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Should I work as a CNA before becoming an RN?


Hello All! I'm fairly new to this and i need some advice. I've always had a love for healthcare & helping people and I originally was in school for Nursing 3yrs ago but didn't finish due to financial reasons :( but recently I've been thinking about going back to College. As of right now I work as a SkinCare Specialist in the City and I love my job but the pay isn't that great. So I've been thinking about taking a one month CNA class this fall just to get my feet wet in the healthcare field. I definitely don't plan on being a CNA long term I just think it might be a good stepping stone. I plan on keeping my original job & also work as a CNA while saving for school. Is it better to work in a Hospital setting rather than a nursing home ? Has anyone ever worked as a CNA while pursuing their Nursing Degree? Was the experience as a CNA rewarding?

Thanks! BTW.. I'm 23

Edited by Shaakira_FutureRN


Specializes in CNA, EKG, CMAA.

Yes the hospital setting is better than Nursing home by pay, the environment and sometimes the amount of work you will be doing. I think you should do your CNA because it'll give you a step up as experience for the future which is also what I'm planning to do btw. So if you can do it, try.

It isn't necessary. Many of us didn't do it and we turned out fine. I'd go with whatever works well for your life.


Has 1 years experience.

I say yes go for it. It will only make you a better nurse and also help you appreciate all the hard work CNA's do for us nurses. After all, the CNA's work is the Nurses work. I think it would give you a lot of hands on experience with patients regardless of the setting. The hospital setting would most likely have better pay than a nursing home. I would say choose the setting you think you would most like with the population of people you would like to work with. Nothing is worse than working with a population of people you absolutely don't want to work with. I love the nursing home/geriatrics setting but that is my personal choice. You may like the hospital environment better. Which ever you choose I wish you lots of luck :)

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your comments! :) :)

Oh'Ello, BSN, RN

Specializes in Heme Onc.

Look at what the job market in your area is like. Where I live... you can get the same pay in a hospital as a PCT without the CNA certification.... Might save you some time and moolah if you don't have to get the CNA at all.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Depends on where you live. In some states, a LTC facility pays MORE than a hospital..and the work load is the same. It really depends on the state, the facilities etc. Generally tho, hospitals do pay more and the work load is more do-able however, you will also need 6 months long term care experience.

and YES! I think it will only benefit you to be a CNA before being an RN for lots of reasons. Experience, $ while going to school are just 2 examples. :yes:

Doing the grunt work will give you a better perspective when you eventually become an RN because you'll know what it was like to be a CNA.