Need Expert Advice About Getting Job/How/Where/Etc.

  1. Ok...now that I have finished the required hours in my CNA schooling I need advice about applying, interviewing, resume, etc.

    1. My nursing path is CNA to LPN to ADN. DO I put that in my resume?

    2. Being in my 50s, for past 10 years I have been an independent contractor Real Estate Broker. Have no clue about best ways to get my CNA job.

    3. Think hospital work would give me the best all around experience for continued nursing education/career, so would like to concentrate efforts there first.

    4. Do I go out, resume in hand, to hospital HR departments? Do I call first? What days are the best to show up? If I take that route, is there the chance that I will get to see a HR person that way?

    5. Lordy...What are the employment applications like? Are they several pages long? What kind of questions are on them? Will they want me to specify a department that I want to work in? Will they ask me what I want to be paid ? (What do I say?) Will they ask me to specify what shifts I want? Will I understand what they mean when they describe the shifts, etc?

    6. Will they consider hiring me before I take the state certification test? I have to wait for a criminal history search to come back to the testing company before they schedule me for the test, and then won't get test results for a couple of weeks.

    7. Jobs in the news paper for CNAs are all Home Health Agencies. Probably the hospitals don't spend for ads for the low end staff. Denver paper ads are expensive.

    8. What kind of questions should the interviewer NOT ask me, that they may ask anyway? What do I do if I am ask an improper question?

    9. Had an agency that I met at a job fair mail me an application. They request that I send $20.00 processing fee for a criminal record check. Is that customary? They also asked if I owned my own home. Isn't that out of line?

    Boy, do I need advice, help, and words of wisdom here. I can't get too much information on this, guys ... so I appreciate anything you can throw at me on this. I am in the Denver area, so anyone familiar with hiring practices here in the health industry, pitch in too.

    Thank you all for any help on this.
  2. Visit allamericangirl profile page

    About allamericangirl

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 172; Likes: 16
    CNA to LPN to ADN to as far as I can go!

    10 Comments

  3. by   infullbloom1
    I can answer part of your question for you- Before I took the CNA state exam, I was hired by Centura Health. There's some sort of law that says you can work as a NA before becoming a CNA for 90 days. The trick is finding a hospital that will take that chance on you.(some long term facilities do also). You then get a raise after you pass the test. Its easier to find employment online and usually you can fill out the application online as well. Most employers do a background check on you as well.

    As far as announcing that you intend to do the CNA to LPN to RN track, yes, I would state it in the interview as most places are thrilled to have a nursing student on their staff because they think you will remain with them after you become a nurse. I hope this answers some questions for ya!!
  4. by   allamericangirl
    Thanks, fullbloom, it certainly gets me started in the right direction, I appreciate your help and will be trying the online process. I wish there was a way for some of you guys to review my resume and make suggestions before I post it. I feel like a freak.

    I guess my questions must sound silly, but working in real estate is so different from working in more traditional fields where people actually go through a hiring process.

    I have been a free agent and paid straight commissions, plus I paid the companies I affiliated with monthly desk fees, and for every piece of paper, staple, copy, paper clip, etc., so my presence was solicited by the hiring company. I didn't fill out job apps, etc. I have NEVER had any benefits except for a vacation without pay. I don't know what to look for , or to expect from an employer except for a job and a paycheck.

    Another reason that I am so vague and uninformed about the traditional hiring process, is that the "real jobs" I have had were for very small, family owned companies, not large corporations. Most hospitals and LTC Facilities are mega corporations with very formal hiring processes.

    I am so stupid about all of this stuff, because I haven't had exposure to it. Still need lots of help, answers, and information.
    The school I went to was Emily Griffith. Their placement people seem to have a strong affiliation with LTCs, but not much help with the hospitals.

