Help! Potential job opportunity and not sure what to do!


Hi all! I hope everyone has been safe and well throughout these unprecedented times. I'm looking for some feedback and thoughts regarding a potential job opportunity I have. To give you a background about myself to keep in mind, I am currently in the process of completing an ABSN program and on track to graduate in December. Because of COVID, I was only able to complete about half a semester's worth of my med-surg clinical before being pulled. All other clinicals have been completed online, though we are expected to be returning to the hospitals this fall to complete our final med-surg II rotation. Prior to beginning the program, I was employed as a case manager for adults with developmental disabilities and also worked as a PCA for an individual with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. Although I did assist with some ADLs regularly, all of my clients were very independent in the sense that most assistance was provided through prompting. Other than that, I do not have medical experience.

Recently, I applied for a CNA position to put to use some of the skills I have learned and supplement my experience (or so far, lack thereof). I would only be working per diem because of my school workload. The hospital caters mostly to rehab patients, specifically pulmonary and cardiac. My concerns are that the patients are essentially completely dependent, and I have very (very!) limited skills. The majority of my work would be ADL based. I was also told that because the patients are so dependent, it is much more physically demanding, and I'm pretty small. Orientation would only consist of about 2 days of learning the nitty gritty of the hospital, and two shadow shifts before I would be on my own. On average, I would be responsible for about 6 patients during the day/evening, or 8-10 during the overnight.

One part of me wants to jump on the opportunity (if they even decide to offer me the position). I know getting in anywhere right now can be a struggle and fear that if I pass up the opportunity, I might be looking at unemployment and lack of experience for longer than I expected. I understand where people are coming from when they say that nursing is truly a career you just have to jump into and figure out, but I'm most concerned about just that; my utter lack of skills. My top priority is to provide safe, efficient, and effective care to my patients, so part of me feels as though it would be almost irresponsible to consider the position further (and yes, I was very honest during the interview about my lack of experience). Am I truly just overthinking things?? Help!

Just depends on what you want! This would be a CNA job, right? Some people start out as a CNA in the rehabilitation or hospital setting. The ratios sound reasonable for a CNA.

socal212, CNA

Has 4 years experience.

CNA courses do not prepare you for how to do your job. When I started out as a CNA on a med/surg floor, my first day alone, I was by myself on the unit with 14 patients. I was TERRIFIED to bathe and ambulate people. You will never learn these skills until you are on the job. Clinicals don't really teach you much. I think 6-10 patients sounds absolutely amazing. I'm currently in the ICU with 13 vents..... If you are going to become an RN I think working as a CNA is a great opportunity to work on ADL skills. And if the nurses know you are in nursing school (in my experience) they are often willing to show you a lot of the things they are doing. I can't imagine becoming an RN without all the experience I have now as a tech. And especially if you are in a rehab HOSPITAL, there will probably be more help available to you if you have to have to turn/ambulate a bigger person. Just my two cents. I always advocate for anyone who can be a CNA to work as a CNA before becoming an RN. The experience and learning how to deal with patients is invaluable, imo.

Edited by socal212


Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 4 years experience.

Go for it. It’s only per diem, so if it turns out to be not for you, it won’t be hard to leave.

If you work in a hospital as a nurse, you will have to do ADLs. So may as well get experience and be comfortable with it now. Plus it will look good on your CV.

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

Most places I’ve worked at hire people for CNA roles who don’t have any CNA training and provide it on the job. Being a CNA is hard work but it’s hard work you can learn as you go. And it’s experience that will benefit you as an RN, it’s an opportunity to network, will help your job hunt for new grad RN jobs....I don’t really see a downside other than balancing work schedule with school schedule.

So many helpful thoughts and insights! Thank you so much everyone! At this point I am still currently waiting to hear back regarding the position, but I believe I am set on accepting their offer if it is presented 🙂

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

On 7/11/2020 at 5:42 AM, socal212 said:

CNA courses do not prepare you for how to do your job.

The same thing goes for nursing school...

Hi everyone! Today I was offered the position and have gladly accepted 🙂 Now...what's everyone's favorite shift to work and why???

maggie0, ADN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric nursing.

On 7/14/2020 at 5:52 PM, slove2718 said:

Hi everyone! Today I was offered the position and have gladly accepted 🙂 Now...what's everyone's favorite shift to work and why???

They all have their positives and negatives. Day shift: it's busy, and time flies! But you also have to get up early. Evening: More mellow, but you miss out on dinner/socializing time outside work. Night: Night is fun and a little bit weird, but it can wreck your body.

While I was in school, I was an aide on the evening shift, and it was perfect for me--class was in the morning, and I worked around clinical days.