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CNA vs. Nurse: Too saturated or huge need?

CNA/MA   (1,603 Views 20 Comments)

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Hi all, 

 

So I've been pondering around looking for jobs, and I have almost a year of experience as a CNA. About close to 10 months come June 25th. Does anyone know if hospitals require experience or if some require it for CNA? No exp? 6 mo? 1 year? 2 years? Also, can HR be cynical when it comes to new applicants sending in an application? Anybody who has ever worked in HR field have experience with that? I've applied for jobs before on websites (that's the only way) and within about an hour or two, I get the delightful "U N F O R T U N A T E L Y, W E ' V E  M O V E D F O R W A R D W I T H O T H E R C A N D I D A T E S", yet the listing is still posted. 

I've heard from talking to other nurses and CNAs that RNs have a harder time getting a job than CNAs, but I see more RN opportunities than CNA. And it makes sense too because RN is more specialized, than CNA which is more simple. I would like to work for a hospital rather than a SNF. 

I'm also former military, lost some emails from people on here about what it's like working for the VA which I just applied to one position for nursing assistant, but while I'm on the website to apply for government work, I would also like to apply for jobs where I have a better chance of getting my foot in the door. Is there anything besides knowing somebody that I could utilize that could help me get into somewhere that is better than where I work. I'm grateful to have a job, but at the same time I'd like to look forward to other opportunities. Thanks. 

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In my area there are less and less CNA’s at hospitals due to budget cuts. If they spend too much on supplies that month, the first thing they cut are CNA’s and just have the RN’s do the extra work. During my clinical rotations, I often saw only 1 CNA per unit that would take 1 pt from each RN, leaving the nurse to fully care for her other 3 on her own.  Mind you this was at fancy magnet hospitals. Where there IS tons and tons of work for CNA’s here are SNF’s, they won’t let you leave without interviewing you right then and there. I worked in various SNF’s and would quit all of them because they were all severely understaffed and I would get up to 22 full care, heavy , confused or combative patients. 

Now, the job market here for RN’s isn’t good either. There are always jobs posted at hospitals but impossible to get if you don’t have a minimum of 2-3 years in acute care in your desired specialty. Even with experience, there’s tons of competition. If you are a new grad, forget it, you are going to work at a SNF unless you move to a different state to get that experience. There are thousands of qualified applicants for the very few new grad positions opened once or twice a year. It’s tough. 

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gere7404 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Cardiac.

496 Posts; 5,216 Profile Views

As a veteran, you should be able to get preference for your service when applying for government jobs, including CNA gigs at the VA. You can qualify for 5 point preference for serving during wartime or at least 180 days after 9/11 and 10 if you have service connected disabilities. 

When applying on USAJobs make sure you are applying for positions for external applicants vs internal only or your application will get kicked back. Also, do some research on how to write federal resumes; make sure to copy and paste the responsibilities of the job and the knowledge/skills/abilities into TagCrowd and make sure that your resume is full of references to the words that appear frequently in the job posting. 

If the posting makes you do a self-evaluation, make sure you rate yourself very highly as this is what will determine the points your application is rated -- if you have enough points you make it past the qualification stage and can be considered for an interview. Make sure that you support your high ratings very clearly in your resume -- federal resumes are longer and more detailed than what you might be accustomed to, so it might be good to research how to write a good federal resume. 

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The bottom line is that if you want a job you are going to have to apply for it no matter what the "situation" is.  You present yourself in the best light possible on your application.  If that is not good enough, then apply somewhere else.  Nobody can give the viewpoint of employers when they do not know the specific employer requirements.  How can anyone here know what employer X is looking for when no identification of employer X is given and they don't work in the HR department of employer X to begin with?  The best that you can do for yourself is to move forward with your education in the health field and get the highest ratings on your performance reviews, so that your supervisors give good recommendations when they are contacted in relation to your applications.

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454 Posts; 12,828 Profile Views

4 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

The bottom line is that if you want a job you are going to have to apply for it no matter what the "situation" is.  You present yourself in the best light possible on your application.  If that is not good enough, then apply somewhere else.  Nobody can give the viewpoint of employers when they do not know the specific employer requirements.  How can anyone here know what employer X is looking for when no identification of employer X is given and they don't work in the HR department of employer X to begin with?  The best that you can do for yourself is to move forward with your education in the health field and get the highest ratings on your performance reviews, so that your supervisors give good recommendations when they are contacted in relation to your applications.

