Little Pay


I am starting school to be a cna this September. I want to become an RN. My goal was to work as a cna until them but after further research I see that I will only be making around 10.00 an hour in the Hampton Roads area (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, ect.) in Virginia. But I want to work with the elderly. I find its so much to learn from them and also just caring for another person feels so good.:redbeathe BUT!, . . . the question I have is how r u all making it on little pay? :down: And why continue to work as a cna for 8.50 or 9.50? I mean I just need a little of encouragement because it seems as if I am going to have a full time job being a cna, plus another job on the weekends as a cna to make ends meet? :confused:

jb2u, ASN, RN

1 Article; 862 Posts

Specializes in ICU, ER, Hemodialysis. Has 5 years experience.

I survived by not having any luxuries and applying for student loans. I kept doing it because my goal was to become a nurse, and the hours fit my school schedule. Plus the experience can not be measured!!!


197 Posts

Specializes in CNA.

I know what you mean. I use to work in an office making a lot more then I would as a CNA with great benefits. I think it boils down to experience. If you really want to be a Nurse you are going to learn SO MUCH as a CNA. You are going to learn how to communicate with your patients effectively and give great care. Once you get your RN you will already be familar with so many things and I think it will put you at an advantage over other RNs who are completely new to the field.

You might want to look at private duty cna work. Sometimes you can find people willing to pay you 12+ an hour.


416 Posts

I'm in school right now and the money prospects aren't great I know. But I've done retail, in that career you have to dress like you have a fortune when you're making next to nill and spend all day trying to convince people to buy products you know they could get cheaper somewhere else. Secondly the benefits at least around here are amazing and some places offer sign on bonuses that would blow your mind for a cna. I like the idea of being in a job that helps people as well and makes a difference. And I'm like you, my plans include another degree in medicine, though I'm leaning towards the lab end and working as a cna gives you not only the exp but an edge on the applications as well. And again this is around here, there is complete job security in being a cna. Our schools can't graduate enough of them. Good luck to you!


26 Posts

I can't believe that you would make such a little amount of money starting as an aid. I live in little old ND and we start at 10.00 per hour, but if you try to work anywhere besides a nursing home you will make way less. Hospitals pay less than nursing homes here. Maybe that is because there are so many old people here.:redpinkhe. Ps I love old people too!!! You could find some employers that reimburse your tuition that is a pretty good deal too. I work for a Catholic facility and we have scholarships that we can apply for every year. Every bit helps.


4 Posts

i would have to say that i have been a cna since 2001, i worked for a few years and at the time i didn't have a ged which now i do but it was hard for me to work where i wanted to work without that. since then as i said i have my ged but my cna isn't good anymore because its been a few years. the highest i made was like around 11 an hour in illinois. some places pay more. i will tell you the best thing to do is if you want to be an rn get into a hospital working and they will help you out with school and all. i wish i wouldof done it but now being 28 i am having the reality check of i just need to get out of my fear that i have and go to school for it. i tried cosmetology school and it wasn't my calling because i had wanting to get my rn over it. ever since i was a kid i wanted to be a nurse i would say cna has great opportunties if you want to advance in the career, but being a cna wasn't something i saw myself doing for the rest of my life.:twocents:

casi, ASN, RN

2,063 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

Another thing to take into consideration when taking a pay cut is you may find an employer that offers tuition reimbursement. This is super helpful.


4 Posts

alot of hospitals offer that program just so they can help you go more into your career. i want to say they basically buy you out and you have to work for them until your tuition is paid. kindof like a signed contract if i remember right. when i worked in the hospital as a cna i remember seeing the form down in the breakroom. it's a good deal i think but make sure its the place you want to stay at basically til its all paid off. hospitals have great benefits and if you have children well alot of them have daycare there. so it maybe little pay at a hospital but they do have great great benefits.

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