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Need Advice, working as a new CNA before/during school

Hey everyone,

Thought this would be the best place to come for firsthand advice on some things! I recently completed the CNA course at CCRI and got my CNA license. I would love to get a job in a hospital or other facility where I can get some good experience. My only condition is that I'm also a mom and I would need to work in the afternoons/evenings/nights. I'm also starting the nursing program at CCRI in January. I know that will be a huge amount of work, especially while balancing it with my daughter and husband! So, I guess my questions are...

Would it be worth it to start working now and go to a per diem position (if possible) while in school? Or should I just wait to find something for next summer?

Also, it seems nearly impossible to get a job at the lifespan hospitals (where I'd love to get my foot in the door-I've heard so many good things). Would it be worth it experience wise to take a job in an LTC? Are there any other hospital/clinic type settings you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for any answers/advice!

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Congrats on earning your CNA license! Its a great way to get some hands on experience in before you start nursing school. I know that getting a job in Lifespan can be really tough but it is a great company to work for and there are constantly new jobs opening up. I would suggest if you want to work for Lifespan you need to apply for open positions, make sure they are at the right hospital because you probably don't want to apply for a position at Newport Hospital if you live in Providence. Per diem positions are available but sometimes their harder to find because most departments post part time positions (20 hours or more), usually the per diem positions are either float positions or in the ERs (I work as a Per Diem CNA in Hasbro ER for example) and if you are interested in an ER position they will most likely tell you to go get a position on one of the Med/Surg floors to get at least 6 months of experience. Anyways, apply for the positions your interested in an give it about a week and then call HR and ask to speak with the HR rep. who is responsible for hiring for that position. Once you get in contact with the HR rep. tell them that your a nursing student who is interested in finding a position as a CNA and you would like to continue to work for Lifespan (say the specific hospital that the position is at) after you graduate from nursing school. Usually when you mention that your a nursing student the fact that your not an experienced CNA is usually not such an issue. They will probably tell you that they are still looking at applicants but they will begin calling applicants back in a week or so (maybe more it depends.) I would suggest at that point you give it at least a few days (a week is probably better) and then call back again and ask to speak with the rep. (or leave a message) and remind them of your situation briefly. The key is that you want to show them your interested but not desperate and annoying. If they say "don't call back until ......." then do yourself a favor and don't call back until after that time (many times they say that because they have a lot of people applying for a job and they need time to sort it out.) Just keep in mind that the HR departments for Lifespan are notoriously slow and it will probably take about a month after you applied for a position before you are interviewed, hired and begin the hospital orientation. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

!Chris :specs:

Thanks so much for the advice! I'm going to keep at it! :) I'll let you know how it works out!


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