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To CNA or not to CNA?

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by acollin6 acollin6 (Member)

1,184 Visitors; 25 Posts

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i am hoping for some advice, please:

i'm currently a pre-nursing student for an adn program. i have completed all of my pre-reqs other than micro, which i'm taking this summer. once this class is completed, i will just be waiting to get into the program. however, i unfortunatley do not have the means to not work during my nursing school program. so i will have to leave my current job. i've been tossing around the idea, (for a while) of taking a course to become a cna. i want to do it because i figure it will be good experince and can hopefully find a job that i can do during school. (i have maybe a year before i can start my nursing program). i've talked to several people who are mixed in their idea of taking a cna course. some say to go for it, and others say to not watse my time.

so, i wanted to ask what you think? is becoming a cna worth it?

thanks!:)

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jelly221,RN has 3 years experience and specializes in Neurosciences, cardiac, critical care.

9,414 Visitors; 306 Posts

YES a million times over. Not only will it expose you to a multitude of different patients and improve your level of ease at the bedside, it'll get your foot in the door for an RN job once you graduate. I'm graduating in 3 weeks, and I'm hoping that my Nurse Tech (student nurse worker) position will help me out, even if it's not at the same hospital, just to show that I've had hospital experience. The people who graduated from my school last semester who found jobs most easily and quickly were already working in hospitals. DO IT! =D

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NurseVoldemort has 6 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in ED.

3,511 Visitors; 85 Posts

I really think that a new nurse with experiance as a CNA has a big advantage over someone with no medical work history. CNA's should have great bedside manner, understand basic nursing care, understand pratien rights and privacy laws and know when something "isn't right" All these are things that a nurse needs too! I think it is definatly worth it! I did it for a year while finishing pre-reqs, I started my 1st job with a nurse that did not work as a CNA, and she was doing total care (meaning she had no cna to help her) and she was asking people how to do a bed bath!!! OMG!!! Don't be her please!

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4,042 Visitors; 116 Posts

I think its worth it, definitely. Like the posters before me said, working as a CNA would give you an advantage in so many areas... you will learn a lot. I am not yet in nursing but have considered getting a CNA certificate because of all the health care work experience I would get, not to mention all the invaluable things I would learn before getting into nursing school. However, so many people advised me against this! They believed it wasn't worth the money because I could easily get a same-paying job with duties somewhat similar to that of a CNA like a unit attendant/porter (apparently all you need is first aid/CPR). I decided against getting the certificate for now because I realized that I get very stressed out from doing schoolwork AND working part-time... if I were a full-time nursing student AND working even casually as a CNA, I don't think I could handle it. Nevertheless, you know better than anyone else what you can handle, so if you decide to go for it, it should be nothing but positive for you!

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westieluv has 26 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice.

19,526 Visitors; 948 Posts

I was talking to a nurse at work recently who graduated last June. She said that at the end of her schooling, just before graduation, her entire class was gathered in an auditorium setting and one of the instructors asked them which of them had secured jobs already for when they graduate and roughly half of them raised their hands. She then asked them which of them had worked as CNAs while in school. Guess what? Yep, same group who had jobs secured.

In this economy and competitive job market, I would never even consider NOT being a CNA before graduating from nursing school.

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MrChicagoRN has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

28,337 Visitors; 2,589 Posts

In this economy and competitive job market, I would never even consider NOT being a CNA before graduating from nursing school.

I agree completely.

While I don't think that being a CNA/PCT creates a better nurse over the long run, the immediate competitive advantage is undeniable. Many of the new grads we hired were NA's on our unit first, They already had their foot in the door, and were known entities.

BTW, take a look at your local hospitals. Some will train their own PCT, so you wouldn't need to pay to get the training first

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