CNA experience


For all new grads who are currently looking for a job and who are already working as nurses, do you guys think it will benefit new grads to get a nursing job if they have some sort of CNA experiences in their resumes? I am asking because I am considering to take CNA program and work during nursing school as a nurse assistant. I have been told this and that about CNA jobs. Some said it would benefit you, others said it wouldn't be counted as nursing experiences thus it would not make any difference. So please advise me should I or should I not take CNA program and work as CNA during school? Thank you very much for your time.


52 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Hospice, Med-Surg. Has 4 years experience.

I had this experience at the beginning of college (I just graduated with a BSN degree) and I think it helped me to get a nurse extern position after I started nursing classes. I would recommend going ahead and getting it and than once you've done a clinical rotation or whatever they require at your local hospitals, to then apply for a nurse extern/intern position. If I had not done this while in college I definitely would not have secured a position after college. I did a summer internship last year and picked where I currently work as an interest (I never worked on this unit during my internship) and I was one of the 3 that was hired on my current unit. Of if you've already done some nursing courses than I suggest applying as a patient care tech/ nurse extern or intern at a hospital.


26 Posts

@ NoblePath,

wow I didn't know about intern at a hospital after graduation and how important it is in nursing field. Can you please enlighten me on that topic more? Thanksss.


38,333 Posts

A CNA certificate may be useful when applying to nursing school and CNA work experience is certainly more useful than nonnursing work experience, but employers are usually interested in experience as a licensed nurse when looking at a licensed nurse applicant.


52 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Hospice, Med-Surg. Has 4 years experience.

I know it doesn't work this way everywhere. But here, after your first rotation in clinical you can apply for a job as a nurse extern which is mainly tech work. Than during the summer before your senior year you could apply to do a summer internship. The summer internship was a lot of great experience. There are a lot of hospitals who have this. Than after the internship some hospitals will allow you to work as an intern until graduation. As interns you do mostly tech work, but the networking is really what benefits you. Hospitals here will also hire new grads as nurse residents before they take the nclex, but I've had friends move back home where they do not do this at all. Our college has a 99% first time nclex pass rate so I don't know if this has something to do with it or not.

Specializes in MSN, FNP-BC. Has 8 years experience.

I did tech work for almost 3 years (before and during nursing school) and it helped me immensly! I highly recommend it. You will learn how to deal with all different kinds of personalities (both staff and patients) and you will be comfortable talking to your patients whereas, in my experience, my friends who had no tech/CNA experience before really struggled in those areas.

Go for it! When you do it, get involved as much as you can. If there is a proceedure going on that you have never seen before, ask the practitioner performing it if you can watch (make sure you get the patients Ok too if you are not it a teaching hospital).

Expose yourself to as much as you possibly can while you can because once you are out and working as a nurse on your own, you won't have the time or if you have extra time, it's spent charting.

I grumbled at the thouht of doing the work but it was the best thing I ever did.

I would also say that yes, it did help me get a job. I switched from a tech to an extern at a teaching hospital (teched at a private hospital) and then got money from the teaching hospital for school. Because of all of that, I got hired straight out of school into the Newborn ICU in no time flat and am now getting ready to take my boards in about a week and a half.

Good luck!


50 Posts

Though I never got to be a cna, I did become a nurse tech after my first clinical rotation. In this economy it's pretty much the only reason I have a job now. By getting your foot in the door you're more likely to get hired there as a licensed nurse after graduation. Hook up with a place you can see yourself working after graduation. Also it does help you learn how to talk with other professions, and with patients. The experience in my opinion was extremely valuable.


194 Posts

It is definitely helpful and will definitely give you an edge when it comes to finding a job when you graduate. I worked as a PCA (CNA) for three years prior to graduating with my BSN, and I have had several preceptors tell me that they can always tell when someone has previous CNA just differentiates you patient care-wise.

You might check and see if any hospitals will hire you as a patient care tech after your first semester of nursing school, that way you don't have to fork over the money for the CNA program.