Anyone planning on going CNA to RN route or just straight to RN?

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


I keep hearing on here that you should get your CNA certification first. Has anyone done that or are you thinking about it? Why or why not?

Also, are you doing the BSN route or are you doing ADN? I have a school right down the road from me that is ADN and I am thinking of taking there and getting my BSN later. I was told that it might mean I might not get the job I wanted right away say like in the hospital setting. They did not elaborate. Just wondering if I am going to be working as a CNA instead of an RN due to only getting my ADN. It is a bit frustrating trying to figure it all out.



I was thinking about getting a CNA first but I've talked to a couple of nurses that I know and they said it's not really worth it...also it's not enough salary for my family. The only way it would be worthwhile is if I could find a CNA job at a local hospital during a night shift, so I would be home with my kids during the day and not have to pay for daycare.

I ask everyone I can. Most say an RN is an RN. BSN is worth it only if you want to get into management or advanced degrees. I think it is different in different areas of the country, but it is universally so here, even the advisors at the BSN schools are sure about that.

Most also say getting a CNA certificate while in school is a great idea for several reasons. You learn a lot in the job, maybe not so much what you do in the job as what you see while you work. You have more of a frame of reference when you learn things in school. You meet people (very important around here for later getting a job, it is in many places but more so here than some others). It is required at some of the local schools and highly recommended at others - the schools assume you have at least had the training if not worked as a CNA and teach accordingly.

I am getting mine. If nothing else, it is a relatively small time/money committment with nothing but that time/money to lose and potentially a lot to gain.

Have you completed all your prerequisites as yet? I asked because,in my opinion, if you've completed your pre's and are about to enter a nursing program then I would say forget the CNA certificate and just go for the RN. If you have not began taking your pre's or close to completing them then a CNA certificate may not be a bad idea. For one, the experience is great, you learn so much, as far as dealing with patients,basic skills,etc...

Specializes in CNA.

Do you really want to apply for your first RN (ADN or BSN) job and have the following answer to "Aside from school, tell me about your healthcare experience?":

"I have absolutely none."

My ADN program required a CNA cert as part of the application process, but it did not require us to work as CNAs. Those of us that have worked as CNAs, EMTs, Techs, HUCs, Medics, Corpsman, etc, tend to do a lot better in clinical than those who have not.

Even more important, working in health care alongside actual RNs can let you know if you are even interested in nursing as a career. That experience is, in my opinion, invaluable to a nursing student. You start working on your personal nursing and healthcare practice from day one.

I did ADN instead of BSN for the cost. I would advise anyone to choose the BSN route if they can afford it, especially if it is their first degree. I plan on getting a BSN ASAP after I graduate and start working.

Good luck!

Where I live all the NS's require you be listed on our states NA registry before you can begin any nursing program. I believe it gives you a inside look on how it could be. My mother was accepted into a RN program (different part of the state) that didn't require you to be on the NA registry, and she didn't make it 3 weeks in the program. She figured out it wasn't for her. If she would have went through a NA class, she would have realized that much sooner and saved quite a bit of time and lots of money. I would highly suggest doing this especially if you are not quite sure you are cut out for nursing. Also, working as a NA during NS gives you experience and could possibly land you a good job in a hospital right after graduation.

I have been accepted into NS for my BSN, I start fall 2011 and I plan on getting my LNA this winter before I go there. My reasons being that I feel like it will be good to have for experience, this way when I get into clinicals I'm not in complete shock and have a basic idea of how things work. I don't plan on working during NS but if I do end up having to than I also have this as a cushion. I plan on using it during the summers off from school to earn some extra money and again, for the experience. Like a pp said, having absolutely no exp on top of being a new grad might not look great either. I just want to make sure that I can improve my odds of getting where I need to be in any way possible and if that means getting my LNA than so be it. Good luck and let us know what you decide.:)

One of the BSN programs I'm applying to requires that students get their CNA prior to beginning the program. So far, just the one school, but I can imagine more schools will be requiring this soon.

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