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College or Freestanding Program?

CNA/MA   (4,215 Views 7 Comments)
by GPdreams GPdreams (New Member) New Member

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I'd like to become a nurse eventually as I'm currently taking the pre-reqs. However I'm just drowning in debt and I'd like to work as a CNA in the mean time. I was told not to attend a freestanding program because it won't count towards my degree. Are there any freestanding programs that are an exception to this rule? I'm in Baltimore, MD.

My friend said it'd be better off to take the class at the community college. But that's 4 months of classes that can honestly be done in about a month like the freestanding programs offer. Also, I'd have to wait another 7 months before going to school.

Thanks!

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience and specializes in ..

9,779 Visitors; 1,196 Posts

I haven't ever seen a freestanding program (like those offered by facilities and career centers, etc) count for credit, but that's the route I went anyway.

I found my class for free, and it was about a month long including clinicals. When I considered that, I just couldn't justify taking the course at college. True, as a nursing student you will re-learn the basic nursing things you learn in a CNA class, but it is worth it, even if only because getting your CNA certification before you start school will allow you to get some experience in early (not to mention make some money while you go to school, if you so desire).

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1,493 Visitors; 8 Posts

Wow! Where did you find a free program? I'm trying to get in contact with a nursing home that offers a program, but I'm not sure how long it is.

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience and specializes in ..

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Several retirement communities in my area offer free classes, a couple even pay you.

I don't know what every state's site is like, but on the Indiana state board of health website, there is a list that shows every facility that offers CNA training by county. You might check and see if your state has something similar. You might try googling "*insert state here* cna training sites" or something similar.

I know there are people who think it's best to take a paid, longer course at a college rather than the shorter ones found at facilities, but I disagree. Anything you can do to save money is good, and I'll be honest - I have been just as well prepared as other aides I've worked with and better prepared than some. No matter where you take your class, the real learning happens once you start working.

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KimberlyRN89 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

23,335 Visitors; 1,641 Posts

I live in Maryland too (PG County) & I'm in a freestanding program. In fact one person in our class is from Baltimore. I was going to take the class at PGCC or AACC but like you said its four months long & a little more expensive. I started my class on Feb. 2nd & I'm already finished with theory & starting clinicals on Monday.By the end of the month I'll be licensed :D Nursing homes do offer free training (along with Baltimore Washington Medical Center offers one every couple of months) but the catch is you have to work for them for a yr.

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yousoldtheworld has 5 years experience and specializes in ..

9,779 Visitors; 1,196 Posts

I live in Maryland too (PG County) & I'm in a freestanding program. In fact one person in our class is from Baltimore. I was going to take the class at PGCC or AACC but like you said its four months long & a little more expensive. I started my class on Feb. 2nd & I'm already finished with theory & starting clinicals on Monday.By the end of the month I'll be licensed :D Nursing homes do offer free training (along with Baltimore Washington Medical Center offers one every couple of months) but the catch is you have to work for them for a yr.

Sometimes! Here, some make you work for them and some don't. The program I took did not require us to work for the facility afterwards.

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591 Visitors; 1 Post

Hi GPDREAMS, I am in the same postion as you are. Im taking pre-reqs and Im interested in becoming a CNA. I also live in Baltimore but honestly through all of my research I have never heard of any CNA courses that will count towards a nursing degree. Even if you take them at a community college, it isnt a credit program so the credits wont count towards your degree. I know at Baltimore County Community College you have to take Medical Terminology but be ware, they have Med Term classes is credit and non-credit . Even if you take the one that is for credit unless your going to a BSN program that class isnt a requirement in most nursing programs. I think you should go to whatever program your comfortable with. Also depending on the school you go to for your RN or BSN the intro nursing course and/or clinicals are waived for CNAs. That waiver is for CNAs period and it doesnt matter whether you went to a college or a free standing school.

Good luck,

Kei!

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