    Quote from infullbloom1
    I can answer part of your question for you- Before I took the CNA state exam, I was hired by Centura Health. There's some sort of law that says you can work as a NA before becoming a CNA for 90 days. The trick is finding a hospital that will take that chance on you.(some long term facilities do also). You then get a raise after you pass the test. Its easier to find employment online and usually you can fill out the application online as well. Most employers do a background check on you as well.

    As far as announcing that you intend to do the CNA to LPN to RN track, yes, I would state it in the interview as most places are thrilled to have a nursing student on their staff because they think you will remain with them after you become a nurse. I hope this answers some questions for ya!!
  5. by   allamericangirl
    Ok, I guess too many questions at once, so lets try this.
    1. My nursing path is CNA to LPN to ADN. DO I put that in my resume?

    2. What are the employment applications like? Will they want me to specify a department that I want to work in? Will they ask me what I want to be paid ? Will they ask me to specify what shifts I want? Will I understand what they mean when they describe the shifts, etc? (What do I say?)

    3. What kind of questions should the interviewer NOT ask me, that they may ask anyway? What do I do if I am ask an improper question?

    4. Is it customary for agencies to ask you for money up front to process your application?

    Help??? Pretty Plueeze?




    Quote from allamericangirl
    Ok...now that I have finished the required hours in my CNA schooling I need advice about applying, interviewing, resume, etc.

    1. My nursing path is CNA to LPN to ADN. DO I put that in my resume?

    2. Being in my 50s, for past 10 years I have been an independent contractor Real Estate Broker. Have no clue about best ways to get my CNA job.

    3. Think hospital work would give me the best all around experience for continued nursing education/career, so would like to concentrate efforts there first.

    4. Do I go out, resume in hand, to hospital HR departments? Do I call first? What days are the best to show up? If I take that route, is there the chance that I will get to see a HR person that way?

    5. Lordy...What are the employment applications like? Are they several pages long? What kind of questions are on them? Will they want me to specify a department that I want to work in? Will they ask me what I want to be paid ? (What do I say?) Will they ask me to specify what shifts I want? Will I understand what they mean when they describe the shifts, etc?

    6. Will they consider hiring me before I take the state certification test? I have to wait for a criminal history search to come back to the testing company before they schedule me for the test, and then won't get test results for a couple of weeks.

    7. Jobs in the news paper for CNAs are all Home Health Agencies. Probably the hospitals don't spend for ads for the low end staff. Denver paper ads are expensive.

    8. What kind of questions should the interviewer NOT ask me, that they may ask anyway? What do I do if I am ask an improper question?

    9. Had an agency that I met at a job fair mail me an application. They request that I send $20.00 processing fee for a criminal record check. Is that customary? They also asked if I owned my own home. Isn't that out of line?

    Boy, do I need advice, help, and words of wisdom here. I can't get too much information on this, guys ... so I appreciate anything you can throw at me on this. I am in the Denver area, so anyone familiar with hiring practices here in the health industry, pitch in too.

    Thank you all for any help on this.
  6. by   infullbloom1
    Hi again- Yes, I would put that maybe in the "objectives" part of the resume(where you explain what you are looking for in a job). ALso, I would go online to healthone's website or centura's website and look at their applications. Each one asks the same questions basically. If you have a shift preference, they are usually divided into day, evenings or nights(meaning overnight). You almost always get a shift differential, so keep that in mind when choosing a shift- nights gets the most differential. As far as telling them how much you want to get paid, I would wait until they make some sort of offer and then go from there. When I was a CNA, I had no option to bargain for more since I was too new. Once you gain experience, then you can bargain for more or go find another job that pays more. I hope this helps!!
  7. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from infullbloom1
    Hi again- Yes, I would put that maybe in the "objectives" part of the resume(where you explain what you are looking for in a job). ALso, I would go online to healthone's website or centura's website and look at their applications. Each one asks the same questions basically. If you have a shift preference, they are usually divided into day, evenings or nights(meaning overnight). You almost always get a shift differential, so keep that in mind when choosing a shift- nights gets the most differential. As far as telling them how much you want to get paid, I would wait until they make some sort of offer and then go from there. When I was a CNA, I had no option to bargain for more since I was too new. Once you gain experience, then you can bargain for more or go find another job that pays more. I hope this helps!!
    Well....there was a book out there I read years ago on bargaining, that basically had, as a premise, that you can bargain anything. What is the demand like in your area for CNAs? You clearly have something more to offer because you are planning to become an RN. They might figure that you will probably work for them, if they are fortunate, for at least the duration of your education. If you can get job offers from two different places, and they both are interested, you can use that to get a better offer. But you know how to do this, right? You are in real estate, you are in sales. Interviews are basically sales, where you are the product.

