Does it help being a CNA in Nursing School? - page 2

Hi. Just call me TKD for short. Male Nursing Student. (Females can do TKD too.) I have just finished the first quarter. In our state we can apply for CNA licensure. My question is: Will it help my... Read More

  1. by   movealong
    I worked as an aide while going through LPN school. Then I worked as an LPN going through RN school.

    I didn't have a choice, I had to support myself. I worked alot of weekends while going through school. I took classes like micro at night. I'd leave work at 4, eat a sandwich in the car on the way to class. Class started at 5 and on nights I had lab, I'd finish at 10pm. Then start all over the next day at 7am. You get through it...
  2. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from nursemike?
    ... I appear to have fallen in love with the word "definitely."...

    On the subject... for sure it's a good idea. A hospital would be an ideal place to get some real experience. You'll see, hear, talk, touch, and interact with so many things that are nursing.

    You'll also make some money, maybe obtain tuition help and get your foot in the door of a potential place to work after graduation.

    And it looks good in the resume too.
  3. by   RN 2005
    I am a current RN student going into my last year this fall. I worked 30-40 hours a week in an unrelated field my first year. By the end of the year I really was seeing how much more I could learn if I was able to APPLY my knowledge and skills on a regular basis. I just hired into a Tech/NCA job and I am so excited because I am sure it will allow me to "put the pieces all together." I frankly would be bored not working. School is hard for sure, but if you can get a job as a CNA etc. I would highly recommend it. The only thing I can think of is that you may not want to start a new job and school at the same time - see how it is going first and when you are satisfied that you know the basics, then it may be a good time to hire in!! Good luck to you!
  4. by   NurseChick
    When I started nursing school, I had been and CNA and then a Med Aide. I think it helped me a great deal to have some knowledge under my belt before I began nursing school. Granted, it's not much knowledge, but every little bit helps! Some of the other students that had never been in a nursing situation were always worried about every little thing. I think they had more work to do because they were learning everything all at once. At our college, they started a new rule that you had to be a CNA before you could start nursing school. Some people take the CNA class right before nursing school and never have a job in the nursing field, so I don't know what good it does to get your CNA because they go over everything again while your in your first weeks of class.

    As far as not working while in school, everyone has to do what works for their situation at the time. I am married and had 4 kids, so I just figured out the hours that I had to have to make certain payments and that is all I worked. It's amazing how little you can actually live off of when you need to!
  5. by   CA CoCoRN
    I worked the entire way through college. I had to: I was the lone support of an, at the time, 2.5 yo toddler. I had to keep my household afloat and I did not have the income of my spouse (didn't have one). But I was FULLY READY to do and I did....with a 3.7 gpa and HONORS.

    Besides, my college was hella expensive, and while I had financial aid and Cal didn't cover everything...not to mention gas, food, babysitting.

    By the way, I worked in Accounting for the first part of the time I was in college. Then for child reasons, I quit and began noc shift work as a "Nurse Tech" (UAP that the hospital called "techs" in light of lack of official certification but acknowledgement of in progress schooling) during the last two semesters of college.
    Last edit by CA CoCoRN on Jun 7, '04
  6. by   happystudent
    I think being a cna while in nursing school is good for experience working in healthcare. HOWEVER, it can be a hinderance because what you do on the job isnt necessarily the "correct" way of doing a procedure in nursing school.
    It makes test taking harder because you might have a question asking what is the correct way to do something and you would think about your job and what you would do there. I learned real fast to separate nursing school from work......
  7. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from AcosmicRN
    I don't want to be negative here, but I don't believe it's a good idea to work and go to school. Summers, yes. Holiday PRN, yes, but generally, part of the expense of going to nursing school is the lost wages during that period. People who do, often don't pass semesters. People who do often don't get good grades, and you need those grades because the represent knowledge you've gained. Take out a loan. Live at a lower standard, but the only advice I would ever give anyone is that until you can live off your spouses income, or loans, or whatever, you're probably not ready for nursing school--even if you are smart enough. I hope this doesn't bring you down to much.

    Doesn't bring me down as I don't plan to be working through nursing school. However, it does make me wonder if I'm not as "up" to the challenge as my fellow students who are working and going to school. I was just saying that I don't see how they do it, because I don't think that I could. I feel like I've got an overwhelming amount of work on my plate (with taking care of a family and going to school) without outside employment and don't get how so many people juggle it all. Maybe I need to do less of this....... :roll
    Last edit by mariedoreen on Jun 23, '04
  8. by   wonderbee
    There are pros and cons but the pros win in my book. I've worked shifts that made me leave shaking my head at my choice of nursing as a career. Other times I've walked out feeling confident and really good about my choice.

    You get exposure to procedures and once in a while, you get to do one if you have the time and your nurse is the nurturing encouraging type. CNA/tech work is not the same as working as an RN or even an LPN, an important fact to remember when you're operating in the scope of your employment. You develop an instinct for the flow of how a unit operates. Talking to and touching patients becomes second nature. The intimidation factor is gone. As for poop and pee and stuff... well, bring it on. If you're in a good place, you develop relationships with other staff members that engender mutual respect. On the other hand, senior staff members may treat you like the lowest of the low. It could be enough to make you turn in your name badge. You get past it and you prove yourself.

    As for working while in school, most hospitals offer per diem positions which build in flexibility to the extreme. At my hospital the requirement is that I work a minimum of one shift per month to keep my job.
    Last edit by wonderbee on Jun 23, '04
  9. by   Euskadi1946
    Quote from mariedoreen
    Just went to my nursing orientation last night for my 1st year of nursing school. My biggest question after all this... how in the world do you work and do nursing school at the same time?? Even my husband (who went to orientation with me) came away from it going, "geez, there's no way you'd have time to work and take on all that at the same time.." I'm just in awe, I don't know how people do it.
    I know what you mean. Most nursing schools really recommend that you not work so that you can concentrate all your energy into nursing school. My advice would be to talk to your financial aid counselor at your college and apply for as many grants and scholarships as you can. Also think about applying for low income housing if you are renting, food stamps and Medicaid for the duration. If this is not feasible and you must work, talk to your supervisor and hone your time management skills. I didn't work the first two years of nursing school then got a summer job as a monitor tech/unit secretary. I had a wonderful nurse manager who was very supportive and scheduled my shifts Fridays and Saturdays nights. Since I was working in the step down unit of a telemetry unit with only 8 beds, nights was usually pretty slow and told me that as long as I was watching the cardiac monitors and aleted the RN when arrythmias came on, I could study at the desk. I worked my whole last year in nursing and aced cardiac and ICU. But bottom line the key word is EXCELLENT TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS.
  10. by   txspadequeenRN
    I think it is a great idea, I am one of thoses nurses who like to grab a nursing student and say" lets go change this dressing" or" let me explain this". So if you are a CNA working on my unit i love to give those learning opportunities. I wish someone would have done that for me when I was in nursing school. The more exposure the better....