How many of you worked as CNA's before you became LPN/LVN's???

  1. Title says it all! Was just wondering how many of you worked as CNA's before you became LPN/LVN's? Are you glad you did? Would you recommend working while you are in school?
    Thanks for any advice you have to offer - I'm applying for the LPN program at our CC & I'm freakin' OUT, I'm so excited!
    I'm contemplating whether I should keep my very flexible job in retail or if I should find a brand new job as a CNA before classes start in July - I know the exeperience I'd gain as a CNA would be incredible...
  2. Visit couldntbhappier profile page

    About couldntbhappier

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 51; Likes: 3
    CNA student

    34 Comments

  3. by   jonesLL
    I worked as a CNA and ward clerk prior to becoming an LVN. My motto is ,"Don't forget where you have been."
  4. by   DarciaMoonz
    Very well put Jones. I worked as a CNA on and off for 10 years before becoming an LPN/LVN. I don't think that the CNAs are paid what they are worth, but change is slow and hopefully someday that will change. Until then, I try to motivate others to go on.
  5. by   justrissy
    19 years as a CNA here! Yikes I can't believe I did it that long, can't believe my back held up that long! I promised myself when my youngest was in school I'd go back to school too and I did! I am sooooo glad I did! I passed NCLEX in Jan and am working part time, I have 1 semester left of the RN program. I believe that the best nurses worked as CNA's they see things differently and are much more willing to help the CNA's with pt cares if needed! (just my opinion)
  6. by   allantiques4me
    I would definitely recommend being a CNA before becoming a LPN.Youll feel more comfortable with patient care interactions.And gain valuable experiences.
  7. by   akai6
    I was never a CNA but I am currently a patient care tech at a dialysis clinic. I'm the bottom of the totem pole so to speak, and I am glad I'm doing it. I surely wont forget where I came from!
  8. by   WickedRedRN
    I was a CNA too, worked my way through LPN school. A charge nurse I really liked one day asked me what the most important thing I had learned as a CNA was. I didn't miss a beat when I said, "I learned how NOT to treat my CNA's when I am the nurse on shift!" She kind of chuckled and said "you have learned wisely little one, it will serve you well". I really liked working with her and I learned alot from her. She was one of the few who would take time and explain how she did things and why to me. I try to do the same now for new techs.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    I learned how to interact with patients from all backgrounds and difficulty without intimidation.
  10. by   BigB
    I was a cna for 4 years before getting my LVN. It helped a lot durring clinicals. We had some medical assisstants in the programs who, when asked to change a pateints brief looked at the teach with a "you want me to do WHAT!!" look. That was just another day at the office for us CNA's who weren't phased by it.
    Last edit by BigB on Apr 22, '07
  11. by   S.N. Visit
    many moons ago! I worked as a CNA during high school for a few years, (15yrs ago...).
  12. by   SDALPN
    I worked for a year as a CNA 1 and a year as a CNA 2. I worked through LPN school as a CNA. It was tough but worth it. I learned so many lessons about working with nurses, other CNA's, etc. I got experience in health care so I knew what to expect when I got out of school. School teaches from ideal situations in a book. Working as a CNA teaches real life situations that you would never see in a book. I also experienced what its like to be a CNA and work hard for little pay. I respect most CNA's for the work they do.
    Its hard to work as a CNA while in school because its a physically demanding job. Doing clinicals and working as a CNA means finding a balance between making enough for the bills and not getting burned out. I always thought it was cool when I would learn something in school and go to work that night/week and see what I learned about. It was great reinforcement on what I had learned.
    Good luck with nursing school and enjoy it...you'll graduate before you know it.
  13. by   NURSE1987
    I went through a CNA program my senior year of high school, and worked the whole summer and winter after I graduated until I enrolled in LPN school the following spring. I worked as a CNA through LPN school part-time, and I really think it is helping me now as an LPN. Some RN's/LPN's boss around "the techs", or "the aides", and they don't know, and will never know, what its like to be on the bottom of the food chain. I know what its like to have all the unwanted tasks delegated to me, and what it feels like to be talked to like you have no education, brains, etc. The truth of the matter is, if you cut out the tech's or CNA's in a hospital, nursing home, home health agency, etc, etc, the facility can't function. RN's and LPN's won't do the work the tech's do, and the facility wouldn't pay them for it anyways. Anyways, I guess I got a bit off topic, because I am a huge CNA advocate, but the answer to the post question...Yes, I worked as a CNA before I became a nurse.
  14. by   chesara
    I have a question - is a CNA and a Patient Care Tech the same thing? I looked at the job openings for one of the local hospitals and they had lots of openings for Patient Care Tech.

    Here's what the qualifications for the job are: Must be either a Certified Nursing Assistant or a Nursing Student who has completed the Nursing Fundamentals class.

    It confused me because the listing doesn't say CNA. Anyone know?

close