Hey everyone this is my first post on allnurses! So I have just finished my pre requisites for nursing and am working to get my name on the waiting list at my local community college. The waiting list however is 18-24 months long so I was interested in becoming a CNA in the meantime.
I found a gig (and it's a state job with state benefits and all) and they will pay me for my training and state certification test. The catch is I would have to work for them full time for 2 years, which will likely overlap with my ADN program. This would mean I would go to school full time, work an 8 hour shift on Friday and a 16 hour shift on both Saturday and Sunday. Is this a good idea for me to do? I know nursing school is a lot of work so committing to something like this makes me nervous but at the same time I think it would be a great opportunity for me. Any advice is appreciated!!
Working full time for the time being is a great idea; particularly if it's in the healthcare field so you get some exposure. The only problem I see in the horizon is if you are still under the 2-year contract when your clinical rotations start. You would need an employer who is willing and able to adjust your work schedule according to your school needs because it is not going to happen all the way around. Other than that, keeping a full time job as you progress in the program will be strenuous as your nursing school demands increase.
Most government jobs require you to pay them back any tuition they paid out to you/institution if you leave prior to the allotted time frame.
If you can afford it, I'd pay cash for it. You can claim it on your taxes this way also, can't if employer pays it.
Also consider nursing schools have to take the clinical placements the hospitals offer them. Sometimes that can or will conflict with your work schedule. My clinical placement is technically supposed to be on a Sat/Sun, it's on a weekday instead because that was what my school could get.
Something to think about.
Working as a CNA will give you all sorts of help towards your nursing career. You get a very basic understanding of nursing and learn how to communicate with patients and their families.
Would this prospective job have vacation time? At my school, clinicals are scheduled during the week with the exception of our travel clinicals. However, these are planned far in advance and what people have done in the past is they'll work, accumulate vacation time, and then request vacation days on clinical days weeks or months in advance.
When in doubt pay for it out of pocket if that's an option. Many nursing homes will reimburse your CNA training costs if it's your first CNA job and you stay with them for a year. That's what my first job at a nursing home did. Nursing homes are rough, though. I worked in one for two years before getting my current job at the hospital. It's grunt work, but it has definitely made me a better CNA!
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