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So Lost in the Medical Field..Please help?

by haileigh haileigh (New) New


I'm unloading a lot, so brace yourself.

I'm working towards getting my BSN, and would love to start and finish my education in one school (Preq's including). What are good questions to ask the financial advisor? I'm fearful I won't qualify for FASFA or grants, and have no clue how to pursue student loans.

My goal is to become an RN working in a Children's hospital possibly in a specialized field. Unfortunately I am SO intimidated by "getting on the right path". I don't know where to begin. Everyone around me says to "just jump in" and to begin at the bottom..

So here I am.

I have good advice from several nurses to start as a Medical Assistant. After researching some schools I am wondering. Is a Medical Assistant Diploma the same or different than a Certified Medical Assistant? Is a Certified Medical Assistant certified through the state/county/city?

I've narrowed it down to two schools with the Medical Assistant program.

After completing one program I will receive:

Preparation and eligibility "for CMA and RMA certification. With successful completion of these two certifications, you can find national recognition as a Certified Medical Assistant."

This program leaves me feeling like I'm paying $20,000 for nothing is that right?


The other Program where I will receive 3 Certifications:

a. National Certified Medical Assistant

b. Certified Phlebotomy Technician License

c. National Certified EKG Technician

..Both programs are 9 months, but the cheaper one by half is where I will get 3 certifications. Some nurses/advisors have said these certifications (State/ National/ Professional) are the same. Is this true?

I have called & talked to advisors at both schools. I see which is a better school, but I am wondering why there is a huge price difference. Should I be worried that the cheaper school is going to cut corners in order to fit 3 certifications? Or is that the reason the cheaper school is better?

I would appreciate all the help I can get.



I can't answer all your questions but I can offer a few things I know. Every person and state have different goals, regulations, and preq. Not sure why whom ever you spoke with advised you to go for medical assistant if you anticipate RN in the future. But, from what I know with that goal in mind CNA(starting from bottom) is a better option. It will allow you to be in closer contact with RN and see first hand what they do.

Medical asst. are trained mostly for doctors offices. For some apparent reason medical asst. schooling is always very expensive, though there market is very saturated. A school that is nationally recognized is mostly where you would want to attend. If you choose to further your education there is no worries as to if your credits will be excepted. The two other cert. you mention if doing CNA is always good to have because most hospital here (FL) require it.

Make sure you do you home work, because with student loans if you complete or not they still expect there money(I know from experience). Ask around any prior students about the schools you are inquiring about, and see the response. Go to the FASFA web site and fill out the application so you will know what you qualify for. At that same site they ask you if would you like to also apply for loans, within the application.

Hope I have at least answered a few questions. If not there's an abundance of knowledge here, someone will advise you some good stuff.

I wish you the best and remember you gotta start somewhere.




Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

If you want to be a nurse then prepare to be a nurse... research colleges and universities in your area that have nursing programs.

Unless CNA certification/experience is specifically required by the nursing program to which you are admitted OR you wish to gain exposure and practical experience in patient care prior to making the commitment to nursing school ... these other job titles you mention do not advance you toward your goal.

Good luck to you.


Specializes in None.

I strongly agree with everything the two above me stated. If you don't want to stress about student loans I wouldn't do either unless they are required for the nursing program you want to go into. If not I would go for nursing school now. If your trying to get the feel of the medical field you can always volunteer at a hospital and therefore your not paying for anything but your gaining a little knowledge. Also, if you do one of the two mentioned above I would go for the last one, because in my state if the program is not doing well or cutting corners they will get shut down no questions asked. Best of luck to you!