Why You Should Work as a CNA While in Nursing School

GettyImages-588362600The Nursing profession would be nothing without the contribution of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). Certified Nursing Assistants play a vital role in healthcare by working directly under registered and licensed practical Nurses. CNAs assist patients with daily tasks like washing, dressing, and eating. The skills you learn as a CNA can be used throughout your Nursing career and will provide you with a solid foundation for building your knowledge. Here are some of the many reasons you should work as a CNA while in Nursing school.

More Comfortable Interacting with Patients

It can be an awkward adjustment for some Nursing students to become comfortable caring for their patients' intimate and personal care needs. However, Nursing students who have worked as CNAs have first-hand experience interacting with patients and do not have to spend their time in the clinical setting adapting to patient interactions. They can instead spend their time in the clinical setting developing other Nursing skills.  

Lays an Educational Foundation

Certified Nursing Assistants must have a basic knowledge of human anatomy, nutrition, infection control, communication, documentation, and basic patient care. The basic education you learn in CNA school and while practicing as a CNA, lays a solid foundation to build upon as you further your Nursing education. In addition, Nursing students with CNA experience have a leg up on other students who have yet to have the opportunity to gain first-hand Nursing experience.  

Time Management Skills

Efficient time management is an essential skill that all good Nurses must master. While working as a CNA, you will learn how to effectively manage your time which will help you navigate the intricacies of Nursing school. Effective time management results in greater productivity, efficiency, and reduced work stress. Nursing is a demanding profession, but Nurses who effectively manage their time see the worthwhile benefits.

Ideal Nursing School Candidate

Admission into Nursing programs is becoming increasingly competitive, and many students are looking for ways to help them stand out in the enrollment process. Becoming a CNA will help lay a strong foundation in Nursing skills and help you stand out in the admissions process. The invaluable experience you will have under your belt as a CNA can set your application apart from the rest.

You’ll Experience the Realities of the Nursing Profession

The entertainment industry can glamorize Nursing as a profession. However, many of the day-to-day tasks we must perform as Nurses are far from glamorous and can be pretty disturbing to some. Some potential Nursing students may not fully understand the ‘dirty’ parts of Nursing, such as dealing with bodily fluids and helping people to the bathroom. Nursing students who have worked as CNAs have experienced the unflattering side of Nursing and are more prepared to handle the realities of the job. It takes a special person to be a Nurse, and Nurses who were once CNAs, have a deeper understanding of exactly what it takes to be a great Nurse.

Ability to Adapt

The job of a CNA can be monotonous, and care tasks are usually routine. However, even though most days are timed and planned, the needs of patients can change drastically without notice. Working as a CNA while in Nursing school can help you develop the skills and confidence needed to adapt to new situations and patient changes. The ability to adapt means that when changes occur, you can deal with the problem at hand and then reorganize your day to suit the needs of your other patients.

Working as a CNA while in Nursing school is not a requirement and is entirely optional. But the hands-on experience you will gain while working as a Certified Nursing Assistant will better prepare you for Nursing school and your future Nursing career.

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