I have my AD in Medical Assisting, and am Certified thru the AANA.
I decided to go the Medical Assisting route because I was tired of the Nursing waiting list.
All of my credits were transferrable and when I finally entered the pre-nursing program I needed 5 pre-reqs (besides the nursing program/lab/clinical of course).
I think each college is different in credits accepted from other colleges and this is where it gets rough. Thankfully all of mine were accepted.
I have worked 5 years in Family Practice and 2 years in Pediatrics and chose to continue for my RN due to the lack of significance of my degree and certification, but most importantly the desire to be a "NURSE". Many organizations don't even look for CMA's as they can hire a person off the street with no degree, teach them on the job training and start them at less per hour/or the same per hour as a CMA.
Concerning a post where I read about a glass ceiling, it is true that working as a CMA is typically doctor office based, a CMA can do anything under the roof of a health care facility as long as they have been trained appropriately by a MD.
I have been very lucky and was able to work my pre-reqs around office hours working later on certain days tomake up for time missed etc.
I personally am happy that I chose to become a CMA, but I would not recommend it if you are able to get into a RN program (or a LPN program) due to the extra financial cost. If I hadn't of pursued my CMA I would probably still be working as a CNA and my back would be in worse condition than it already is.
Good Luck to you.