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RN still working as CNA at dream job :(..

jmurnbsn jmurnbsn (New) New

Hi all,

I am new to this so bare with me...need a little advice on what to do if you were in my shoes. I graduated in Dec. 09 and passed my boards in March 2010. I am currently still working as a CNA in my dream job which is the NICU. I have been waiting all this time in hopes that i will get an RN position as soon as something opens up but nothing yet :/ I am feeling very discouraged. I have almost three years in seniority, which is what they hire by for internal employees, and do not want to lose that. I love working in the NICU!! I feel bad because i really want to stay there but then again I also feel like I am losing all my knowledge. I have a 2yr son and my boyfriend is still in school graduating in May 2011 so I can do much relocating as of yet. Its been 7months!!! since I've become a nurse and i am getting anxiety just thinking about the fact that I work as a CNA. I have put in for other positions in the hospital but did not get it due to someone with more seniority getting it. A secretary at my job went throught the same thing, she waited 9months for a job and she's finally working in the NICU as an RN. I love working with kids and and I am not a big fan of working on Med-surg floors..please help!!! what would you do if you were in my shoes??


Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

I guess it's really up to you. I personally wouldn't wait 9 months to get a job...even if it's my dream job. I have bills to pay and you have a son to feed....so I assume that what you make now as a pca is good enough to do that. Still apply for jobs at other hospitals...there are places that will train new nurses to work in nicu...you just have to look around. Good luck.

A couple things that might help people give better advice: You mentioned the secretary got on after about 9 months. Is this time frame accurate for what you can expect too?

If you transferred to another RN position in the hospital, would you retain your seniority for the NICU when a position becomes available?

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

I think I'd continue to hold out - if you can afford to, salary-wise.

Now if there have been openings in the NICU and you either lost out or were not considered, then I think the writing's on the wall. But you haven't said that that's the case.

Everyone seems to be clinging onto their present positions right now. Not just nurses, but everyone affected by the economy. There just doesn't seem to be as many people changing positions. Hang in there unless you just can't afford it any longer.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

If you can afford to do so, hang in there a bit longer and see if something opens up. Maybe look for a PRN spot in the hospital (or at another facility) to help you gain some experience while you're waiting. It took a friend of mine more than a year of having to be an LPN until an RN spot could open up. She had 12 years' seniority there and didn't want to give that up either if she could help it. Best of luck!

@ one2gofst--the time frame is unknown because at the time there was a hiring freeze but they still posted jobs and that was back in Jan. so it really depends..they are short on nurses especially at night but the hospital has been going through budget issues so i really don't know. I asked my manager and she dosen't even know herself. Yes I do keep my seniority if I get another RN position in the hospital there just havent been any especially for new nurses...

Luckily I still can afford to stay where I am. They pay really good especially for the low amount of work I do...I mainly just feed, change, and hold babies most nights :) its awesome. My only issue is that I feel like I went through all the tough times at school for no reason. I want to put my skills to use and finally be able to say that I am a nurse and that I am working as one. I dont feel successful at all and often times I feel discouraged and even doubt if i really want to be a nurse. I have my days of frustration and discouragment and its just one of those days:(


Has 4 years experience.

This is how I see it. Dreams don't pay the bills. CNA experience don't count towards nursing experience. If for some reason you don't get to work at that facility then you are going have to explain why you haven't worked as a nurse since passing your boards.

PediLove2147, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Cardiology. Has 7 years experience.

Could you get a RN position at another facility and stay PRN at the NICU? Then you would be working as a RN but you would still maintain your seniority. Also, you would still get to work with babies once in a while.


Specializes in Med/Surg.

Are they taking advantage of having an RN work as a CNA with exceptional skills and knowledge.....at minimal cost??? Go be a nurse and keep your skills. You can get back to the babies later...or work part time somewhere else as an RN and keep the CNA job part time too......

I was wondering, are you not concerned of the liability issue here? You are doing a CNA job but technically have a license as an RN.

Money-wise, I guess you are fine because you can wait and it's not an issue to you. So if you want to wait it will all be up to you.


Specializes in Cardiac.

Could you get into Peds instead? Then when you try for NICU, you'd have some experience.