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PCA in cincinnati


Hello everyone!

I am new to this site and i love it!

I am hoping to attend nursing school next fall. I have applied to Christ, Good Sam and Galen's nursing programs.

Before I start nursing school I would like to get some experience in the medical world because I feel a little unprepared. Do you think it would be a good idea to get a job as a PCA before I start school?

I know there are programs that you can take to become and STNA(but they cost like $500). I also heard that some hospitals will train you and actually pay for it before you start working. Does anyone know of which hospitals do this?

I have found that at Christ they will train you and I have applied but I don't know if they would hire me!

Please help!:paw:


Specializes in PICU.


Most hospitals in Cincinnati require you to already be a State Tested Nurse Assistant, and then they hire you and train you to be a PCA. PCA's have a little more responsibility from what I understand.

Now, I have heard that some nursing homes will pay for you to become an STNA, and the only ones I know of are the Carrington Homes The Home at Taylors Point, The Home at Heartstone, etc. The website is http://www.carington.com/

I also know that Cincinnati State offers the training and it is close to 500.00


To be honest, I can't remember the name of the place I took my class, I remember it was a privately owned business, taught by a retired nurse and it only cost me 350.00. It was in NKY. I'll look for it and let you know if I find it.

Good Luck

Thank you for the information! I might end up taking the Nurse Aid classes so that I have a better chance of getting a position... so many things to think about!


Specializes in MedSurg.

At christ hospital where i work, they train you to be a PCA, you don't have to be a STNA. Good luck!

I have applied to Christ to work as a PCA earlier this month, but haven't heard anything yet. I truly hope i hear something soon!! What area do you work at for Christ? Are you an RN?


Specializes in MedSurg.

I was a PCA and HUC (Health Unit Coordinator) in the ER while in nursing school, now i am an RN on the kidney transplant floor. I love it there, you will learn so much!!! Good luck, and if you haven't heard anything soon, call the HR department, let them know you are interested!


YOu may be able to get right in as a PCA without the STNA or other training - just check around (not that those courses/certifications wouldn't be good to have). Also express your plans to go to nsg school - many PCAs are nsg students and seem to be able to get right into those jobs. PCA-ing will give you good insight into the responsibilities of a nurse and allow you to kind of start deciding which types of pts you would like to care for. Good luck~

ShantheRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Hem/Onc. Has 4 years experience.

Just a heads up - Christ says they will hire you without certifications, but they prefer STNAs.

I tried for a few positions there (no health care exp, am a nursing student, great work record) and never got beyond the "thank you for your interest, but..." emails. I'm an STNA and was applying for PCA jobs. Not only that, but it took forever to get a response from them. Nothing like waiting a month+ to get rejected :D

I had much more success within the Health Alliance. I'm working at Drake Center now. Apparently PCA and STNA have different meanings for different hospitals. At Drake, they're the same. At Christ, there's a 40 hour course to become one, and that's on top of the required hours (70? can't remember) to become an STNA.

There's also been some talk of hiring freezes in a few hospitals so keep that in mind. Also, although an STNA course costs $500-700 (including books and materials), if you go to a school you should qualify for financial aid of some sort.

Good luck!


Specializes in Pediatric Intensive Care, Long Term care.

yeah, i agree, most hospitals say they will train you but if you are an STNA that puts you wayyyy above other apllicants. I know that they also look at healthcare experience. I applied to cincinnati for literally like 8 months and they didnt hire me until after I was a STNA and had been working in a nursing home for 3 months. Hospitals literally can get hundreds of applicants...u really need to stand out...resumes help a lot

Thank you all for your responses! It has helped a lot, but also added to my confusion! I am *hoping* to get into a nursing school and start in the fall either starting nursing school or doing pre reqs, depending on the program, but don't know if I should just wait till i have the nursing courses i need under my belt before i can work as a PCA. I am moving out soon and wanted to get a PCA position to 1. get my more knowledge before starting nursing school and 2. get some extra money to help out.

Do you think it is pretty necessary for me to get into a STNA program if i want to become a PCA soon? It seems like everyone is saying it is pretty unlikely to be hired if im not trained!!

If you have a specific hospital in mind, call the recruiters and ask what skills/qualifications are required to get into a PCA job. Ask is there anything you can do to make yourself a more desirable candidate. All but one of our PCAs in our MICU are nursing students (and do not have their STNA) - some have started nsg school clinicals and some have not. We're all going to give you varying opinions based on what we've seen or experienced at our various institutiions. The best thing would be to call some places and get the facts - ask them directly if being an STNA is required. If they say yes - go for it!! If they say no and you'd rather not invest the time and money, then apply to those places and forget about the STNA. Our PCAs train each other - a new one works directly with our experienced PCAs for about 2-3 wks to get the hang of the unit and various tasks. Then their off on their own. Our PCAs stock supplies, help nurses with turns, baths, road trips, various needs, do blood sugars, and any other tasks our manager gives (like cleaning the nurses station or hanging up signs or something). When they have down time they are given permission to study for nsg school. They all like it and get to see alot of interesting stuff in our unit. Good luck to you~

Sarah Bellum

Specializes in progressive care telemetry.

Children's will hire you only if you have completed the STNA training and passed the test. The Health Alliance will pay for you to take the STNA training.

Good luck! It's a great experience to have under your belt before you start nursing school!

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