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Finding experience during school to help find job after graduation

weibelem weibelem (New) New Student Pre-Student

Hi guys! I have 6 months left of nursing school and I had initially planned to spend this past Summer vacation working as a CNA to gain experience. Sadly, COVID-19 ruined those plans. I want to make sure I have a leg up after school but if I get a CNA job now I will have to work during nursing school (unless I want to quite in 1.5months). All these jobs require 3 8hr shifts a week and I can't commit to that when school is in session.

Is there any other opportunities I can take on to give me a leg up after graduation? Would volunteering be an option or do employers not care about such experience? Another option would be to work as a CNA right after graduation while I'm studying for the NCLEX/job hunting but I don't know how employers would feel hiring me knowing that I'm just going to quite once I get an RN job.

My goal is to try and get a hospital position after graduation and avoid working at a nursing home like I know a lot of new nurses do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in Advance!

Edited by weibelem

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

The main benefit of working as a CNA during school doesn't come as much from the experience itself as the ability of the team to evaluate your work ethic and fit prior to committing to you. It has been my experience that volunteering doesn't particularly expose you to the teams that will be looking to hire. 

If you are able to find a position PRN, many of those vary on their requirements for how much you have to work. I worked somewhere that required one shift a week (12 hours). It was doable and it did pay off in the end. The biggest benefit is in the foot-in-the-door aspect of getting an RN job at the same facility you have been working at during school. This benefit fades quite a bit when looking outside of your own institution.

I hope this helps and good luck.

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