Becoming a CNA with a BA degree?

  1. I will finally have my BA degree in Sociology after the fall quarter at the age of 31. After all that, I've decided to go into nursing. I hope to be in an LVN program by either next July or January. In the meantime, I will likely be laid off from my current office job in the near future. I really don't want to do office work anymore and figure it would probably be more beneficial to try to get my foot in the door and work as a CNA. My only concern is how employers would view both my age and degree. Would they automatically dismiss me because they would assume I am overqualified? I hope not as I do not feel I am. My sister is an RN and started as a CNA, so I know it is hard work. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Marina
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   LanaBanana
    No they will not think you are overqualified. I think they would be impressed that you are willing to start at the bottom. I am in school with a guy who has been working in marketing for a radio station here for about 6 years and has a BA. When he decided to start into nursing, he quit that job and got on as a CNA at the hospital. The nurse manager who hired me (I haven't started my new job yet) said he was a mid-life career change person and went back and started as a CNA to work through his BSN program. Hope this helps.
  4. by   jb2u
    I am 31, in nursing school, and work as a cna. No problem here. Nurses are college educated and because alot of pre-nursing students become cna's first, I do not think that your BA degree will be an issue. I think that most nursing students that work as cna's first do not do it for the money as much as they do it for the experience. So, go for it and best of luck on your journey.

    Sincerely,
    Jay
  5. by   HopeM
    Hi Marina! I am 36, have a BA from my first trip through college and have just gotten my CNA as I will be starting an RN program in January and wanted to learn from the ground up AND learn while working through school. I just got hired at a local hospital and the BA had no effect (no hindrance anyway) on the process. With the nursing shortage the hospital seemed thrilled to get their hands on a mature student/employee who will highly likely stay as an RN in a couple of years! Best of luck to you!
    Hope
  6. by   EricJRN
    Marina,

    As you can see, career/major changers like yourself represent a lot of the CNA's on this site. I don't think it would be a big deal (and it would possibly help) when it came to finding a job.

    My only advice would be not to talk about your degree much once you start working, just so that your coworkers don't get the impression that you believe you're better than they are.

    From your post, I can tell that you've put a lot of thought into your career options. Best of luck to you!
  7. by   *Pepper*
    I am a 56 male PN student, working as a CNA. No one cares about your age or background when you are doing your job. Your life experiences will be a big asset. You just might ache a bit more at the end of the day! Consider carefully though which shift you aim for as each has its own typical physical demands as well as pay differentials. Bury your concerns and love the job!
  8. by   katoosha
    Thanks everyone for your responses and support. I'm thinking maybe I should just get on the ball and look for either a hospital or LTC facility that provides paid CNA training.

    Marina
  9. by   ExAirBagRN
    Katoosha-

    Go for the hospital job! Monday I am starting my PCT (Patient Care Tech) training at area hospital for the next 8 weeks PAID. I feel VERY fortunate!

    In my former life I was a Flight Attendant for 15+years....I was told by HR that the PCT candidates with customer service experience often adapt to the job better. She didn't elaborate.... Lucky for me that is about all I have! Excuse me sir/ma'am, may I take your tray? Just like old times....

    Mind you, I'm poking fun at myself and do have a healthy respect for everyone working in the Healthcare industry. I understand how demanding and challenging it can be and can't wait to "get my hands dirty"! hehehe
    Best of luck to you!!!!!
  10. by   Redzie
    Quote from katoosha
    Thanks everyone for your responses and support. I'm thinking maybe I should just get on the ball and look for either a hospital or LTC facility that provides paid CNA training.

    Marina
    Or.... there are prep test courses for CNA's. I am taking a 4 week program at the Red Cross and it costs $425. They help place you in the end, but more importantly, I'm hearing that hospitals, home health and LTC's, really respect the Red Cross program. There are other shorter and cheaper prep courses, (check the web for your area) however they don't seem as in depth. If working in a hospital is your goal, as it is mine, I understand they give you a week's worth of training to become a PCT which has a few more responsibilities.
  11. by   HiTracy
    Hi Marina,

    I earned my BS degree in marketing and sales in 1984 and I work as a CNA to improve my resume for entry into nursing school. The average age of CNAs who work at my facility (nursing home) is 35. Work hard and pull your weight, they will respect you for it.

    Tracy
  12. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from katoosha
    I will finally have my BA degree in Sociology after the fall quarter at the age of 31.
    My post is going to be slightly off the subject, but you might qualify for an accelerated 18-month RN program since you will already have a BA degree. It's worth looking into.
  13. by   likatutata
    WELCOME TO MY LIFE!

    i graduated 2 years ago with a BA in international studies and geography/RACD. fun, not marketable.
    i took the cna class this summer, got hired before my class was even done, and have already been offered scholarships by my nursing home to pursue my RN degree.
    all you gotta do is be motivated, which it sounds like you are.

    and also, i'm doing a postbac RN program in minnesota...one academic year plus a summer. it's nursing classes only because of all the humanities they assume you did during your undergrad. you may want to look into something like that.

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