Published Feb 10, 2005
Okay, please dont take my head off......but I hear/see so many students/new nurses regret the career path for whatever the reason maybe. My question is......Should all future nurses be required by law to have at least one year as a CNA before being accepted into nursing school? I ask this b/c new nurses are taught, it seems, so little about that level of nursing. A CNA being the most basic of the nursing staff, just does not seem correct if those who will rule over them does not have it.
As well as, the career path can be examined more closely by rolling up the sleeves and jumping in with body, mind and soul. Finding out if this is the place for you before you spend $$$$, time and even taking the seat in nursing school from someone who really knows this is for them.
Thank you for reading this and for your gentle response's. :)
No I don't think it should be required that all prospective nursing students work as CNA before going to nursing school. One reason being it may not be financially plausible for them at the time (it as a rule does not pay much). I personally did the CNA>>>LVN>>>>RN route and that is what worked best for me. and I did it for the reasons you stated above...I wanted to make sure I could hack the basic things in nursing before going further.
I don't think it would be a bad idea however to make a CNA course mandatory in the program or maybe make it a prereq (not require certification but just make the class with clinicals mandatory) I think that nursing students need the exposure, but requiring them to work a year as a CNA is just not plausible to many people.
Well, I didnt think of it like that but it's not enough to turn me from the idea. I too, will have to do it this way but because I want to. I want to have as much knowledge as possible before I take care of anyone's loved one.
I would have to agree with JvanRN. I think the exposure is good. You really do learn a lot in CNA class like you said the basics. I thinks it's good tohave the exposure but don't think I should be required that you work a yr. first; just make it a pre- req to all higher nursing education.
I agree with JVanRN. It's just not financially feasible for some people, but a course in the work in nursing school wouldn't hurt anything.
I worked as a CNA in a hospital before I went to nursing school, and while I was in school I worked part time at the same hospital I was training in.
I had to do it to help out financially. And it taught me alot. I will never regret those days and will always treasure the experience.
While I don't think it's practical due to reasons mentioned above, to REQUIRE BY LAW......... I do see where it would HIGHLY benefit someone to go about it in the way you suggested. I say this because I went from being a loan assistant in a bank for 12 years, straight to RN school. I am doing fine on tests and classroom content - where I struggle is in the clinical situation. I am doing fine - according to my instructors, but they don't know the turmoil that goes on in my head. I not only have to jump right in and try to apply my RN content we are learning - I am having to learn how to do all the basic stuff that comes so naturally to those who are already CNA's. I mean I am not instantly comfortable giving someone a bed bath, or sometimes not sure how do go about it (like figuring out if I should do it while they are still in bed, or attempt it while they are sitting in a chair) I know that sounds stupid, but if I had worked as a CNA, I would have ALL these things already in my knowledge bank, and could focus on my new stuff. Does this make sense?
I have also seen several of my fellow students drop because they decided they really didn't like nursing. I'm thinking of how long it took me to finish the pre-req's and I couldn't imagine giving up now. I think if they had been a CNA, then they would have already known what it is all about. (for the most part) Just from working with RN's on a daily basis.
I have considered now getting a prn job as a CNA in my local hospital - just for that added experience of patient care. To cut out some of my akwardness, but hesistate because I am married, have 3 little boys, communte a total of 3 hours for school/clinicals (M,W,F). Not including all the late late nights of studying I do. I feel like it would hurt my grades because I would study that much less. I just don't want to take anymore time away from my family. So I'm a little torn on the issue. Not to mention this is the first time since I was 16 that I do not have a job. It's actually nice for a break. We are struggling financially, but so far have been able to keep our nose above water, so I'm holding out.
I will also say that it really wasn't possible for me to work as a CNA because I left a full time - pretty good paying job - to come to school. I could not have left my good paying job to a lesser paying job for a year and then go to school. Just wasn't feasible. So I realize it is not practical to require people to do that. But I would say if it is possible in your personal situation, I would highly recommend it.
