About to begin CNA classes...advice?

  1. Hello everyone. I am 23 years old and on Monday, I will begin attending a set of 6 classes offered by my community college for their Nursing Assistant program. It will take 4 months of M-F 8:00 am - 2:30 pm nonstop classes (one month of which is M-F clincal only). I am wondering if most CNA programs require 6 different classes to get a CNA license? But more importantly, does anyone have any advice or comments for me? Advice from those who are currently CNAs working toward RN (or RNs who used to be CNAs) would be sooo appreciated. Also--what were your thoughts regarding the licensing exam? Thank you very much!
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    About FeedaMouse

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 2
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    19 Comments

  3. by   RNonsense
    Congratulations! Listen and learn. I worked as a CNA while going to nursing school years ago. It will help you with organization and priority setting...good luck to you!
  4. by   Motivated, SN
    I am just finishing CNA and pre-reqs for nursing. It has given me an appreciation for what CNA's have to do; and for very low pay; which I don't feel I would have had otherwise. We don't have six different classes here, so I'm not sure what your program is actually like. As far as the competency testing, our schools, nursing homes and home health agencies are no longer allowed to do the testing. Nurses from a company called Promissor are doing the testing, in collaboration with our BON; but just started. From what I'm hearing they don't have all the bugs worked out yet, because this is new for them; and are failing alot of people. Anyway, I have a new respect for CNAs.
  5. by   mario_ragucci
    Part of the fun/adventure is just to do it, w/o any advice. Once you are an RN, you can look back and have a force in your life that is all your own. If someone like me gives you advice, I'd be stealing that from you. You don't have to follow anyone's advice; Only you can do this. Right? I'm sorry. :-(
  6. by   tgfnurses
    When I took the CNA exam they didn't require me to take six seperate courses. My own suggestion to you is to not let your nerves get to you when it comes to taking your skill test. Just practice, practice, practice. I found the licensing exam to be very easy. When you get your license, I believe that you must use it w/in two years or it'll expire or something.
  7. by   studentnurse17
    I remember taking a class for my CNA and it was every Wednesday from about 6-8:30 pm, so I guess it varies from state to state. Well, when you take your CNA test, be well prepared. You know that stuff they say about getting enough rest the night before, and eating breakfast? Well it works. Make sure you're well prepared, and don't be too nervous. You'll be great!
  8. by   hobbes
    I just completed my first day of CNA class today. Here in Georgia the requirement is for 80 hours of instruction: 45 classroom, 40 clinical. I will be taking the class 9-5 Sat - Sun for 5 weeks. I'm also currently working on my prereqs for nursing school. I wanted to get a feel for actual clinical work and get some experience under my belt before applying to the nursing program.
  9. by   studentnurse17
    That's actually a great idea! After your CNA experience, you'll have some information, and knowledge that will help you with your classes for LPN, RN (whichever you choose to do). Don't get me wrong, of course, you'll still have to study! lol But those are some tough requirements! You should move to New York for 2 mos. lol On a serious note though, those classes may be frustrating or exhausting at times, but they will pay off; especially if you have a good teacher. Overall, I enjoyed my clinical experience; it taught me alot. On your first clinical day, you may be nervous though (I know I was) because you might not be used to the idea of actually interacting with patients, and caring for them, but I think you'll do a great job! Good luck with everything. Actually, I'm a CNA myself, going to school for LPN now,and I hope I make it. I think your idea to take things piece by piece is a good way to go!
  10. by   RNpupil
    I went into a nursing assistant program. I was taught by an RN with a bachelors degree who had 26 years of experience including supervisory and director of nursing. I took up the CNA course to make more money so I wont have to work in the fast food joints. It really inspired me. I was inspired by the way the health care business work, the healthcare delivery team, the responsibilities of the different care givers that contribute to the care of the patient from the Physician all the way down to houskeeping and family members. What I also found working in healthcare no matter what position of the healthcare team, is that I was helping other people, sick people and it made them feel better. Even though I wasn't a nurse or physician, my job is just as important and a CNA is the person who comes in contact with the patient a little more personally, CNAs the patient gets to know them a little better than the other staff. It is hard work, but it is rewarding. No matter how bad a shift was, how hard I worked or how tired, I didn't care. When I leave work I feel good because I earned my income helping and caring for others. One of the most easiest things to do besides dealing with rude customers, nasty supervisors. I wouldnt have even worked in a department store or store in a mall. One of the things you should remember is what the Nurse teaches you from his/her experience never forget it , keep it in mind. I also dealed with some issues at work. I was confronted once by the Nurse Manager