Finding work as a student nurse

  1. Hi--I was wondering if some of you folks here might have some employment advice. I am going to school at night to complete my ADN (no clinical experience yet), might transfer to an accelerated BSN program if I can get all my ducks in a row, but that is beside the point. I am currently employed in a non-health related profession and make $16.00 an hour. I am bored to death with my job and am willing to take a pay cut to do something in healthcare until I am an RN, however many years it takes. But that all depends on how MUCH of a paycut. I simply could not afford to live on the salary of a CNA but I don't know what other kind of work I could do in a healthcare setting without any training. My EMT license expired a couple years ago but I have been out of practice for almost five. Would it be worthwhile to become an EMT? I know that's a question only I could answer, but I am interested in hearing from people who have made similar career moves, ie forsaking the money to do something you love. or maybe just to get your foot in the door.

    By the way, I am new here and just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed this sight and all the banter! keep it up!
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    About SamanthaLu

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 12


  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Samantha,

    Welcome to the board!!!!

    I guess in answering your question, it partly depends on what area you are living in. Where I live CNA's to start make about $7.00-$8.00 an hour. I am working for a few months this summer as a "student nurse extern" and will make $12.00 an hour, but it requires 1 year of nursing school clinical experience.

    After that, I hope to get a flexible position with the same hospital as a Patient Care Tech or something. I heard they pay about $10.00 an hour. It is a severe pay cut for me, but like you, my current job is not health care related and is very boring and to be honest with you, not to toot my own horn, but I am a pretty smart cookie and the job I currently have is just demeaning to my self esteem. At this point I feel it is better to take the cut and do something I enjoy and will give me experience than to stay where I am miserable.

    Also, don't quote me on this but where I live I believe paramedics make $11.00 an hour, don't know if there is a difference with EMT's.

    On the down side, I think you are going to find that most places that will pay better than a CNA wage want you to have some nursing school experience. At least that is what I have found where I live. An option for you may be to look at some hospitals in your area and see what types of entry positions they have where they can train you, ie. Patient Care Tech, Patient Care Assistant. Hospitals may even pay their CNA's better than long term care facilities. At least that is what I have also found for my area and in talking with fellow students.

    When will you actually start doing your nursing clinicals or have you started them allready? Most places will accept you as a CNA or Patient Care Tech when you have at least your first semester under your belt.