Does your school require you to do a CNA course (or have certification) BEFORE...

  1. You enter the nursing program? It seems that it goes both ways - some schools require you to have the course or certification as a prereq, and some of them complete it in the first semester of the nursing course. Our school requires it as a prereq, and I think it's a really good idea. I think that doing the CNA coursework and clinicals beforehand is a good way of weeding out the people who maybe can't handle the work, or maybe had a rose-colored idea of what nursing is REALLY like. Nothing like having your first direct experience with decubes and flushing a Foley (and getting slime on your hands) to make you decide on a different line of work.

    It also seems that it would really give you an edge up when starting your nursing classes, because so many of your course competencies in first semester is stuff that you already learned as a CNA.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   RN2BinPA
    Quote from klone
    You enter the nursing program? It seems that it goes both ways - some schools require you to have the course or certification as a prereq, and some of them complete it in the first semester of the nursing course. Our school requires it as a prereq, and I think it's a really good idea. I think that doing the CNA coursework and clinicals beforehand is a good way of weeding out the people who maybe can't handle the work, or maybe had a rose-colored idea of what nursing is REALLY like. Nothing like having your first direct experience with decubes and flushing a Foley (and getting slime on your hands) to make you decide on a different line of work.

    It also seems that it would really give you an edge up when starting your nursing classes, because so many of your course competencies in first semester is stuff that you already learned as a CNA.
    You know, KLONE, I do believe even if they do not "require" this as a pre-req, they do actually take it above others when deciding thier acceptance. The reason I say this is because, when I applied to my school, my transcripts had only A's and B's. And, the current grades in my pre-req courses, no less than a B, also. I sat for the NLN, was very stressed, I had never seen anything close to these questions that would or could help me answer some of them. I had just basic courses in high school and wow, that was well over 10 years ago. At my school, they perfer you have at least a score of 100 to enter thier nursing program. I received only a 94, JUST six points away and some students had gotten accepted with lower GPA's and lower scores on thier NLN. Some near 70. When I got my denial, the reason was due to my low test scores and/or academic performance. I WAS DEVASTATED!!!!!:imbar O I couldnt believe that was the reason. I called the school and spoke with the dean. I went in there and met with my advisor in person, before this, they knew nothing of who I was other than a piece of paper relaying my grades. But with a GPA as mine, I asked how on earth I would ever be able to fulfill my dream, I couldnt get any (much) higher than that, especially working full time. After talking with them and they found out my transcripts were for my MA degree, I believe this helped with my accpetance. I can not be certain. But it certainly seems that way. Dont you think?....

    Take care,
    And thanks also for answering to my post!!!!

    T
  4. by   cherokeesummer
    Ours does not. I'm glad that it doesn't because I would like to gross stuff to wait until the last possible chance. Don't get me wrong, I know that nursing is not a glory job of clean white linens and no pooooh. But...I intend on getting myself through that part of nursing school and then working towards case management, using my Psych degree to assist. I don't think I want to be bedside all the time, I'd really like to do some community wellness things...

    But...things may change - I may get into the gross world and decide its nice there LOL!
  5. by   klone
    Quote from cherokeesummer
    But...things may change - I may get into the gross world and decide its nice there LOL!
    I actually enjoy the gross stuff! Give me a fist-deep decub any day! :chuckle
  6. by   Honeybun1206
    My school doesnt require us to complete a CNA course nor does it require CNA certification. I've never heard of any other nursing program that has this requirement. Thats a good idea though, because it gives you experience before starting the clinicals.

    I have a question- I've heard that student nurses (going for their RN license) can work as a CNA after completing 1 or 2 semesters of clinicals in their nursing school's program. Anyone know if this is true?
  7. by   RN2BinPA
    Quote from pnaybaybe
    I have a question- I've heard that student nurses (going for their RN license) can work as a CNA after completing 1 or 2 semesters of clinicals in their nursing school's program. Anyone know if this is true?
    I just found this out today also. That is what the HR lady told me at a LTC facility told me. I was not aware of this until now. I guess it would depend on each individual place? ....Let me know if you hear different also
  8. by   nurseem
    my school requires you to take the course but you do not need to take the state test if you don't want to. i am in the LPN program and am going back and forth about taking it or not. i did my first day of clinicals today at an LTC facility and i am definately not interested in working in one but i would kind of like to be a CNA in a hospital. anyway-my school requires it and four days of clincials to go with it and its up to you if you want to take the test and become registered or not.
  9. by   RedSox33RN
    Our school does not require it, but if we wish, we can work as CNA's after our first 2 semesters of school are completed. So next summer I could be working as a CNA if I want to.

    I would think that having ANY kind of medical experience could only be beneficial. Being a CNA was part of my back-up plans if I didn't get into any of the 5 nursing schools I applied to. If those were a wash, I was applying to LPN school, a Surgical Tech school, and take a LNA course (actually, I sent in my money to the Red Cross for it, because I REALLY didn't think I was going to get into nursing school! I told them later not to refund my money but use it as a scholarship for a needy student).
  10. by   lisamc1RN
    Our school doesn't require it. I was a CNA many, many years ago, though. I think that having that exposure could be beneficial, but it really is very limited exposure to the vast world of nursing, IMO.
  11. by   Achoo!
    It is required before in my school, I am doing it now. It allows 2 months to cover other things in the nursing program.
  12. by   Truly_Blessed
    Yes, every school in my area requires you to be CNA certified before you can even apply for the ADN program.
  13. by   abundantjoy07
    yes! my school does require the cna course as a pre-req. as a matter of fact, i'm doing my cna training right now. i'm glad that it's a requirement (except for the fact that it's really expensive).
    it's a great way to get your feet wet...and in case you want to work during school or the summer months you can get a great job as a cna especially since it's right up your avenue!
  14. by   Saved_by_Grace
    My school does not require cna training at all ,but I wish it did. I was a cna about 9 years ago but I let my cert. lapse. I want to work as a cna now while going to school but don't have time to take cna classes on my own. Cna isn't covered in our curriculum at all and the hospitals and ltc require cert to work in them...

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