I cannot agree with David enough! I am a tech right now and am about to begin at Chamberlain College of Nursing on March 1st. I agree with him in regards to his views about being accepted into a program... there is one out there for you. But if you do not have the time to sit and wait to be accepted to a community college, you may have to apply to a private school, like I did. It is more expensive, but in the long run it will benefit you. You will end up with a BSN degree, which many hospitals are looking for from new grads anyway. Chamberlain has a 3 year accelerated program (if you are starting from scratch with no prereqs completed). I have many prereqs completed, so I am looking at taking about 2 years from start to finish to complete my BSN degree.
I also agree with him in regards to his advice about working on the floor. Being a tech, I understand the importance of guidance of a good nurse. Working as a tech (CNA) is extremely hard work, and without a nurses guidance, it is nearly impossible to be confident in your skills. Some nurses are not willing to help with taking patients to the bathroom. I will get a call on my phone from the front desk stating the room 02A has to go to the bathroom. The same nurse will call me 30 seconds later and tell me that room 19B has to go to the bathroom. This is all while I am taking ANOTHER patient to the bathroom. Obviously I cannot be in 3 places at one time. That means that the nurse would rather have 2 patients wait to go to the bathroom. And this is when patient falls happen- people get impatient (I wonder why?) and get up to go to the bathroom on their own with a nerve block still in effect.
So, it is really important to not only train your CNA well, but to be willing to help them out when they are getting backed-up.
Thanks for the advice, David! I really appreciate it!