How many Nurses had their CNAs before Nursing School? - page 3

by GarrettLeonard

3,837 Views | 39 Comments

I am asking these questions to help a friend out, to prove a point. Did you have your CNA before going into Nursing School? Is having a CNA required by law to go into Nursing School? Does the University of Washington... Read More


  1. 0
    I'm currently in an ASN program, and have been a CNA for 4 years this June. I think it's not necessary, but is QUITE helpful. Being a CNA before nursing school was the best decision I've ever made.
  2. 3
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    I disagree with the many people who think "all nurses should be CNAs" first.

    A CNA is a very low education program - most places allow someone to become a CNA in about 6 weeks. The nursing profession already has enough image issues, mainly due to how low our education standards are. We don't come across as professionals. Requiring someone to skip college after high school to go perform a practically minimum wage/low education job would only further diminish our standing with other professionals. Regardless of how important experience is, and it certainly is, education is the only way to gain respect.

    IMHO - all nurses should be required to have a BSN, and online programs should be abolished. Maybe then people will understand what a difficult profession it is and give us credit for our knowledge and education. You wonder why some doctors/members of the public are scared of nurse practitioners, think of how they would feel if the CNA whose job was cleaning up poop and changing linens just 5 years earlier is now writing prescriptions and diagnosing their loved ones.

    Education is the key. Stop pushing for lowering our respect even further, please.
    Ok...IcySage...there are many CNAs whose job was cleaning up poop a d changing linens and within 10-15 years is now writing prescriptions and diagnosing their loved ones...They were CNAs, BSNs, then NPs...it happens all the time...A "lowly" CNA does not necessarily mean a negative connotation. I assume that you have never held this position...from someone who has held this "lowly" position, please know that I am knowledgable, well versed, and comfortable with blood poop, and vomit and WILL NOT BAT AN EYE...and when I become an NP, I will WITH PRIDE, clean up poop vomit etc, because I am fully aware of Maslow's needs, and will not fetch a "lowly" CNA. You are title to your opinion, but please educate yourself on WHY skill mix is important and the levels of direct care and nursing is mot necessarily a "negative" thing, especially when we are already stretched to the limit..I like the model of the healthcare team...without it, I would've never had the comfort zone that I had by doing the most intimate levels of care if it was as regimented as you would like it to be..
    nursenotyet, tokmom, and soxgirl2008 like this.
  3. 1
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    I disagree with the many people who think "all nurses should be CNAs" first.

    A CNA is a very low education program - most places allow someone to become a CNA in about 6 weeks. The nursing profession already has enough image issues, mainly due to how low our education standards are. We don't come across as professionals. Requiring someone to skip college after high school to go perform a practically minimum wage/low education job would only further diminish our standing with other professionals. Regardless of how important experience is, and it certainly is, education is the only way to gain respect.

    IMHO - all nurses should be required to have a BSN, and online programs should be abolished. Maybe then people will understand what a difficult profession it is and give us credit for our knowledge and education. You wonder why some doctors/members of the public are scared of nurse practitioners, think of how they would feel if the CNA whose job was cleaning up poop and changing linens just 5 years earlier is now writing prescriptions and diagnosing their loved ones.

    Education is the key. Stop pushing for lowering our respect even further, please.
    No one is saying you have to skip college and be a CNA first. I know PLENTY of CNA's who worked as CNA's while in BSN programs. And they were much more comfortable around patients than nurses without any healthcare experience. I'm not saying all nurses should be CNA's beforehand, but what is wrong with being a CNA while you are in school? Some people still have to work while they are in school and being a CNA gives you healthcare experience and a foot in the door.

    Most people I know don't care if the MD or NP who is writing their prescriptions was cleaning up poop 5 years ago. Seriously, why do you care so much if they were cleaning up poop 5 years ago as long as they graduated from medical school or NP school and passed boards? I don't understand what, in your eyes, is so bad about working as a CNA while one is in school? Seriously who the heck cares what your job is while you're in school as long as you are bettering yourself. And besides, most NPs are RNs for at least 3-4 years before being an NP. It's not like they go from CNA-NP

    How is being a CNA while in nursing school lowering the respect of the nursing profession? CNA's don't just get "promoted" to RNs. It's not like today I'm a CNA and tomorrow I'm an RN even though I never went to nursing school. And btw, at least around here, hospitals are much more likely to hire new grads who worked as CNA's than they are someone who has no prior healthcare experience. Not saying everyone should be or needs to be a CNA before nursing school, and I don't promote quitting college for a few years to work full time as a CNA either, but your post comes off extremely insulting to many nurses that were "lowly" CNAs first.
    Last edit by soxgirl2008 on Jan 26, '13 : Reason: typo
    tokmom likes this.
  4. 0
    Making it optional is fine, but many are saying "I think it should be required."

    They are essentially saying it should be required for every person who wants to be a respected professional to spend time at the bottom of the ladder doing demeaning tasks. More time should be put towards education and making sure we know more about the chemistry and biology of the body, not more time learning how many different colors poop can come in. It's this mentality that it's a "rite of passage" or all nurses to endure demeaning, mind-numbing, filthy work in order to make it to the top that causes us to not be as respected once we get to the top.

    Trust me, a physician will be more impressed by a Nurse Pactitioner who says he or she did cancer research during undergraduate school than one who said they were a CNA. Requiring all nurses to be a CNA during nursing school would mean they wouldn't have the time to pursue these more intelectual interests, such as working in a lab during undergraduate, and instead passing their days changing beds and learning very little that will actually help at the graduate level.

