How do I know if nursing is right for me? I don't want to waste my money and time if nursing isn’t a good fit! What if I hate nursing?
Are these thoughts going through your head as you pursue college or a career change??
These are all very applicable and appropriate questions; we should ALL ask ourselves before diving in.
There is an entry-level position to healthcare and if you’re unsure, I would highly recommend you give it a try. You can work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the interim. CNA programs are typically 6-8 weeks. All medical facilities utilize CNA’s to some degree. There are many advantages to becoming a CNA if you’re unsure if nursing is for you. As a CNA you will work alongside nurses and get exposure to the medical field.
CNA’s Typical Workday Tasks Include-
- Turning and repositioning patients
- Taking vital signs including, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation
- Communicating with the nursing team when concerns are identified
- Answering patient call lights and addressing their needs
- Documenting vital signs, intake, output, and patient care performed
- Cleaning patient rooms, changing patient bed linen
- Assisting nurses with medical procedures
- Feeding patients who need assistance and documenting their intake
Advantages of Becoming a CNA First
There are some advantages to working as a CNA prior to choosing nursing as a career. CNA’s are an important part of the healthcare team. You will have an opportunity to work alongside the nurses and other healthcare professionals while caring for patients. Gain skills in effective communication with a healthcare team. Familiarize yourself with the flow of healthcare, supplies, terminology, and some procedures. You also have an opportunity to work a 12-hour schedule and get paid while going through school. Many hospitals have a tuition reimbursement program for their employees and will pay for all or most of your schooling.
Confirm Your Passion
Nursing is more of a passion than a career. You'll get a taste of what nursing is about and be able to decide if nursing is the right career path for you. Nursing is a vibrant and noble career in and of itself. It’s also a job with tremendous potential for career advancement in the US’s fastest-growing industry. Nurses can find a job in any US city or become international nurses and travel the world helping people.
The Need For Nurses
The American Nurses Association (ANA) summarizes the immediate need for in-coming professionals: “There will be far more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need to produce 1.1 million new RNs for expansion and replacement of retirees and avoid a nursing shortage.”
I understand that in the midst of the COVID pandemic there are nurses whose hours have been cut and fewer jobs are available, but this won’t last forever. Nurses are always needed, there are always jobs, and nursing is a very rewarding career with endless opportunities.
Story of A CNA in Nursing School
I’m Faith. I’m a Gateway Community College student in Edgewood, KY. I’m a nurse aid and about to be a nurse extern at St. Elizabeth in the medical ICU. I love the intricacy of ICU care. I love how much you have to focus and pay attention to every detail. Even the slightest change can mean something and that is extremely interesting to me! I love patient care and all that goes with it. Even the hard parts. It teaches me something new. The ICU is my home!