    I don't know; you may not have much of a choice in getting a CNA job. I guess the one concern in using the tactics mentioned above is that someone might feel you are over-qualified. But I suspect there are places that can use your talents...

    I'm wondering...why do you want to leave real estate and become a CNA??
    One of the things, it also occurs to me, is that most folks don't want to hire people who are going to "upset the apple cart" (except, maybe, for Apple Computer, no pun intended . If I were hiring you (and I have interviewed hundreds of people in the hi tech world) I would be concerned that you would be too independent, that you would have a hard time adjusting to the regular workaday world, because it will be a culture shock for you, after being your own person.

    I also recommend the book "What Color is Your Parachute" if you have not read it.

    NurseFirst

    PS sorry this is so disjointed; I couldn't sleep and so I woke up and logged in to allnurses.
    Last edit by NurseFirst on Mar 19, '05
  8. by   nursemike
    At the hospital where I work, you just pick up an application at human resources (2 pages), fill it out, and attach your resume if you have one (not really required for entry-level.)

    There are two interviews--one with HR, one with your prospective manager or director. I had been self-employed, too, so I drew on that experience. Interview is basically a sales call, and you're the product. Since I'd had employees at various times, I emphasized the lesson that the best employee in the world isn't any help when they aren't there. Absenteeism is a big pain for hospitals. But I would also discuss your plans for nursing school, since you will likely need some flexibility with scheduling. They'll do that, if only for the built-in nurse recruitment, but it will help if you can promise to give as much notice in advance as possible about what your schedule for school will be, and schedule around work as best you can. (I don't know about LPN school--the local one has a fixed schedule, so there aren't many options, but in ADN school, I have nursing classes that are set in stone and support classes I can take at various times, so I've tried to minimize the days I was unavailable for work.)

    I recently interviewed with my director for my first nursing job. She began with, "Well, of course you've got the job, obviously..." And I was still a nervous wreck! Anyway, best of luck, and try not to puke.
  9. by   allamericangirl
    Quote from nursefirst
    well....there was a book out there i read years ago on bargaining, that basically had, as a premise, that you can bargain anything. what is the demand like in your area for cnas? you clearly have something more to offer because you are planning to become an rn. they might figure that you will probably work for them, if they are fortunate, for at least the duration of your education. if you can get job offers from two different places, and they both are interested, you can use that to get a better offer. but you know how to do this, right? you are in real estate, you are in sales. interviews are basically sales, where you are the product.

    i don't know; you may not have much of a choice in getting a cna job. i guess the one concern in using the tactics mentioned above is that someone might feel you are over-qualified. but i suspect there are places that can use your talents...

    i'm wondering...why do you want to leave real estate and become a cna??

    real estate was by default. i grew up in a family business where it was expected that i work after college, and left the family business and married into another one where i was expected to work. it was all that i knew and how i grew up, so of course i did. when my husband's business sold, i was well known in the community and his and my family decided that i should go into real estate. being the dutiful daughter and wife, i always did what was expected of me. never even thought that i had a choice, because i was brought up to believe that you owed family. always wanted to be a nurse. divorced after twenty years of marriage, i had two daughters in college that i was paying tuition for and felt like it was selfish not to help them all that i could while they were in college. never got around me till now. even though this is an entry level position as a cna, this is the most important job in my entire life, because this job is the basis for attaining my life long goal to become a nurse. here i am at 58 years old, trying to start out where hs students start!


