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Why Is It So Hard to get a CNA job?? HELP!

by 2bNurseGirly93 2bNurseGirly93 (New) New

I am a pre nursing student for City Colleges of Chicago and they have now made it where new applicants for the nursing program have to have their CNA license as one of the requirements for the nursing program. Ok so I have done that and its been two months! After applying since I passed the exam, I haven't had any luck getting in anywhere and I really want to get the experience under my belt. However if you don't have experience most likely you won't get the job. Its like a lose lose situation......how do they expect you to get experience when they wont give any newbies a chance?! Any tips??

I would love to land a hospital position but nursing homes (who have good reviews) are definitely an option as well

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Welcome to AN!

Many areas are seeing tight job markets these days, in pretty much every job field there is. Apply anywhere and everywhere. Many places are running with the bare minimum (or less) staff as a cost savings measure. Polish your resume- get an objective person to review it and provide input. Practice interview questions with someone you trust to give honest feedback. Expand your job search area- it may mean a longer commute, but perhaps adding some time would get you into an area where more jobs are available.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I'm somewhat surprised you are having such a hard time finding an CNA position where I live it is pretty easy to come by one so long as you are willing to look outside hospitals for that first job. It may be the fact that only a few nursing programs here require CNA training, and most don't require passing the exam or having actual work experience.

Do you have any work experience or volunteer experience at all? Make sure you are leveraging skills you've gained elsewhere in your resume and in interviews. If you don't have work or volunteer experience it is going to make it more difficult but leverage what you can from your time in school - talk about time management, leadership, or other skills you used during school and/or extra curricular activities and how those skills will help you as a CNA.

Make sure search very broad both in terms of facility type- everything from assisted living facilities, skilled nursing homes, community clinics, rehab clinics, and in terms of geography - what is the absolute furthest you are able to commute from home? Apply to every open position with in that range that you would be willing to take.

Also network! Talk to friends, talk to family, talk to instructors, talk to random people you meet - let them know you are looking for a CNA job! 2 of the last 3 jobs I've worked I got only because I knew some one who helped me get in the door to make it to the interview stage. Keep in touch with your CNA training program and with the Nursing school where you are now, these are hot spots for employers who need a job filled to inquire about prospective applicants - let who ever handles these inquiries know that you are looking for work and that they can give your contact information to employers.

mindofmidwifery, ADN

Specializes in ICU Stepdown.

What type of jobs are you looking for? It's generally very easy to get a LTC position or even home health.


Specializes in ER/Tele, Med-Surg, Faculty, Urgent Care. Has 39 years experience.

I am a pre nursing student for City Colleges

You need to change your username since you are not a nurse, yet. Please refer to Terms of Service, you can not use any title (nurse, CNA, RN, LPN, NP, MD etc) you have not yet earned as part of username.


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

It can definitely be hard to obtain that first CNA job in many areas. I applied for 2.5 months to hospitals and nice long term care facilities. No luck. I gave in and applied at the not so good long term care facilities and got a call back withing 24 hours. Was hired within 15 minutes of the interview. Obviously that is a red flag that the facility will take any warm body with certification who can pass the background check. The facility wasn't the worst place ever but was still pretty bad. However, after 6 months I started applying to better places. I went through a lengthy interview/hiring process for a very nice facility and started working there almost a month ago. It is like night and day and this long term care facility is truly a fantastic place for its residents and employees alike.

Basically what I'm getting at is that if you don't have a connection into a hospital or nicer LTC facility, then you may need to take a job at a less desirable place to get some experience under your belt. After 6 months to a year, with some good references you should be able to find a job at a much better place.

Symphony of Crestwood in Crestwood, IL is hiring. And they do hire newly certified CNA's.