work as CNA/PCT while in accelerated nursing program?

  1. Hello everyone,
    I live in Brooklyn, nyc and This year I plan to apply to three nyc accelerated BSN nursing programs: SUNY downstate (15months), Hunter (18months), and Stonybrook (1 year). I have completed all my pre reqs last year, have a solid gpa, and plenty of volunteer work/ clinical research.
    I am sure I have a good shot at the programs and although that should be my primary concern as of right now, I fear not immediately having a job or the job I want as a nurse upon finishing the program and successfully passing the NCLEX examination.
    Is it feasible to work as a CNA/PCT while in an accelerated program? Typically many hospitals would cater to graduates who have work experience or nurses who have 1 year of working experience. For those who are in the two year nursing programs, during their summer vacations they are involved in an externship/internship which promotes exposure to the field and good amount of experience..something these employers are looking for. In the accelerated program, these programs do not have an extended break, so these externships/internships are definitely not possible for the duration of the program. In addition the accelerated programs range from 12-18months, meaning the material is condensed and you are expected to keep up with the pace and demands of the curriculum. I would think that working full time or even part-time may take away time from effective hours of study. By no means am I aiming for perfection in all my subjects, but I want to do very well and I believe going into the program with as much focus as possible and less stress (from jobs for instance) is critical to success in terms of learning and application.
    It is still early for me to apply to the programs I previously mentioned. Most of these programs will open the application cycle in the fall of this year. Is it possible to work as as CNA/PCT right now and then stop for the meanwhile when I get into a program? or.. should I work as a CNA/PCT right now full time fur the duration of this year and early spring next year then minimize my work hours as a CNA to once or twice a week while in the program taking classes?
    If working is not an option, what are ways to make me stand out as an applicant as a new grad passing the nclex in nyc? While in the program, Should I just volunteer 4-5 hours a week? Possibly work/volunteer under the supervision of an RN? maybe work as Unit clerk?

    I apologize for all the questions. Advice and humble honest opinions would be greatly appreciated from anyone currently in accelerated nursing programs, fresh graduates or anyone with experience in hiring of nurses or just experience in general as a practicing nurse. Also, any tips on networking while in the program or general knowledge about networking as a student nurse/ working BSN.

    If anyone has any questions about me, my pre-reqs, advice about how I manged my classes or anything else I will kindly answer them and give input.

    Thank you,
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    About Vincent_

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 47; Likes: 17
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  3. by   bebbercorn
    About half of my accelerated class worked as a CNA in the hospital we did clinicals in and all of them got hired in that hospital. It is a good way to get the flow of the floor, you learn more and it really would have helped me to have had extra experience in patient positioning and learning all of the equipment. I can also tell you from personal experience that the greater NYC area is dead competitive and if you can get it now, get in! It is really hard to work while in the accelerated program but it can be done, just be prepared to shut off your social life. Good luck to you! Would love to hear where you start!
  4. by   thecareerchanger
    Do not know if its possible but this is something that I plan to do once my prerequsites are a couple of years. NYC is though and I think we need all the amunition we can get!