Waitress or CNA?

  1. Hi,

    I worked at a corporate job for over 2 years and quit to do my pre-requisites while working as a waitress on the side because it paid well and is flexible. However, I ultimately want to become an RN and I think becoming a CNA would be great experience.

    I've only worked at the restaurant for 6 months. I don't have time to do class, work, volunteer, and do a CNA class, so I was thinking of quitting my waitress job, taking a 6 week course at the Red Cross and then looking for a CNA job after that.

    Couple questions: will it look bad on my resume when I apply to nursing school and so forth to quit a job after six months? SHould I still put it on my resume so it looks like I did something while in school? Is it hard to find a part-time CNA job,will I find one pretty quickly? Am I making the right decision? I'd be able to do it for a year if found a job in a few months as I don't think I can work much durin an accelerated program.

    My husband is willing to support me, but I don't want to be making the wrong decisions, so any advice would be much appreciated.
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    About esunada

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 165; Likes: 93


  3. by   caliotter3
    If you want to work to further your career and don't really need the income, then work as a CNA. If you need the income, continue to waitress. There are nurses who can't get nurse jobs at all so they waitress to survive. I met one who kept her waitress job to pay the rent, and held on to her part time only nursing job to maintain her license. Since your husband can support you, it probably is not necessary to keep the restaurant job. JMO
  4. by   Misslady113
    I had to decide the same thing. I have waitressed for the past couple of years and took a major pay cut to be a CNA. I believe it was worth it. It really exposes you to what the field is and helps you decide if it's for you. I would hate to go to nursing school and then realize I didn't like nursing. So definatly go for it, even if you don't work it for too long for financial reasons. CNA jobs are available because alot of people enter the field and then don't stay because of the hard work and little pay. S the turnover is high. You should be able to find work. Good luck to you.
  5. by   shann106
    CNA would get you in the door at the hospital, give you good experience and hopefully you could network with the nurses and administrators enough to secure yourself a job when you graduate. Nursing jobs are very hard to find right now, most new graduates are jobless or working in non nursing careers so this may give you an advantage over the competition
  6. by   suezan59
    I think that any nursing job you applied for would understand if you quit a waitressing job to be a CNA, and not hold it against you that it was after only 6 months. There is usually a section where you get to explain why you left, and quitting to get into the medical field sooner would be a legitimate excuse.

    The nursing home where I was a CNA offered paid training - they hired the instructors, did the classes themselves, and paid for the state testing (in addition to paying us for being there!) I always felt bad for the CNAs who went to school and paid for it... You might check with different facilities in your area and see if any of them offer it.
  7. by   Classof2010
    I am graduating this June and was in the same situation. I opted to keep my waitressing job. At times I regret it because being a CNA would have been really helpful before nursing school. Many of the nursing students in my class that were CNA's prior to school felt more comfortable the first couple of terms. But, I think my decision was the best for me. I made good money and you learn and refine skills waitressing that are invaluble to nursing. I never thought I would say that waitressing gave me great skills, but it did! It teaches you to multi-task like crazy and deal with a variety (sometimes dare I say difficult) personalities both are so important to nursing. So, I would say that those skills are just as important as CNA skills. Being a CNA is great for networking though, which in today's job market is very important!
  8. by   esunada
    Thanks for all your advice. I think I'm going to go ahead and pursue the CNA after hearing everone's experience. Thanks!
  9. by   sunkissed75
    The Red Cross paid for my training and now I work for them in home care. Is that an option where you are?