    one of the things, it also occurs to me, is that most folks don't want to hire people who are going to "upset the apple cart" (except, maybe, for apple computer, no pun intended . if i were hiring you (and i have interviewed hundreds of people in the hi tech world) i would be concerned that you would be too independent, that you would have a hard time adjusting to the regular workaday world, because it will be a culture shock for you, after being your own person.



    i have had to take direction, follow orders, and instruction from hundreds of clients who were each my employers. i had to please them, get the results they wanted, but protect them while looking out for their best interests and still remain compliant with all state, federal laws and regulatory agencies.

    it may sound silly to someone who hasn't experienced working free lance to make a living, but knowing that you are going to be scheduled to work three 12 hour shifts from 7pm to 7am, on certain days, every week of every month, and what most of your duties are going to be during that shift... sounds like a fantastic situation to someone who has been "on call" for more than 20 years.


    i am proven able to adjust to a regular work day world, learn new things, be flexible, and follow direction. but if i elaborate on this, the hr person may really think that i won't fit into entry level. when i moved from missouri to colorado i applied for a job as a skin care tech, because they said they would train me. they hired me, instead, as the director of this skin care and electrolysis clinic. the company trained and certified me in laser and electrolysis treatment. i hired and trained a physician, prepared the client health history and treatment plan for the physician, and supervised treatment. i hired, trained, and supervised the daily activities of rns, lpns, and techs in treatment, sterilization, sanitation, clinic record keeping, treatment and cosmetic sales, and telephone technique. i maintained strict adherence to procedure, sanitation, licensing/regulatory and corporate policy, human resource, payroll and record keeping systems.


    i wasn't on my own, because i answered daily, to a boss in houston, tx. during my three years there, i was the first one in and the last one to go home six days a week. whatever needed done that my employees didn't do from treatments to mopping floors, i did. if someone called in sick, i gave the treatments. i received a 1995 newcomer of the year and other awards for keeping the clinic in the top 5 of 16 clinics. i loved this job, and only left it when the owner told me that he expected me to buy his clinic, because he was selling his chain of clinics. just my luck! i didn't want to own my on business again! i hate being the only person responsible for running a business, and all the money worries, and liability insurance, and work seven days a week (because that's what it takes to make it) and i really prefer to be the worker-be to being the boss.


    i don't have to make that kind of money any more. it's not worth, not having a life. i have never been able to have a life selling real estate, or as owner of my own business, or as a manager. the income is never something you can regulate, it's always steak or beans! i keep getting caught up in these things and they take all of me, then i never get to pursue the goal i have always had to be a nurse. i don't want to have to be the star of the show, i just want to be in a supportive position, do my job and do it well, get paid ... take my money and my time off, and see if i can figure out a way to get through nursing school. the employer who gives me that chance, i promise will get back what they gave me ten fold!

    i'm so scared that every person i apply to is going to refuse me for the exact same reasons as you have just said above.

    i am totally stressed and freaked out by all of this! i wish that i could just lie about my whole life, and say that i have never worked before and my husband just left me penniless and i need a job! because of my age, i don't have a lot of time left to make wrong choices or mistakes, because there won't be any starting over after this. ohhhh i'm sorry this is so long. i'm so blabby! allamericangirl



    ps sorry this is so disjointed; i couldn't sleep and so i woke up and logged in to allnurses.
    nursefirst

    i don't know how my reply ended up so screwy inside your quote, but i can't seem to fix it... sorry
    Last edit by allamericangirl on Mar 19, '05
  10. by   allamericangirl
    omg! god bless you! lol! i have been crying my eyes out all morning. isn't it stupid?! but it's just the way i feel and i hope to god that i don't puke, but i bet i do before it's all over with! thank you for making me laugh!

    i recently interviewed with my director for my first nursing job. she began with, "well, of course you've got the job, obviously..." and i was still a nervous wreck! anyway, best of luck, and try not to puke.[/quote]
  11. by   allamericangirl
    Ok, I will check out those sites. Shift differential I believe means more or less money for different shifts. See how green I am at this? So are the differentials usually worth being awake all night?

