CNA or...?

Nurses General Nursing


I am curious as to what my next step should be.

Im very close to reciving my GED thus opening up alot of options for myself as far as my career is concerned. Currently I am working inside an Assisted Living Facility. I like it alot but I def. would like to try out other fields in the future.

Ive been told I should definetly go for CNA certification. As a CNA, you can normally always find work. Others mentioned a CMA, but I have heard the work is not as plentiful for a CMA as opposed to an CNA.

You can see by my SN I would like to be an RN or better yet a Nurse Practiconer as it slower pace seems slightly more suited to me. But, I am still very confused, being only 18 years old. That is why I would like to explore my options before going to college.

What would YOU suggest for someone in my position?

Also, do you know what kinda of program the Army/Navy...etc offer for someone to get experience in a Nursing type position? Even as an Assistant.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this. Even bigger thanks for any response's!


165 Posts

First let me say congrats on getting your GED. I too myself got my GED after quiting school due to pregnancy. I must say that I would not change anything. I am 20 years old and I am a CNA. I also work in a LTC facility and love my work. I am working PRN now because they don't have an opening for full time. So I am getting another position in the hospital PRN so that I can work almost full time. I am also in school for my pre reqs for the RN program. I am attending a community college taking pre reqs and in the Spring I am transfering to a local university to do the BSN program. I am wanting to get my CRNA. Well while working now..when I go full time I will work from 7am to 3 pm and only go to school three days a week at night. If the class is offered online then I do this because of my husband and kids. Well while working I am getting in good with the DON and other nurses which will make good references one day. Also they work with my family and school schedule. They also help me pay for school tuition and books. This is also helpful. I think that a CNA position is wonderful because I get to work side by side with many LPN's and RN's. They teach me what they can and I am also trained to do things such as draw blood, and caths. I am also in a medical terminology class that helps a lot. This will all help with my RN program. The nurses help me with my work if I need it. Must say it pays off..I have a 4.0.. Going to school at the community colllege is making my classes easier.

I am unsure if this is what your looking for but a CMA is a Certified Medical Assistant. This is a two year program where I am at and I would recommend going on and doing the RN pre reqs so that you don't waste two years when you could have been working on your RN.

What state do you live in? Good Luck


189 Posts

Thank you very much for the reply,information and kind words as well!

I am in the great state of Oregon. I have been told our CNA state board testing is one of the toughest there is. Eek! :)


165 Posts

Have you talked to local community colleges or nursing homes to see if they train you to be a CNA? If not call them and find out how it goes. Do you live near a community college that has the RN program? If so then call them on Monday and find out and if they do then go on and go to school for the pre reqs for the ADN program. Also find out what kind of financial aid they offer for GED students, then apply and find out how you need to apply. Also try to get Phell is wonderful..Also check out the CNA class and find out how long it takes. THen do it and take pre reqs for your RN. Work somewhere and get them to help with tuition reimbursement. Make sure they have it first. Good Luck..What city do you live in in oregon? What cities are near you and i will help you find info..Good Luck and never ever give up


189 Posts

I work at an Assisted Living facility and I believe they will pay for the class which is held about 15 miles from here. Should I take that route, that is probably what I will do. The place where I work also offers to pay your tuiton, not sure of all the details but they will assist pretty well, i think. Only problem is, I have been told by other employees that they pay well below what you COULD make and make you sign a 2-4 year contract. Not sure where that stands in relation to other places but it sounds bad?

I am in Canby here in Oregon. It's a small town outside of Portland(Major Metropolitan), about a 20 minute drive.

Alll your info is greatly appreciated. When I do decide what I should/want to do, your info will greatly affect my decision.


1,041 Posts

Michael, Why don't you start your name and become certified by our great state of oregon and do the CNA thing. It ws the best decision because I lernt more working at a hospital more than even nursing school taught me for 6 months.

All you gotta do is pay to learn basic PT care and pay/pass the oregon state board of nursing CNA test. It was rough at times, but you can do it. If you like helping people, do it. But if your a prude with people then don't. You know (wink)


1,041 Posts

Michael, I'm sorry I did not read your post all the way through and didn't see you are 18. You should forget about the nursing aspect and join the Unite States Marine Corps for infantry for 4 years and really see the world. Only as a "grunt" can you do this. Save up for nursing school and do stuff while your young and easy to train.

You can always go into nursing once you get out of the Marines, but yule only be able to explore the other end of the human services aspects of actions while your 18-19. Pick out a day 3 months from now and commit to four years. I hope that helps.


703 Posts

Specializes in PACU.

micheal we seem to be in the same boat, heres my story i am 18 working as a cna while completing pre reqs. i think the cna is thebest experinece, i love it. but as the above post said you can always see the world do the marine corps thing. its all up to you . do whatever makes you happy and satiafied with life. only you can choose the road you want to take. good luck!!


189 Posts

I guess everyone cemented my thoughts of going towards my CNA.

Thanks alot!


189 Posts

Originally posted by mario_ragucci

If you like helping people, do it. But if your a prude with people then don't. You know (wink)

Just curious, what is this supposed to mean exactly?


17 Posts

I agree ... four years in the Infantry will do wonders. But don't be a Jarhead. Go Army :D

Seriously though, have you considered Army Medic? I got my first taste of medical training as an Infantry NCO which has now, after many years in engineering and management, led me to pursue a BSN. I met a few outstanding medics in my five years as a grunt. Look into it.

Minh Thong

(Former US Army Infantryman)


165 Posts


what is the name of your area community college? Which school are near you? and what are the area hospitals names? I am looking for some info for can PM if you want

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