How many Nurses had their CNAs before Nursing School? - page 4

by GarrettLeonard

3,497 Visits | 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
    Quote from Hygiene Queen

    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.
    Yes...these "tasks" ARE NURSING....thanks for the clarification...always a pleasure Hygiene Queen!!

    And Soxgirl2008, you hit the nail on the head!!!
  2. 0
    My school requires you to have your CNA license (you didn't have to work as a CNA though) to apply to their BSN program. Initially, I thought it was waste of time and money. However, my experience has shown me otherwise. In my first semester we skipped all of the ADLs and stuff CNAs learn, so we started right off with nursing skills. On the first day of nursing clinicals a call light went off and I confidently could say "I got this". There is no being scared of real patients, you have done patient care before. I have a friend in another University in town that does not have the CNA requirement, who didn't actually touch patients until her second semester.

    Many of my classmates, including myself have worked prior to and are working as CNAs during school. I can not say yet, but I think having that experience on the resume will definitely help, especially for brand new grads. With CNA experience and being in nursing school many of us (about 25%) currently work in hospitals.
  3. 1
    No, I haven't heard of it being a requirement, but I believe it really helped me with fundamentals. I did this usually 24-32 hours per week while I was in nursing school. I had three children also, so it was a struggle for sure.
    tokmom likes this.
  4. 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.
    Are they to be abolished after you finish your online program?

    For the record, online programs aren't easy. There is no spoon feeding of information and for those that have no brick and mortar near by it might be the only option.

    Personally, I would rather have an MD or ARNP have a history of wiping butts and taking care of people. Those interactions, though demeaning to you, can give much insight on a human being and even why they are admitted. Pt's will talk to you during baths, linen changes and tell you things that they didn't tell the MD.


    Secondly, don't ever dismiss wiping up poop. You can learn a lot from your pt. Did they not teach you in nursing school of the different colors, odors and consistency? I have nailed diagnosis by looking at bowel movements.
    Last edit by tokmom on Jan 27, '13 : Reason: grammar
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  5. 3
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    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.
    CNA work is nursing work. The reason I think nurses should be CNAs first is to weed out the ones who have the mentality that they are better than others. There is nothing demeaning about being a CNA. It i demeaning to crap in your pants and have to go through two nurses before someone finds you a CNA to clean up when in reality said nurse should pull up her sleeves and get to it. Nursing is more than education and school. Nurses who are CNAs first will know first hand how HARD CNAs work and they will know a good CNA is worth their weight in gold. They will know what to expect when they get into school and they will know NOT to refer to their helpers as having a demeaning profession when really, they just know its simply something they couldn't do themselves because they don't have the STOMACH for it or the HEART it takes to care for people so intimately. I am honored and privileged to be a CNA and care for these people who need te help so desperately. When I am done with nursing school it will make me a more compassionate and knowledgeable nurse.

    "No day but today"
    Hygiene Queen, soxgirl2008, and tokmom like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from Hygiene Queen

    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.
    Thank you. Holy crap there is STEAM coming out of my ears!! Some people have nooooo business in bedside nursing IMO.

    "No day but today"
    Ladybug031302 and Hygiene Queen like this.
  7. 2
    Quote from YouwishiwasyourCNA
    Thank you. Holy crap there is STEAM coming out of my ears!! Some people have nooooo business in bedside nursing IMO."No day but today"
    No worries working at bedside with this one. He will advance to bean counter status and make rules and regulations about a profession he thinks he knows about, because any work below that would be demeaning. I did see some posts about wanting to be an FNP, through an online course. No way would I want this person taking care of any family member with the attitude I see here.You on the other hand, can be my Cna anytime! I wish more had your attitude.We would make a great team.
    Glycerine82 and soxgirl2008 like this.
  8. 0
    I went to school in Idaho. One school required a CNA for entry, but the others did not. I obtained my CNA in high school (senior year) and I think working as a CNA prepared me for nursing more than any other thing. The most important thing I learned as a CNA was how to interact with patients and co-workers. They may teach that in nursing school, but I think think it takes most nurses a while to learn the skill, and some never seem to.

    Besides, more clinical exposure isn't going to hurt
  9. 0
    Quote from GarrettLeonard
    Does the University of Washington School of Nursing Require you to have a CNA for entry?Can you transfer to the University of Washington School of Nursing with just an Associates in Pre Nursing?Thank you and I heavily appreciate all responses. Just my girlfriend is working on getting into the ACT program at her Job Corps Center, and everyone she talks to seems to be brainwashed you need your CNA to transfer.!
    Chiming in late here. I have not read all of the responses but I think I can answer these questions here. No, you do not NEED to have your CNA to apply and gain acceptance to UW. However, you do need health care experience and the UW requires applicants to have experience working directly with RNs. The easiest way to get to that point is working as a CNA. If your friend is serious about applying to UW, she should get working in health care or at least volunteering ASAP. UW is super competitive and many applicants are applying for the second or third time. They've had time to work in health care and gain the experience UW wants to see. They want to see you understand what nurses do and that you feel you can handle it. UW has one of their info sessions online and I highly suggest your friend watches it. Good luck to her!!
  10. 0
    Quote from IcySageNurse
    ^ 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.
    Wow. Nursing is about more than intellect. Any nurse who feels above taking care of a patient's basic needs is one I hope I don't have to work with. Doing the "dirty work" is unpleasant for sure, but we are all human and being able to take care of patients when it is uncomfortable for us allows for personal growth more impact full than taking a class or doing research IMHO. Being aCNA has allowed me to see what nurses do in a way no other entry-level position would. We all gotta start somewhere and there's no shame in providing care that assists patients with basic needs.


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