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Jobs After First Year of Nursing School?

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ktrout ktrout (New) New

For the past year I've been looking into a health care aide program where I live in Edmonton, but I'm still not sure if I should get spend my money on getting a health care aide certificate before applying to nursing school within 1-2 years.

I was told you can work as an aide after the first year of nursing school but is there a limit as to where you can work? For example, after completing the first year of nursing school would it be relatively easy for me to get a job as an aide for Caritas or Capital Health, or do employers prefer hiring applicants with Health Care Aide certificates? How about LTC facilities not under Caritas or Capital Health?

Thanks

OttawaRPN

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics. Has 5 years experience.

After your first semester of nursing school, you've covered the basics of HCA work and can work as one in many facilities. I don't know about the two you mentioned, maybe someone from AB can answer.

If you decide to get a HCA certificate, this should offer you some exceptions during first year theory and labs.

flyingchange

Specializes in MPH Student Fall/14, Emergency, Research. Has 2+ years experience.

I attempted to do that and I did not receive a callback from several applications. I had previous experience in the field. You would be lucky to get a job as a nursing attendant in acute care with only a couple years of nursing school behind you. However, some of my classmates were able to. I expect that recruiters don't want nursing students because we might work out of scope and we will be moving on after a couple of years.

Many of my classmates do work in HCA roles in LTC and home health, however.

Don't bother getting your HCA - save your money and go to nursing school, if that's what you want. If you want to work in health without prior education, you can. I worked for many years as a personal support worker for people with disabilities, providing personal care, community access, and some very basic pharmaceutical interventions (although I now believe that was inappropriate). The pay really sucks but the job was rewarding.

Good luck in your studies :)

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Alberta is moving towards accreditation for all personal aides. NAs in acute care are being strongly encouraged to get the course and I'm pretty sure AHS is funding part of it.

The days of walking in off the street and getting a job are pretty much over out here.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

Alberta is moving towards accreditation for all personal aides. NAs in acute care are being strongly encouraged to get the course and I'm pretty sure AHS is funding part of it.

The days of walking in off the street and getting a job are pretty much over out here.

From what I've heard from a friend of mine who is doing it right now, they have to pay for everything themselves. She works for Covenant and they're not even being given paid time for the classes or exams. From what I understand, this came out of the Health Professions Act and not from AHS. Same thing is happening with the pharmacy technicians who don't have papers.

OttawaRPN

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics. Has 5 years experience.

Alberta is moving towards accreditation for all personal aides. NAs in acute care are being strongly encouraged to get the course and I'm pretty sure AHS is funding part of it.

The days of walking in off the street and getting a job are pretty much over out here.

By accreditation, do you mean regulation of health care aids, like nursing, etc.?

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

Yes. They're moving toward totally regulated (accredited/certified) health care human resources.

OttawaRPN

Specializes in acute care med/surg, LTC, orthopedics. Has 5 years experience.

That's been talk in Ontario for quite some time but nothing has come of it yet. Most facilities will only hire those with a PSW certificate, so those who are HCA or PCA have to retake components of the course. The trouble is the PSW program can range anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months depending on the school and because many of the schools are unaccredited, the content of the programs vary from pretty good to absolutely appalling.

So if someone is given the choice of going to school for 6 weeks or going for 8 months (while earning the same certificate), what do you suppose they're going to choose? Those crappy 6 week private college courses advertising guaranteed jobs and great pay producing PSWs who don't even know the basics of personal care, either that or they pretend not to know it. Either way, I've worked with some downright dangerous PSWs who have no place caring for anyone so regulating them would be a welcome and highly anticipated relief.

Thanks for the replies everyone! I really need to reconsider my job options before getting into nursing and during nursing school.

Considering what was mentioned by the other posters, does anyone have any advice for me?

I want to get into a 4-year nursing program in 2012 or 2013, depending on how my prereqs go (I figured I would be done them all by August 2011). I don't have any experience in health care and have limited work experience (retail).

Should I get my HCA certificate (perhaps in September 2011) while waiting to get into nursing?

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

It wouldn't hurt.

It's not getting the pre-reqs that will be your problem, it's getting a seat in one of the programmes.

A few friends of mine worked as PSWs in LTC during the summer months. They studied towards the BScN degree, but could find the PSW jobs after the first year.

Did you end up getting your HCA?