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I would suggest getting a job as a nursing assistant. It's strange how many people go into nursing without having ANY medical experience at all...nothing wrong with that, but it's very beneficial to actually see/help out with procedures, etc.
Some places require a CNA, but if you don't HAVE to have that, don't waste your $/time when you could be working on pre-reqs.. The hospital where I work (world-renowned) doesn't require a CNA, & even if you DO have it, they don't pay you any extra.
Lots of luck!!!
If you can get a hospital job as a CNA, that would be extremely helpful. I feel like my classmates who work in a hospital have a huge advantage compared to us that have not worked in a hospital setting (me), or have had zero medical experience.
Becoming a CNA is the best way to get experience as a pre-nursing student. I agree with Me-erThanMe, the CNA students that were in my class were much more confident and comfortable doing all the nursing skills we learned in the 1st semester.
I second getting CNA experience. I think some colleges will consider work experience as an asset in the application process, and it's a great way to really test out whether or not you really want to go into nursing. I personally know people who got into a healthcare setting thinking they wanted to be a nurse, and then after working for awhile and realizing what they really loved, decided they'd be better off pursuing a MSW, for example. It's a good way to really see if it's what you want to do.
In many states, if you work at a Medicare-funded facility for a certain number of months, the cost of your CNA course is waived. I took my course at the American Red Cross, and because I had college credit, I only needed two weeks of training (9-5). They also have weekend option trainings.
With my CNA experience, I also started working at a facility that requires a Trained Medication Associate certification, and paid for it. When I was resigning from the assisted living place, the nurse told me that she was super jealous of the people that had experience passing meds because they had an easier time in school.