Accepting a position as an RN after being the CNA

Nurses General Nursing



I am in my last semester of nursing school and I am starting to look for prospective jobs. I currently work as a "Student Nurse" at a local hospital, which is essentially a CNA position. Some managers and directors have asked when I graduate and have expressed interest in me advancing to an RN on that unit. I am very excited to have such an opportunity, but some people have mentioned what a change in dynamics that could be and that it may not be a wise decision. Two disadvantages that have been brought up are, the nurses don't take you seriously because they see you as a CNA and some of the CNAs don't appreciate the change in dynamics.

Anyone with experience with

Consider but also apply elsewhere.

Managers say all sorts of things to students and don't always mean them.

Every unit has its own culture, but those concerns would not be true at all in my department. Around here the kind of inquiries you have received from managers are posed to excellent employees who are about to become nurses, and not so much to those who don't perform well at their current position. I don't notice any RNs rejecting the idea that one of "our own" would join us as an RN. As for whether the CNA dynamic is off, I haven't noticed it but I know it wouldn't be tolerated. Working in a department in a different role while in nursing school is a fairly common means of gaining prospects for RN positions upon passing NCLEX.

Of course apply for other positions, though. Right off the bat and throughout your career you need to have a least a little bit of a mindset of looking out for your own best interests.

Good luck ~

Specializes in Ambulatory Care-Family Medicine.

We have a few nursing students working as aids on our unit. If they are good our manager offers them a RN job when they are in their last semester of school so they have a job lined up after graduation. We have several nurses throughout the hospital that did this route and have never had an issue as far as respect or being seen as an aid still and not the nurse.

I never had a problem. They were just happy to have another licensed nurse once I passed my NCLEX.

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

I did it but on a different unit from that which I worked during nursing school. Same hospital. It was fine.

Specializes in Hematology-oncology.

Over half the CNAs at my employer are in nursing school. The really good workers are offered jobs by their managers. I haven't witnessed any issues between new grads and RNs/PCAs. So I wouldn't worry too much about the dynamics.

With that being said, don't put all your eggs in your floor's basket until you have received an official offer. Like Fiona59 said, managers can say things for various reasons, and not always mean it.

I've never seen a new nurse who was a CNA rejected by other nurses in the unit. As for how the CNAs feel, I've seen that vary. If someone is hired as a nursing student, the transition seems to be smooth. If the CNA has been a CNA on the unit for 15 years and nursing school was a "late" idea, transitioning can be a lot more difficult.

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry.

A nursing student/CNA on our unit just graduated and is waiting to take NCLEX. She plans to work for our floor. We are all very excited for her and can't wait for her to be part of the RN team. The CNAs have expressed the same. It can be unit culture based but I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you like the unit and they take you on, go for it. I was a CNA at the same place as my first RN job. There was not a single problem or any push back from staff.

Heck, the majority of our CNAs are in some stage of their RN journey and it's not a big deal when they transition to RN, whether on our unit or not.

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Until you have an official job offer from HR in hand, you don't have a job. So it doesn't matter what the nursing manager is telling you right now: she may end up changing her mind, or a better candidate may come along, or she may lose the postion due to the budget, or whatever other reason that may result you in not getting the job. It would be wise to broaden your job search to include other facilities as well as this one.

As far as the dymanics changing if you go from CNA to RN...well, that's a hard one as I don't work in your workplace and I don't know what the unit culture is. Based on my experiences in different workplaces, we had techs/CNAs graduate and return to work as RNs on the unit, and it didn't make any difference. No one considered them as still being unlicensed, and they certainly weren't treated as such. But then again, I work in psych, where everything is a little different ;)

You are the best judge of your workplace...what are the vibes that you get from it? What's your gut feeling telling you? Is it saying, "Yes, go for it!" or "Chewie, I have a bad feeling about this..." More often than not, the gut feeling is usually on the mark.

Best of luck in your job search.

Apply and take the job if they offer it to you.

Questioning the dynamic of your floor should be the least of your worries.

Your priority, after NCLEX, is getting a job and racking up experience.

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