Pros and Cons of Life as a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified nursing assistants are in high demand in today’s job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this demand is set to grow. It forecasts that there will be almost 120,000 more nursing assistant jobs created between 2019 and 2029.
With so many job opportunities available to you in nursing, it can be a struggle to decide which career path is right for you. One of the bigger decisions is whether to become a staff nurse or work on shorter-term contracts.
To help you make this important career decision, this article examines the main pros and cons of taking a contract role as a certified nursing assistant.
Pros of Being a Contract CNA
To be the master of your own professional destiny as a certified nursing assistant, you need to have all the information about your career options. Some of the main reasons you may want to take on a contract position include:
· Better Pay
In general, you are likely to earn more per hour as a contract nursing assistant. Your employer doesn’t have the mandatory employee payments to make for benefits, and does not need to pay for the hours you are not needed.
With a contract position, you have more freedom to accept the contracts that work for you. You have a greater say over what hours you work, and won’t be subject to the rotation of full-time nurses. If you don’t want to work Friday nights dealing with a hectic ER, no problem. If you have a fitness class on a Tuesday, you can make sure you schedule work around this.
· Less Pressure
Working contract jobs leaves a lot of the stress of being a certified nursing assistant at the door. Full-time nurses are often stretched too thin, working long shifts, and taking on too many tasks. This can lead to burnout and have a detrimental effect on both physical and mental health. Contract staff often take on fewer responsibilities, alleviating some of the pressure on them.
· No Office Politics
The politics of working in a hospital can be draining. Dealing with colleagues, managers, and workplace drama can expend a lot of energy. Contract workers clock out at the end of the day, and will only be in their roles a short while. They don’t need to get involved, and can leave this stress behind.
Contract roles allow you the opportunity to switch jobs every few months. This gives you the chance to try out a variety of work environments, and roles that will enhance your skillset.
You choose where you work, and have the option to try out roles with different responsibilities until you find one that you really love. It’s a great way to find the role that you enjoy most, and then to seek a permanent position in a similar role if you wish.
Cons of Being a Contract CNA
There are clearly many advantages of working as a contract certified nursing assistant. However, there is also a flipside to these. As with any job, a life on short-term contracts has its disadvantages. You should also consider these before deciding on the course of your career. The two most impactful disadvantages are:
· Little or No In-Work Benefits
As a contract worker, you may not receive the same benefits as permanent staff. You won’t always be entitled to things such as vacation time, sick pay, or maternity cover. When you want to take a vacation, you may have to do this between contracts, and if you are unable to attend work because of an illness, you will not be paid. However, some staffing companies do actually offer these benefits to contract workers. Lakeshore Talent offers great healthcare benefits, as well as PTO and Holiday pay to employees in contracts over 30 days.
· Less Job Consistency
With better pay and choice over the jobs you take, you often sacrifice consistency. You may experience times when work dries up and you have gaps in between your contracts. You don’t have the consistency of a permanent job and knowing you have work to go to every day. If you rely on a regular wage, this could be a showstopper. However, many of those working on short-term contracts manage their money so that the higher wages they earn while working cover the rare times between contracts. Additionally, keep in mind that even full-time, permanent employees can face job uncertainty. In fact, during economic declines, employers may actually lean toward hiring contract workers vs. permanent staff to allow themselves a more flexible workforce to weather the storm.
To Sum Up
Contract certified nursing assistant jobs offer many advantages. You can create a stable work-life balance with flexible hours, learn new skills, and discover the type of roles that you enjoy most. You may have to make a few sacrifices in terms of benefits and consistency, but this is often made up for with better pay or choosing to work with a staffing firm who offers benefits.
For help finding a contract certified nurse job, contact Lakeshore Talent today.