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Looking for advice, just starting out as a CNA

by shux shux (New) New

I am a CNA I, also currently enrolled in an ADN program to become an RN in the spring of 2016. I was hoping to find work as a CNA somewhere before graduation but I am having a really hard time. I hear from lots of people that retirement homes especially need CNA's but I don't know if the best way to approach them is to go to the business and submit an application or submit an application online. I don't want to show up to turn in an application and have them look at me like I'm crazy but I also don't want to just submit applications online if no one pays attention to those. Just wondering what everyones personal experiences were starting out looking for work, or even if you used a staffing agency, if that worked better for you. I appreciate any insight!

Some facilities will state whether or not they prefer online applications. It was once suggested to me, to visit the establishment in person and I took their advice for the places I really hoped to work at. I received calls faster as a walk in vs. Applying online.

Also congratulations on getting into nursing school!

Thank You! And thanks for the information :)

I was wondering about additional certifications and training for CNAs - the hospital where I just got a job offers several employee training and certification education courses like advanced basic life support, IV therapy, pediatric life support and others - would I, as a CNA, be allowed to take these courses? I wanna be as useful to the hospital as possible. Any advice?

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Depends on the facility. Some require to apply online, others only in person. If in person, be prepared to be interviewed on the spot, some places do that, but not all.

If you walk into a place that only accepts applications online, I doubt they will think you're crazy. They will just tell you to apply online and my even give you specific instructions on what they're looking for and how to apply.


Has 15 years experience.

I think you are on the right track. Some like the in-person touch, others not so much. In this area found it best to avoid staffing agencies, and to seek out more reputable places by word-of-mouth. I asked nurse and church friends also and found out more as to where to go and where to stay away from. Also got some referrals which helped land interviews so I have learned a lot in the process. Best wishes to you!

By now you've probably figured out what your plan is, but what I have found that works the best when applying for ANY job is going in with a resume. If they require an online app then fill it out too but dont just stop there. Going in takes courage, character and shows that you are serious.

Ive been a CNA for a little over a year and I obtained a very good job at the local hospital, full time 12 hour shifts 3 days a week, which is wonderful because I can alternate those days with nursing school.

Applying for the job for me wasnt that easy. I turned in application after application online sometimes I would apply twice for the same job. I decided that wasnt working so I wrote out a cover letter and attached it to my resume and emailed it to HR. Got a phone call the same day, interview the next day and a job offer. Sometimes obtaining a job is a job in itself.

I wish I could take advantage of those things!! Go for it!

I was in the same boat as you about a year ago. Here is what I did:

I applied to every place possible--both online and I would go and fill out applications in person. I always attached my resume and asked in the charge nurse or manager was available for me to talk to.

I also called back a few days later to ask if they were still hiring and to let them know that I was still interesting in any positions they had available. I found a job in about 2 months!

betm, CNA

Has 4 years experience.

Check out the facility's website. Some places prefer you submit an online application and some places will ask you to print off a resume or application and bring it into their Admin building or front office. You could always call, too. When in doubt, go into the facility and talk to someone in the main office. Dress up and put on a big smile and be super polite. I go into places all the time asking for an application and they tell me to fill out an online form and it's never been an issue; I just smile and apologize for taking up their time, and they usually tell me it's no big deal. What's the worst that could happen if you show up and they tell you they don't process physical applications? Nothing! I have not once been yelled at or given a look. I will always prefer going into the facility over filling out an electronic application - always!

Don't sweat it & good luck!