Were you a CNA before you became a nurse? For how long?

  1. I am just curious as to how long I should be a CNA before I go to nursing school.
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    About tattooednursie

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 1,401; Likes: 126
    LVN in a LTC facility.; from US
    Specialty: Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,


  3. by   fairyprincess2003
    You don't have to be a CNA before becoming a nurse. Any experience helps though.
  4. by   almostanurse
    you dont have to be a CNA before you are a nurse. Its up to you, and there are great things you learn while being a CNA, but many nurses have never been CNAs and they are just as good as the ones who were.
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    I was a nurse aide (initially before we were required to be certified) for 6 years in a nursing home. While I think it helped "rule me in" as a nurse candidate (squeamishness is a good thing to realize before nursing school) it's certainly not necessary. In fact, I have seen some workplaces that would scare you off of nursing if you worked as an aide first lol.
  6. by   LPN99
    You don't need to be a CNA before becoming a nurse. I was an aide for 13yrs before going to nursing school and it helped me in a way that I was more prepared for what I had ahead of me. It is actually what each individual prefers. Several in my class had never been in nursing before and are doing very well.
  7. by   Dazedgiggle
    I was an LNA for 1 year in a nursing home then 6 years in an acute rehab. It's certainly not necessary to be a LNA prior to being a nurse, but it can only help!! I learned how to deal with patients and their different personalities, learned the very basics of care for another person, AND I learned how I DIDN'T want to treat the LNA's that help me as a nurse! I think it would be a great way for you to get experience. Good luck with whatever you decide!!
  8. by   Qwiigley
    Dazedgiggle has a good point. It will teach you how you don't want to treat a CNA that you are working with as a RN. CNA work is exhausting and thankless. Thank goodness there are kind hearted people who do this job. It is a part of nursing that you learn, but then when you are a nurse, you deligate this stuff to others. You need to know how to do it, to teach those that you deligate, but don't be mislead into thinking that it is "nursing." It is caring for others, but there is no critical thinking. Believe me, it is a difficult job.. if you do decide to do it, learn all of the tricks from those that have been doing it for years. They can teach you a lot.
  9. by   adrienurse
    I worked as a health care aid and a home care worker for 4 years to earn money and learn while I was in university.
  10. by   bagladyrn
    I worked as a CNA at a state psych facility for a year and a half before starting an LPN program because the state hospital had a program that would put you through LPN training if you were an employee for at least a year first. Then worked as an LPN to get through RN program.
  11. by   Jenny P
    I started feeding patients in our local nursing home when I was 15 (too young to be an aide) then once I did turn 16 I became an aide (back in the days before certification) and did that til I was 19 and was a practical nurse til I graduated from RN school at age 20. You don't HAVE to be an aide first, but it certainly opens your eyes as to what nursing is and what you do as a nurse.
  12. by   Tweety
    I had no experience when I went to nursing school. I had worked in offices and restaurants. My last quarter in nursing school I worked as a CNA for about 5 months before working as a nurse. The 3 months did help though. It got me used to working with nurses and patients. I recommend it.
  13. by   Heather333
    I worked as CNA and unit secretary in ICU for 6 years before I became an RN. You don't have to become a CNA before going to nursing school. From my own experience, it made nursing school a lot easier. I was already familiar with the terminology and taking care of patients.

  14. by   mattsmom81
    If you like CNA work and it doesn't scare you off...and you want to be a nurse, go for it ASAP, I say!

    No need to put it off...you can work part time while you're in school and get lots of OJT!

    Best wishes!!