CNA's First??

  1. We were having this discussion at work the other day......How many of you out there think you should have to be a CNA before becoming a nurse?? I was a CNA for 5 years before going to LPN school. Have been an LPN for 4 years and currently am going for ASN. I think it helped being a CNA in some ways and in other ways hindered. Any other opinions??
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    About Nurse Hatchett

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 84; Likes: 1

    18 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    This was discussed at length before, and as you may guess, people differed 50/50 pretty much. My answer was and still is "no".
  4. by   Nurse Hatchett
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    This was discussed at length before, and as you may guess, people differed 50/50 pretty much. My answer was and still is "no".

    Oh Sorry, I didn't know it had been discussed before. It was the same at work talking bout it as far as 50/50
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's ok. I was just trying to point this out in case you did not receive a lot of responses. I hope I did not come across rudely. There are a lot of reasons that seem obvious why some believe CNA experience should be mandatory. I just think you can do it well without this experience. I did fine becoming an RN w/o any nursing or CNA experience first. I dont' think being a CNA would have made my learning curve much less steep as being an RN is taking on a whole different role, anyhow.
  6. by   Antikigirl
    It is now a requirement for all nursing schools in my state to have a CNA before nursing school. Yeah, kinda a bummer...but, I really think those skills do help a great deal...but I got my CNA skills while in nursing school, and heck...was basically a CNA for the first year of clinicals because that is what they chose for us to do..LOL! (yeah, first year students in clinicals...yep, the nurses had us do all the CNA duties while they did the Nursing duties so they didn't have to teach us anything..LOL!).

    I do like the idea of having the CNA under your belt before RN school because that way you don't have to spend a semester or more on learning that aspect, but can get more nursing education in that time! I would have loved to have had more pharamacology, or maybe more clinicals/lectures on Public health nursing or hospice (not my thing, but still find the area to be of serious benifit to know for all nurses...we got nada in this aspect in school...a pitty!).

    So I guess I am more prone to say what the heck, go for it...good stuff to know and before nursing school will leave more time for education in other aspects while in school . But there is also a part of me that says...gee...think they made that choise based on getting more money out of students...considering the CNA courses are basically monopolized by the same colleges...hmmmmmm?!?!?!
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    exactly one of my concerns, triage. It can be a way for t hese schools to make more money from people who can simply learn these skills very quickly WHILE in nursing school already. I do not like that too much.
  8. by   arciedee
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    It is now a requirement for all nursing schools in my state to have a CNA before nursing school. Yeah, kinda a bummer...but, I really think those skills do help a great deal...but I got my CNA skills while in nursing school, and heck...was basically a CNA for the first year of clinicals because that is what they chose for us to do..LOL! (yeah, first year students in clinicals...yep, the nurses had us do all the CNA duties while they did the Nursing duties so they didn't have to teach us anything..LOL!).

    I do like the idea of having the CNA under your belt before RN school because that way you don't have to spend a semester or more on learning that aspect, but can get more nursing education in that time! I would have loved to have had more pharamacology, or maybe more clinicals/lectures on Public health nursing or hospice (not my thing, but still find the area to be of serious benifit to know for all nurses...we got nada in this aspect in school...a pitty!).

    So I guess I am more prone to say what the heck, go for it...good stuff to know and before nursing school will leave more time for education in other aspects while in school . But there is also a part of me that says...gee...think they made that choise based on getting more money out of students...considering the CNA courses are basically monopolized by the same colleges...hmmmmmm?!?!?!
    Just curious, do the schools require you to have worked as a CNA or just have the certification? While I'd love to get the experience, the reality is that I just can't take a 1/2 to 3/4 pay cut to work as a CNA (I'm coming to nursing as a second career, taking pre-req classes part time while still working in career one) and between my regular job and classes I'm not sure when I'd fit even a part-time CNA job in! And just getting the certification without intending to use it seems like a waste of time and money for everyone involved.
  9. by   Chad_KY_SRNA
    Here in Kentucky you have to be a CNA before nursing school too. I have learned so much as a CNA. I hope to be the best nurse that I can be after graduation.
  10. by   Antikigirl
    As far as I know you only have to PROVE you have the cert...not a certain length of time doing it...which does point me into the 'money scheme' thought I mentioned in that post! I may be wrong, but I don't think you have to be in it for a said length of time...

    Then again, when I think of it....it takes sometimes years to get into nursing school around here...so you may get the practice anyway..LOL! I have had friends wait 2-4 years on the list around here...and they worked as CNA's before hand because the money is better than min wage jobs anyway...so they said it was worth it, and helped them to really truely realize what it takes to work and help patients!!!! SO a benifit to me if you can actually be one for a time...but we all know that time is a factor, and if able who wouldn't want to get into school asap!
  11. by   USM_SN
    I do not think that is necessary. When I was in nursing school, we had to perform all skills with our patients, including the bed changes, baths, vital signs, etc. We were not allowed to let the CNA help us. I think this gave us a good enough idea of how much work their job can be. Especially when I considered how long it took me to give one bed bath, and how long it could take them to give several more. I don't know if all nursing schools do that though. If not, then they should.
  12. by   USM_SN
    However, I was an advanced care tech at a hospital in MS(kind of like a CNA, but for nursing students once they are in their second semester), and it definately helped me. Once I started that job, I felt much more comfortable in clinicals and now, as a new nurse. It just lets you do more and see more than what you normally do in your clinicals.
  13. by   Antikigirl
    I did too, but would have liked more time on other subjects in nursing than the time I spent in RN school doing all that! If I had that under my belt..I could have started making more connections towards patients and conditions, take my mind off of the 'task' of ADL's and worked on my 'look at the patient' skills, and really start 'thinking' like a RN instead of being a technition during my school time...that was the rub!

    Instead of doing 'nursing education' (which doing ADL's for patients IS a part of...but at this time I was learning the vast other aspects of nursing) I was doing bed baths, hoyer transfers, wiping bottoms, and scrubbing vomit from the floor. Yes, all part of the job, but I think I would have rather have already had that part understood to a point, and go onto tube feedings, med pass, electrolyte/fluids, IV's, CPR, or even experiencing other nursing fields such as home health, hospice, or even administrative nursing instead of just rest home/hospital ADL's...it was a waste of time in a certain aspect (important big time, but could have been done earlier) and if I had had my CNA on board..well...I may have been able to do that
  14. by   USM_SN
    You're right!

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