Nursing Student as CNA

Students CNA/MA


I am a NS with the summer "off". As part of our schooling we achieve our CNA license first thing. I started in January and will graduate with an LPN Jan. 2010. So this summer I'm working as a CNA and start today. I am going to keep my weekend hours when school starts in the fall. I think the experience is essential especially in LTC. Since in my state LPN's are 'in charge' of CNA'a I think it's a good idea to learn what a CNA's day to day life is really like. I did two rounds of clinicals already, one in LTC and one in hospital med surg so I'm pretty aware but also very scared about the work load, (I am 50, in decent but not great shape). Also, I love this job and don't want the CNA's thinking badly of me because I'm in NS. I am a very open and respectful person by nature.

What can I expect? Any tips from the seasoned CNA's? Any should's or should nots? Give me your 2 cents please!:twocents::twocents::twocents::typing:typing


23 Posts

Specializes in Hospice & Geriatrics.

I am in NS (RN) I currently took a summer job as a CNA in LTC facility I have been a CNA for 15 yrs, I am working with another girl who is in the LPN program, and just started working as a CNA she is always making reference to being an LPN student and says things like you shouldn't do this or you should do things this way, and I constantly hear the others complain about how she thinks she is better than them. Most of the ppl I work with aren't even aware that I am a nursing student.

My advice would be: Learn as much as you can about being a CNA I think it should be manditory to be a CNA before you become a nurse. I think it would make alot more nurses understand the hard work CNA's do everyday! Our school does not require us to be CNA's first so KUDO's to your school Remember you are there to be a CNA not a nursing student others don't like to feel like they are being judged.

There really isn't one piece of advise to give about being a CNA don't be scared about the workload once you get there and get your groove it will all be like second nature!

CNA work in a LTC facilty is hard you will be overwhelmed at first. You will have GREAT days and days you wish you would have just called in. Just keep in mind this is a hard job, and one day you may be in the situation and be in the LTC facility so treat each of those ppl as if it were you in that bed. Most didn't ask to be there and you are in their home so be respectful, be kind, and you will be one of those CNA's that ppl are talking about but in a good way!!


447 Posts

Specializes in Alzheimers and geriatric patients.

At the facility I work at EVERYONE is either in nursing school or trying to get in. I've never know anyone to get mad at the nursing students unless the students were acting like know-it-alls. And I've only seen one girl do that (the funny part was, she had only been accepted, and wouldn't start her program for months and was still trying to be a the NURSES!!!) Generally, just don't rub it in anyones face (although I'm sure some people will want to ask qustions).

As far as doing well, just try your best, know that you're going to be slow for the first few weeks, and give yourself time to get a routine. Don't beat yourself up if in 2 weeks you're still struggling. Being a CNA is hard work, with a million little things to learn. It takes a while to get used to.

I'm sure you'll do fine. Let us know how your first day went! Good Luck!


411 Posts

Do the best that you can when you start working as a CNA- don't do something you know you're not able to do. Ask for help when you need it. I work with CNA's who are nursing students. Some are great to work with while others are PITA know-it-alls. I just got accepted into nursing school, but I don't talk about it that much. Some of the people I work with already know I've been accepted, they think I'm still taking pre-reqs, or they just don't care. Good luck!

Specializes in Pediatrics, Geriatrics, LTC.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses, especially where you said to "not be overwhelmed" LOL...Overwhelming IS the word. Even though I had done LTC in clinicals, I only had 2 pts! Luckily this nursing home has you work a hall in pairs and for the first week you are orienting with an experienced CNA.

I won't tell people anything they are doing wrong and of course there's a lot of shortcuts and things wrong like at every job. The CNAs dont raise the beds to wroking height to save time is probably my biggest pet peeve, they are killing their backs! And for what to rush and get to the time when they put the residents to bed so they can be done! I'd rather do it slower and 'right', but that will come when I'm on my own. They were very helpful in pointing out habits some of the residents have, like asking for water every minute or falling asleep while eating.

Two of the CNAs just graduated from LPN class so there was lots of sharing. It seems like nice people and thats most of the battle.

It was very very very hard though, I was soaked with sweat for hours. I will get used to it? I hope.

The other issue I have is feeling sorry for the residents, some of them are just so pityful and the CNAs dont seem to have time or inclination for much compassion. Do you get hardened after awhile? Or is that just the way some people are? All in all I'm glad I'm doing this. As long as I don't get mandated!!

Thanks again...


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