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Requirement to be a CNA to be Accepted?

Hi there,

I have been looking into several nursing programs that require their students are CNA's/NAC's prior to admission. I am a Certified Medical Assistant. Does anyone know if these schools would accept this experience/certification? My understanding is that CMA's have a larger scope of practice than CNA's but still...it's not technically meeting the requirement. I have tried to contact the advisor at one school I am interested in but haven't heard back yet.

If anyone has any insight or experience with this it'd be greatly appreciated!

jaycam, RN

Has 2 years experience.

Your best bet is to talk to an admissions advisor for the school you're applying to. Here where I live, most programs require either you take the NAC at a college, you've passed the state exam, higher/equal license, or medical experience. It's going to be the school that decides what they accept.

Hi there,

I have been looking into several nursing programs that require their students are CNA's/NAC's prior to admission. I am a Certified Medical Assistant. Does anyone know if these schools would accept this experience/certification? My understanding is that CMA's have a larger scope of practice than CNA's but still...it's not technically meeting the requirement. I have tried to contact the advisor at one school I am interested in but haven't heard back yet.

If anyone has any insight or experience with this it'd be greatly appreciated!

I'm just guessing here, while the scope may be larger, CMA might not be relatable in the ways the program is looking for, especially since most CMAs work in the office setting. As a CNA they are probably looking for experience with things like vital signs, transferring patients, assisting with activities of daily living, making beds, etc. If as a CMA you have experience doing these things, I would highlight that in your conversation.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

CMA (medical assisting) is part of the medical model of care provision. CNA (nursing assistant) is part of the nursing model of care provision. There's a reason schools are not accepting your CMA credential in place of the CNA certification.

I completed a medical assisting program 16 years ago and was unable to use the credential for advanced placement into any of the nursing programs that I have attended. Again, there's a reason for it. Good luck to you.

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

In my old school, they made it so that they had to take the class (rule started the semester after I started). The main reasoning was to help cut back on the amount of "basic" stuff they needed to teach. Like I have to try and remember as a nurse the proper way to give a bed bath. I suck at bed baths. ADLs? Not the greatest. However, I was a paramedic so want to learn how ACLS is kind of like a drinking game? What they are trying to do is to move away from having to instruct people on some basics like bed baths, bed making, etc since everyone is a CNA they must know it.

Oh, bed making. Shudders. In the ER we throw a sheet on it.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Unfortunately I think this is becoming more and more common at many community colleges. It helps to cut back on the number of admissions they receive each application cycle if students need to have taken an CNA course first. I also think it is a money marker for the college - my cc required CNA coursework (not certification or work experience) to be accepted, and conveniently offered CNA training a whole quarter long program for $1500. I got my CNA cert from a CNA/HAA vocational program for $600. The program also uses the CNA training requirement to reduce time spent on fundamentals in the first quarter.

I doubt any program will accept CMA in place of CNA - one of my friends a long time CMA tried to challenge the admission requirement and was flat out told "no." However in Washington state it is possible to endorse from CMA to CNA via a bridge program. Which should be a quick and affordable process. (I think it's about 8-10 hours of classwork?) There is a list of approved bridge programs on the DoH website.

I was a CMA for years, and it really helped my medical knowledge, vital sign taking skill, injection skills, and medication knowledge. But now that I am a Real Nurse, I understand how having CNA skills would've really helped me. My ADL, bed bath, bed making and transfer skills are really not great. I have heard that the program I graduated from is moving toward requiring CNA certification, so they don't have to spend most of first quarter teaching basic CNA skills. While I'm glad I didn't have to go through that to get in, I do think it would've made me a better nurse from the start.

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