Short course vs. Longer

  1. I was just wondering if there was any difference in what you learn if you take a 6 week CNA course vs. longer at a tech school. Here's my situation - currently I'm enrolled in pre-req's for the LPN program at my local technical college. The next admittance for the program is March '08 and they don't send letters out until the end of February. If I make an A in the two classes I'm taking right now, I'm pretty sure I'll get in for the spring program although there's no guarantee as it's a competitive program.

    Since I don't have anymore pre-reqs to take after this quarter, I'll have nothing to do for the winter quarter which starts in Jan. The tech school said I could take the CNA course over the winter quarter, which would be about 11 weeks long and of course they make you take some filler courses that have nothing do with CNA but I could take all three classes for the CNA certificate in one quarter.

    Or my other option is going to an agency in the area that offers a 6 week CNA course that includes the exam fee in their cost and it will also start in January.

    Our finances are suffering with my not working and I'd like to work part-time as a CNA while going through LPN school. And if I don't get into the spring program, at least I'll have the CNA to keep me going until the fall LPN program starts. The LPN program, once it starts, is 12 months long and it would be nice to have some extra knowledge since right now I have no healthcare experience at all. I'm hoping I can work weekend night shifts as a CNA so that I can have the weekdays for LPN classes (if I'm lucky enough to get into the program in March. If not, then I can work full-time as a CNA until the next classes start).

    The six week course is accredited by my state but I don't know if employers would rather hire someone who did the course in 6 weeks vs. going to the tech school where it might look like you received more training.

    What do ya'll suggest? Enrollment for the 6 week course is sometime in Nov. and I need to make a decision soon. I'm definitely going to take the CNA course, just don't know which route would be most beneficial.
    Last edit by chesara on Oct 26, '07
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   DreamyEyes
    As long as the 6 week course is accredited, I would definitely go with that one. Employers don't really care where you do your CNA training, as long as it's accredited and you've passed your state exam and are certified. I work with a girl who's CNA training was only 3 weeks long; mine was 8 weeks.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from chesara
    I don't know if employers would rather hire someone who did the course in 6 weeks vs. going to the tech school where it might look like you received more training.
    In the real world, most employers do not care where you got your CNA training, or how long it took for you to be trained. Their only concerns are that you're a warm body with a certificate who is willing to provide care to the patients. Since the CNA job position traditionally has a high employee turnover rate, most employers and hiring managers cannot afford to be too selective about who they hire. They have to quickly fill the empty shifts, and they won't turn you away because your training period was a few weeks less than the next applicant.
  5. by   Knorremeisje
    Also, you learn the very basics of patient care in these classes and there is only so much you can learn from a book. The only things I actually use that I learned during my 4-week training is good body mechanics, basic patient transfer skills and how to put someone on a bedpan. Being a CNA is much more about learning on the job than reading a big book about it.
    As long as you have you certification, you will get hired. Good luck!
  6. by   chesara
    Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm happy to hear it doesn't matter how long the course is. I can't wait to enroll!
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    I would take the shorter one, as long as you are able to sit for the certifying exam. This way, you may have more time to look for the right position that works with your nursing school schedule.
  8. by   Billsgirl
    i think the 6 week course would give you a more time to find a job and prepare for your upcoming classes toward your lpn. my class was 8 weeks, condensed from 16 because i took it during the summer, and although i don't know to be able to compare, i thought the intensity was beneficial because it helped me stay on top if the work and studying. go for it!!!
  9. by   jules3978
    My course was only 2 weeks, 8 hrs. a day. It was thru a local hospital. I never was questioned about the course I took - just whether or not I took a course and passed the state exam.
  10. by   Ginny Weasley
    I think the longer course would be better. It gives you more time to practice your clinical skills. It's really hard to start out at a job and not have that much clinical experiance under your belt.

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