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Should I work as a CNA while waiting on nursing school?

by wam1974 wam1974 (New) New

Hi all-

I am just finishing up my CNA class in order to get on the 2 year waiting list for nursing school. I was not planning on working as a CNA or even taking the certification test. My instructors highly discourage this and I am the only one in my class not planning on pusuing CNA while waiting for nursing school. Is this a really bad idea? Will it work against me when it comes time to look for a nursing job?

This is a career change for me, I'm working as a social worker now and was planning on doing so until I finish nursing school as it pays much better than CNA's make. Opinions?

Also, I'm wondering how much nurses have to do CNA type duties?? I'm doing my clinical in a nursing home and do NOT enjoy the CNA stuff at all....is this a bad sign?

Thanks for your feedback!


MtGypsy, ADN

Specializes in Physical Rehabilitation.

I can understand working at position where you can make more money for school, but it is a good idea to get experience doing direct, hands on care. I've been a nurse for 15+ years and alot of my job is working side by side with techs doing the same they do (yes, I do wipe bottoms, change soiled beds, bathe them, get vitals etc.) I have worked on units where there aren't any techs as you do primary nursing. I can't say I love getting poop on my gloves, urine on my shoes..but it's part of the job. The new nurses I've worked with that worked as CNAs seemed to ease into thier new roles easier. They were already familiar with patient care, and had seen a lot of procedures that they could now do. Providing care in a nursing home is different than in a hopital. Have worked both, I don't know if I would want to be CNA in nursing home either, check out working in the hospital instead. You would get more exposure to acute care type patients/procedures.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Hey Wendy,

It sounds like your school is encouraging you to work as a CNA. Personally once we were passed the first semester where we learned the basic CNA stuff like vitals etc. I didn't think the CNAs had much of an advantage over those of us that didn't work in the field. I got a great job right out of school without any experience. For me working as a CNA wasn't an option due to the horrible pay.

Stick with your social work job and keep making as much money as you can for now. I had to become a CNA for NS as well and never worked as one either. I had no problem getting a job without working as a CNA first.

As a RN you will do CNA duties as well. How much depends on your specialty and how staffed your facility is with CNAs. My unit fully staffs CNAs but even though they do the majority of baths, etc. I do more than my share of them along with cleaning up poop, etc. also. It's a great way to access your patient and keep them comfortable.

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