feel superior to them; and, generally speaking, the job market is so bad right now that lots of people just feel insecure and threatened by any fresh meat. Note that I used "some"; let me rephrase the above: the only time I ever had a problem that didn't benefit from receiving my superiors' constructive criticism, it was because of my personal career plans conflicted with someone else's thoughts on the matter. The majority of the time, you are going to find v-e-r-y helpful staff and coworkers, please don't get me wrong, but I prefer the non-confrontational approach of just keeping quiet until I'm very sure of the people I'm around.
    Last edit by CapeCodDreamer on Oct 3, '12 : Reason: Fixing Sentence Structure
    onmyrnpath and gummi bear like this.
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    Quote from LCinTraining
    I am an aide and although there is a lot of poop clean up, it is not all elderly people. I work in acute rehab. We get everything from strokes to spinal cord injuries to knee replacements. The traumatic event patients come in all ages. And I found that although I wanted to go into pediatrics, I really enjoy spinal cord. Get your feet wet. There are many venues you can work as an aide in, while pursuing nursing. Venues that won't be as draining on your ego.

    Well, as far as work and stress go, to me, poop, blood, vomit, pee, sputum (something I've always had a tough time with--and I work in critical care of all ages--we are almost always trying to suck out someone's tracheal secretions), all of that is nothing compared to other issues and stressors. It's like the least of it. Sure, it's not something you want to be dealing with every minute of the day; but compared to the other kinds of stress and responsibility, it doesn't hold a candle. Sometimes it's a lot better to be the cleaner upper over being the charge nurse and juggling admissions and problems and resident physicians and attendings all while having your own pretty sick patients and families with which to deal.
    millyio likes this.
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    There are lots of types of nursing and ways to get experience. I'd say keep an open mind and finish the program but you can find other ways to get experience. Tech jobs or working in clinics, maybe? A few people in my nursing class got their experience at Planned Parenthood, for instance. I disliked LTC but enjoy being a hospital CNA, though I can't wait to have more responsibility and thinking once I become a nurse.
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    You've gotten lots of good advice here. I worked as a CNA before becoming a LPN and while I liked the
    interaction and bedside care-I don't think anyone really enjoys dealing with a code brown in aisle 2.

    Don't get discouraged, there is so much more to nursing. Maybe you were overwhelmed and to have a
    supervisor be so negative doesn't help. There are tons of other jobs you can do while in school as others
    have discussed above.. Follow your dream!!
    Ms. P
    millyio likes this.
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    Quote from samadams8
    Well, as far as work and stress go, to me, poop, blood, vomit, pee, sputum (something I've always had a tough time with--and I work in critical care of all ages--we are almost always trying to suck out someone's tracheal secretions), all of that is nothing compared to other issues and stressors. It's like the least of it. Sure, it's not something you want to be dealing with every minute of the day; but compared to the other kinds of stress and responsibility, it doesn't hold a candle. Sometimes it's a lot better to be the cleaner upper over being the charge nurse and juggling admissions and problems and resident physicians and attendings all while having your own pretty sick patients and families with which to deal.
    my charge nurses are supportive of my education but I tell them I will never be charge. Me responsible for them? I couldn't even handle a scheduling issue I was asked to help with! LOL My hat is off to all charge nurses. It is a tough job!
    millyio likes this.
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    I would try to stick it out... Also perhaps look at volunteering at different settings. I did at a hospital and there is much more out there... Many cna schools only work with senior or hospice care.. you are really only seeing a small portion of medicine there... much different in a hospital or outpatient center etc... I work as a CNA in a med surg/ telemetry unit and we see pretty much everything. I really enjoy it... BUT I remember really not enjoying my clinical time in CNA school.. it was not like what I do now.. still lots of poop but the facility is better, ventilation system is better and frankly the nurses are sharper...I am in nursing school now and have no regrets
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    We can teach people and they will acquire the knowledge and skills that is needed to be a CNA or an RN but we can never teach the art "nursing" - caring... I believe it is innate in every person to care in certain ways but in Nursing , we have to care no matter what it entails for us to do period.... if you cannot enjoy or find fulfillment in the little things that you do as a CNA or eventually an RN I suggest you think about it again and figure out what is it that you really love to do...

    You cannot be a Nurse Anesthetist without undergoing the basics of nursing education and that includes all the stuff that you already experience in the CNA class... I do wish you well though and hope that you find it in your heart to pursue a degree that will best suit you.
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    Not necessarily. You're working as a CNA in one setting, the nursing home. Being a CNA at an acute care hospital is a different experience, and so is working as a nurse for that matter. Give yourself a chance to work in different environments and different experiences before you rule out nursing altogether.
    millyio and onmyrnpath like this.
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    If you want to work in the OR with surgeons then continue on with your nursing plans. You could get a job in the OR and learn how to circulate. Once you get in there and make connections you can find a doctor that wouldn't mind having an assistant. Then you can go on to get your certification as an RN-First Assist. You would be opposite a surgeon, the responsibility would not be as great as it is if you are a CRNA and you can get the best of both worlds!

    If you are going to be a CRNA for the money then being a first assist is not going to get you the money. But it seems it would be the better match for what you are looking to do.

    As for hating being a CNA? I am an LPN and with LPN clinicals I absolutely hated being in the nursing home. I don't like working with the elderly. I hate that I feel that way but that is honestly how I feel. It is okay to feel that way. Geriatrics isn't for everyone. Do what you need to do to get to your end goal and then find a specialty that fits you and your personality.

    Good Luck!
    onmyrnpath and fromtheseaRN like this.


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