Jump to content

CNA training during COVID

Posted
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I actually am not a student yet. I want to get into nursing and work at a hospital. I was thinking I would possibly start as nursing assistant and then start nursing school as soon as I can afford it and then once I am finished with school I would work as an RN. A big problem I am running into is that just about every nursing assistant job wants the candidate to be a certified nursing assistant. I am not certified so I also have been trying to look up some CNA programs to get into so I can be certified and then get a job as a CNA.

The problem with that right now is finding a program. I cannot seem to find any programs right now due to COVID-19. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how I can best go about either getting a job as a nursing assistant or getting certified. I would love to be certified I just cannot seem to find any classes anywhere right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Dear Wants CNA certification,

Many CNA programs are temporarily shut down depending on location. Even if they could manage social distancing in the classroom, they will be challenged finding clinical sites.

You're right, most hospitals hire only CNAs or second semester nurses. Your best bet is to start on your pre-requisites and land whatever you are able to right now.

Sorry, I know that is not what you wanted to hear. In the meantime, keep checking back with the CNA training schools as this situation is very fluid.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Hi Nurse Beth,

I wanted to first thank you for answering this question as it was my question. And also tell you that I just got a job as a Registration / Scheduling Specialist at a hospital and plan to start my pre-reqs in the next upcoming weeks. After I am done my pre-reqs I will then apply to this 3 year accelerated part-time nursing school so I can work full-time while going to school part-time. Again I wanted to thank you for this advice. I am very excited to start my new journey in both working at a hospital and finally becoming a nurse after the constant thoughts I had about it for the past 4 or so years.

Thanks!

- Lydia

On 8/22/2020 at 12:58 AM, Bonesfan47 said:

And also tell you that I just got a job as a Registration / Scheduling Specialist at a hospital and plan to start my pre-reqs in the next upcoming weeks.

It will be good to be in the hospital. You'll be able to learn more about how things roll (how people move around to other positions, the routes they like to use for hiring nurses, etc. Also, interacting with patients, obviously!). So CONGRATS on the job.

Wanted to mention that very large systems in my area do not strictly require CNA certification to work in acute care. Instead, they place people into nursing technician roles and have their own programs to properly orient them for the role. The basic qualification is high school diploma. CNAs can be hired into the role of NT (nurse tech), but being a CNA is not absolutely mandatory.

Obviously this may be a very regional thing; just wanted to mention it.

My last bit of $.02 is that you may want to try to maneuver into a direct patient care role sometime in the next couple of years so that you are working in that role when you sit for NCLEX and are looking for an RN job. Again, maybe just my area but the sought-after places/postings will have a large pool of new-RN applicants that do have direct patient care experience and a lot of them will be internal applicants currently working in the NA/NT role. So...make a good impression in this new role you just landed, learn how to professionally interact with patients/public/coworkers, etc., but also maybe down the road try to maneuver into one of their direct care roles.

Best of luck ~

On 8/22/2020 at 12:58 AM, Bonesfan47 said:

Hi Nurse Beth,

I wanted to first thank you for answering this question as it was my question. And also tell you that I just got a job as a Registration / Scheduling Specialist at a hospital and plan to start my pre-reqs in the next upcoming weeks. After I am done my pre-reqs I will then apply to this 3 year accelerated part-time nursing school so I can work full-time while going to school part-time. Again I wanted to thank you for this advice. I am very excited to start my new journey in both working at a hospital and finally becoming a nurse after the constant thoughts I had about it for the past 4 or so years.

Thanks!

- Lydia

Keep in mind that a lot of nursing programs require that you have your CNA certification. I would double check with the program to see if they require it. My nursing program did not allow us to even submit an application without our certification.