Thoughts on being a CNA in Nursing school. Is it a good idea? - page 2

Should you become a CNA, if you are planning on going to nursing school? Is the experience worth it? Will being a CNA make me a good nurse? As in every aspect in life, the answer is not an all size... Read More

  1. by   rleah
    Quote from retiredmednurse
    I worked as a CNA only during the summer months, when nursing school was not in session. Because the hospital knew me from previous summers, I was hired as soon as I put in my application. I could never work and do nursing school both at the same time. I do agree with all the pros written above though at being a CNA. Someday, I would not be surprised if Being a CNA for 6 months before nursing school application will be a requirement. Being a CNA shows one the messier side of nursing such as code browns, belligerent patients and/or families, being a waitress to get that cup of juice when you have a patient sitting on a bedpan. One learns time management, prioritizing, and inter-personal communication skills.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your knowledge. That's the first time that a Code Brown was mentioned, and I actually smiled. I think I've seen a few posts on here, where some nursing students were required by their college to take the CNA class. However, I don't think they actually had to work with it. I did fail to mention another Pro in the video. Two of the colleges I applied to gave me extra points for every year I worked as a CNA. I'm going to add that into the article now. Thank you for jogging my memory!
    Last edit by rleah on Feb 10 : Reason: sp
  2. by   rnbabyzoo
    I did. I worked Home health part time. The people let me practice the head to toe assessment on them. One guy actually came to graduation for nursing school. I still talk to his wife 8 years later.
  3. by   Wannabenurseneko
    Quote from rleah
    I am so sorry you are going through this. Some places can be toxic and demanding no matter the situation. You will get through just keep you eyes on the prize. How far are you into nursing school if you don't mind me asking?
    I am still doing prerequisite. Thank you so much for your kind words, at least I know not every where acts like this.
  4. by   nursechini
    For me, working as an aide during nursing school was the best thing I could have done. You learn so much and being comfortable talking to patients and families and getting someone out of bed, etc. will be second nature when you become an RN. I think being a new grad is hard enough without adding these skills into the mix of things you have to learn.

    Also, there has been mention of the work being hard on your body. This is true but that hard work isn't going to end when you're an RN unless you plan to work outside of a hospital or SNF. Better to learn what you need to do to keep your body in good shape when you're working part time and can recover.
  5. by   mejsp
    I liked your article and agree with you. I loved working as a nursing assistant during LVN school. I'm not sure there were CNAs in the early 80s in Texas. My qualification was our nursing program was in the hospital basement.

    While pursuing my ADN I worked nights full-time as an LVN. That was hard. I couldn't have made it without my mother. I went to school, worked and slept. She'd tell me, "You are ruining yourself."

    I worked full-time when I went back for my BSN. That wasn't too difficult, a hybrid program.

    I thought I wanted to teach. I told my husband if he'd let me go part-time while I pursued my MSN he could retire when I finished. I wanted to do it right. I was very proud of my 4.0 GPA and Sigma Theta Tau induction, unfortunately I did not continue as a nursing educator, my rationale for pursuing the master's. I'm not sure that having a master's hasn't hindered my job search.

    The community college where I worked had their CNA students do clinical in an under-staffed longterm care facility. I thought if they can survive this, the front line, they can do anything.

    I'm glad I worked as nursing assistant. It enables us to see what we're getting into. Folks like me who had never cared for an elderly relative need to find out that some people lose their appetite, fall, become incontinent and have an impaired memory. It is much better to be reality-oriented before we start working as nurses.
  6. by   Accolay
    Thanks for the great article.

    I worked up to a .8 as a nursing assistant during nursing school, first in long term care then in a hospital setting for the last seven months until taking the NCLEX. I did make the professional connection sliding directly into an RN position made for me once I graduated. There were some tired busy times, but it worked out in the end.

    I think there is a noticeable difference between nurses who have been a CNA vs. those who have not. They can be better at patient interaction and have gotten those patient interaction fears out of the way, they know the ins and outs of how floors work, are more familiar with equipment and etc, they know the CNA job and what to expect, good or bad, and they can have some experience with the customer service aspect of the job.

    Personally I think it would behoove the profession to be more like an apprenticeship with nurses having a requirement to start at the bottom of the ladder and work their way up, but I digress.
  7. by   flowerpowerntx
    So many people I know have received job offers from the unit they worked on while in nursing school. Yes, it's a good idea. However, I would think about timing. You might not want to do it right away when you first start nursing school so that you can adjust and get the hang of it.
  8. by   sherrileec
    I have been a Nurse for 25 years. Prior to Nursing School, I worked as a CNA and HHA. In my 25 years, I have worked with Nurses who went straight to Nursing School and those who were CNAs first. This may be very coincidental, but it sure appears that those who worked as a CNA prior to Nursing School seemed to be much more able to be more compassionate with Patients, treating the whole person, both physical, mental and emotional. Most of those who went straight to RN Program, did not seem to interact and communicate well. I think that it is a very good idea to at least work as a CNA prior to beginning an RN program. Better yet, do CNA/LVN/RN as LVNs seem to get more hands on training as opposed to more just focusing more on book work/computer training. Just a thought.
  9. by   yli08
    Has anyone found a job as a RN without prior experience right out of nursing school?