Working as a CNA while in Nursing School?

  1. Hey!

    Has anyone worked as a CNA while in nursing school? I'm starting my CNA program in just under a month and will be starting my BSN program this fall. I would love to work as a CNA during nursing school but I'm concerned it would be to much on my schedule. Has anyone tried it?
    If you've tried it, do you think it hurt you academically? Do you have any tips for time management? Any tips for making it go smoothly?

    Thanks!
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    About madisonbrasselle

    Joined: Feb '16; Posts: 12; Likes: 3

    10 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurse4
    Will you be doing accelerated or traditional?
  4. by   verene
    As an above poster mentioned - traditional program or accelerated? Also how many hours per week are you looking at working? A few of the CNAs I've worked with were in nursing school while working as CNAs, the ones that seemed most successful were those who were in traditional programs and working per diem/on call positions.
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    I was unlucky enough in that I had to work full time while going full time to a traditional school. No, the work wasn't as a CNA... it was as a security guard position where I could study at work. My classmates that were CNAs while in school related to me that they either never, or very rarely, had time to study while at work. Consequently, they usually worked very part time or per diem. Usually this was no more than 1-2 shifts per week so they could still have at least some time to study one full day per week.

    I think the harder part of this is being able to switch in and out of "CNA mode" while doing CNA work or doing clinicals. A couple of classmates of mine had difficulty doing this and it made doing clinicals a little harder, but not for the "doing" part of things. They were good at doing the skills.
  6. by   madisonbrasselle
    I'm accepted into a traditional program right now but have also applied to an accelerated program. Would you recommend one over the other?
  7. by   madisonbrasselle
    I'm currently accepted into a traditional program but have applied to an accelerated program as well. Based off the pay in my area I'd need to work at least 24 hours a week. Do you think that's doable? obviously I want to be successful in nursing school but unfortunately not working isn't an option. Do you have any ideas that might be better?
  8. by   BBboy
    Its doable, i work at a hospital, just finished my first quarter of nursing with a 4.0, and still had plenty of time for social life and hitting the gym. All you need to do is be organized and if you can finish homework in advance.
  9. by   ZoeFrecn
    I know plenty of people who are in nursing school who also work as a CNA. Like people have said before, you do not get a lot of time to study on your job, but it can be helpful in that you get lots of hands on experience. For example, I work as a CNA in the ER and the nurses know I'm studying and they provide me with great learning opportunities - i.e listening to decreased breath sounds, analyzing EKG's and helping me with drug interaction. If you're worried about being able to handle the workload, I would recommend picking up a per diem position. You can always pick up more shifts as you go on. I do know people who work more hours i.e .5 or .6 FTE (which averages about 2-3 shifts a week) but they often mention that between school and work they don't get much time off.
  10. by   madisonbrasselle
    Congratulations on your 4.0! Thanks for the tips!
  11. by   talks1nmaths
    I am working as a CNA currently (it's called an STNA here in Ohio) as I have been the past 2.5 years. I work midnight shift full-time in the Assisted Living Plus unit, which is basically a bridge between AL and Skilled Nursing. Many of my residents are mostly independant, requiring very little assistance. I only have a couple largely dependant residents who are incontinent, non-verbal, etc. Thus, the combination of factors frees a few hours each night between rounds to study.

    Interestingly, I took my TEAS V a couple days ago for nursing school having not studied at all. It was a stupid move on my part; I graduated from high school in 2001 and from college (I have a BA in an unrelated field) in 2005. But, my adjusted score was 85% putting me in the 95th percentile nationally, and in the 99th percentile for the program I'm going into.

    I'll continue working full time through nursing school, three 12-hour shifts over the weekend (Friday-Sunday night). It sucks, but it's possible. I'm also a competitive ultra marathon runner, and I have time to train.

    I agree with the person who stated that with good time management, it can all be done.
  12. by   yli08
    Does anyone recommend Accelerated over the traditional route?

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