Jump to content

How helpful/important is it to work as a CNA before going to nursing school?

Students   (6,819 Views 57 Comments)

ReadyToListen has 2 years experience as a CNA, EMT-B.

1 Article; 13,795 Profile Views; 123 Posts

You are reading page 2 of How helpful/important is it to work as a CNA before going to nursing school?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Tenebrae has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Primary Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

1 Article; 1,444 Posts; 10,820 Profile Views

I found that it was somewhat helpful. The better experience was working in a community home with a chap that required complex nursing care.

In NZ at least there is fairly minimal cross over between the role of CNA and RN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TU RN has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, PCU.

457 Posts; 7,449 Profile Views

My boss hired me as a new graduate because she knew me through the hospital as an extern... later, she hired two other new graduates who she did not know through the hospital as externs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 36,914 Posts; 97,805 Profile Views

SOME nursing programs require it. It is valuable experience. Check and see if it's required; if so, you may as well start there.

Even if not required for the admissions process, you may find that it is a plus on your applications and/or your interviews. You can establish your interest in nursing by stating that you have been working as a CNA/PCT/HHA, etc. There may also be points awarded on the application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Guy has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

3,421 Posts; 32,942 Profile Views

The only reason it is beneficial I think is because it helps you network.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karou has 1 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

700 Posts; 7,999 Profile Views

It helped me in several different ways. The biggest way was by causing me to learn how to interact with patients and family members. I am a shy and introverted person, being a CNA forced me to break down some of my walls and get more comfortable with patients. The first time I saw someone naked (other than family or pictures) was as a CNA. I am glad I learned to get past that awkwardness before nursing school.

It also helped me in nursing school because I could relate what I was learning to what I was doing at work. The first semester of school was easier for me because most of it was learning basic care.

I know it helped me get into nursing school (points based entry, being a CNA added bonus points). Having work experience and being able to add that to my resume helped me get hired as a nurse. Networking is a big bonus.

At work I am more sympathetic to my PCT's and try very hard to be a team player.

I am sure there are more. I don't think it is necessary to be a CNA/PCT prior to being a nurse, but I do think it helps you, at least initially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karou has 1 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

700 Posts; 7,999 Profile Views

i bartended in a club and a high end restaurant and taught music lessons during nursing school, and made on average about 3-4 times more $ per hour than CNA wages. Work smarter not harder.

I really agree with this. If someone is looking for a boost to their nursing career by starting out as a CNA, but really depends on a strong financial income, then I would advise against it. CNA pay is lousy starting out so if you need the money and can make it at a non health care job, then stick with the higher paying job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

roseynurse345 specializes in Tele, Dialysis, Med-Surg, ICU,GI.

157 Posts; 4,557 Profile Views

I worked as a UAP in a hospital while I was in school and it was a great experience. I gained confidence in interacting with patients. I learned telemetry monitoring, phlebotomy, and other useful skills. I read charts during downtime learned about medical conditions and how to document. Watched the good RNs and how they cared for their patients. When nurses know you are in school they are willing to teach you things you may not see in school. No experience is a waste, you have to make the most out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cinlou has 37 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Emergency and Critical Care.

1 Article; 208 Posts; 6,387 Profile Views

Whether a CNA is required for entry into your program or not it is a great starting point. If you are not quite sure if nursing will be the right choice for you, being a CNA gives you exposure and insight into the healthcare field. As a nurse you will need to know the role of the cna and be able to do those skills. A nurse should never look at the cna role as being beneath you. You must be willing to do all aspects of patient and resident care. Do not be that nurse who walks out of a patients room to look for a cna to help the patient use the restroom etc. Be the nurse who is willing to give holistic care. The cna is very important to the nurse without them, your job is much more difficult, respect that role and the person behind it. If you have your CNA you will start out ahead of others, having had the exposure and experience. Remember as a student in the clinical setting you are at an interview. Nurses and administration will be watching you to see if you are someone they would want to hire when you are done with school. Always put your best foot forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BlueDevil, DNP specializes in FNP, ONP.

176 Posts; 4,129 Profile Views

I wouldn't think it would be at all helpful, personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 Posts; 871 Profile Views

I regret never being a CNA. I think that it would have helped me tremendously in becoming a nurse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

292 Posts; 5,258 Profile Views

The only reason it is beneficial I think is because it helps you network.

:up: I second that.

I believe a CNA is a great part of a healthcare team but the CNA's duties are just a small percentage of what a nurse will be doing/expected to know. Yes, being a CNA's gives you a leg up on ADL's and the like compared to your classmates, but only for a short while. In the next four years, all students will have (hopefully) done numerous baths, feedings, walks, etc., leaving them just as adequately prepared and knowledgeable as any other CNA who has been doing it for a couple of years.

Some may say that being a CNA gives you better time management skills. While this may be true, a new nurse is a new nurse and that new nurse will probably have some trouble with time management regardless if s/he were a CNA because of the vast increase of knowledge/scope/responsibilities that a nurse has compared to a CNA.

I got asked in a few interviews if I had worked as a CNA and I believe it is the reason I did not get those jobs (because I never worked as a CNA). In my opinion, I have no idea why unit nurse managers care about CNA experience when I am applying/interviewing for an RN position. I got just as much experience in patient care that pertains to CNA's as any other new graduate. I also have just as much knowledge as the next new grad in nursing care.

Not being a CNA was definately a deciding factor in many of my interviews, and for reasons I do not know. That said, yes, being a CNA apparently means you are a good nurse automatically, so I wouldn't turn down the opportunity because unit nurse managers love when you have CNA experience.

An extra bonus is if you are good with your unit nurse manager on the floor you are a CNA on. Automatic in as an RN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Article; 1,939 Posts; 40,775 Profile Views

After highschool I worked as a CNA while doing prereqs for nursing school. It benefited me greatly .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×