My mother was a CNA for many years. My sister is a nurse. I have an interest in working in healthcare, but I’m not sure yet. Is there a way for me to try out nursing without spending a lot of money with training and/or education?
Great question. I wish everyone who has aspirations to be a nurse could think things through a little better. Nursing is hard work. It’s not an easy way to make money. It’s not a white collar job. I see far too many people have an interest in doing this work for all the wrong reasons; once they get the training and education and degrees, they realize they are in the wrong profession. They’re left with staggering education bills. I’ve seen many RN’s practice for a year or so before realizing the work isn’t for them. Too bad! There are a couple ways to”test run” this line of work before committing to it. I would suggest applying for a job as a Resident Assistant at an assisted living facility first. Because assisted living facilities do not have specific requirements for nursing staff, the role of the RA was developed as an alternative to more costly CNA’s. RA’s so basically the same things as CNAs- and are paid roughly a dollar less per hour. Doing this work for a good 6 months to a year should give you an idea whether nursing is the right career choice. You will experience hands on personal care, assisting people with ADLs, observing nurses doing their work and perhaps work side by side with CNAs.
Second, there is no harm in taking a CNA course. Of all the options, the CNA training is the cheapest and takes the least amount of time. For about $1000.00 a person can go through the classes, get certified and work as a CNA in nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living centers. Few doctors offices and schools hire CNAs. Working as a CNA will certainly give you hands on experience you would need in order to make an educated decision about your career. Many nurses started out as CNA’s- it really helps them understand the demands of the work throughout their careers. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!