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Will a CNA make me a more competitive applicant?


Hi! I am a junior completing my undergrad degree and plan on applying to an ABSN program in NC once I graduate. I am wondering if I should get my CNA license. I am a full time student so I really wouldn't be obtaining it for the money, more for experience and to be a more competitive applicant. My question is, if I am only going to work as a CNA for short periods, such as a summer, is it really worth the money and time I will put into getting it? Basically, will this increase my chances of getting into a nursing program? Thanks in advance for any answers and advice!

I don't know that it'll necessarily increase your chance of getting into a nursing program, but it will help you once you're in a program, especially in clinicals. When I was in nursing school, myself and one other person were CNAs and we had a much easier time than the rest.

It depends on what the nursing program you look at considers when you're applying for the program. The schools around my area do not consider your work history or CNA license as a factor when looking through applicants. However, as PP mentioned, it will give you an edge in the medical field and allow you to get a little more comfortable in the clinical setting. I have heard that there are some schools that do ask for your employment history and do interviews, which could be beneficial when you are being considered as an applicant.

I am going to nursing school for my BSN RN this fall... I didn't get the call that I was accepted until May (5 months later than everyone else because they didn't have room for me at first.) I was signed up for a CNA program that lasted from June-July. I sat and debated the whole month of May whether or not I should take the class because I didn't have to for my school. The deciding factor for me was all of the horror stories my CNA friends have told me about a few RNs who were never CNAs that treated them terribly (it is definitely not true that all RNs who were never CNAs treat CNAs like crap.) The things that my CNA friends told me motivated me to know exactly what it would be like to be in their shoes and I can tell you that I never imagined the extent of things that they do. I highly recommend just simply getting your license and going through the CNA clinicals before you start school. I learned so much that I cherish in my CNA program, and I also learned a thing or two about the role of an RN. I haven't attended school yet, so I can't say whether or not having my CNA license will help me academically and or in clinicals. Some schools require you to have a CNA before you attend, and every "point based" school I applied to gave you more points for having a CNA license. You just need to check with your schools admissions. Good luck and may the best come from whichever decision you make!

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, pickles123:

As suggested, check with your school(s). The college I'm attending goes by a point system based on specific classes and GPA; so being a CNA or other healthcare worker (bridge programs not included) would not help with the points. In terms of bridge programs, being an LPN (at our college and many others) would help as there are bridge programs (LPN to RN) available.

Thank you.