Problems getting started in Nursing

  1. I wasn't sure where to post this but being from Iowa, I thought I'd go ahead an post it here.
    I have a very strong desire to become a good nurse, to start out I wan't to become a CNA in a nursing home, after my first 6 months I'd like to get CMA certified, and begin college for an LPN, starting with the pre req's first.
    It seems I have 2 things going against me, the first being I am not CNA certified, and second I have a drinking and driving charge from a few years ago, which I believe is considered a felony. Now even know I don't drink at all anymore, (use to only socialy), and this is a past mistake I'm not having much luck getting my foot in the door, and they don't tell you why.
    I'm curious if it's lack of certification, the "felony", or both? I don't want to give up, and really feel that I could be a good nurse, and curious what I can do. If any of you have any sound advice or tips I would greatly appreciate it.
    If I could get my foot in the door, and get CNA certified, theres a community college in my area that offers the Nursing programs. I imagine I don't need to be a CNA to go thru the program but I think it would be great experience for me for the nursing atmosphere.
    Thank you for your time.
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    About RobertCrow

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 2


  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    Hi there

    My first advice to you is to figure out exactly what your conviction was for and whether it constitutes a misdemeanor versus felony, and if felony, what class. Be prepared to answer the inevitable questions that come up when you have to answer the application question about convictions. Be contrite (I made a stupid mistake which I deeply regret, and I'm trying to move on.)

    The only other place this will cause issues is once you get though nursing school and apply to take the NCLEX, past criminal history is reviewed. I don't know what Iowa is like, but I can tell you that my brother is a happily practicing RN now for several years after commiting a DUI before nursing school, so it shouldn't automatically disqualify you.

    You don't have to be CNA certified to be a nurse, and you would hear arguments from both sides as to whether or not it's pf great benefit. There are fine nurses on this board who both did and didn't work as CNA's prior to being nurses. If that's roadblocking you, skip it.

    Good luck!
  4. by   debblynn13
    I'm not exactly sure where you are in Iowa, but I am attending DMACC in ankeny now, graduating in 33 days :hatparty: . Nurse Ratched is right in that you need to find out whether you ended up with a Misdemenor or Felony. I have a friend who graduated last year as an LPN and got a OWI, it was considered a misdemonor and she had no problem getting her LPN license. If she was stupid and got another one then it would be a felony.

    As for the CNA, at DMACC it is required for you to take the CNA course. The nursing program builds on that course. If you become a CNA I would suggest going for the 120 hour course and work in the hospital. You would gain many skills there that would help with the nursing program.

    I do know there is an extremely long wait at DMACC to get into the nursing program. So if you are interested, start getting your prereqs and non nursing classes out of the way while you wait to get in. The nursing classes are plenty to keep you busy when you get to them without the added non nursing classes (microbiology, psych, humanities, ect ect)

    If you have any other questions just ask away..

    debblynn......RN to be