CNA vs Serving

  1. I know this is a topic that has been touched upon a couple times but I feel that the original posters came from different types of service than me. I am a server at a local barbecue restaurant that generates a LOT of business. Im not a buffet server. I don't just fetch drinks and we are severely understaffed so I tend to step out of my job description a lot just to get things done. Because of how understaffed we are I have been pressured a few times to work on days that are outside of my availability due to school. I pre applied to the nursing program I want to get into (might kick me in the butt but the sooner the better I tend to feel) and will find out within the next two weeks whether or not I made it in.
    My question is from the experience of others who have been in this situation. What do you feel would be a better opportunity for a nursing student? There are quite a few local nursing homes that offer in house CNA training and upon completion of your clinical hours they pay for your licensure exam. These facilities are very understaffed as well so they are willing to pay 11 dollars an hour which is a few dollars higher than I have expected from hospitals in the area (small town low income/ AKA not California or Alaska). Currently at this restaurant I make $150 dollars a shift minimum, but I fear that once I enter nursing school I will be faced with choosing a decent paying job over my education. I have the option to move back home if I choose the nursing home but I know that isn't a cake walk either.
    I've seen some comparisons between the jobs but I understand they are not the same. If anyone could tell me whether or not you've been in my shoes and what choice you made, and if so whether or not it was a good idea? And hey even if not I will take as much advice as I can get. Thanks!
    Last edit by Flylik3abr1 on May 26
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    About Flylik3abr1

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 4; Likes: 1
    from AL , US

    5 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    In many cases, it's better to stick with what you know, especially if you're making more money and your schedule is flexible. The exception would be if you're in a tight market or have a highly desired specialty you'd like to break into after graduation. In those cases, networking and getting a foot in the door could be very valuable. They're still not guarantees, though.
  4. by   Kooky Korky
    I don't see how continuing to work at the BBQ place is going to further your Nursing education/career.

    Maybe you could work BBQ once or twice per month only.

    You probably should not count on working a whole lot while in school anyway. Would moving back home help you financially enough to be able to mainly focus on school?

    I think you meant i.e. (abbreviation for "that is"), not AKA (also known as, like when you are saying someone's name is John and he's AKA Jack).

    Here's wishing you all the best.
    Last edit by Kooky Korky on Jun 5
  5. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from Flylik3abr1
    I don't just fetch drinks and we are severely understaffed so I tend to step out of my job description a lot just to get things done. Because of how understaffed we are I have been pressured a few times to work on days that are outside of my availability due to school.
    Quote from Flylik3abr1
    There are quite a few local nursing homes that offer in house CNA training and upon completion of your clinical hours they pay for your licensure exam. These facilities are very understaffed as well so they are willing to pay 11 dollars an hour which is a few dollars higher than I have expected from hospitals in the area (small town low income/ AKA not California or Alaska).
    Both places are understaffed and both will be begging you to work more than you are scheduled. Go with the one that pays you the most. CNA experience is slightly helpful but not the "must have" for experience in nursing school. The most important factor is to finish nursing school with the least amount of debt.
  6. by   Tacomaboy3
    I'd stick with the BBQ place - you already know it and it pays you the most. CNA experience has been beneficial to me during nursing school because I was already familiar with the hospital setting and confident in interacting with patients and their families. I also think it played a role in helping me land the residency spot I wanted. However, I don't think CNA experience is necessary for either of those.
  7. by   Flylik3abr1
    Thanks for the feedback. My biggest concern was maintaining some source of income so I wouldn't fall into any negative financial situations but I also have heard experience in healthcare helps with clinicals and possibly finding positions later on. I got accepted into the nursing program so my first semester starts in August and on top of first semester nursing I also am going to wrap up my last pre req which is Microbiology as a hybrid course. Realistically after looking at the schedule I am probably going to need to just suck it up and pull out some loans to make it through until I find a PRN position somewhere.

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