Jump to content

Jobs while waiting for school


So while I'm waiting to get into the nursing program (two years from now likely since I just got on the list), what are some possible jobs I could look at applying for without any other experience or certificates? I've thought about getting my CNA to get a job as a patient care tech because hospitals are where I want to work but not sure it's worth the money when I could start a job as that after the first nursing block...even a volunteer type thing in the hospital would work for me, I just feel like I need and want to do something while I'm waiting. I don't necessarily need it for the money but I just want to get my feet wet in the healthcare environment!!


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

The CNA would be worth it. It is hard enough to get a job as it is, and you will have a hard time getting a hospital job right away when you get your CNA. Most want experience. Even techs need experience first. Plus, if you are already a CNA. then you can focus on learning in your first block since you will already have most of the skills we learned already. I did what you are thinking of doing now and just waited to complete block 1 to get an education waiver. I wish I had gotten it sooner and started working. I would say to just take the CNA course now. The colleges offer the class and it takes less than 2 mos and cost less than $1000.

Thanks for the input! I meant to say patient care assistant, not tech. Anyways, correct me if I'm wrong but that's just the new fancy title for a CNA in a hospital? All the patient care assistant job listings I've looked at say one year experience as cna in an acute care setting OR certified CNA license OR completed block one of nursing school. So the way I read that is that I could still apply for that even after just getting my cna license without experience, right? Because for some people who have been a CNA for a while and never were certified, their experience is taken into consideration instead of the certification then. I could be wrong but that's how I read those listings, and there seems to always be openings for it! I think I'll look into the cna programs for next summer, all of them seem to be 4-5 days a week so it's easier if I can do it when my kids aren't in school and needing to be transported to and from.


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

PCA and PCT are interchangeable and essentially the same thing. Only thing I have noticed is that in ED they are techs and on med/surg they are call assistants. And yes, you are correct, in most places your CNA is not required to get a job as a PCT/PCA, but if you apply and a CNA applies, the CNA is more likely to get the job. I have applied for multiple PCT/PCA jobs and have not gotten a single call back. I will admit that I never followed up because I knew I was going to get my CNA this summer so I wasnt really going for it yet. As for experience as a non CNA it means being a non certified caretaker or similar, so they take that into account. So you dont have to get your CNA and can apply for the tech jobs if you want. Just know, that without your CNA you will be limiting yourself when you do. Ultimately its up to you if you want to take the extra course or not.

Oh I for sure would have to do the CNA route if I wanted to apply for it now because I have no experience. I was just trying to explain that if I did get my CNA I could apply for those multiple patient care assistant openings even without experience because their requirements are experience OR certified, not both :) I think I will look into programs for the summer for the CNA program because right now with my school and kids school just won't work for the full time two months for me. Thanks so much for your response!

Forgot to add, is there a volunteer type thing for the hospital that may be of interest for a pre nursing student that you (or anyone!) can think of?

CNA is worth it when job hunting after school.