Help! Was job offered at a great hospital as a CNA, so should I postpone nursing school?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have had one hard time deciding what to do with my career. I'm 21, and just graduated from college in May. I've been working as a CNA since August and have accumulated 800 hours. Since being a CNA I have fallen in love with all the aspects of nursing. This profession is made of hard, resilient women and men and I admire and aspire to one day be in their shoes. I can truly see myself as an RN and maybe one day an ARNP.

    So here's my dilemma:

    I live in Washington state and was offered a great position at one of the leading trauma hospitals in the region as a CNA. However, the unit I was job offered on has a one year "unspoken" commitment. I really don't want to burn any bridges by leaving early. On top of that I have to take two more classes (one Chem and Microbio), and then I'm done with all prerequisites. However, I don't want to work and go to school.

    Some background, I want to apply to the nursing school on the east part of WA state where I graduated from. I'll also look at some of the programs close to where I live. I would preferably start August 2018.

    So my question to everyone is,

    Should I take the CNA job for the experience and postpone nursing school 1.5 to 2 years or should I just focus on nursing school?

    The decision is eating at me because I don't want to keep waiting to start a career that I know I will love, but I am afraid to pass up on an experience like this that could get my foot in the door after I graduate from nursing school.

    Please tell me thoughts and opinions!!!

    Thank you!!!
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  2. Visit Ptntcrgvr profile page

    About Ptntcrgvr

    Joined: Aug '17; Posts: 42; Likes: 12
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    21 Comments

  3. by   klone
    Absolutely do not postpone nursing school in favor of a CNA job.
  4. by   Robert.CFRN
    Just go to nursing school. Most hospitals are very supportive of CNA's who are going for their RN because they see that as a potential RN hire when you graduate. Many also have tuition reimbursement. Not to mention you would be trading 2 years of RN pay for 2 years of CNA pay if you wait.

    I worked as a CNA my last year of nursing school, and immediately took an RN position at the same hospital when I graduated. With the nursing shortage, you should have little trouble getting a job when you graduate.

    Good luck!!
  5. by   sevensonnets
    If your goal is to be a nurse then you'll have to go to nursing school, better sooner than later.
  6. by   iluvivt
    This is easy...get the education ASAP.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Ptntcrgvr
    Hi everyone,

    I have had one hard time deciding what to do with my career. I'm 21, and just graduated from college in May. I've been working as a CNA since August and have accumulated 800 hours. Since being a CNA I have fallen in love with all the aspects of nursing. This profession is made of hard, resilient women and men and I admire and aspire to one day be in their shoes. I can truly see myself as an RN and maybe one day an ARNP.

    So here's my dilemma:

    I live in Washington state and was offered a great position at one of the leading trauma hospitals in the region as a CNA. However, the unit I was job offered on has a one year "unspoken" commitment. I really don't want to burn any bridges by leaving early. On top of that I have to take two more classes (one Chem and Microbio), and then I'm done with all prerequisites. However, I don't want to work and go to school.

    Some background, I want to apply to the nursing school on the east part of WA state where I graduated from. I'll also look at some of the programs close to where I live. I would preferably start August 2018.

    So my question to everyone is,

    Should I take the CNA job for the experience and postpone nursing school 1.5 to 2 years or should I just focus on nursing school?

    The decision is eating at me because I don't want to keep waiting to start a career that I know I will love, but I am afraid to pass up on an experience like this that could get my foot in the door after I graduate from nursing school.

    Please tell me thoughts and opinions!!!

    Thank you!!!
    I know plenty of well-liked CNAs who were not hired as nurses by our employer after finishing nursing school. They were great employees, but it's a competitive market and their CNA experience just wasn't enough.
    So while there's value in being a CNA, don't assume that more than your foot will get into the door. If you want to be a nurse, go to nursing school.
  8. by   CelticGoddess
    What all the other say. Get your nursing degree. Best of luck
  9. by   gpsrn
    My suggestion is that you start school as soon as possible. You stated you still need chemistry and microbiology, could you work as a CNA at the same time as getting the courses completed? I do believe the CNA position could be positive; however, not over starting school. In most positions, the facility is glad when you are going to school.
    Again, do not postpone starting school. Talk with the facility and discuss that you want to go to school, could you go on part-time or prn when school starts. Then look at the pros and cons. Then make your decision. All the best.
  10. by   futurebsn92
    I would go to nursing school and work part-time since the money will take the stress of how you will pay for everything but if you can't just go to school. I worked all through out my prerequisites and my bachelor degree in another major and I only am leaving my job now because I will be going to nursing school everyday besides the weekend. I am thinking about applying as a nurse tech or CNA my second semester of nursing school. The first semester I just want to focus on school without any distractions, since its an accelerated program they advised us not to work the first semester since it is the most credits.

    Finish while you are still young! I see so many post on here of people in their 50's asking if they are too old to start. I'm only a few years older than you but a regret of mine is focusing too much on work and changing my major from nursing. If I had took it more seriously and worked less I would be a nurse right now. On my 24th birthday my mom gave me a wake up call. She said "Happy Birthday, you're getting old now and the clock is ticking. When are you going to do the nursing program?" Obviously I'm not old but I didn't want anymore time passing me by as everyone is happy in their careers and I'm just stuck at my job that I'm not in love with. Good luck with school
  11. by   kbrn2002
    A CNA job is related to nursing, but I speak from experience and trust me it's not nearly the same thing. A CNA position might be a foot in the door to a nursing position when you finish school but there is certainly no guarantee that you'll be hired as a nurse just because you were a CNA with the facility. So don't put off school just for a CNA job no matter how prestigious the facility is.

    If there is a wait list to get into your preferred nursing program go ahead and work as a CNA while you finish those prereqs. If school is close to work by all means work as a CNA at least part time while going to school. Believe me it's not impossible, most of the people I went to school with worked during school as we actually needed an income.
  12. by   soutthpaw
    Let your potential employer know that you are applying for Fall 2018 RN programs, and depending where you get it, you would either like to go per-diem while in school or have to resign if you relocate but are very interested in working at that hospital after becoming an RN. I think they will be supportive, if you are in a standard program and have summer and other vacations off, you can offer to work extra hours per-diem to cover folks wanting vacation during those popular times.
    that is what I would do anyway, YMMV
  13. by   CharleeFoxtrot
    RN School, no question. The way I have answered similar questions when my co-workers CNAs asked is simple. Figure out how much you make as a CNA against how much you will make as an RN. Take that difference, and multiply it by the number of years left in your working life. The amount of money over 40+ years is staggering, and that is without interest.
  14. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from gpsrn
    My suggestion is that you start school as soon as possible. You stated you still need chemistry and microbiology, could you work as a CNA at the same time as getting the courses completed? I do believe the CNA position could be positive; however, not over starting school. In most positions, the facility is glad when you are going to school.
    Again, do not postpone starting school. Talk with the facility and discuss that you want to go to school, could you go on part-time or prn when school starts. Then look at the pros and cons. Then make your decision. All the best.
    This is what I was thinking. Plan on going to school when you want to and level with your prospective employer. Tell them how much you'd love a job as a CNA in their hospital, but you will not be able to stay on full time when you are in school. If they still want you, then you get the best of both worlds with their blessing.

    Good luck.

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