I'm not a nurse yet, but i do start nursing LPN school in Jan 06....
I had to have my CNA in order to start my program, but i was a CNA previously i let my certification lapse though so i had to be re-ceritified. Part of the reason i wanted to be a CNA was to make sure i actually LIKED working in the healthcare setting, and it gave me lots of exposure to different types of patients...ive worked Pediatrics, home health, long term care, and doctor's offices.
The toughest part is really the physical labor of it. and honestly once you get used to it, it's not that tough...being out of shape didn't help...LOL :imbar
Most hospitals and some LTC's have a phone number you can call to be a volunteer. I never voluenteered but i know the LTC i worked at had people come in that helped with activites, and at the pediatric hospital the volunteers read to the kids, and played with the older ones, and also sometimes were an extra set of hands to hold a fussy sick baby and rock them as we (CNA's) didn't have all the extra time in the world to do that on top of our other responsiblities. I'd just give a couple of hospital's a call and see what the volunteers do and if you can come see the facility!