Career or stepping stone

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of QuietRiot QuietRiot 2 years ago.

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    I know some CNAs that are CNAs just while they finish up their nursing degree and then will move on. I know some CNAs that have made a career out of being a CNA. My nursing program gave us our CNA license after the first quarter. Do you think it is a good system which allows some hands on care for students on to other things, or do you think CNAs should be a separate job on a different track so that only those that want to be CNAs get to be CNAs and facilities don’t have the every three quarter turn over when their CNAs become LPNs?

    Profile photo of scrubdoogie

    I worked as a Surgical Tech for about 20 yrs, then went back to school for my RN. Doing this was a tremendous help, I felt that nursing school was a walk through the park, yes I did have to study some but 75% of it came natural. Now saying that was it my experience? yes I believe it was.
    So back to your blog, Yes I believe every nurse should have to go through some type of CNA course and or work as a CNA. Yes our first 5 weeks in nursing school was CNA training, but there were only a very few students that had actually worked as a CNA or started to work as one. I also work 32hrs on the weekends as a charge nurse at a local nursing home. I have seen so many nurses right out of school that have no clue in assisting our residents. I contribute this to inexperience and some immaturity level of these nurses. Also I believe if you are a parent, this helps out a great deal in assisting with the residents ADL’s. The last one would be common sense of course, in nursing you gotta have it!
    Right now, my fiance` is working as a CNA, he has almost completed all of his pre-req’s for nursing and he was unsure if this was a right career choice for him. So I told him he needed to do this to be sure of a nursing career. The facility loves him, he does an excellent job, no that I am bias or anything. I believe he will make an excellent nurse, he has the common sense and most of all the compassion to care for others.

    Profile photo of jmearse

    While I never was a CNA, 12 years as a combat medic helped tremendously in nursing school. If anything, I felt held back as a new nurse, having previously been able to intubate, place chest tubes, etc. Having some experience helps.

    Profile photo of Salad H
    Salad H

    I was a CNA off and on for years before graduating from nursing school. Nursing homes, asst. living, home care, and 6 months in a hospital in Ghana. All of those experiences certainly helped during nursing school and continue to help as an RN. Nursing school was still incredibly challenging in many aspects (and should be)–but the basic care of patients was never an issue. However, many in my nursing class had various other experiences in healthcare (not necessarily CNA)–such as medical assistant and EMT. Any experience helps. (That said, nobody realizes what it is to “be” a nurse until you actually are one). The best CNAs on our floor are currently doing pre-nursing, so they will eventually leave us. Yes, there are a few unique folks who are excellent CNAs (career CNAs) w/no desire/means/whatever to be nurses. But high turnover for CNAs will likely always be an issue d/t many factors–low pay, injuries, burnout, advancing/changing job, etc. etc. Although I do have to say that CNAs in the hospital setting are generally treated much better than those in nursing homes (at least in my experience).

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