College won't let me apply to CNA program, age restriction? Please help..I'm so upset

  1. Hi...today I went to the community college's advising center to ask about the CNA program. I've had my heart set on doing this for quite a while, and I'm graduating this year. The problem is, I skipped a grade so I'll just be turning 17 in March, and they refuse to let me apply until I'm 18. They said it was the law. I really don't want to wait an entire year to get started on this. I want to enter the nursing program and be an RN as soon as I can.
    So I called some nursing homes near me and one of them gives a free class, but I have to agree to work for them for six months before I can be certified. I'm not sure if I want to do that at all. However, I find it very strange the college claims there are CNA age laws, yet I can still be employed by a nursing home as young as age 16.
    I wouldn't have to deal with this at all, but in order to apply to the nursing program at the college, you must be a certifed CNA, and since it's on the point system, the longer you've been working as a CNA the more possibility you have of getting in to the program.
    Will someone please help me? Do you think there is any way I could convince the college to let me in? thanks and sorry for the long post.
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    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 17

    14 Comments

  3. by   ayndim
    Have you tried the Red Cross? I don't know if there is an age restriction but in some areas they do offer a CNA class.
  4. by   mom2michael
    Are there any vo-tech schools in your area? Sometime they'll allow you to start earlier. The ones around here actually have a joint parternership with the High Schools and they teach classes that earn college credit (and CNA classes) while the students are in their junior and senior year.

    Good luck!!!
  5. by   okie2
    In my state you don't have to be certified to work as a Nurse assistant if the nursing home facility wants to hire & train you. They can let you work without a cert. for up to 4 months. The minimum age for CNA is 16 & for CMA it's 18. You should check with other schools and state agencies to make sure of the age requirement.
    Good Luck!
    Last edit by okie2 on Jan 4, '05
  6. by   NurseNancyNP
    Here in FL it is not required that you attend a class to become a CNA. You only need to be able to pass the test to become certified. The experience needed to pass the exam possibly may be gained through volunteering. Check out your local hospitals and nursing homes for these opportunities. The test here is relatively straight forward and involves being able to clean patients, take vital signs, and assist with transfers(moving patients from bed to chair or chair to bed, etc.) and daily activities.


    Good luck!
  7. by   QUnicole2007
    This past summer I became a CNA because my college counselor recommended it. I would to go local nursing homes and hospitals and see if they are offering any upcoming classes. My instructor told us that the age was 16, so you should question that, and keep on searching for someplace that offers a class. Good luck!!
  8. by   meownsmile
    I agree that you should check with other places. It may be that some nursing homes have age restrictions on their liability policies because of potential lawsuits. You cant sue someone under 18 for liability, usually the parents are responsible, so that said it maybe that their insurance carrier discourages them in hiring people under 18. Not that they CANT,, they may just prefer not to.
  9. by   lovingtheunloved
    In AZ, you have to be at least 16 to apply for certification. Why the college won't let you in the program, I don't know. They may have their own rules for admission to the program. It may have something to do with the school's liability. You may want to reconsider the nursing home. Six months goes by really fast, and the experience is well worth it.
  10. by   curleysue
    I actually took the CNA class at age 17 then when I turned 18 I was able to take the test and be certified in Oregon. I think it might be different in every state for some silly reason. I don't see why you couldn't at least take the class at 17 and continue on taking the exam when you turn 18. Whats the big deal with that? Curleysue
  11. by   AdobeRN
    What about classes at your high school. This was several years ago, but I became a CNA in California during my senior year in high school. It was some kind of work experience program, counted as an elective, we went to class for so many weeks, were tested and then we got to work as students in area hospitals/nursing homes. I was 17 at that time.

    If you can handle working in the nursing home for 6 months to become certified, I would do that. You will need the experience anyway. Do your time, get your certification then move on.
  12. by   purplemania
    I can see where being a legal adult would be a factor in caring for the public. Even if you find a course elsewhere, can you get a job before your 18th birthday? You can use this year to take other courses, like medical terminology or something related to your field. You might also contact a healthcare facility to see if they have an opening suitable for your age and experience. Anything you learn will help your career. Don't focus on the negative---you have many years to pursue your dream. Good luck!
  13. by   curleysue
    Yah, I agree with jaimeB, I took my CNA class at my high school too. However it depends on where you live whether they offer it there or not.
  14. by   akcarmean
    Check around first and if you can't find anything see if you can start to take other classes. If you are going for your RN then there are plenty of pre-req. classes that have to be taken. You could also start there. Good Luck

    Angie

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