Did you guys work in medical field before graduation?/Need advice


  • Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.

I start NS in 3 weeks, and I have worked at a call center part time for the last 3 1/2 years. I received my certification in LTC and HHC in May, and I plan to continue to work part time throughout school. My question is, do you recommend that I get some experience as a CNA in a hospital or nursing home during school? I will graduate May 2013, and it's scary to think of going out into an RN job without having work related experience. Or will clinicals be enough to help me feel comfortable? The thing is, my current job has tons of down time in between calls, so I bring homework to do & study at work, and its VERY easy to give away/pick up shifts as needed. But I also don't want to be the nurse that hasn't "paid her dues." :confused: Any advice?? Thanks!

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

I definately recommend that you work as a CNA if you can during school. Clinicals, especially in an ADN program, will not give you enough experience to feel comfortable. Even if you did clinicals in a BSN program, there is still a lot to learn after school. Working as a CNA can give you valuable experience working with patients, communicating, organizing and managing your time. It also allows you to build a resume and network within a hospital. I think it gives you a better shot of being hired when you graduate.


56 Posts

Definitely agree with post above.


21 Posts

Best advice is to start working as a tech, nurses aide or pca during nursing school. Do a quick scan of the forum on peeps that are having difficulty getting a job..... and what do you see? Not hiring due to no experience. Yeah, instructors told me the same about not working while going to school. I simply ignored them and did what I believe would help me the most. Best part while working at the hospital is that they prefer hiring from within, tuition reinbursement, free certifications like bls, acls, training classes, advices from new and older nurses, can see the theories and procedures you learn from class gets performed at work.

When I passed my boards, my interview with the director was like this...... "Do you want to work here? ...sure. .... Ok, you"re hired". i already knew the system, everyone loved me.... so it was a easy shoe in. While rest of my graduating class stressed out on filling out tons of applications. Remember, when you graduate, you are competing with new grads from several schools with no exp too.


31 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics (student nurse preceptorship).

I didn't work as a CNA while I was in school, but I do think it's a good idea. Like others have said, depending on your program you may or may not get a lot of experience in clinicals during school. I don't feel completely incompetent, but I do feel like I could have benefited from some extra contact time on a floor.

And perhaps even more importantly, working in a related job during school will get you contacts at that institution. You'll probably hear it a million times, but networking is everything when it comes to finding jobs. Good luck with school! :)