New Beginning/Request for Advice

  1. Greetings,

    Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for the valuable information dispersed throughout this message-board. It has certainly assisted me throughout my period of discontent with my current non-nursing position and has motivated me to join the Nursing world.

    After copious amounts of research, I decided, two weeks ago, to give ample severance notice to my current employer of seven years. The next day, I enrolled in a local Tech school's CNA program, which lasts 4 weeks. Yes, I will be out of work for at least two months, but despite financial constraints, feel it is necessary that I dedicate myself to the training.

    My question is, has anyone else quit their job before beginning the CNA program? If so, how well did this work for you?

    In addition, how soon should I begin applying to local facilities? I fear acceptance of employment prior to the completion of the course could negatively effect my future in this field somehow.

    Thanks for any assistance/feedback. I look forward to becoming an "active member" with this group!

    Best Wishes!

  2. Visit MichaelCNA profile page

    About MichaelCNA

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 47; Likes: 27
    Specialty: CNA: LTC


  3. by   MsKaz
    I just enrolled in a CNA program and i'm going to start applying now. A lot of the students in my class started to apply now also. For the CNA program I don't think it was necessary to quit your job so soon unless they (cna class) didn't have hours that fit your schedule with the job.
  4. by   nina4nursing
    I just completed my CNA course at the end of August. It takes a couple of weeks to get an ATT (authorization to test) here in Michigan. I did start
    applying the last week of classes. Some facilities will hire you for up to 90-120 days, but you have to pass your testing or they are required to
    let you go.
  5. by   MichaelCNA
    Thanks. I failed to mention that my working hours would not accomodate my schooling schedule, hence my main reason for leaving. I think it would be best, and appears common here, to wait and begin to apply for jobs during the last two weeks of clinicals.

    CNA/Nursing work sounds so rewarding, I cannot wait to enter the field. Being stuck behind a desk for years is certainly not fulfilling. I admire all of you and hope to offer assistance in the future.


  6. by   rancelumsden
    I quit my job to get the CNA.

    But a different situation. I lost my high paying career at 50 years old and was working with the Developmentally Disabled for a couple of years. I decided that there was more of a future (as in more jobs) becoming a CNA. But, I had a working wife who had no problem with me doing this. I did the whole thing in about 6 weeks by going to school 4 days a week.

    I also started applying as you mentioned, pretty early. But, I waited until I had actually completed the course and got through the skills. I had no problem with the non-clinical area ("book 'lernin"), but I had to struggle with the skills.

    Anyway, at the least, get the names/addresses of where you want to apply (online too) and at least be ready to hit the pavement as soon as you get out of school. I mass mailed, applied online, and went into facilities to fill out apps in person. Did that about 4 hours a day, every day. I got lucky --- I was able to get into an ambulatory clinic, part time, while awaiting my state score and certification. I don't know how willing employers are about taking people not yet certified. But again, at least line up your ducks.
  7. by   MichaelCNA
    Rance, thank you very much for your input. I'm quite familiar with your posts, and appreciate the information you've provided.

    I do also have a working spouse, which eases the financial aspects a bit, otherwise, leaving my office job would be an impossibility. You are correct, there are a wealth of positions available, and many quite close to my residence in WI. I have wanted to join the healthcare field for sometime, but grew complacent and comfortable in my "desk job".

    The class I registered for is scheduled for 4 weeks (2 in classroom/2 in clinical) and is from 8-3 Monday through Thursday. Though it does not start until the beginning of October, I have already begun reading the textbook and watching the very informative videos that have been posted here. I have also begun to volunteer at a local hospital. Yes, I like to be prepared! Regarding the skills, there were a few I am a little nervous about, those being ROM, and making an unoccupied bed, so I am practicing those right now to avoid future headaches!

    Yes, I have compiled a list of employers, and think it will be useful to apply in person, rather than online. Definitely a good point to address.

    Thanks again Rance!

  8. by   Stereowire
    I was in a similar situation. Having lost my retail job due to a huge sales push, i decided to try the C.N.A. course at my local Tech school. It was a four week course as well. If I recall correctly, many of the facilities you will do your clinical work will hire you on once you've completed the course. The skills test came for me about two months after finishing the class, but I'm pretty sure you can work in a facility as you wait for your test. Your instructor should be able to give you a list of places that will hire newbies and I would go ahead and ask for a referral from the instructor too. Always good to have contacts.
  9. by   rancelumsden
    I think the problem you're having is "occupied bed", not unoccupied. I have posted I had difficulty with this. I really had difficulty, as a generalization, with the 'hands on'. My CNA instructor wrote a review of all of us upon completion of the course, and mine mentioned how 'tentative' I was with patients. I do not have kids, and I'm not accustomed to 'personal care', especially rolling people around in a bed.

    But, I got over it. Anyway, that occupied bed thing needs practice. Since you're married, you can practice a bit with the wife (which is what I did).
    The 'trick' (really, technique) to that, if you have not figured it out, is to position the person as far to one side of the bed as you can. If they're not able to move on their own, you'll pull them to one side with the draw sheet (found out that is one of the most useful items we had in hospital). Once you have the majority of that bed space open, you can roll the old linen over and start the new stuff pretty easily. I was always afraid to 'push' the patients around --- like I said, I got over that. I found they won't break being rolled around a couple of feet (obviously, you have to know that they don't have a specific injury limiting their movement and where all their tubes are).
  10. by   EmergencyMedicine
    hey, welcome, i am also a new guy taking the plunge. I will work up to my cna program begins and the program i joined allows me to work after week 2. Some states take forever to test for certification and you can be out for a while. When i got my emt license it took 7 days to get the results and 7 weeks to get the license itself, i was out of work until i got it. However, i was hired that same day, medical fields are in demand.