Yeah, I mean I applied, but then got the denial email. But what I would like to know is what can I do to stand out? Is there a certification I could get that hospitals would like? You know something that I could do to improve my odds. 

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gere7404 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Cardiac.

496 Posts; 5,216 Profile Views

Here in Oregon we have two different levels of CNAs.... regular CNAs work in SNFs and LTCs, but you need CNA2 certification to work in the hospitals. Is Nevada similar?

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I don't know specific to Oregon, but there are some "advanced" CNA courses available in some areas.  I have seen courses offered that indicated they were for CNA's in order to be better prepared for acute care hospital work.  There are also courses for "Restorative" CNA.  Do an internet search.  Also, you can call the local community colleges that offer CNA education (or look at the courses listed on their websites), the local proprietary companies that offer CNA education (usually most expensive), or inquire with the local Red Cross.  You can also get a HHA certification (usually a one week course) to add to your CNA.  Even if you have no interest in doing home health aide type work, the certification will look good on your resume because it shows added interest in the field and that you are proactive about improving your qualifications.  You can also look to see if any local hospice agencies (or schools) offer any courses to prepare you to work with hospice cases.  Maybe others can give you more specific info.

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4 hours ago, gere7404 said:

Here in Oregon we have two different levels of CNAs.... regular CNAs work in SNFs and LTCs, but you need CNA2 certification to work in the hospitals. Is Nevada similar?

I don't think so. I think Nevada keeps things pretty basic/simple/bland. You're either a CNA or you're not. There is a job I applied for at our public hospital "UMC" and the job was for organ transplant assistant. EMR was something that I think was required, but I don't know where to go to get that kind of training as a CNA. 

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4 hours ago, gere7404 said:

Here in Oregon we have two different levels of CNAs.... regular CNAs work in SNFs and LTCs, but you need CNA2 certification to work in the hospitals. Is Nevada similar?

Here it is: Transplant services assistant

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/umcsn?keywords=nursing assistant

 

If it doesn't show the exact page, the search query will have a list of nursing related jobs, but it closes in 3 days from this comment posted. Where do you go to work as a CNA where you can learn to order labs? Or Transplant and/or Hemodialysis experience? Ugh. 

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

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On 6/17/2019 at 9:24 PM, Beldar_the_Cenobite said:

If it doesn't show the exact page, the search query will have a list of nursing related jobs, but it closes in 3 days from this comment posted. Where do you go to work as a CNA where you can learn to order labs? Or Transplant and/or Hemodialysis experience? Ugh. 

I read the job posting and I think it's more data entry than actually ordering labs? Sort of how medical secretaries can enter referrals requested by the medical provider. The supervising provider actually requests the lab work and it would be your job to enter it into the computer system so the patient can go to an outpatient lab for the blood draw or so the in-house lab knows that this patient needs a blood draw for XYZ.

For something like this you'd need medical case management experience, I'd think. Connecting patients to outside services, making follow-up calls to ensure compliance, things like that. It definitely sounds more administrative than hands-on CNA work.

Edited by WhaleTails
clarification

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WhaleTails has 1 years experience.

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If you're getting rejection e-mails right away, there's something in your electronic application that's missing that's causing their algorithm to deny you.

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MotoMonkey is a BSN, RN and specializes in ED.

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1 hour ago, WhaleTails said:

If you're getting rejection e-mails right away, there's something in your electronic application that's missing that's causing their algorithm to deny you.

This is exactly what I was coming to say.

These days your application is reviewed by a computer system often before it is ever seen by a human. If you do not meet certain required qualifications or there is data missing, the system will simply spit out your application without ever sending it to HR. Look at how many of the screening questions you are having to mark as "No". It could simply be that you do not meet enough of the preferred qualifications to move forward in the process. I would look for positions where you can mark "yes" to as many of the qualifying questions as possible. I would also look closely at the job descriptions, make sure that your resume and what your write highlights what they are looking for. This may mean that for each job you make slight changes to your resume, which can be a pain, but it will help you to better align with the jobs you are applying to.

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