about something that I was accused of by a nurse, and I didnt know anything about it. She told me that since I was the only CNA and the rest was nurses, that it was everyones word against mine. She was a CNA herself for many years, then an LPN, and then an RN. You will come across some nurses who feel that you are a slave, and may treat you differently because you are a CNA. But do not let them make you lose your cool, or act unprofessionally, or cry or make you not want to come to work. In other words do not let them control your money.You have bills to pay, you do not want to get fired over foolishness. If you have any problems, contact the charge nurse, if the charge nurse doesn't do any thing about the issue, jump to the Nurse Manager or DON, if the DON of the Unit doesn't do anything about it, Jump to HR or CNO Chief Nursing Officer of even CEO Chief Executive Officer. As long as you are human, doing what you are licensed tod do, and are going to be working in that institution or facility and plan to stay there or whatever, you should not have to put up with anyones crap. I dont care who they are, what position or rank, Nurse Administrator, Physician; they are not GOD. Be assertive and speak up. And never confront anyone who you was told by any employee that was bad mouthing you on the job. Like I said you have money to make, do not let anyone control it.I also did Private duty work for agencies where I work in the patients home. In the CNA class make sure you know those Vital Signs very well. Especially whe BP(blood pressure). The nurses at my job wear stethoscopes around their necks but I only see them use them to listen to breath sounds- no blood pressure. There are blood pressue machines, and when its time to do vitals they fight for them when they were taught to do them manually. I would advise that anyone who starts to work as a CNA and likes it and want to become a nurse, not to wait until years later to register for a nursing degree. Start as soon as you can. And don't get lazy or discouraged by the prerequisites( the classes you have to take before you enter the actual nursing classes) I know there are some CNAs that think they are too old to go back to school or go to school period. I thougt that after 3 years of working as a CNA, and could have started on a nursing degree, that I was too old and got discouraged about starting on a degree. But I couldn't believe how old some of the nurses that I work with were when they began to work on a nursing degree and graduated. Learn from your instructor and take heed any advice that he/she gives you from their personal experience or nursing experience. Read carefully about ethics, healthcare laws and especially patients bill of rights. Also, never think a nurse's job is easy and that they don't do anything. Everyone in the healthcare delivery team has their own unique duties and tasks to do that contributes to the patient's care. I once was told,``you'll see just how easy it is when you become a nurse''.
    Last edit by RNpupil on Jan 12, '03
  11. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by RNpupil
    I was confronted once by the Nurse Manager about something that I was accused of by a nurse, and I didnt know anything about it. She told me that since I was the only CNA and the rest was nurses, that it was everyones word against mine. She was a CNA herself for many years, then an LPN, and then an RN.
    First of all, how many times can you change your screen name? Second of all, with all the inconsistant posts you have made, I find it hard to believe anything you say. The comment above is ridiculous, in my opinion, and just shows how pathological you really are. Have you been diagnosed yet?
  12. by   hobbes
    Originally posted by MishlB
    First of all, how many times can you change your screen name? Second of all, with all the inconsistant posts you have made, I find it hard to believe anything you say. The comment above is ridiculous, in my opinion, and just shows how pathological you really are. Have you been diagnosed yet?
    What's up with that? What the heck are you talking about? If that's not from left field I don't know what is. I for one found that post very informative and I think you are out of line.
  13. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by hobbes
    What's up with that? What the heck are you talking about? If that's not from left field I don't know what is. I for one found that post very informative and I think you are out of line.
    Think what you want Hobbes...but...this is the third screen name for this poster (in 3 days), who has edited all of their posts, and had some edited/removed for inappropriate language. Go back and read what you can...most have been changed in an attempt to play a sick game. This person has also claimed to be a CNA, an RN, an RN student, as well as other things. Derogatory comments have been made about nurses by this person, and frankly, they need to stay off this board. I am sorry you agree with the one post that was an attempt to be sincere.
    I am NOT out of line here.
  14. by   Little One2
    Hi Feedamouse,

    I don't know what a CNA is or does, It sounds like it is a level below an RN. Anyways, I will also be starting some courses as well for a specialty in nursing. I suggest you take it one day at a time, make memory cards to review, have a study group. Review on a weekly basis. By the time the CNA exam comes, you will be well prepared for it. Always ask questions. My clinician always advised me to that. She also advised me to look for a mentor. Someone to be accountable to, someone who will help you and be a study partner.

    Good Luck!

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