New to this forum and need advice


I am a new graduate from the Philippines with a BSN, and now I am back home in the states. I don't have an RN yet, and i am waiting for all my exams to receive my RN. It has to go through this extremely long process of verification of my credentials. Unfortunately, to do this, I obviously need a job to pay for all the paperwork to go through. Is there a way I could get a CNA or LPN license while Im waiting for these exams? Would I have to go to school just to get these? Or is there a process where I go somewhere and they will issue some sort of certificate? I am so confused because I don't really want to start off doing Medical Front Desk work because it's so far from my field. And even acting as an MA, I need a certificate (I am sure anyway). My mom is even suggesting I work in Starbucks or some administrative position. But wouldnt it be unfair for the employer if I do this and I quit in a few months? And how can I keep my training up to date if I cant at least get a job as a MA or CNA? In the Philippines (well at my school) we are not even taught how to do a venipuncture and I know that is the most basic thing an MA can do. Am I doomed to get an administrative job and wait until I can finally take my exams in about 6 months? I live in south Florida, btw.

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

I believe that not all facilities require that their MA's or CNA's be licensed. Some even prefer to train a new hire to perform those job functions as their facility requires. I would worry, though, that any facility would be wary of hiring and training anyone while knowing full well that the employee would be on to bigger and better things in 6 months or so.

Do you know the type of facility in which you eventually hope to work? If so, maybe you should pursue an entry-level position there with the anticipation of moving into a nursing role upon completion of your licensing.


2 Posts

I would like to either get into ICU or Surgical (which I am sure will require way more training). Should I try and apply to MA and CNA positions anyway?

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Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

You would have to go through the same procedure to be a LPN as RN (be assessed before sitting exam)so I would look for other work whilst waiting for the BON/BRN

Specializes in PACU, Surgery, Acute Medicine. Has 14 years experience.

The term "CNA" (certified nursing assistant) gets bandied around a lot, but in many areas, you don't have to actually be "certified" to be a nursing assistant. It's not rocket science to be entry level anyway, and many places prefer to train you themselves. Besides, there's nothing that you learn in the course of becoming a "certified" NA that you don't already know from nursing school, and any employer will know that. So if I were you, I would try to get a job as a nursing assistant in an ICU or surgical area. Let them know your situation, that when your paperwork comes through and whatever else needs to happen for you to become an RN that that's what you want to do, and in the meantime you'd like to work as an aide. It may be the case that they don't even have an RN opening right now but they anticipate that they will in a few months. If so, your foot's in the door, and they have the benefit of a new RN who knows the ropes of the unit. And if it turns out that they don't have a position when you're ready, then at least you've been honest with them.

If you go the "Starbuck" route, it's not a problem if you stay for a few months and then quit for something better. It happens *all* *the* *time*, it's part of doing business for retails companies. You might not want to highlight the fact that you actively have plans to only stay for a little while on your application/interview, but you can still be honest. You're in the process of getting credentials transferred from another country, who knows how long that could take or what problems you could face with it, and in the meantime, you'd like to make a little money and have some fun at Starbucks (or wherever) - I don't think that's anything that would turn off a hiring manager, it's par for the course.

Even if you got a nursing assistant position in a unit where you knew you weren't planning on staying, I know some people stay in those jobs long-term but most are on their way somewhere else. Finally, keep in mind that for a new nurse, it's very hard to get a job in a specialty area these days. You may *want* to start off in ICU or the OR, but you are going to have fierce competition for very few new-grad openings. So that NA job in a unit where you didn't think you wanted to stay may turn out to be your best bet of getting an RN job anyway!

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience.

I agree with the other posters, some places you don't need a CNA certificate to work as an aid.

But, I also agree with your mother! It might be a little unfair to the employer, but think about it. You need a job. Go out there and find one! Starbucks is a happy place to work! It doesn't have to be in the health care field. A few months of working outside of the health care field is not going to make you 'rusty'. It might actually give you more experience with customer service, etc.

Also,, mothers really do know best.

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