I also think once you become an RN, you would be much more appreciate of what the CNA does if you have been there, done that. That's just my opinion of course.
Okay, please dont take my head off......but I hear/see so many students/new nurses regret the career path for whatever the reason maybe. My question is......Should all future nurses be required by law to have at least one year as a CNA before being accepted into nursing school? I ask this b/c new nurses are taught, it seems, so little about that level of nursing. A CNA being the most basic of the nursing staff, just does not seem correct if those who will rule over them does not have it.As well as, the career path can be examined more closely by rolling up the sleeves and jumping in with body, mind and soul. Finding out if this is the place for you before you spend $$$$, time and even taking the seat in nursing school from someone who really knows this is for them.Thank you for reading this and for your gentle response's. :)
The short answer is "no."
First, most things should not be mandated by law. This is among them. There are things that are wise and prudent and noble, but requiring them by law is not good.
Secondly, nurses who regret their career choice (for whatever reason) should modify their career, or leave it. Many people enter careers (or whatever stripe) and find they don't like it. That's a risk of life.
Jim Huffman, RN
Tweety, BSN, RN
No. My ADN program taught us the basics in our first quarter, how to give a bed bath, make an occupied bed (remember to fold the wash cloth just so...and don't forget those corners when you tuck those sheets in).
Everything we need to know about being a nurse, we'll learn in school, and beyond.
I will say when I was in school I became a CNA my last quarter and it really helped me a lot. That first quarter I was the only one in my first clinical group that wasn't a CNA or an LPN. But I learned from scratch and tried not to judge myself on their skills they came in with.
I see your point though. Becoming a nurse has become harder and harder over the years, why make it hard. Back in a day we went straight from high school to nursing school.
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
I don't think it's a bad idea to take the course and pass the test, especially since ther eare some programs that just assume the students have the basic care skills. I don't feel, however, that it should be required, because there's some students that do just fine without it.
I'm a second semester BSN student after working in psych in the Air Force for 8 years. The college that I attend is very 'caring' oriented and somewhat holistic. The patient's personal care is a very high priority. In my first semester, the second week of school, we learned a.m. care and things that the CNA usually takes care of. Not only did we learn these skills, but we practiced them on a lab partner from start to finish. I was fed, teeth brushed, bed bath, gown changed, bed changed, TED hose, etc. Then, the first half of the semester was basically all about taking care of the patient's personal needs and learning health assessment. Then as we started giving meds, we backed off on the CNA type things, but we still did what we had time to do and helped the CNAs with other patients.
I don't think there should be a requirement, but the local community college does require many hours of volunteer work in some type of medical aspect before the person is accepted into the ADN program.
It took me 3 years to finish all the BSN prerequisites and will be another 2 years to finish my BSN. Another semester, plus working as a CNA with low pay just wouldn't add anything to my skills. I value the work that CNAs do and it's good to know how to do everything, but that's not my career focus.
As a 31 y/o single mom, it doesn't pay for me to work as a CNA for $10 an hour and have to wait 6 months or a year or whatever to start my BSN program. I will start working this summer as a nurse apprentice for around $14 per hour and will be doing CNA and RN tasks. That is more worth my time at this point.
Dorito, ASN, RN
They polled us about this subject at the end of my school year in the ADN program. I said "yes" but I was an LPN at the time. Their point was that they spend so much valuable time teaching basic skills (bed baths, VS, etc) that could be better spent on Nursing issues or procedures. Much of the nursing education was crammed into a short time span. Looking back, I wish I'd been a CNA before becoming an LPN. Becoming an RN after 15 years as an LPN was much easier than the learnng process as a new LPN. Good luck
We only spent 1 skills lab on this stuff (2 hours) but it was worth it. We also have a set of CDs that go with our textbook and it has actual patients and nurses doing different skills. They are wonderful. That way we can watch the videos as many times as needed before we go into skills lab. It really helps to have the headstart.
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