CNA vs EMT basic

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    Hey so Im at a bit of a crossroads and need some advice. I'm pursuing my 2nd bachelors in nursing and am looking at getting into the medical field in the meantime while I take all the prereqs. I was wondering if anyone had advice on whether it would be more worth while to get a CNA or EMT basic since they are both basically 1 semester courses. I do have 70+ hrs volunteering at an emergency room if that makes any difference as far as clinic hrs go.
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hello! I had the same question also a few weeks ago. I decided to do the CNA route because I was told that the CNA course is similar to your first semester in nursing school.
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    I say do whichever one you want. If you want to go into emergency or trauma nursing, definitely EMT.
  5. 0
    Quote from Keep_Calm
    I say do whichever one you want. If you want to go into emergency or trauma nursing, definitely EMT.
    Yea definitely wanna do trauma. My end goal is to be a flight nurse. I was just curious as to which certification was better as far as flexibility goes. Haven't met many part time EMTs.
  6. 0
    Quote from lalacb123
    Hello! I had the same question also a few weeks ago. I decided to do the CNA route because I was told that the CNA course is similar to your first semester in nursing school.
    Awesome. From what I've been told entry level CNA get work usually at nursing homes have you heard the same thing?
  7. 0
    I would check into your local ERs and see if they would hire EMT-Bs part time while you go to school.
    As a flight nurse, you will have to also get your paramedic cert/license and a prerequisite to that is EMT-B. It may be something to consider.
  8. 0
    EMT will teach you some things you wont learn in Nursing school, which means it wont help much during nursing school, but might be slightly beneficial afterwards, especially if you want to be an ER Nurse.

    Keep in mind that once you get your EMT license, you have to be affiliated with an EMS agency to keep it valid, which means either working as an EMT or at least serving with a volunteer agency. If you arent affiliated at the time your license needs to be renewed, you lose your EMT license, and it can be pretty difficult to get it back, and would probably require you to retake the entire course and pass the testing once again. National certification needs to be renewed every 2 years and state 3 years(for my state anyway). So if you're in a BSN program, are going to have the time to work as an EMT and keep up on your continuing education credits?

    Of course if you just want to take the class to learn something new and have no intention of later being a flight medic or whatever, this is irrelevant.

    Also keep in mind EMT school isnt a blow off class. Its pretty time consuming and expensive once you add up tuition, the cost of books, uniforms, lab fees, etc, and a surprising number of people fail it. So if you plan on taking other classes that semester, Id go with CNA school, which is a lot easier.
  9. 1
    If you need any advice I'm an EMT working for riverside county. I'm currently going to school at rcc for the RN program. I can tell you EMT is definitely the way to go. Since I've graduated I have learned so much out in the field that will definitely help me be a better nursing student when I get accepted. Right now I work on a CCT ambulance with a nurse and I can tell you I've learned a lot in 5 years than probably working as a CNA.
    pmabraham likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from funtimes
    EMT will teach you some things you wont learn in Nursing school, which means it wont help much during nursing school, but might be slightly beneficial afterwards, especially if you want to be an ER Nurse.

    Keep in mind that once you get your EMT license, you have to be affiliated with an EMS agency to keep it valid, which means either working as an EMT or at least serving with a volunteer agency. If you arent affiliated at the time your license needs to be renewed, you lose your EMT license, and it can be pretty difficult to get it back, and would probably require you to retake the entire course and pass the testing once again. National certification needs to be renewed every 2 years and state 3 years(for my state anyway). So if you're in a BSN program, are going to have the time to work as an EMT and keep up on your continuing education credits?

    Of course if you just want to take the class to learn something new and have no intention of later being a flight medic or whatever, this is irrelevant.

    Also keep in mind EMT school isnt a blow off class. Its pretty time consuming and expensive once you add up tuition, the cost of books, uniforms, lab fees, etc, and a surprising number of people fail it. So if you plan on taking other classes that semester, Id go with CNA school, which is a lot easier.
    Thanks for the advice! Definitely gave me somethings to consider. Hadn't thought of the license renewal.
  11. 0
    Quote from EMT2BRN1987
    If you need any advice I'm an EMT working for riverside county. I'm currently going to school at rcc for the RN program. I can tell you EMT is definitely the way to go. Since I've graduated I have learned so much out in the field that will definitely help me be a better nursing student when I get accepted. Right now I work on a CCT ambulance with a nurse and I can tell you I've learned a lot in 5 years than probably working as a CNA.
    Do you work part time or full time? Ideally I would love to work as an EMT with an ambulance only on weekends, but I know that would be hard to swing.


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