Hi Nurse Beth,I am currently pursuing a career in nursing. My goal for right now is to earn my bsn at a Cal State or university. I am located in southern California and I've heard how competitive it is out here. However, I have not started my prerequisites for nursing considering this is my first semester at a community college. The idea of becoming a CNA while I go to school and do my prerequisites for nursing has been lingering in my head for a while. I am basically just trying to ask if becoming a CNA is more beneficial before I start nursing school? Does it boost up my chances of getting accepted into a program? I heard it is a good idea to get your foot in the door so I can network and hopefully make a smooth transition into a rn. Would CNA training be best or would I be okay with just volunteering at a local hospital until I get my bsn. By the way I am also a mother of one (toddler) and I don't know if this affects anything just thought I should mention that alot of my attention is wanted by a 1 year old! Thank you nurse Beth! Dear Should I Be a CNA First,Congrats in your decision to become an RN!As far as becoming a CNA, there is no downside. Some nursing programs award extra "points" for healthcare experience, including CNA, but it's program-specific. By far the most important criteria for getting accepted into a nursing program is your GPA, and any pre-admission tests such as the TEAS.The real (and long-term) upside to working as a CNA in a facility you plan to apply at as a new grad RN is that you will have "insider advantage" when it comes to competing for a new grad position. As you choose your pre-requisites at community college, make sure they are transferable to the university where you'll be attending the BSN program.You will have an extra challenge as a mother of a high-energy toddler, yes, but determination overcomes challenges.Best wishes, Nurse BethAuthor, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!