    I rarely see nurses complaining about the need for more education or more standarized tests, etc. It's always "Well I think we should have a minimum of 5 years cleaning sh*t first." It's like nurses only measure success in terms of tons of sh*t they've cleaned. News flash: Education is the most important aspect of being a graduate level nurse provider (NP, CRNA, etc). We would gain more respect if:

    1. Nurses were all required to have BSNs.
    2. No online programs, especially for NPs.
    3. The "DNP" was more clinical hours and advanced coursework, as opposed to theory classes that makes it look like a joke.
    4. Entrance to NP school required: A BSN with ONE YEAR minimum experience as a BSN RN. A standized exam, like the MCAT, which measures knowledge of biology, health, etc.
    5. A nurse residency type program after graduate school.

    We should be complaining to get these things, about QUALITY education, and yet 90% of the posts on here are about "What's the fastest way to get an NP online with 0 experience!" It's sad, it's causing this profession to decline drastically, and if they keep opening these overnight online NP schools and don't get it together and make sure NP school put more value on academic acheivement, research, and test scores over the amount of sh*t someone has cleaned, it's only a matter of time before NP's start to make some major patient safety mistakes and malpractice, and states step in to limit their power.
  5. 3
    Icy Sage, I do agree with some of your rant, HOWEVER, I hear most physicians that want their schooling tailored to what nursing school is. I understand streamlining schooling and requirements...in my area, most accredited university programs do have such requirements, like MCAT, GRE, experience, etc, when you go up on levels, but that is for a whole other thread...those people SHOULD not be in nursing, and most of these don't last long or give up, until they "get" what nursing IS, IMHO...that is their issue. At the end of the day, I only stand on what I do with MY license, and MY nursing practice.

    I also must say, if you don't like cleaning up, um, "poop," WHY are you not in another part if nursing??? I have net many nurses I have precepted that think like you...because we clean up poop, etc, yuck yuck , blah bla BLAH...we are not respected and we need our worth...LOL.. Reality CHECK!!!:

    1. Nursing IS THE MOST RESPECTED profession in global surveys. Google it, research it..in my research class, my CINAHL would pop up papers written about how nurses are seen as trustworthy, competent and knowledgeable, GLOBALLY.

    2. My line I give to nurses like you: if you don't like it, you always can be an nurse for the insurance company...pay is great, no poop, accept or reject procedures based on the insurance and nursing model...you will be "respected" by helping them keep profits as well..

    Sorry for participating in assisting the hijack of this thead, but lets get back to what the the OP is asking...I am interested in what the OP thinks! Hope the OP is still there!
    Ladybug031302, Glycerine82, and tokmom like this.
  6. 0
    I'm a second degree RN, so I felt like I'd already lost enough time by the time I went to nursing school. It didn't make sense to pay for a CNA program while I was paying for prenursing classes and paying student loans in my old degree. The local CNA programs were not cheap OR were job training at nursing homes not accessible by public transportation or they had LONG waiting lists. I opted to get my prerequisite classes done and get through an accelerated program as efficiently as possible.
  7. 0
    I did, it was a preq In IL
  8. 3
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    They are essentially saying it should be required for every person who wants to be a respected professional to spend time at the bottom of the ladder doing demeaning tasks. More time should be put towards education and making sure we know more about the chemistry and biology of the body, not more time learning how many different colors poop can come in. It's this mentality that it's a "rite of passage" or all nurses to endure demeaning, mind-numbing, filthy work in order to make it to the top that causes us to not be as respected once we get to the top.

    Trust me, a physician will be more impressed by a Nurse Pactitioner who says he or she did cancer research during undergraduate school than one who said they were a CNA. Requiring all nurses to be a CNA during nursing school would mean they wouldn't have the time to pursue these more intelectual interests, such as working in a lab during undergraduate, and instead passing their days changing beds and learning very little that will actually help at the graduate level.
    These "mind-numbing" and "demeaning" tasks that involve "filthy work" are actually part of nursing.
    It is striking that there are those who hold disdain for what it is the CNA does, yet I am certain those same people would have no issue with CNA's providing this care to them or their loved ones.
    The assumption that CNA's are all intellectually inferior or lackadaisical in their intellectual pursuits is preposterous and an assumption I would not be so quick to make.
    I agree the standard of education should increased-- even for CNA's, but I agree with nothing more in your post.
    Ladybug031302, Glycerine82, and tokmom like this.
  9. 0
    ^ My point was that by requiring someone to be a CNA during nursing school it would take time away from doing more academic and scholarly things, such as research. I think more emphasis should be placed on turning out more intelligent nurses vs more hard working nurses.
  10. 0
    I don't know anyone in nursing school who has time for doing research. Between clinicals and all your other homework and working (because most people I know have to work during nursing school. Not everyone can afford not to work.) I know very few people who would have time to be doing research. I agree with some of your points about NP school, and I don't think people should be required to work as a CNA, but I know very few nursing students who have time for research. And around here hospitals would rather see you had CNA/student nurse intern experience in the hospital than that you were doing research because it prepares you more for bedside nursing. Just because someone was doing lowly CNA work during school doesn't mean that they are less intelligent than the one who was doing research. At the graduate level? Sure I agree that research is important. But we aren't talking about people going for their DNP. We're talking about people just starting out for their ADN/BSN, and not everyone wants to go to NP or CRNA school. There are some RNs who are happy staying at the bedside, and you can be intelligent AND hardworking without doing research.
    Last edit by soxgirl2008 on Jan 27, '13 : Reason: Typo


Top