Newbie with lots of questions

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    I have just been accepted to a community college where I'll get my associate RN. How does this compare to those who will get a bachelors degree when I start looking for a job? Is the pay any different?? It seems like the easy way to only go for 2 years...

    I have about 30 hours of basics done, and i only need 4 more before ill start on the nursing courses.

    Also, how do you specialize in L&D , postpartum, etc?? Does everyone have to take the same route and just start working to get experience in these fields?
    I am thinking of becoming a CNA while I wait to get into nursing school. How do you go about doing this?? Would it be worth the experience, etc?? What about AUA, and other jobs like this?? I've seen all these abbreviations and I'm not sure what they are! What do these stand for and which one would be easiest to get my foot in the door?

    thanks, and sorry if my questions sound dumb. I am new at this!
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    Quote from Jenners
    I have just been accepted to a community college where I'll get my associate RN. How does this compare to those who will get a bachelors degree when I start looking for a job? Is the pay any different?? It seems like the easy way to only go for 2 years...

    I have about 30 hours of basics done, and i only need 4 more before ill start on the nursing courses.

    Also, how do you specialize in L&D , postpartum, etc?? Does everyone have to take the same route and just start working to get experience in these fields?
    I am thinking of becoming a CNA while I wait to get into nursing school. How do you go about doing this?? Would it be worth the experience, etc?? What about AUA, and other jobs like this?? I've seen all these abbreviations and I'm not sure what they are! What do these stand for and which one would be easiest to get my foot in the door?

    thanks, and sorry if my questions sound dumb. I am new at this!
    Hi, Jenners...no question is a dumb question

    If you do a little reading around the posts on this board and others, you'll probably find out alot of information that you're looking for. Meantime, I'll see if I can help.

    In most entry level positions in most hospitals, there's absolutely no difference between a new grad ADN and a new grad BSN. Whether you sat for the NCLEX-RN after a two-year program or a four-year one, the same licensure is considered for the same compensation MOST of the time. That's because both new grads are beginners, with no experience as RNs, and must be oriented to the unit/hospital, and trained on the job for many things. That said, there sometimes is a small differential for BSN over ADN for entry spots; a quarter to fifty cents an hour is common, IF there's a difference at all. As I said, entry level RNs are worth the same.

    As far as the community college being the easy option, that's debatable. Most of the time the pre-reqs that are required for admission to these programs will tack on a year or two before the core nursing courses anyway. And those entering the four-year BSN programs will have the pre-reqs included in the four-year timeframe, but the courses at universities are generally more costly. So, ADNs remain the less expensive, more easily accessible programs (as they are usually located in community colleges that are "closer to home" than universities). But easier? Not usually the case.

    You asked how to specialize in certain fields. The answer would be to get the general experience required first, as a new grad, and then apply for those positions that require such experience. Sometimes, though, opportunities exist for a new grad to enter a specialty without prior experience; they are not usually too easy to come by (as experience is preferred) but it's not out of the question. It really depends on the facility: some will absolutely not take an RN into L&D, OB without a couple of solid years in med-surg. Others will be willing to train. You'd have to contact each facility and see what their specific requirements would be, and it's probably premature to be doing so now: as you approach the end of your nursing coursework, nearing graduation, you'll get a more realistic answer. Lots can change in a couple of years!

    There's varied thoughts on becoming a CNA first. Some schools actually require this of students; they must get this certification and sometimes must actually be working AS a CNA before acceptance to a program. Some do not. As for whether it's beneficial, there's different thoughts there, too: some will swear it was the best thing they ever did, getting "hands-on" experience, learning how to move people, care for people, etc. Others will say it did nothing for them in their journey toward becoming an RN; everything they needed to learn they learned in clinical experiences. Both are correct! Some people need the "rude awakening" of doing CNA work first, others have no problems moving into it while students. A friend of mine was an aide for years and swears it made school better for her; I never had spent a minute in healthcare before donning my student uniform. I, too, had no problem in clinicals. What do you think you might need?

    As for how to go about getting it, usually a BOCES or vocational school will offer CNA classes, they can be gotten through nursing homes as well. Sometimes they are free to those who pledge employment; sometimes they are for a fee. I've never heard of them to be expensive, and they're typically just several weeks long. You can ask at your school for a recommendation on a program near you, or look through the yellow pages or Google.

    Hope this helps!
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    Thanks so much !!


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