Is CNA even worth going for?

  1. 0
    I was at the clinic today and I spoke to a girl who was an LPN and me and her got into a conversation about how she went about becoming an LPN. I shared with her that I was going to take a CNA course that was going to be free. She went ahead and said "why? Just go for nursing". Then I went to get my blood drawn by the phlebotomist and she told me she was a medical assistant with training in phlebotomy and I asked her if she thought going for CNA was worth it and she went on a rant. " why would you want to wipe someone's ass? You aren't going to work in a hospital you will work in a nursing home". This made me feel kind of dumb for even thinking of doing CNA but I will take the course and complete it just to say I started from the bottom I guess. I felt that there was so much negativity towards becoming a CNA but I think becoming a CNA will test me to see if I really want this. Any advice? Do you regret becoming a CNA? Has it helped you become a better nurse? Person? Any input will be great thanks!

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  2. 29 Comments...

  3. 1
    I'm a medical assistant and I'm currently in school for vocational nursing and the medical assistant at my doctors office had that reaction as to why I would go for lvn instead of rn. Each person has their own reason. I don't think it's a bad thing to start as a cna. Many of my classmates did and we have a better foundation with medical experience. Good luck!

    It's a beautiful day to save lives.
    msmaggiemo likes this.
  4. 1
    I did not do cna first. It would have deterred me from every doing nursing. I have the utmost respect for people that do that job. I know many nursing programs require it before admission though.

    good luck
    msmaggiemo likes this.
  5. 2
    In kansas you have to have your cna to do anything in the nursing field. Plus it is a humbling experience that has taught me great patience and real resident care. I plan on workin my way up to bsn but even with that the baby steps you take now make a firm foundation to work from.
    1feistymama and msmaggiemo like this.
  6. 1
    I did CNA for four years and it's a very tough job but you make some amazing contacts and depending on those relationships sometimes people give you opportunities out of your scope of duty. With just my CNA and several years of experience I ended up working for a plastic surgeon assisting in surgery and helping the RN run the office, so you can make a lot of it and use it as a stepping stone to bigger things!
    msmaggiemo likes this.
  7. 3
    Being a CNA might not be a pretty job, but if you are going to become an RN one day it will be very helpful when you get to nursing school. The concepts you learn in a CNA class are the very basics of nursing in general. You will be ahead at the start of nursing school and you'll understand your Fundamentals class much easier as well. Plus, it will teach you later on to respect the CNA's you work with when you are and RN. I have a friend who worked as a CNA in nursing school and she is now an RN. She said she was really glad she spent time as a CNA and that it taught her a lot. You get more comfortable around patients and your first RN job might not be as 'scary' because you have already spent time actually working in a facility, not just clinicals.

    So I say that you should go for your CNA! Especially if you are going to do it for free. Just be sure to work at a nice facility when you get certified because that will be a huge factor to how much you will enjoy your job. CNA work isn't pretty and can be very hard work, so working for a good facility kind of balances everything out
    gummi bear, 1feistymama, and msmaggiemo like this.
  8. 3
    In my nursing program, it is required to be a CNA to get admitted to nursing program..
  9. 1
    Just to say you "started from the bottom" isn't a good reason to do it. Working as a CNA in a nursing home is a completely different job than working as an RN in, say, a hospital. If you want to become a CNA and work in a nursing home, take the CNA class. If you want to become a nurse, go to nursing school. It's really that simple : )

    Having experience as a CNA/LPN does help people in nursing school/starting off as new nurses. However, there are plenty of people that get their RNs with no healthcare experience at all and they tend to catch up pretty quickly.
    msmaggiemo likes this.
  10. 2
    I was an EMT for about 6 months before entering nursing school.

    Years ago, I never heard anyone consider becoming a CNA before becoming a RN. However, now it does provide an advantage over other new grads with no clinical experience.

    It's really up to you.
    1feistymama and msmaggiemo like this.
  11. 3
    I think going for a CNA before nursing is the best. You get to see if you really like healthcare. If you can't handle CNA you wont be able to handle being a nurse. I have been a CNA for almost 10 years in May. I like that I experienced a lot. I know for sure that nursing is for me. I just got accepted to the ADN program for fall 2013. Some schools require you to have it before you apply and others who don't require it actually gives you a lot of points toward getting into the program. They look for it because so many people who apply never had healthcare experience and then drop nursing because they had no idea what they were getting into.
    AM326, 1feistymama, and msmaggiemo like this.

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