Many people who are interested in a career in the health care industry begin by taking CNA training. Although you cannot become a nurse without returning to school, starting as a CNA can be a good stepping-stone. There are many reasons why you may want to take your CNA training and become an assistant before working towards an LPN or RN license.
Reasons for Beginning Your Career with CNA Training
Depending on which CNA training course you enroll in, it will take you anywhere from six weeks to six months before you’ll be an official part of the medical work force. The cost of your CNA training will also vary. Some community colleges will be the least expensive option for you, but will take the longest to complete.
So, why would you earn your CNA training certification before possibly going on to RN or LPN? Some of the reasons are:
- You are not sure if the healthcare industry is right for you. The medical field has been almost romanticized in some television shows. If you are not passionate about the field, maybe a small taste before committing the time and money to earn a nursing degree is a good idea.
- You have to work to help support your family. It is not uncommon for a student in a nursing program to have to work. It can be beneficial to take your CNA training first, and secure a job in a hospital while in school. Not only will your mindset be on the same subject, you will have help in your studies from people who have already been through it.
- There may be a waiting list to get into a nursing program. Often, those who already have some type of medical or healthcare experience will be accepted into a nursing program much faster than those without it. Even if you are not working, having CNA training might be your ticket into a nursing program.
A Few Options for Obtaining a Nursing Degree
If you have completed CNA training and are working in a hospital or nursing home, you may be able to get part of your tuition paid by your employer. Some institutions will fully reimburse your tuition if you sign a promise to work for them for a certain amount of time after you obtain your degree.
If you have been working as a CNA for at least five years, contact the State Board of Nursing to find out if they have an option for challenging the nursing exam. While not many states have this option and it is sure to require some extra classes and various experience requirements, it may be quicker than waiting to get into and completing a program.
It used to be best to go right into an ADN program and become an RN in two years. More hospitals are requiring their RN’s to have a BSN now. It may be better for you to become an LPN after your CNA training, and work as an LPN while going back to school to finish your BSN degree.
So, what’s right for you? Are you satisfied with CNA training and a CNA career, or will you go after more?
CNA Training & Careers