do you really need to start out as a cna?

  1. I am trying to get into our LPN school and so many people have told me that I need to do the CNA thing first. I agree that it would look alot better on the school application, but some of my friends are CNA's and I don't think I can handle that type of work they do. While the personal cleaning and bathroom help isn't sooo bad, I think what would affect me more is seeing all the older people in that nursing home everyday with no one coming to visit them or even speak to them. Basically they are just sitting around waiting to die. These are people who have seen more in their lifetime and still have so much to offer, but no one cares about them, they are just in a permenant time out. I don't know that I could go to work every day and see so much rejection. Can you still start a nursing school without the CNA certification?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Buckyxj
    I worked hospice as a CNA and they are terminally ill. I did find some of them to have a better outlook on life than I did. I learned alot from the people I took care of and now I am a LPN at the same hospice and also work for a nursing home prn. It's the little things that make it worth it. Hey if you don't have compassion for them then who will. Anyway to answer your question. Yes I believe that most LPN programs require it to get into the program but there were many in my class that had no experience in CNA work they just took the class right before the program started. Also what are you wanting to do after getting your LPN? you need to have answers prepared for when you have the interview for LPN program. Hope this helps.
  4. by   LanaBanana
    Many nursing programs require you to have the CNA certification before starting because that gives you the basics and cuts out the need for covering bed baths, toileting, etc in your nursing program. I don't know of any that actually require you to have experience as a CNA. I do think that working as a nurse aide can give you an edge during clinicals in nursing school. When I have students, I can always tell who has nurse aide experience. I also know that my experience in working as a nurse aide before becoming a nurse has made me a better nurse. You don't have to be a CNA in a nursing home - it can work in a hospital, home health, hospice, etc.
  5. by   marilynmom
    It *really* depends on where you work as a CNA. I work for a large hospital as a CNA and hated every second of it and didn't learn much nursing because what a CNA does and what a RN does is so vastly different. I didn't think working as a CNA helped me much at all in my RN program honestly--you learn the basic skills you need to know pretty fast anyways.

    For *me* what worked best was after my first semester of nursing school I got a job as a nurse tech in a teaching hospital (OU) where I was able to do certain nursing skills (NG tubes, caths, etc). For me my nurse tech job is good experience being in the hospital and I know where everything is, the RNs names, Docs, who to call and the phone numbers....those may be small things but when I'm an RN those are at least a few things I won't have to stress out about!

    That is just my experience!
    Last edit by marilynmom on Dec 9, '07
  6. by   CRNA2BKY
    It may be a requirement at some schools, but for the majority of schools around the country, being a CNA first is not a requirement. I am in an accelerated BSN program, and none of us in our program had a CNA or previous medical experience.

    I always tell people that if they want to be a CNA, then go for it. If they want to be an LPN, then go for that. If you want to be an RN, then go for that. You do not have to do the stepping stone thing and work your way up. You need to decide what you want to do, and go for it. If along the way you want to do some extra stuff, then by all means you can. But, it is NOT required by most schools.

    Also, as a ABSN or BSN student, many, many hospitals will hire you as a CNA even though you didn't get your CNA certification. That is because after you have done like 1 or 2 semesters of clinicals for in your BSN program, you have already learned pretty much all the stuff a CNA needs to know, so many hospitals will hire you as a CNA even though you never went through a formal state certification process. It saves time and money to do it this way.

    Anyway, that is my 2-cents worth. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from nurse2bKY
    It may be a requirement at some schools, but for the majority of schools around the country, being a CNA first is not a requirement. I am in an accelerated BSN program, and none of us in our program had a CNA or previous medical experience.

    I always tell people that if they want to be a CNA, then go for it. If they want to be an LPN, then go for that. If you want to be an RN, then go for that. You do not have to do the stepping stone thing and work your way up. You need to decide what you want to do, and go for it. If along the way you want to do some extra stuff, then by all means you can. But, it is NOT required by most schools.

    Also, as a ABSN or BSN student, many, many hospitals will hire you as a CNA even though you didn't get your CNA certification. That is because after you have done like 1 or 2 semesters of clinicals for in your BSN program, you have already learned pretty much all the stuff a CNA needs to know, so many hospitals will hire you as a CNA even though you never went through a formal state certification process. It saves time and money to do it this way.

    Anyway, that is my 2-cents worth. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    I agree with this.

    Unless your school requires it - no you don't have to. And lots of nurse didn't. Me included. It didn't hurt me.

    You can if your want or you don't have to . ..it is up to you.

    steph
  8. by   Miss Kitty00
    I was a tech for about month or two while I was waiting to take boards and I honestly don't see how being a nurse tech will help you become a better nurse. I'm still in orientation (because I'm a LPN) so ask me in a couple of months and I might tell you different. I actually worked retail during nursing school and I was able to get a good grasp on the information.

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