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Hello all, my name is Megan. I'm new to the community. I am 17 years old. I have just recently passed my CNA state test (Illinois) and just scored a full time job at a nursing home. I'm working 3rd shift, and so far I absolutely love it. I plan on getting into my local LPN program and then the RN program.

Aside from my introductory statement, I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips considering this is my first job in the medical field. Thank you!


Has 8 years experience.

First off, congrats on becoming certified!

I've been a CNA and a PCT for close to 10 years now. My advice is to give 100% to your residents. Some days that may be hard to do, but when you leave that building you will leave with a sense of accomplishment. Also, do your best to keep yourself out of the gossip/politics of your building. It can bring you down fast.

You will encounter lazy co-workers...both nurses and fellow CNAs. Don't let their attitudes affect your job. You are there for the residents/patients and yourself.

Finally...if you want to advance your career and are thinking of becoming a RN or LPN...go for it. I'm working on it now and wish I had done it a decade ago.

Best of luck!


Specializes in None yet..


Samhain's advice is excellent. Keeping your attention on maintaining your standards for yourself and avoiding the tarbabies of gossip and comparison is vital for any field.

Also, you may want to consider going straight to an RN or BSN program. Apparently the BSN is becoming the new entry standard and LPN jobs are disappearing. That seems to hold true in the Seattle area at least. LPNs are getting squeezed out by CNAs from "below" and RN/BSNs from "above." They certainly seem to be underpaid.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Aside from what the other 2 people have offered for advice here, I will add:

You will, without a doubt, incounter "difficult" residents. Residents who will "fight" with you about anything and everything... When this happens, Keep in mind that they are adults and have the right to choose when to go to bed, when to be up, etc. I've seen other aides insist a resident go to bed by 11pm and will NOT assist them to get up if they ask because "they should be in bed by now".

The less you "fight" with a resident, and avoid a power struggle, the happier everyone will be. They need to be treated like adults, not children.

Never forget that these folks probably raised children, held jobs, own homes, etc... You are there to assist them.

strawberryluv, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med-surg.

LPN jobs are NOT disappearing any time soon! At least, not when you can pay a LPN significantly less

than an RN to do almost the same things. If you have plans to become an LPN, all the more power to you for

getting more education.

Also, congrats on becoming a CNA and securing your first job.


Specializes in None yet..

LPN jobs are NOT disappearing any time soon! At least, not when you can pay a LPN significantly less

than an RN to do almost the same things.

That seems reasonable... but sad.

The guestion then become, I guess: Why would you want to spend the same time to get an LPN degrees, which pays less, when you can get a higher-paying RN degree in the same time?

[COLOR=#003366]megandanielle1997, I'm looking forward to hearing how your new job is for you; I hope you post about your experiences. You're certainly taking on a valuable and responsible position for your very first job! Best of luck and happiness to you.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

I want to add a P.S to my post.

Learn a little about your resident's condition. If you know your resident has Parkinson's disease, read a little about it. It will help you to understand your resident a bit better. You will understand why it takes them so long to walk or to do a task, and why they do the things they do.


Specializes in None yet..

Hi, megandanielle1997! Checking back to see how you and this thread are doing. Missingyou added a great suggestion. I read the resident care plans and look at the relevant section in Nursing Diagnosis: Application to Clinical Practice 14th ed., Carpinto. It's one of my texts for this fall and it really connects the medical diagnosis to the symptoms and signs and what nurses and CNAs do to take care of these. Amazon has some inexpensive used copies and since you're thinking about a career in nursing it may be worth the money and time to you to check that text (or another book on nursing diagnosis) out.

The class I took for CNA training was good about simulating the experience of people who need our care. That really moves knowledge from your head into your heart. Try functioning at home for a day wearing glasses with Vaseline smeared on the lenses, thick gloves and earplugs. For added challenge, try immobilizing your dominant hand in a brace. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to receive pericare from the people in the grocery line. I'm just as much a stranger to a resident the first time we meet. These exercises gave me so much respect for my residents!

Old age is not for sissies!