The same could be said of housekeeping. I think most would also consider housekeeping also to be dead end jobs with minimal mobility and minimum wage upside. I think that is why most of the readers here are either nurses or want to be.
No, the same can not be said of housekeeping. Housekeeping isn't a "field", you don't become a housekeeper to gain experience to later use that experience to help you. You don't have to pass a state exam to be a housekeeper, nor do you have to pay for classes.
I think it bears mentioning here that minimum wage purchasing power is considerably less than it has been in the past. It was $1.60 when I got out of high school in 1973, which is about $10 an hour in 2014 dollars when corrected for inflation. If minimum wage had been inflation indexed since 1973, then fast food workers nationwide would be making a minimum entry wage of $10 and hospital aides around $12 now.
While I don't know what the 20 year difference in CNA pay at the same hospital might be, I'm not impressed with a 25% gain in income over four years ($9.50 to $12) to just what should be fair based on historical minimum wages. Typical career gains for an RN over entry level pay is 100% without additional education or super specialty required.
I was replying to the comment that wages as a CNA are close to minimum wage, which isn't true. Certainly it doesn't pay a lot, but it's certainly more than 7.50/hr, which is what minimum wage is. I am not comparing being a CNA to a nurse, I was replying to the comment that it is dead end, there is a big difference. This conversation was not about being an RN vs being a CNA.
I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with any job, and anyone who does their job with pride deserves respect. I will take umbrage with your belief that many nurses cannot do the job of a CNA - could you please list exactly what a CNA does that is not also in the nurse job description? My duties go all the way down to mopping floors and if my employer wants to pay my hourly for mopping floors rather than a lower paid environmental services professional, I'm happy to do it.
Many nurses could not do the type of work that a CNA does day in and day out. Yes, everything that a CNA does, a nurse does also, but that is not all nurses do and certainly isn't solely what they do, as you know. "CNA work", if you will, is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. To spend 12 hours lifting people into and out of bed, onto and off of toilets, into and out of showers, dressing, undressing, collecting specimens, changing briefs, wiping tears, re-orienting, convincing someone that their kids are safe at home, they didn't miss the train, etc. takes a huge toll on your body and mind. Many people, including nurses, wouldn't/couldn't do it.