Just got BA...is being a CNA "below" me?

by kix86 kix86 (New) New

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Specializes in Nursing assistant. 1 Article; 1,429 Posts

But I've got to be honest with you: you will get your pride scuffed up a bit if you work as a nursing assistant. Your BF's viewpoint is common, and even your coworkers will assume you are a bit, well, deprived educationally. But, it builds character! ( and pays the bills...)



19 Posts

Just to share my experience.

I used to work as a Grp HR & Admin. Manager back in my country for years; got all the respect and recognition and a good salary that came with the job. I decided to start all over with a new career after marrying my husband and migrating to the U.S. I attended CNA class to learn the basics of nursing so as to have a good foundation. Well I have to admit that it was a 180 degree turn for me but I know in order to be good in my new profession I have to learn the ropes of the trade and start from scratch. I hv no problem wiping butts and doing the tasks of CNA but the most difficult part is being treated "rudely" by fellow classmates and a few nursing staff during my training.

This wld never deter me to walk my journey through college and career path to achieve my goal of being a nurse and probably higher after that. I want to be in this career so bad, i will do whatever it take to get there. This experience is just the beginning; it is a part of the learning process.



Has 2 years experience. 33 Posts

Another thought on this -

I work with several CNAs. At the hospital I work at, 90% of them are young women (and a few men) who are preparing for a career in nursing -- they're all in pre-nursing, or nursing itself. Several of them already have gone to school for something else, including 2 doing pre-med, then switching to nursing. About 1/3 of them already have a college degree. But it's something that's important to them. I just considered it one more step to doing what I wanted to do.

Anyway - you'll be in good company. :)

The best part was when nursing school rolled around, I was ACCEPTED!!! and found out I KNEW several people in my class! We have a great study group formed, and we're ahead of the pack BECAUSE we've worked as CNAs. :coollook:



26 Posts

I myself wasn't sure about being a CNA. I first started the job because I needed money and when I started I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do the job. I now have worked in a nursing home for three and a half years and I can tell you that you willbenefit from that experience. I am now in my second year of school and it has helped me tremendously. There are so many things that you learn about people and how to assess your patients. Our nurses have a great amount of respect for us and they know that if anyone knows what is going on with the residents we do. Plus you can watch the nurses do procedures that you will be learning to do and if you are anything like me you will learn a lot this way. Being a CNA isn't bad and personally I think that all nurses should have to be CNA's. Also I know that at our psych hospital they have psych techs and that might be an option for you so that you can get your foot in the door if you still have an interest in psych. I say quit banging your head against the wall and go for it. There are a lot of options and you'll never know if you don't explore them!



486 Posts

My boyfriend is a resident physician, and he completely supports me as long as I remain true to myself and am growing/learning. I'm in NS and work contingent as a CNA. If he "looked down" on me for wanting to be a nurse, I would see that as a huge character flaw and probably break up with him. His value system will be a constant, and I consider the way he thinks about issues to be more important than the issues themselves.

Even though he's more educated than me, my boyfriend constantly tells me how amazing I am, and is very proud of me because of the entire person I am. He's very secure, so doesn't feel the need to use a career choice of mine to reflect his identity.

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Specializes in LTC/SNF, Psychiatric, Pharmaceutical. Has 8 years experience. 473 Posts

So...I just finished a B.A. in Psychology in June, but I have been thinking about doing nursing for almost a year now! After trying to figure out what route to take to become an RN and how to pay for it, I decided that maybe I would give my B.A. a chance (since my parents paid ALOT for it) and just get a job, then later after I have saved up money, I could go to nursing school. Well, 4 months of job searching and applying to 40 jobs, I have heard NOTHING, no calls, no interviews, nothing.

Time for a new plan. I have been thinking about become a CNA because there seems to be a guaranteed job, pay that is close to what I would be getting as an entry level employee anyway, plus it would give me great experience for being a nurse and I could be sure that this is what I want to do. Plus, I think I would like it.

My problem here is this...I ran this idea past my bf and he thinks it is below me!!! Since I have a B.A. and have never actually had a real job, he says I can do better! He says I shouldn't have to do a "dirty" job like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:no:

I was shocked. I never even thought about it that way. I know I probably shouldn't listen to him, but it's bothering me. Maybe I should give my degree a chance and just get an "office" job? But if nursing is what I (think) I want to do, then isn't being a CNA a good starting place? Are there any CNA's out there who have Bachelor's degrees? How do you feel about this? Sorry if this is long!!!

I have known people with MA degrees that were working as CNAs, either to get a foot in the door in health care, or to cover bills until they could land a teaching job. Also, if you read the job descriptions from any psych facility for mental health technicians, which are psychiatric care's equivalent of a CNA, the "preferred" qualifications for most of them are higher than those of the nurses who will be supervising them - usually a bachelor's in psychology. They make the same money as a CNA, which is usually half of what a nurse would make. Depending on one's financial circumstances, no job may be "below" them.

If being a CNA is what you want to do and you think you can handle it, by all means, go for it.



Specializes in SICU. Has 2 years experience. 117 Posts

I worked as a NA with a BS and half of my masters completed. I never even questioned whether it was below me or not. It is an important job, and if you want to go into nursing then it is the place to start. You will find you learn invaluable skills as a NA, and you will have a leg up when it comes to your courses and future employment as a nurse. Good luck. Also, tell your bf that in this economy, no job is below anyone. Those of us that are lucky enough to have jobs should appreciate what we can get.

Good luck to you!



1,714 Posts

An honest paycheck is never "beneath" anybody. I once worked at Pizza Hut with a woman who had a master's degree. She had young children at home and part-time work was not available in her field, so that's what she chose to do. She worked a couple evenings a week so they didn't have to worry about child care.

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