To Work or Not???


I know there have been other posts on this, but I was hoping to get some advice to the dilemna I'm having. I have 2 more semesters of pre-reqs before I can potentially start a BSN program. (I can apply in December for a hopeful summer admittance). I've already been taking pre-reqs for the last two years part-time. I am fortunate that I'm in a situation where I won't have to work for the duration of my school. But I've been playing with the idea of taking a CNA class and working part-time through school. I was thinking it would help build my confidence around patients and increase my chances of getting in the program. And a little extra money in my pocket wouldn't be a bad thing. ;-) The downside is that it would delay me taking some pre-reqs so I would be starting the nursing program a little later than I anticipated. SO...I guess my question is, based on your experience-would it be worth it to do the CNA thing first, or take advantage of not having to work and just focus on doing well in my classes, and still having a little time left over for family, etc? Thanks for any input you may have!

--Oh, just wanted to add that I am at least familiar with the healthcare system. I've worked in the medical environment for 12 years-but on an administrative level and not clinical.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Back in the days when employers struggled to find nurses to fill their open positions, I would have said, "You don't need to work. Focus on school now and worry about jobs later."

However ... that situation has reversed and there are now dozens of RN's applying for each vacant position. Those who have clinical experience are at a great advantage.

Who knows what the future will bring?

I recommend doing the CNA thing and getting at least a little experience. It doesn't have to be a lot -- and you might work very few hours while in school. But I suggest getting the credential, getting a little experience (that will help you in nursing school), and keeping the part-time job option open as you go through your nursing program.

You can decide how much time to work as you go -- and you can see how the job market evolves in your area.


20 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I am in the 3rd semester of an ADN program. I am working as an NA (same as CNA, but not certified) for 12 hours on Saturdays. It does seem like it's helping me to become more comfortable with patient care. I did not have any medical experience before nursing school. When I started my clinicals in 1st semester, I remember being absolutely terrified about going into a patient's room to introduce myself. Now I am pretty confident about going in to do whatever needs to be done, although sometimes I feel like I am all thumbs. :)