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CNA Can't Land Job

Nurse Beth   (314 Views 4 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

Am I wasting my time and money? 
Few details. I am a recently graduated CNA (I passed the boards have my number). I am having trouble finding work in my area. I do not want to break my lease. (Any advice on how to deal with that?) So as I apply and reapply for jobs; I have been trying to make myself more desirable to employers. I have done this by adding certifications, going through training. I got a Food Handlers Certification, I did Active Shooter Training, I took some online FEMA courses and I am thinking about to take a HHA course from the local Community College. However I am wondering do employers want or care about this? Am I wasting time and money?

Dear CNA,

Congrats on becoming a certified nursing assistant!

It depends where you are applying. It can be hard to land your first job in acute, and doctors' offices use medical assistants (MAs) more than CNAs.

You should easily find a job in skilled nursing, as there is frequently a shortage. Did you know the role of the CNA was developed in CA for nursing homes? Acute care hospitals are not required by law to use CNAs, but SNF are.

Gathering more certificates is not going to land you a job. Having a well-written resume and cover letter while applying to the right places will help.

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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Nursing assistants are always in demand. Where are you applying?  Hospitals, LTC, rehab, home health?  Some employers prefer experience, but others will take those with no experience. If your goal is a Hospital, spend six months in a LTC or rehab and then reapply.  

Are you getting  interviews, but no offers?  Then you might need to brush up on interviewing to land the job.

Not getting any interviews? Then it might be your resume and/or cover letter. Those additional certifications are a waste of time and money. The HHA may be worthwhile for you want to work in home health; otherwise, don’t bother with it. 

If you want to beef up your resume, try volunteering. For example, hospice is always looking for volunteers to spend time with patients. If not nursing assistant work, but it does show an interest in working in a caregiving role. 

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On 7/22/2019 at 8:53 AM, Nurse Beth said:

Gathering more certificates is not going to apply.

Agree.

Will likely not be cared about or tangibly rewarded, except to whatever extent they may show initiative that eventually helps land you/OP a job.

Time would be best spent perfecting resume, honing interview skills, networking, cold-calling, etc.

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I am also having trouble with finding employment as a CNA I passed my State exam and everything else. Just still looking for employment at least part time. I am also looking into a PCT program and then start working on taking my pre-req courses for a RN program or an LPN program. I'm a career changer so I can't afford the accelerated BSN program.  I live in Atlanta,GA. I really want to give a hospital a try or a Nursing home. 

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