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CNA first and then RN?

by castrl1 castrl1 (New) New

I'm a full time pre-nursing student at a university currently completing my pre-reqs. I am considering putting school on hold to get a certificate for nursing assistant. The reason is, I could definitely use a better paying job than the one I have/have had and I also think it can/will be beneficial for my future as a nurse. What do you guys think? Is it worth it or should I just continue with my pre-nursing education?

i was a cna 2.5 yrs before my RN. It helped me tremendously. You get your foot in the door for a job, get experience, you see things that prepare you for what you learn in Nursing school, you see how things really are as well. In school, when we would talk about certain drains or illnesses, I had already seen what they were teaching about. I suggest being a CNA.

IMHO, you should stay in school and finish your prerequisites as quickly as you can and move on to your end goal of getting your BSN (or ADN) and becoming an RN. Why delay the process? With the annual increases in Tuition at most Universities, the longer you delay your education the more it will cost you in the long run. The majority of RNs were never CNAs before becoming a nurse and personally, I do not see any correlation between becoming an effective (good) RN and having a background as a CNA/LPN. Also, leaving school has some attendant risk. Many leave and never return for various reasons. Not to mention the additional cost of getting your CNA credential. Your sole purpose right now is getting your pre-reqs done and moving on to the RN program.


Specializes in Public Health. Has 4 years experience.

Who says you have to quit school to become a CNA?

I say go for it...but not the quitting school part. You can go for your CNA while finishing up your pre reqs. And having that experience while going thru nursing school will only benefit you. Plus, like already stated, you will get your foot in the door somewhere that will hopefully hire you on after you graduate.

I'm also thinking of getting certified by taking CNA classes over summer and maybe work as part-time while I finish my last semester of pre-reqs in fall. The only thing I am concerned about once I get accepted is my time management with both nursing school studies and CNA job..So that is important to think about. It might be possible and you still have your CNA job once you graduate. Or you can stick with volunteering.

Thank you all for responding ! :)

The reason I am even considering postponing school while becoming a CNA is because I am required to be a full time student if I attend a university because of a scholarship that I hold and the financial aid I get, so I'd be worried about balancing both studies and time management. But considering what SoniaReb said about tuition rates rising, she is so right. I might just transfer to a community college and finish up my pre-reqs there while becoming a CNA..

Edited by castrl1

i never meant stop nursing school (for i never mentioned such). i worked PRN as a cna, so i had to work 2 days a month only. you really do see more than most people with cna experience. it also is more respectable on the resume, showing you worked your way up. you already know how to do basic patient care as well when other classmates are just learning. Also, some hospitals accept Nursing students for a CNA in their last year of nursing school. No CNA school required.