Is taking the CNA exam worth it for me?


Im about to be in my third year of a BSN program at UD, and today I heard back from the NJ dept of health in regards to taking the CNA exam. Unfortunately I only have two months left of summer to work and then I go back to Delaware.

I have no work/volunteer experience at all in the medical field which is why I have not gotten a callback from the twenty job applications to hospitals I sent out.

This fall I will have my first nurse preceptorship at a pediatrics hospital, which should be a great experience.

Now on to my question, is it worth it for me to take the CNA exam and possibly work for a month or two? Or should I just hold off and end up gaining experience this fall anyways? We have a very long winter break at UD (8 weeks) and I was planning on getting a position at a hospital for that time period, would the CNA certification help or would my 80 hour preceptorship be good enough?

btw this is my first post ever, Thanks!

Wait... so you would just work for a month or two as a CNA and then quit when you begin your preceptorship?


366 Posts

Specializes in psych/dementia.

Most places around here require a CNA license to work even if you have tons of clinical experience in school. If you want to work in NJ over winter break, I'd definitely get the CNA.

Specializes in Cardiothoracic ICU. Has 7 years experience.

I mean I don't have to be working as a CNA, having the certification would just improve my chances of landing an entry job, at least in my opinion right?


2 Posts

CNA training was required for entry into my nursing program, but CNA licensure was not. I took licensure test anyway, thinking it was a slam dunk. Turns out I had a grumpy DON proctoring the thing, and I was failed although I earn A's in my classes which included clinicals and I did my routine correctly. Waste of $100 for me, so my 2ยข is that any employer that wants me to get a CNA first doesn't meet my standards. Your results or state may vary.