Career Path?

  1. I've been reading through the boards a bit. One of local challenger course boasts reimbursement if you're employed by one of their 'partners'. I wasn't surprised when I read that that just means they recoup the fees out of your hourly pay. I'm hoping I can opt out of having my hourly fee docked and just eat the testing fee so I can have a higher hourly pay.

    My plan (in my head, at least) is this-
    Take the CNA test, work (in home health, an ALF or NH if I have to- there are PLENTY down here in West Central Florida) and in the meantime do my prereq's and theory classes at the local community college (offered online!) to apply to the nursing program- then I would have to schedule work around my clinicals. I don't know if I want to get my LPN license between... I qualify for the Pell Grant, so why not just skip over LPN and go straight for RN since I'm going to be working and getting experience anyway? I know LPN-RN bridge shaves a year or so off your school time, but at the same time, the local LPN program is a year anyway... I dunno. I spoke with a LPN friend of mine, and she said had she to do it again, she would have just stayed in school for the RN degree, because the majority of the coursework in the bridge is everything you learned in LPN school anyway.

    My long-term goal is become a L&D nurse while finishing up my BSN and Masters to become a CNM. I am currently a birth doula and want to bring those skills in with the medical aspect... I LOVE what I do as a doula, it honestly just doesn't pay steadily enough. Forget that 75% of my clients had no idea what I did before I worked with them.

    On another thought- seeing as how CNA's are pretty much non-medicinal support (no giving medications, etc), would I do better to skip the $300.00 class and just take the CNA exam itself? I'm used to charting, I know how to change an occupied bed, wash my hands, provide care with dignity, etc... we didn't necessarily learn that in Doula training, I just watched and learned from the CNA's and nursing staff at the hospitals my clients were delivering at, and I also had a very good friend with CP that needed assistance quite a bit when we were traveling and whatnot, as she is wheelchair bound.

    Thoughts? Tips?
  2. Visit ebphillips profile page

    About ebphillips

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 21; Likes: 11
    Birth/Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator; from US
    Specialty: hope L&D/OB. 2nd-Geriatrics. 3rd Peds.

    7 Comments

  3. by   displacedfloridian
    Well I'm in central Florida and am doing the Florida medical Prep class, also a 300.00 class, next week. I had all my pre-reqs done & was accepted into AACC's fall 2009 nursing program in Maryland, but then we moved back to Florida a month ago.

    So, my plans have had to be readjusted. I had taken a position of "patient companion" in Baltimore Washington Hospital, for the experience of patient assistance, hospital enviorment, etc. I didn't want my first experience in a hospital to be on my forst day of cliniclas. I wanted to establish some degree of "comfort zone". So now I am taking the CNA class, hope to get a part time position anywhere, for the experience.

    I must take two more classes to satisfy pre-reqs for the community college nursing program here (just a "Word" and a "Math for Health Professions" class, one credit each) and I'm taking 3 classes to allow me to graduate with an AA in May of 2010, along with satisfying entry requirements for UCF's BSN program.

    I'm hoping for entry to the two year program, even though I'm an older student, I like the idea of doing the ASN to BSN UCF program online through the community college vs. driving to Orlando.

    I look at it this way, it took me a long time to get to where I am now, what's a little more time. But more importantly, this IS health-care after all, and I'm all for as much education and experience I can put into my brain before I assume the position of registered nurse. I also plan on a master's, but perhaps in anthropology or sociology, although I would like to teach nursing towards the end of my career.

    Good luck, I'd like to know if you choose to do the CNA program.

    **Oops, also forgot, I've become concerned the "new-grad/no experience" problem, hoped CNA experience will help.
  4. by   displacedfloridian
    Sorry! I also meant to answer that depending on your situation, if you can, opt to stay in school and aim for the RN degree, whether at a community college or university. I wouldn't get "sidetracked" doing the LPN, but getting your CNA license gains you the experience of direct patient care, hospital, nursing home, whatever, and it's quick.
  5. by   nurse4forever
    Quote from displacedfloridian
    Sorry! I also meant to answer that depending on your situation, if you can, opt to stay in school and aim for the RN degree, whether at a community college or university. I wouldn't get "sidetracked" doing the LPN, but getting your CNA license gains you the experience of direct patient care, hospital, nursing home, whatever, and it's quick.
    I definitely agree I would just get a CNA license and go for the RN degree. I always thought you had to get a Bachelors degree to become an RN but there are many Associate degree programs.
  6. by   Stephanie K
    I just got hired to a hospital in my area as a Nurse Assistant without my certification while I'm going to school for my BSN.
  7. by   nurse4forever
    I wonder it varies by state if you have to be certified to be a Nurse Assistant. Anyway, congratulations... maybe the hospital will pay for your schooling. It doesn't hurt to ask about tuition reimbursements.
  8. by   displacedfloridian
    Stephaniek, did you get the position after your 1st semester of nursing school? I know if you are in the community college 2-year program, you can work as a CNA, but I thought you still had to obtain a license.
  9. by   Stephanie K
    Thank you!

    No, actually I haven't started NS just working on the pre-reqs. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology already so I don't know if that had any factoring into it. I also let them know that I'm planning on going to nursing school after my pre-reqs and the school that I'm going to is affliated with the hospital I'll be working at. I know the hospitals in my area hire nursing assistants and nurse techs. To be a tech you have to have completed Med/Surg I,from my understanding. From what I've read on the state's website a license is only required to work in a long-term care facility in Michigan.

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