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Best work experience for pre-nursing student?

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by catman88 catman88 (Member)

Hello all! This is my first post, though I have been browsing for a while :) I am a pre-nursing student, starting my last 2 pre-requisites this fall so I can apply to an ADN program in the winter. The school I will be attending has a 2-3 year waitlist, so while I am waiting I plan to finish up the rest of the supportive non-nursing classes I will need to graduate. I also plan to apply to a BSN program in my area. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get into the BSN program, but I'd like to try while I'm on the wait list for the ADN!

Anyways -- sorry for rambling! -- I was just wondering what the best work experience is that I can get while I am on the waiting list that will look good when I graduate and try to get my first nursing job. I have worked for an ophthalmologist for 3 years as an ophthalmic technician, but I am not sure if that will count as healthcare experience.

Should I do CNA training and try to find work as a CNA while I'm waiting? Medical assistant? Phlebotomy? Or do you think my experience working for an ophthalmologist will be enough to help me land my first job? Thanks so much!

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

Any hands-on patient care experience will be valuable. What interests you most? I chose Phlebotomy because I wanted the venipuncture experience. Plus, it allows me to get a job in the lab at the hospital where I want to work after getting my BSN. Everyone in my area says that it's easier to transfer to a new position than get hired from the outside.

Weigh all the pros & cons of each job and choose the one that works best for you! :D

afterseason, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds PACU & Peds Psych. Has 1 years experience.

If you know you're going to have a long wait, doing something like CNA or phlebotomy is a good idea. For me, I didn't have the time. I got into my ADN program immediately after finishing my pre-reqs and don't have time to go for my CNA or anything. After I finish a semester of nursing school, I'll be able to take positions similar to what a CNA would do anyway. In the meantime, I've been doing volunteer positions in hospitals in areas specific to what I would like to get into after school. Hospitals usually allow nursing students to do more of the volunteer work that is directly involved with patients (rather than "basic" volunteer positions such as doing paperwork and working in the gift shop).

Good luck!

i have thought of the phlebotomy route while I finish up my pre-reqs since I will have about a year of waiting to go to clinicals. are you able to take the phlebotomy courses while you are taking other courses or do you have to commit to doing the phlebotomy program first or can you mix them together?

Personally I have found my experience as a CNA befor Nursing very benificial. It will be very helpful for the first few semesters of nursing labs and it looks good that you have had experience working with patients. Also it is one of the positions that gets you closest the RN so you can see the responsibilities that will come with your future role.

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

i have thought of the phlebotomy route while I finish up my pre-reqs since I will have about a year of waiting to go to clinicals. are you able to take the phlebotomy courses while you are taking other courses or do you have to commit to doing the phlebotomy program first or can you mix them together?

It depends if your school offers phlebotomy or not. My school does, so I'm taking it at the same time as my pre-reqs.

afterseason, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds PACU & Peds Psych. Has 1 years experience.

i have thought of the phlebotomy route while I finish up my pre-reqs since I will have about a year of waiting to go to clinicals. are you able to take the phlebotomy courses while you are taking other courses or do you have to commit to doing the phlebotomy program first or can you mix them together?

Depends where you are taking your phlebotomy course at and what sort of pre-reqs they have. If you are able / are planning to take the course at your school, check with them.

Good luck!

Bobmo88

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 2 years experience.

I would say do both if you have the time and the money. I did EMT before I started nursing pre-reqs then cardiac dysrhythmia, ACLS, phlebotomy, volunteered at a hospital and then even worked on a non-nursing related bachelor's while on a waiting list. I never did CNA because I had to do a basic nursing skills class for one of the schools I applied to. It all worked out in the end because I got a job as an Emergency Room Technician and my Bachelor's was probably one of the main reasons I got into a BSN program. I think as far as nursing is concerned, CNA would be more helpful since some programs require it for admission and you will already have these skills developed before starting nursing school. Phlebotomy is a good skill to have so you can develop vein finding skills so you could transition into doing IVs much easier once you're an RN.

My school does offer both so I will check on it. Thanks for all the great info! :)

kjk1051

Has 1 years experience.

Definitely a tech position at a hospital! You will get hands on patient experience and have one up on all the other students. Not only that, when you are done with RN School you should have a garanteed job! They may even be able to get you in your program faster!

Well, over a year later, I must say THANK YOU EVERYONE. Lol! My nursing program at that school did NOT work out but the good news is I am on track to apply at a different school this winter. It has already been quite a journey with several obstacles and it has shaken my confidence several times. But, I will get there...we all will if it is meant to be and if we are strong enough to persevere. Here's to us :cat: