Should I get a CNA prior to nursing classes?

  1. thanks in advance to anyone who can help!!!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   JGHmaleRN
    Hi FoxyRoxy21, I started out as a CNA then LPN now RN. I think it gives you a better understanding of whats going on around you. It helps you respect the people you work with. I think all nurse should start as CNA first. Good luck no matter what you do.
  4. by   SoulShine75
    Quote from foxyroxy21
    thanks in advance to anyone who can help!!!
    our school requires that you take the class and do the clinicals. i think being a cna gives a lot of insight into nursing care and the nitty gritty of it. it gets you use to the type of things you'll be seeing, doing and smelling. :wink2: it isn't a glamerous job but a very noble one because cna's are some of the hardest working people on the planet, in my opinion anyway.

    i was a na at a ltc facility for a while and i admit that i didn't like the job at all. i liked the patient care, not the facility or most of the staff. i can't say i was treated fairly or properly trained. i felt like i was learning to ride a bike while being pushed down a hill. all i could do was pedal and learn to steer. despite the negative i can say that i learned a great deal about patient care and the basics of it. it's great experience.

    good luck in whatever you decide.
  5. by   Tweety
    Most nursing schools cover the basics the first semester. So it's not necessary. I think it might give you a heads up in confidence and experience. But it's not necessary. (Unless of course like the school mentioned above, it's required.)
  6. by   FoxyRoxy21
    Thanks so much everyone.
    The school I am attending doed not require you to complete the CNA program, however I wasn't sure if it would be in my best intrest to do it anyways. I am currently not enrolled in the nursing program. I am still completeing my pre-req's before applying in Fall 2006. Our school has such limited enrollement in all healthcare programs. 150 out 1000 student who apply for the Nursing program are accepted. That's only 15 percent!!!! So it's very competitive and I thought that maybe by having a CNA under my belt my odds might be better.
    Thanks again, everyone here is so helpful!!!!!
  7. by   KatieBell
    I think it is always a good idea, but not necessary. However, it will give you an idea if you will like nursing on a daily basis, and a opportunity to work part time during school and earn some money. I turned my CNA position into a RN job at the same hospital (carrying over all my PTO,benefits and seniority for vacations...) upon graduation. Not too bad. Some of the employees were pretty annoyed though that a new grad nurse had more seniority in asking for vacationtime etc, but I just told them to get over it.
  8. by   jezabel1961
    its not necessary, but you will feel a lot less overwhelmed than some of the folks that go onto the floor with absolutely no experience. i had a few classmates that felt like they were in too deep those first few weeks.....then again, i'm sure that i felt the same way when i first became a c.n.a...that was 20 years ago though so my memory fails me. one thing to take in consideration is the level of responsibility. when i switched hats from cna to inexperienced rn, there was a lot more riding on every decision that i made in the work place. having some familiarity with patient care, can reduce a little bit of that stress. also, many companies will help with college tuition if you start as an aid and then continue your education.
  9. by   FoxyRoxy21
    Quote from KatieBell
    I think it is always a good idea, but not necessary. However, it will give you an idea if you will like nursing on a daily basis, and a opportunity to work part time during school and earn some money. I turned my CNA position into a RN job at the same hospital (carrying over all my PTO,benefits and seniority for vacations...) upon graduation. Not too bad. Some of the employees were pretty annoyed though that a new grad nurse had more seniority in asking for vacationtime etc, but I just told them to get over it.
    That is so awesome!!!!
    I never thought about all the seniority building up by doing it that way. Thanks for putting that idea in my head. That sounds like a great road to travel while becoming an RN.
    Thanks a bunch!!!!!
  10. by   jhawk07
    its not necessary, I got in with very little hospital experience! I have volunteered a bit, so that is all I would do if I were you and save the $900 bucks or so it takes to get a CNA. Anyway after your first semester of nursing school you are not only qualified to be a CNA, but a medical techinician and a phlebotomist, in other words you might as well be a nurse but you just don't have the clinical experience to say you are a nurse, doing well in your classes is the key to getting in, if working is dowing your grades, stop working if possible and just focus on school. You can be a CNA all you want, but if you are getting C's in everything you aren't going to get in. Just volunteer, because you will have a more flexible schedule, so on the weeks that school is really hectic you can just not volunteer and on the weeks that it is easy you can volunteer more. Anwya I think volunteering is more fun, you are worried about keeping a job or making money or anything, just enjoying the experience.
  11. by   Kwality
    Quote from JGHmaleRN
    Hi FoxyRoxy21, I started out as a CNA then LPN now RN. I think it gives you a better understanding of whats going on around you. It helps you respect the people you work with. I think all nurse should start as CNA first. Good luck no matter what you do.
    This is the route I'm going to take. I plan on trying to get into the CNA class between Jan and Feb. This will be the best route for me, especially with children. Good luck with your decision!
  12. by   Blackcat99
    Yes I think it is a good idea. I'm glad I did it before I went to LPN school. It helped me to have more self confidence in myself. Good luck
  13. by   karmyk
    CNA certification classes are actually being offered practically FOR FREE where I live... You just pay for books and other supplies.. it's a pretty good deal.

    (Thus, I'm getting certified at the moment )
  14. by   NewOrderPsychoFan
    Yes, the Department of Public Social Services, I believe, is where you can take a CNA course for little or no cost. Check it out! I don't believe it is widely known, since so many vocational schools offer it. I can't imagine paying thousands for the program. Go to your local D.of P.S.S. and ask about discounted or free programs you could possibley get into or who to talk to. I think I might go this route as well.

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