If you could tell a new RN grad one tip and/or request, what would it be?

Nursing Students CNA/MA


I will be taking my test for RN on June 18th, and I am pretty sure I will be working in a LTC setting. I am also aware, from recent interviews the responsibility of over-seeing CNAs....So, with that said, from your experience as a CNA and/or past experience as a CNA, what would your advice to a new RN grad who has to delegate tasks and supervise ect? What actions do you find work best at keeping the line of communication open between the RN and CNA? What really ruffles your feathers??I'd like to know-- because I want to be a good, respectful RN to those I have to supervise and delegate tasks too. So your suggestions will not be taken lightly. Thanks for YOUR input! :)

Specializes in retired LTC.

LISTEN to them!!! LISTEN to them!!! LISTEN to them!!!

A big part of their job is to observe and report so you will need to check out their reported observations - REALLY PHYSICALLY go check it out, not just give an answer. They will respect you for it as you will be demonstrating that their information is valuable and does matter.

You'll be on sensory overload. And there will be times that it will be THEIR priority but not necessarily yours. They won't always see it that way, so you'll have to learn how to respond in a timely manner. But as you get to know your CNAs, you WILL KNOW for whom and when you must act quickly.

Respect and trust will be soooooo important, so always acknowledge their input and give them feedback re: their info, esp what you did and why ( just a simple explanation). And don't forget to compliment when appropriate. So to LISTEN to them is my recommendation.

Yes...listen!!! We KNOW our residents! Just the last few weeks my coworkers and I notied some changes in one of our residents...no one took us seriously. We brought it up to all our nurses...still nothing. Guess who spent 5 days in the hosiptal this week? Yup, our resident that all the CNAs knew something was wrong with.

O.K. - "Praise publicly, criticize privately". If there's any one thing that's driven me bats as a CNA, that's it.:bugeyes:

As a supervisor, you're acting in a professional capacity - ripping a CNA a new one in front of a half-dozen of their peers isn't professional behavior; and, yes, I've had that happen several times. Can't tell you what set them off, 'cause I don't remember - but I remember the precise details as to who was present, what was said, and whom I spoke to after the fact.

If you have a criticism for a CNA, take the person out of public view & discuss it with them in a calm & reasonable fashion. If you have praise for a CNA's performance, praise them in front of everyone.

Straight out of Management 101 - and, for whatever reason it just doesn't seem to be taught in nursing curricula, or isn't followed with any degree of consistency in the workplace. At least, it isn't in my LTC, and frankly wasn't followed in my CNA training either. If it isn't in my LVN training I'm going to be kicking some booty - 'cause it NEEDS to be.

----- Dave

Specializes in LTC.

We had a nurse who obviously never worked as a CNA. She claimed not to know how to do ANYTHING that she could get a CNA to do for her. In LTC the division of roles between CNA and nurse are pretty clear and they work almost independently of one another. This nurse had us running around to the kitchen getting pudding for her med cart because she "forgot" to stock it... on a daily basis. She would do a treatment on someone's foot and press the call light for us to take the person's shoe off before and put it back on after. If a resident she was about to give meds to was *literally* 6 feet away from her she would shout for an aide to wheel that person closer to her. Those are not even the most extreme things she required assistance for, but I don't want someone recognizing this.

So... that was aggravating. It felt like we were all giving her more care an attention than some of the residents.

It also sucks when you have a nurse that micromanages.

Also, be aware that the CNAs will probably talk smack about each other. I would listen and be somewhat sympathetic when someone makes a comment, but don't actually get involved. Too much drama.

Be willing to help the CNAs out when necessary. Nothing annoys me more than a nurse who rings a resident's call light, tells me what needs to be done and then leaves the room. I get it; she's got her training above and beyond what I have but I have more respect for the nurses who are willing to help out than the ones who leave you hanging.

Specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

The most important thing as a nurse is to know what tasks can or CAN NOT be delegated. RN's, LPN's, and CNA's are a team. As an RN in LTC, you will more than likely take the charge nurse position. When I was a CNA, I worked with some great charge nurses, and some not so great charge nurses. The great ones were the ones who were approachable, and always willing to listen to the aides and their fellow nurses. The not so great ones were the ones who thought that they knew everything and took no one seriously because they felt that they knew everything! As a new nurse, you are still learning so it's very important to take in everything that you can from the staff. This can be a great opportunity! Good luck on the NCLEX :)

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