Advice on Positions to Work While in or Waiting to Attend Nursing School? - page 2

I was wondering if anyone had advice on positions to pursue while in or waiting to attend nursing school. I have two decades of work experience (most recently in a high-paying technical... Read More

  1. by   AmericanChai
    PCH takes volunteers to play with and give attention to the kids there, and to teach classes in the playroom. It's not exactly medicine related but for someone who has the time and is not worried about pay, it would be fulfilling. You can also make friends with the nurses and get some insider tips perhaps, and observe some of the things that go on there.

    My daughter was a patient at PCH and I was so saddened by some of the little ones whose parents could not be there for them-- perhaps single moms with other kids at home. There was a toddler who was getting cleft repairs and he was all alone most of the time. The nurses just don't have time to hold the kids. There were some volunteers who would come and pull him around in a wagon and hold him. It was really nice.
  2. by   peeesh
    that is really nice.. i might go apply there. thanks! maybe there ill acutally do something than at JCL filling paperwork at there preschool yuck!
  3. by   ExCorporateRN
    How about a patient sitter? Get your name on some list's at local hospitals.
  4. by   HalfNormal
    Your story sounds just like mine.

    I am in block one of the nursing program at GCC. After 20 years as an electronic engineer I am now going into nursing.

    I too am a grad of Emmanuel School of Nursing and glad that I am.

    CNA work is damn hard and pays nothing but you get a hell of an education working with patients.

    I see a lot of student nurses that cannot take vitals and have no bed side manner. They are in their second and third blocks!

    Once in the hospital, you network to get trained as a HUS or Monitor tech.

    The biggest plus is that you can pick the brains of the nurses for your class work and they share all the mistakes they made so you can avoid them.

    Keep checking the hopital web sites for openings.

    Lots of Luck,
  5. by   Kabin
    I apologize in advance for not reading the entire thread.

    I have been told a great job while attending school is being a phlebotomist. There's lots of turn over and you can find jobs only requiring a few hours in the morning during lab draws.
  6. by   Calzonan RN
    Larry- Are you in the weekend program at GCC? I'm in block 3 there. Just curious...

    OP- I have a friend who started off at a hospital as a transporter. Didn't take any qualifications to get the job. While she was there she got to see every department of the hospital and figured out where she wanted to work. Then, she'd volunteer for any runs to that department and got to know the people there. She let them know she wanted to work there so when a position opened up she got it. I have another friend who started in housekeeping, just to get her foot in the door and to get a slot at SCC. She was able to move up and got into SCC in the employee slots.

    Good luck in whatever you do.
  7. by   boomerfriend
    I don't believe anyone has suggested the Nursing Assistant training available at the community college level. I took my training at MCC and had the opportunity to test to be certified (chose not to). The class was around $150. The training was sufficient to prepare me for nursing school and several of my fellow students went on and got certified - passed boards with no trouble.

    I would like to address the idea of even getting your CNA. Block 1 of the MCCCD includes the CNA training that was once required as a pre-req. I, personally, would not take the training before nursing school because you're going to repeat all that stuff. You'll be working in a LTC facility most likely, just like in the CNA class used to be. To me, that's a waste of time and money. I agree with the other posters in recommending that you pursue a job elsewhere in the hospital for the exposure. Phlebotomist, ECG tech, transport, anything else. Also, you can volunteer if you have a real burning desire to be on the Med-Surg floor. That way you can pick the RNs brains all you want Just my two cents....
  8. by   JMurse89
    Wow, I'm having the same problem. I've just started enrolling for prereqs this summer and hope to start the program in the Fall, but I need a job, and theres no way its going to be fast food. I might transfer to the Good Sam in Mesa, but I don't wanna stay in dietary. I need to be a CNA, but the Cert costs $$ and I doubt they'd hire and train me, but who knows.

    Any other advice is much appreciated!

  9. by   MsBruiser
    Quote from sonoran
    I was wondering if anyone had advice on positions to pursue while in or waiting to attend nursing school.

    I have two decades of work experience (most recently in a high-paying technical marketing job), I speak Spanish, and I recently aced my medical terminology class. Further, I've completed all my pre-reqs but one. --I'm changing careers as I predict continued layoffs for high-tech marketers in the coming decades due to globalization. --I think nursing offers intellectual challenge, stability, and personal reward (nice to go home with knowledge that you have helped folks).

    I'm having trouble landing an entry-level job in a hospital, e.g., registrar, unit secretary, etc. I'd hoped - and still hope --to land a unit secretary position as I heard that was a great position to work while in school. I'm now planning to take CNA classes (at the Emmanuel School of Nursing for about $1500 - will be finished in three weeks) and then, once licensed, try for a CNA position.

    Do any of you have any advice on how to break in to an entry-level job at a hospital? I'm currently unemployed, so the $1500 is a big investment. Previously, I'd thought it didn't make sense to pursue CNA work as it isn't part of the Maricopa colleges degree requirement. (I don't understand why not --have asked a few folks, but haven't received any real answers.)

