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CNA Pay Options

CNA/MA   (3,403 Views 12 Comments)
by mikejjmay mikejjmay (Member) Member

1,778 Profile Views; 45 Posts

So everyone, making the career change here, going from the lucrative business world where there is no compassion, to the loving world of a CNA where there is not too much pay. My salary will pretty much be cut in half, down to like 20k a year (as full time at the facility i am looking at is 36hrs a week, not 40). I am wondering how to all you experienced CNA's make it work? 2nd jobs? if so, what jobs do you hold? what have you all found that works best to make up that income difference? I have just passed the state exam and am certified, but am terrified to take the pay cut. Help please!!! Any tips to try to negotiate a higher salary?

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escapebigd has 5 years experience.

261 Posts; 6,670 Profile Views

I cut my families grocery bill down from 200 a week to 60 by changing the types of meat we bought, and going to mainly generic, I shop the sales even if it means I have to go to a couple different stores.

My boyfriend got a second job being a handyman at daycare facilities (hopefully soon they will hire him on full time and he'll quit his lowpaying job).

I've applied to waitressing jobs during the weekdays to help as well. If you can do 3rd shift on weekends I worked at an Ihop a few years ago and on one weekend I could bring in a couple hundred dollars, the place was located on a very popular bar strip in a big city so there would be a line out the door around 2 am. Drunks normally tip good too!

I hope some of those tips help :)

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134 Posts; 3,774 Profile Views

mikej, why not keep your better paying job and just do cna on weekends? Compassion is over rated. The poverty I have seen in hard working CNA's is awful. Seeing your own family suffer or do without....definitely not cool.I teach during the week (high school health care careers as a sub and take on pvt duty patients weekends or work per diem weekends. Teaching $25/hr, weekend CNA $10-$14. It is a lot easier to be compassionate when I help out my fellow care givers who NEED compassion as much as the patients do...and more weekends off.

You have more choices than either /or.

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45 Posts; 1,778 Profile Views

I would totally agree with you if i had a family to support, but im only 23 and engaged and trying to make the career change to nursing. I need to take the nursing classes during the day, and my job does not have any flexibility to allow me to do that, so i am kind of at a point of no return. In order for me to advance any farther on the nursing path, i would need to leave my current job. its a tough decision to make, but i think better to make when i am still young and don't need to support any kids or anything like that......

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134 Posts; 3,774 Profile Views

Consider taking some of your prerequisites on line first before U leave your job. Santa Barbara City College and some of the other CC's offer great transferable on line classes. Car paid off? Credit cards @ zero? I'm not trying to be a wet blanket but it's really hard to live on less. Hopefully your fiancee is down with your career plans...

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45 Posts; 1,778 Profile Views

oh no i hear ya, believe me i have been playing devils advocate over this issue for a while now. Yeah, car paid off, no credit card debt, only debt is low interest student loans from my existing Bachelors degree. i guess i'll just wait and see what the LTC facility offers me, and if its on the higher end of CNA pay then i'll have a tougher decision to make.

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134 Posts; 3,774 Profile Views

Here in southern CA, CNA salaries top out @ $15/hr in a high end Skilled Nursing Facility or hospital working noc (overnights)...of course being in a hospital means benefits, overtime, and tuition reimbursement...Best of luck 2U...:yeah: sounds like U have really thought this out.

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JinBun77 specializes in Certified Nursing Assistant.

20 Posts; 1,025 Profile Views

mikejjmay,

I too am a career changer and taking a huge pay cut. I have spoken it through with my husband and I am basically keeping my full time job during the day, taking CNA classes at night. Once I get my certification, the I am going to work full time during the day and work part time as a CNA (weekends, nights, etc.) I will also be doing my nursing pre-reqs online as much as possible and prepare myself, my family and my budget for the transition into the full time nursing program.

Good Luck!

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ctmed has 4 years experience and specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

316 Posts; 7,102 Profile Views

Agency is going to pay you more than a facility or hospital hands down. I also think you get much better treatment and you do not have to go back to facilities that have horrible cultures. Just be sure to have 2 or 3 agencies as they constantly steal contracts from each other, get slow, and have thier picks and chooses (favoritism).

You do know you also have more than just Hospitals and LTCs to choose from? A CNA cert also lets you work Behavioral Health Units. You can also do Home Health with a reliable car and clean driving record. Without sounding sexist, there is a larger demand for guys in this field than LTCs because 65% to 80% of LTC population is little old ladies who will freak out if a male tries to bathe them!

Personally, I do nothing but agency. I have not worked directly for a facility for years. Your experience with agencies in your area may vary.

Still, take CNA for what it is. A low-paying job with few barriers to entry which is quick and has little mobility upward without admission to more hardcore programs like LPN, RN, etc.

Edited by ctmed
added comment about pay

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14 Posts; 1,432 Profile Views

I am in the same boat, 28 and now deciding that I want to do something other then stare at a computer all day. I have been working in sales and data entry for 10 years now and it's time for a change. I'm begining my CNA course in January. Friday evening class and Saturday morning clinicals. Once again because I can't just quit my high paying job, I have an unemployed husband and mortgage, and a step daughter. But from the research I have done once you have the CNA certification you are allowed to take continuing education classes, such as phlebotomy and basic EKG. These jobs pay slightly higher than CNA/PCT so that is my currect plan. Thought I would give you something else to consider.

Good Luck!

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134 Posts; 3,774 Profile Views

You dont need a CNA to get a

phlebotomy license. Consider becoming a CMA, certified medical assistant, if you want to go the phlebotomy route. Better money, better hours, benefits, and you are helping people.

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14 Posts; 1,432 Profile Views

You dont need a CNA to get a

phlebotomy license. Consider becoming a CMA, certified medical assistant, if you want to go the phlebotomy route. Better money, better hours, benefits, and you are helping people.

You are correct you don't need CNA to take Phlebotomy or EKG, but where I live in order to take the shorter class for EKG or Phlebotomy you would need to be licensed in any Allied Health career. Or you can take the entire Phlebotomy or EKG program. However the short class or as they call them here "Workforce Continuing Education Courses" are only a semester long and you come out with your certifications, rather then the full program without having your CNA first, would take an entire year each for both Phlebotomy and EKG.

So for someone that is working full time to pay the mortage, like myself the better option for me is getting CNA first, which is 1 semester and them taking the EKG and Phlebotomy continuing education classes which are both also 1 semester and can be taken together in the evening. Resulting in having certification in CNA, Phlebotomy, and EKG, in only 2 semesters.

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