    If you work nights while all of the Pts are sleeping do you get to do enough stuff to do to learn new things and get good at skills, pick up new knowlege etc.? I don't want to sit around trying to stay awake waiting for someone to need me to do something. In order to learn, work hard, and be busy, which is the best shift to work? What are the best departments for a NEW CNA to try to get into? I have so many questions that I know you guys have the answers to. Thanks.

    Quote from infullbloom1
    Hi again- Yes, I would put that maybe in the "objectives" part of the resume(where you explain what you are looking for in a job). ALso, I would go online to healthone's website or centura's website and look at their applications. Each one asks the same questions basically. If you have a shift preference, they are usually divided into day, evenings or nights(meaning overnight). You almost always get a shift differential, so keep that in mind when choosing a shift- nights gets the most differential. As far as telling them how much you want to get paid, I would wait until they make some sort of offer and then go from there. When I was a CNA, I had no option to bargain for more since I was too new. Once you gain experience, then you can bargain for more or go find another job that pays more. I hope this helps!!
  12. by   nesher
    Love your openness allamericangirl! You asked about questions that you shouldn't be asked.
    Name - unacceptqable to ask maiden name
    Residence- unacceptable to ask "do you rent or own your own home?
    Age - unacceptable to ask age, birthdate, dates of attendance when you competed elem school or high school - question that tend to odentify someone over 40.
    Birthplace/citizenship - unacceptable to ask birthplace of applicant, applicant's parents.
    Nationality - unacceptable to ask questions as to nationality - "what is your other tongue?"
    Sex/martial status/family - unacceptable to ask questions which indicate sex/martial status - "do you want to be called Miss? Mrs?"
    Birth control - unacceptable
    race/color - unacceptable to ask what a person's race or color is -
    Physical description/photo - unacceptable to ask ht. wt. or to require a person attach a photo prior to employment.
    Physical condition/handicap - unacceptable to inquire about a person's general medical condtion or state of health.
    religion - unacceptable to ask questions regarding a person's religion or religoius days observed.
    arrest/criminal record- unacceptable to ask "have you ever been arrested?"
    Bonding - unacceptable to ask questions regarding refusal or cancellation of bonding.
    Military service - unacceptable to ask general questions regarding dates and type of discharge.
    economic status - unacceptable to ask questions regarding current or past assets, liabiites, bankruptcy.
    References - unacceptable to ask your references regarding infomration concerning your race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, martial status, age or sex.
    Notice in case of emergency -unacceptable to ask for name and addresses of relatives to be notified in case of emergency.

    I got this information from a great book, "Interview Power" by Tom Washington - I recommend it highly! The book goes into some detail regarding illegal questions and how to answer them.

    As far as applications go - it seems everything is done on line these days - they ask for the usual, name, education, job history, description of duties, references.

    Shift differentials can make a huge difference in your paycheck! But doing nights doesn't agree with everyone.

    I don't know about paying to have your application "processed" - I wouldn't since there are a zillion ways to apply for free!

    Shifts - days, evenings and nights are the usual trio. The times may vary but usually 7-3 days eves 3-11 and nights 11-7.

    In terms of finding jobs the internet is an excellent resource. Here are a few sites some are better than others :
    www.workzoo.com
    www.JobFind.com
    www. America's Job Bank
    www.TrueCareers.com
    www.HotJobs.com
    www.CareerBuilder.com
    plus monster.com of course.
    plus the classifed ads in you r local Denver paper are on line so look there.

    You ask about pay - I don't know CNA wages - but another web site is salarywizard.com - should be able to fix you up.
    So I hope this helps...

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