Getting a CNA job while in nursing school

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am a third semester nursing student with a CNA certification. I got the certification the semester before I started the nursing program. It's been almost a year and a half and I have yet to land a CNA job. I've lost count of all the positions that I've applied for; I am always turned down because of my lack of experience. My only job experience is 6 years worth of customer service related postions (serving, retail) which is included on my resume.

    The frustrating thing is that I get weekly experience of direct patient care during my nursing school clinicals. I feel extremely confident that I can perform the duties of a CNA well, mainly because of the experience that I get. It is on my resume that I am a nursing school student. My question is: should I include an overview of my clinical experience on my resume? Does anyone have any other tips of things I can include on my application and resume that could catch an employer's eye?

    I would very much like to gain more experience of working with patients before I graduate and become a nurse. Any input is greatly appreciated.
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    Joined: Nov '13; Posts: 7; Likes: 14


  3. by   lovenotwar14
    Why not? Wont hurt. It is experience
  4. by   Stephalump
    My resume is almost entirely about my clinical experiences. I have all of my clinical sites and units listed, and a section that includes all of my skills.

    You may have "nursing student" listed, but you have to get on their radar so they'll look at your application and read it, you know?
  5. by   cdsavannah59
    Try applying with a home health care agency, they hire lots of people because they usually cover a lot of area around city. A Nursing home etc may only hire 2 etc to cover needed shifts, when short staff and usually want experience. With home care you can let the agency know this is your first job, Be willing to work the easier cases just to start out, shifts where you just basically watch the client, fix their dinner, run errands for them etc, once they see your a hard worker they will start assigning you more difficult clients to work with if you want, the ones that need hoyer lifts, transfers, bed baths, etc.I started working home healthcare while in school for PCT, got a job at a hospital within 31/2 months. Home healthcare may not be what you want to do, you may prefer a LTC facility, but if the LTC facilities haven't hired you yet, then go with home health just to get the experience. RN graduates with no experience of any type other then Clinical's also find it hard to get a job as a new graduate. Better to get the experience before you graduate.
  6. by   Guest11/13/13
    Yes, it's best to get the experience, I have been working on pre reqs for nursing .....and started looking for a job after I got my CNA certification 5 months ago... It's hard finding a job, despite what's others may say( it's easy to get a job)... I applied for home health and got a job.. Definitely try home health , it's the experience that's needed the most...
  7. by   Brucshaire
    Yes home health is best if you haven't had great luck but me my self I like over LNG term facilities B&C u make less n work much harder they have a wide range of positions wether the title is CNA sitter homemaker it will look awesome on your future resume as patient care experience...... Good luck
  8. by   evaughan
    I would say just keep applying like crazy. I got my CNA license in June and didn't get hired until this month (november). I just applied to every position open in my area. With 6 years of customer service experience you definitely have experience with people, which is a lot of times what employers are looking for. State that you are in nursing school, volunteer for the place you'd like to get hired at if you have time. It took a long time for me to get an interview but I just kept trying! Good luck!
  9. by   knnyz
    Yeah I would emphasis your clinical experience that you have in school, and keep the customer service experience to a minimum. The clinical experience should be the bulk of your resume, if you don't have other work-related experience. Grades for the clinicals are also good to show on your resume (if they're worth showing that is). Customer service/retail is important, but how will that help with tending to patients? It's not generally what the employer will first look for. A killer cover letter that emphasizes your clinical experience will make a huge difference as well! Good luck
  10. by   kenya1005
    Have you tried sending a cover letter? That's where you can really show your passion, where a resume is more just a list of jobs you've had.
  11. by   Siaraaa
    Try they're always looking for cna's with or without experience. They're usually health care agencies. Try to keep your resume health care if your old experiences are not related just X them out. You will find something don't give up
  12. by   Theor23
    Check Craiglist every day too! Some places will post one ad desperately needing help. I don't know if your state has companions and homemakers, but they have some spots usually open.