Working as a CNA during pre-requisites

  1. Hi everyone, I am 18 years old and I'm currently finishing up A and P I and I'm taking Pharm in the summer, then microbiology and A and P II in the Fall. I am ending A and P I with an A.
    I wasn't planning on working at all during Nursing school, but after doing some research I can't decide whether I should or not. I would like the experience but I'm not sure if it is worth the added stress. (finanically I do not need to work during nursing school due to support)
    I found a job that would be perfect for me, the neuro unit at a children's hospital. It is 24 hours a week every week. I'm not sure if this would be too much?
    My pharm class is online and 11 weeks so I'm not sure what to expect.
    Micro and A and P II are both in fall and I've heard they are very tough heavy load classes.
    Has anyone worked as a CNA during these classes? If so, any tips or opinions?
    Thank you
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    About Nicoleashley

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 8
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    6 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Not knowing YOU it is hard to say.

    Some people work full-time during prerequisites and nursing school and do well.

    Others do not work at all and flunk out.

    CNA work is useful and a good foot in the door, but if it impacts your studies negatively, you might have to give it up.

    That said, doing hard things makes us better, more resilient and happier. Only you can decide how hard is too hard.
  4. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I just got a job after finishing my first semester. Around here they hire you as a "nurse extern" when you're in school. It's basically a nurse aid position, but they are a lot more forgiving with your schedule. The flexibility is why I chose to go this route - in case I got too overwhelmed.

    I took two other classes with Micro and A&P II, and I found the load doable. But, as meanmaryjean pointed out, it's different for everyone.

    Good luck.
  5. by   Nicoleashley
    Thank you!
    I think I will most likely go a similar route, especially if they will be more understanding about my scheule. Thank you for the tip!
  6. by   Nicoleashley
    Yeah I have been told that a few times. I might just have to try it out and see if it works for me. Thank you for the tip!
  7. by   RachealAnne
    Well it all depends on what you can handle, my first and second semester I was working full time as a CNA and taking 4 classes. My third and fourth semester up to now I am taking 2-4 classes and working part time (just my pre-reqs). I had to re-take 2 classes. Ideally though if you could, no working through the nursing school portion would be beneficial or at least PRN. I do know of people who work full time during nursing school, some of my friends do/did and it is quite stressful. You will figure out what works best for you.
  8. by   Silver_Rik
    I went from 1. Working full time in a non healthcare job first semester and a half of prereqs (I took them at night and online so they didn't even know what I was doing until I put in my notice) 2. Working full time plus available overtime at 2 CNA type jobs (LTC and psych) to finish my prereqs and summer before starting nursing school. 3. Dropped to 24 hours/week average in first semester (Fundamentals). 4. Only working 12 hours/week in 2nd semester (Med Surge and Maternity.) I could handle more, and I'll load up on hours at work over the summer, but I want time with my wife and kids and a life outside school as well as more study time. I'm not sure what I'll do second year. I might actually try going back to 24 hours until I get into practicum. I'm lucky that my wife has a great career in IT so we can afford to go a few years with me focused on school instead of income.

    All of that aside, experience as a CNA/SRNA has been helpful in nursing school, though the advantage is pretty much only in the first semester. The students who have patient care experience and definitely more comfortable in first semester clinical. We also already know the basics of safety and infection control (because we've had to gown and mask for a c-diff patient), etc. In 2nd semester I don't think It's made that much difference; though I hope my experience in psych will be useful when we do Mental Health next year. The other (probably bigger) benefit to working as a CNA through school is that many facilities seem to give preference (maybe not officially, but de facto) to their own CNA's/Techs who become RNs

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