Nursing Assistant - How?

Nurses Career Support


I am going back to school in the fall to get my BSN... wish me luck! smile.gif Although I have a degree in biology education, I would like some hospital experience before graduation. Do you have any suggestions as to what kind of work I could do? What about a CNA? What does/can a CNA do and how does one become a CNA?

Thanks for your help!!!


Hi, I have worked as a cna for several years.I took my training in high school,but there are several programs out there for nursing assistants. The cna is the front line. They give all of the basic care and do most of the dirty work in ltc. This job requires a lot of heavy lifting so you need a strong back. You can complete your training with-in two to three weeks. My advice leave your college degree at home.


Nursing assistant

In my state, a person cannot work as a CNA unless they are certified. In order to start working within a hospital environment, I began by taking ECG's (6 weeks on-the-job-training) and then worked in the pharmacy making IV's. After I finished my biology degree, I left the hospital and began working in labs - boring, dreary work. I wanted something more people-oriented and exciting (hospitals are very energetic places), so now I'm working on a BSN. I think it's a great move. You could go to school while simultaneously working in an allied-health job (one that doesn't require licensing).

In my area, all of the hospitals will hire nursing students upon completion of basic nursing fundamentals course (usually the first semester of nursing school). You are hired as a nurse tech or intern and pretty much function as a PCA/CNA. At the hospital that I'm at, we're also able to draw labs, do EKGs, insert foleys, etc. I have learned so much doing this, and have had a lot more experience with basic pt care than I ever could have had by doing only clinicals-just being in the hospital environment gives you more confidence. Also, it's a great way to get your foot in the door if you know where you might like to work as a nurse!

Your hospital may offer some in-house training to become a patient care assistant/nursing assistant, check there first. I am signed up to take a 3 week accredidated course through a training school. It's costing me $300 but I will be able to work as a PCT afterwards at my hospital. I'm a monitor tech now. Working on the floor will help get the basics down before your first clinical rotation. Plus, it will help you make sure you're making the right choice to go for a BSN.

Thank you so much for your replies! I checked with a local hospital and was offered to be trained as a CNA! Unfortunately, the shift was too difficult to manage at this point in my life so I declined the position and took a part-time endoscopy position instead. I'm really enjoying myself so far and can't wait to start school this fall! Thanks again for your help!!! smile.gif

Hello everyone!

I am in Louisville kentucky. Here you have to have CNA in order to get into nursing school. I am about to take CNA (also called MNA) course at the Red Cross. They have a very flexible schedule and the cost is about the same as other programs (400$). Caritas also offers course but the coordinator doesn't return phone calls so its hard to get answers to questions. JCC also offers the class at the technical school.

I have a question. When i check the employement ads for CNA at local hospitals, they always require at least one year long term care experience. So, how does one get long term care experience if you are a new CNA? I've written to some of the human resource departments at hospitals and have yet to get an answer.

Any info is helpful. Thank you.


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