? for PA cna's

  1. I am a 1st semester nursing student in Pittsburgh and have been hearing that I can sit for the exam to become a certified nursing assistant after my first semester. Can anyone explain to me the process? I would be especially interested from those of you in Pittsburgh that have gone this route.

    I am currently working in an office environment and am trying to think ahead because I know eventually I will need more flexibility in nursing school. My job right now is only in operation M-F 8-5:30pm.

    Thank you for your help!!

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    About TCW

    Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 160


  3. by   RNIAM
    All of this CNA tersting is new to me so i don't have the answers your looking for. I will be following your thread to see the replies you do get. Good luck with finding your answer.
  4. by   colleen10
    Hi Tonya!

    We have quite a bit in common, I too am from Pittsburgh and am currently in my 3rd semester of Pre and Co-req's for a Nursing Degree. I only have one or two more semesters of req's. to go before I can get into clinicals.

    I currently work in an office environment 8:30 - 5:00 Mon-Friday and I too have been searching for a job related to medicine that will give me flexibility when I do get into my clinicals and nursing classes.

    I have not heard though, that 1st semester Nursing Students can sit for CNA boards. I would be interested if anyone can provide more info. I do know that after the 1st year is completed Nursing students often get Nursing related positions in hospitals, etc.

    I have looked into the CNA route but all of the information I have found refers you to the 6 to 8 week full time CNA Course. I have also been applying to local hospitals for Patient Care Tech and PC Aide jobs but to no avail.

    Feel free to Private Message me if you like. I'd be interested in emailing you and finding more about what type of program you are in.

    Good luck!

  5. by   camkib
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post...(so it's special) I've heard that most nursing students are eligible for CNA testing after a minimum 6 weeks of clinicals. ( Keep in mind that I spend alot of time reading this bb, and I may have just read it or figured it from another post.) It may differ from state to state, but if you ask your nursing program they should be able to give you a more precise answer

    Hope this helps
    Last edit by camkib on Aug 27, '02
  6. by   Gator,SN
    Hello! Well, I hope that I can be some help to you....I sat for the CNA exam after the first semester of the RN program.
    First, I needed an official copy of my college transcript and I had to fill out and application through the PA board of Education. (send both together) Next they sent my an "approval" form. After getting this (about 3 weeks later) I called and scheduled to take the exam at a testing site. It cost me $96 and it consisted of both parts, the written (easy!) and the hand -on skills. I did not think that this was hard at all, although the 2 people ahead of me were flunked for some minor infractions. (one for not ASKING how to comb a pts hair and the other for turning the water focet off correctly) I was very nervous after that.
    Good luck to you with this....it is not hard to do. I got a nice raise after that so it was worth the money!


    PS/ in case you are interested, I called a local nursing home and spoke with the human resources director and she sent me the form for the board of education...if you can get a home in your area to help you, great! and if not call the Board yourself and request it!
  7. by   sfsn
    I'm not in PA, but I don't know if this would be different in different states.

    I just got a job as a CNA and I'm about to start my 3rd semester of my BSN program. At the hospital I'm going to work at, the requirements for a CNA position are *either* CNA certification (by going to a class and taking the exam) *or* enrolled in a nursing program. That's how they list it in the job posting.

    Maybe some hospitals in your area have the same requirements! I think they look for students that have already completed med-surg clinicals, but I'm not sure.

    Also, at my school, after you have completed med-surg, you can have a faculty member sign a form that basically says you are qualified to work as a CNA. I guess in my state that completing med-surg clinicals in a nursing program waives the CNA class/exam requirement. Maybe you can check with someone in your nursing department at school.

    Hope this helps!
  8. by   TCW
    Thanks to everyone for your replies. I received a lot of useful information tonight! I am going to check with my clinical instructor on Saturday to see what she says. I figure that because in our first semester clinical we are learning the very basics of what a CNA does that we might somehow be qualified to sit for the exam. Guess I'll find out soon. Love this bb...everyone's so helpful.