Quote from Jess6
I think it's extremely valuable experience for all the reasons mentioned.
However, I would not delay nursing school for a long time in order to be a CNA first. Get your license and a job and then start your prereqs.
This is what I've heard and what makes the most sense in my situation. I've only ever heard people who were nurses say getting a CNA helps first, but right now I think there's two big strikes against getting my CNA first.
1: It will delay the time I'm spending working on my credits for my ADN and BSN. The course is 6 credit hours and very time consuming. If I got a part time job as a CNA that would also cut into school time, but this is super super minor and I would gladly accept a hospital job part time... if I could get one. Which brings me to point 2.
2: Hospitals here are cutting down on CNA's, and I've heard you need at least 2 years experience before you're even looked at by a hospital. This is the major killer for me.
I think it's super helpful to be a CNA first. You can get paid and possibly get the hospital to pay for some of your schooling. That being said, I don't think I could get my foot in the door at a hospital anymore.