Does volunteering count towards "experience" when applying for Nursing/CNA positions?

  1. I am currently a pre-nursing student with only a few more science labs to finish up before applying to nursing school when the next term comes around, eventually planning on entering an RN to MSN program (pediatric nurse practitioner)--in the meantime, I wanted to invest a little money in getting my CNA training before clinicals start next year but have heard a few "horror" stories about recent grads having trouble getting jobs and feeling like they wasted their money on the certification.

    Many say even the jobs they are finding without previous experience are very low paying (which is not a real concern for me--nothing could really be that much lower than my current salary, I just need the experience) I just recently got approved to work alongside an M.D at a very small clinic in my area while I finish my pre-reqs...they will be training me to do triage and take vital signs, etc. Not just paper work or mundane office work/files. Basically many of the duties that CNAs do without really having the certification.

    I was quite surprised they are letting me even do this--I will not be able to do certain things like look at confidential patient files of course and will always be under direct supervision of the M.D and Nurse Practitioners at the office. Do CNAs generally work in any area other than Geriatrics? I would love to have some experience with children or some other area though I do not mind elderly care. I volunteered at nursing homes in high school basically just keeping some of the tenants comfortable and entertained, and I really enjoyed being able to make their day a better by offering them company, especially the patients with no visitors..

    Will this count at all as "Experience" when I finally do look for a job in the field? I plan on this being long-term (something I can do on weekends when I don't have school or work). Even if it doesn't, I am really looking forward to the insight it will give me and being able to decide if this is really what I want to do. Thank you in advanced for any answers!
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    About sixela21

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 74; Likes: 71


  3. by   ThePrincessBride
    Not really. Volunteers aren't really doing any "hands on" work. It is like a new grad who was a CNA for six years. Those six years don't count towards RN experience or "time already served."
  4. by   sixela21
    Yeah, makes's like a catch 22--they want you to have experience but aren't willing to give experience to anyone without it..I feel like a dog chasing my own tail lol
  5. by   P51Mike1980
    It may or may not count as experience but it does help with networking and getting your face recognized. I currently volunteer in an ED because I want to.eventually work in an ED. I can tell you that doctors and nurses have told me to apply when there is an open ED tech position because they see how hard I work and they'll put in q good word with the hiring manager. Networking is STILL very important in getting a job.