    Thank you!
    I know I will get flammed for this but here goes.

    CNA training should be a pre-requisite, still. Most people who are dropping out my program had no CNA training. So they were unprepared for working in an acute care environment.

    I am a certified CNA. That said, unless I absolutely had to (i.e.: someone holding a gun to my head) I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER work as a CNA. I would sooner make Lattes in Starbucks for $9.00 p/hour than work as a CNA for $14.00. It is an awful job. You are the lowest of the low, the brown stuff literally rolls downhill onto you. Some of my classmates disagree - they found it fulfilling. I thought it was the worst job on the planet. I am glad I did the training - but I would never actually work as a CNA.

    Keep trying for a HUS job. You get treated like crap, but at least people will assume you have at least two brain cells - CNAs are treated as though they have none.
  10. by   JMurse89
    I want the cheapest, shortest CNA program, preferably during the summer. My friend got her CNA in Nebraska in 3 weeks for like $400. Anyone have any suggestions?


    Last edit by JMurse89 on Feb 17, '07 : Reason: and=>any
    Im working as a Phlebotomist as im going though nursing school. My facility is picking up the tab on all my classes, and paying me a full time wage for working part time as long as I agree to work there as an RN for 2 years when I graduate. Its hard work and a lot of running around floors ( I walk 6-10 miles every day) but im trained in Traumas, and get to see every unit at the hospital it’s a great job if you’re a social person. Also you will be the king at IV sticks trust me. I personally believe all RN’s should learn Phleb in nursing school.
    Last edit by PHLEBOTOMIST_TO_RN on Feb 17, '07
  12. by   ready2banurse
    Quote from sonoran
    Thank you to all of you. I just found out I'm eligible to receive funding for the class because of my layoff.

    Previously, I'd contacted Phoenix Workforce Connection as I'd heard they might be able to help me with retraining as a NURSE as I was laid off from a field declining because of globalization. But, because of a comment from a counselor that my income last year was too high, I'd given up on it.

    My severance package is nearing the end, so I just signed up for unemployment (you can't receive it until severance and accrued vacation runs out) this week. Upon doing that, I learned I'd have to have all my ducks in a row with Phoenix Workforce Connection before I was eligible to receive UI. I messaged the counselor I'd talked to several months ago to say I was going to take care of my classes, but wanted to ensure my paperwork was in order. He called me back and told me they'd be able to help with my classes. Boy, was I surprised.

    When we talked this time, I let him know I was interested in CNA training as an interim step to becoming a nurse. He said CNA TRAINING was very doable. Apparently, their budget has been cut and cut (it had just been slashed when I made my first visit to them, and new rules were being constructed ---I think that is partly why I received mixed messages from him). I get the impression that in the past, a nursing program would have been possible. I also learned that now they are using a rating system that does use income as a qualifier. He said I entered the program before that system went into effect, however, so I was eligible.

    I talked with some hospital hiring managers about whether or not a CNA certification would make a difference in the way they looked at me. They were resoundingly in favor of it. (I think this may be in part because they or their colleagues worked as CNAs on their road to becoming a nurse. I think they have deep respect for the work CNAs do.)

    I also talked to a representative from the Arizona Board of Nursing. I asked her why the Maricopa Colleges just recently dropped the nursing school prerequisite for CNA certification. She said that there were several reasons:
    1) nursing students looked down on the CNA position --felt it was beneath them.
    2) nursing students were getting the training, and then forgetting it by the time they got to block one, so they needed the training again.
    3) nursing students were getting the training, but not pursuing certification (I guess this indicated to the colleges that CNA training/certification per se was not critical...???)

    I can't help but wonder if this issue with CNA work reflects a transition of sorts in the medical field (perhaps with various roles are being redefined with greater equity). I get the impression that the medical profession is very, very rank conscious (this, as I see it, is rooted in competition for work/money, and even rooted in gender and societal class issues). I know such attitudes don't always promote patient welfare. think CNAs do some very critical and difficult work, and they should probably be paid more for it. Tough situation. (Have started reading a book by Suzanne Gordon called, "Nursing Against the Odds," it is rather skewed towards the negatives, and can be depressing for a prospective nursing student, but I think there are many truths...and pointers that can help bring positive changes to the field of nursing and medicine in general.

    I am going to pursue the classes, certification, and the work. Then I will pursue nursing school.

    How did you go about getting your class paid for? I called Phx workforce and I have to go to a meeting they have..but I figure I'd ask you to find out the right things to day :-)
    thank you
  13. by   RNfaster
    It was such a long time ago. I just went in and asked about it. I have the impression (not sure if true) that they used to retrain "dislocated" workers to be nurses (and other positions that require more funds) when funds were available. By the time I got I got there, the "barrel" was running dry. I don't know how things will be for you, but you can inquire. --Were you laid off due to your company sending jobs overseas? --That's how I got in. Maybe there are other programs for workers laid off due to the bad economy now.
    Ask...that's about all I can suggest.
    Good luck to you.

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