There are a couple ways you can go with this that tie into each other. I would def suggest the CMA over the CNA. You get less grunt work and higher pay and the program is relatively short. Heres the slightly tricky part that you would need to decide on as far as your pathway into nursing. Going for your BSN is smart because nursing is getting saturated and less and less ADN nurses are getting hired in AZ as well as many other states. If you want direct entrance into a BSN program, you will need to do your pre reqs and get mostly, if not all A's to be competitive. If you go this route, it will probably take you about 1-2 years to complete your pre reqs, so if you get your CMA first, you can be working during this time. Also some employers have affiliations with the various nursing program schools and can give weight to your application. This is the same for the ADN programs. Some facilities in the ADN program even hold spot for students currently working at certain place. If you decide to get your ADN first then you BSN, then the info will be different depending on your area. In phoenix area and surrounding, you can get on the CC waitlist, or go to a private school, but they are more money. The waitlist however is about 3-4 years currently unless you do a CEP cohort. They are competitive, but if you do well in your pre reqs, it will give you an advantage. With CEP, you get accepted into the waitlist, then apply for CEP when your pre reqs are done to get in the following semester. Another path is if you wait out to gain acceptance from the pool into the regular cohorts (either by choice or if your pre req GPA is competitive) you can sign on for the MCC RN-BSN pathway program. There are a few qualifiers that are relatively easy to manage, and you are guaranteed acceptance into ASU BSN nursing program after graduation and passing your NCLEX.
SOrry if this is kind of jumbled or a lot of info. Just trying to give you options so you can decide what path works best for you.
As for me, Im waiting it out on the waitlist, and will sign the pathway agreement when I start block 1 and get my BSN that route.