How to land a CNA position at a hospital?


I live in Marin near San Francisco and I'm just about to start my CNA training mid Dec and should be done mid Jan. I plan on applying to a nursing program that begins Fall 2014 at College of Marin and thought working as a CNA would compliment by studies while doing my science prerequisites. I will be applying to schools all over the bay area but my focus is to stay in Marin. My goal is to hopefully be able to work as an RN or CNM at Marin General one day. I'd love to be able to land a part time or on call CNA position at that hospital. Is it difficult to get a CNA position in a hospital without a lot of experience?


1 Post

Specializes in Med/Surg.


I can't say for sure about CA/San Fran. area, but the job market is tough everywhere. I'm on the east coast, and a lot of the employment ads I see are looking for state certification with at least 1 year of prior experience in that position. I have the experience and certification. I'm not tooting my own horn, but even I was shocked when I got a 100% on the state's written exam. Even with recommendations from instructors, prior co-workers, NMs, RNs, LPNs, etc. it is still hard to find a good job that includes benefits, etc. A nice home case is good too, but I was never comfortable working in someone's home like that. I felt the boundaries of professional care giver and patient did not exist. I prefer the structure of a hospital, or nursing home, etc. I'm even searching out of state for positions in the field. I'll go where there is a job that makes me happy, rather than stay put and work a job I am miserable at. I wish you the best of luck with job hunting, and growing enough professionally to reach your dream of becoming an RN or CNM @ Marin. You never know...that job may already be yours. You may just have to wait your turn. ;-)


21 Posts

Specializes in Medical/Surgical, Telemetry. Has 1 years experience.

I was just recently offered a CNA position at my dream hospital. I'm in Texas but I think my strategies will work for you:

1. Stalk the the hospital/hospital system on social media (facebook, twitter, their websites, google)- I found out about career fairs and job opportunities that they didn't advertise anywhere else.

2. Show up to the interview dressed professionally. There were at least 4 people dressed in scrubs for the interview- show you made an effort to look your best. Leave the short skirts and stripper heels at home though.

3. Have answers ready for the common questions like "Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a client", "How do you develop trust with a client?" "Why do you want to work for us?" "What makes a great CNA?"

4. Be honest. I'm a nursing student and have no healthcare experience except for the last year of clinical, which I said. Fortunately, I had (have!;)) a nurse manager that wants little experience so that they can teach you their way.


837 Posts

You could always call the hospitals and ask if they have volunteer positions (if money is an object, whilst working wherever you can get work) - explain you are a nursing student looking to gain as much experience as possible in healthcare. You can then network and hear about jobs and people will know you.