Is CNA even worth going for?

  1. I was at the clinic today and I spoke to a girl who was an LPN and me and her got into a conversation about how she went about becoming an LPN. I shared with her that I was going to take a CNA course that was going to be free. She went ahead and said "why? Just go for nursing". Then I went to get my blood drawn by the phlebotomist and she told me she was a medical assistant with training in phlebotomy and I asked her if she thought going for CNA was worth it and she went on a rant. " why would you want to wipe someone's ass? You aren't going to work in a hospital you will work in a nursing home". This made me feel kind of dumb for even thinking of doing CNA but I will take the course and complete it just to say I started from the bottom I guess. I felt that there was so much negativity towards becoming a CNA but I think becoming a CNA will test me to see if I really want this. Any advice? Do you regret becoming a CNA? Has it helped you become a better nurse? Person? Any input will be great thanks!
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    About angellove6776

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 14


  3. by   ILoveHealthCare
    I'm a medical assistant and I'm currently in school for vocational nursing and the medical assistant at my doctors office had that reaction as to why I would go for lvn instead of rn. Each person has their own reason. I don't think it's a bad thing to start as a cna. Many of my classmates did and we have a better foundation with medical experience. Good luck!

    It's a beautiful day to save lives.
  4. by   missnurse01
    I did not do cna first. It would have deterred me from every doing nursing. I have the utmost respect for people that do that job. I know many nursing programs require it before admission though.

    good luck
  5. by   swarren3
    In kansas you have to have your cna to do anything in the nursing field. Plus it is a humbling experience that has taught me great patience and real resident care. I plan on workin my way up to bsn but even with that the baby steps you take now make a firm foundation to work from.
  6. by   ebinbrooklyn
    I did CNA for four years and it's a very tough job but you make some amazing contacts and depending on those relationships sometimes people give you opportunities out of your scope of duty. With just my CNA and several years of experience I ended up working for a plastic surgeon assisting in surgery and helping the RN run the office, so you can make a lot of it and use it as a stepping stone to bigger things!
  7. by   maddiem
    Being a CNA might not be a pretty job, but if you are going to become an RN one day it will be very helpful when you get to nursing school. The concepts you learn in a CNA class are the very basics of nursing in general. You will be ahead at the start of nursing school and you'll understand your Fundamentals class much easier as well. Plus, it will teach you later on to respect the CNA's you work with when you are and RN. I have a friend who worked as a CNA in nursing school and she is now an RN. She said she was really glad she spent time as a CNA and that it taught her a lot. You get more comfortable around patients and your first RN job might not be as 'scary' because you have already spent time actually working in a facility, not just clinicals.

    So I say that you should go for your CNA! Especially if you are going to do it for free. Just be sure to work at a nice facility when you get certified because that will be a huge factor to how much you will enjoy your job. CNA work isn't pretty and can be very hard work, so working for a good facility kind of balances everything out
  8. by   Okie36
    In my nursing program, it is required to be a CNA to get admitted to nursing program..
  9. by   NPOaftermidnight
    Just to say you "started from the bottom" isn't a good reason to do it. Working as a CNA in a nursing home is a completely different job than working as an RN in, say, a hospital. If you want to become a CNA and work in a nursing home, take the CNA class. If you want to become a nurse, go to nursing school. It's really that simple : )

    Having experience as a CNA/LPN does help people in nursing school/starting off as new nurses. However, there are plenty of people that get their RNs with no healthcare experience at all and they tend to catch up pretty quickly.
  10. by   MrChicagoRN
    I was an EMT for about 6 months before entering nursing school.

    Years ago, I never heard anyone consider becoming a CNA before becoming a RN. However, now it does provide an advantage over other new grads with no clinical experience.

    It's really up to you.
  11. by   MommaTy
    I think going for a CNA before nursing is the best. You get to see if you really like healthcare. If you can't handle CNA you wont be able to handle being a nurse. I have been a CNA for almost 10 years in May. I like that I experienced a lot. I know for sure that nursing is for me. I just got accepted to the ADN program for fall 2013. Some schools require you to have it before you apply and others who don't require it actually gives you a lot of points toward getting into the program. They look for it because so many people who apply never had healthcare experience and then drop nursing because they had no idea what they were getting into.
  12. by   missnurse01
    I am not like MommTy, I would not have been able to handle CNA, but did fine as a nurse. It all depends on you!

    I think schools like it because they have to concentrate less on teaching 'basic' nursing care tasks during their program. Also it gives them another way to weed people out if they have hundreds of applicants.

    good luck whatever your decision!
  13. by   RunnerRN2015
    My RN school requires a CNA course before you start the program and several of us work as CNAs while in school. The majority of us work in hospitals; only a few work in LTC facilities. I enjoy being a CNA! I'm at a pediatric hospital and am grateful for the experience. I am much more confident in clinicals and am comfortable talking with doctors, residents, PT/OT, etc since I encounter them at work all the time. I'm confident when I go into patients' rooms to take vitals, I&Os, etc. I know the computer system that we use in clinicals since I use the same system at work (my school is affiliated with the hospital system I work at). I've already been offered RN jobs from a couple of NMs that I've worked with in clinicals and I don't graduate until 2014! For me, working as a CNA was definitely the right choice for me.
  14. by   msmaggiemo
    You should definitely continue your plan to take the CNA course because it is free!!!
    Have you found any other medical professional courses that were also free?
    Free medical field courses aren't too easy to come by, and many of them have age limits and the requirements usually change every year, so take that free course.
    Why go for your CNA instead of going straight for nursing??
    Because if you start at the is less costly... I've been looking into it, and it so much easier on people financially to work their way through their nursing careers.
    So if you are a CNA working toward an LPN, you can use your CNA money to get an LPN...LPN, use your LPN money to get your RN.
    If you look for jobs in a hospital, you will get one.
    If you look for jobs only in a nursing home, you will get one only in a nursing home.
    Completing the course doesn't mean you started from the bottom...actually working for like an entire day means you started from the bottom.
    Most people who weren't CNAs have zero respect for CNAs.
    I just got my CNA license and so far I do not regret it.
    I start orientation for my first job as a CNA and this whole process is making me look at my future.
    When I talked to other CNAs and this LPN, they all said that I should stay in school as much as I can and get my RN asap because being a CNA isn't where the money is. I see the stress CNAs go through, they really do not get paid enough most of the time, but they were all very caring of other people.