Will be starting CNA School soon....have questions!

Nursing Students CNA/MA


I have been a stay-at-home mom for 24 years and currently still have a 4 year old at home. I have always wanted to get into nursing. Our financial situation will be changing (not for the better) and I will be needing a job in about a year. I figured why not start taking classes. I am currently enrolled and scheduled to start CNA school in the Spring 2013 semester. It's 19 weeks long, 3 days per week. It will be quite an adjustment for myself and my family but along with the anxiety, I am quite excited.

My questions for you all are is it worth it to do the CNA course, work for a bit, and then take more classes in a few years or should I just keep going with classes? I called the local hospital and nursing homes here and they start out at $13.00 per hour. Personally, I would love to take on more classes, but know I do have a family to balance as well and don't want to get overwhelmed.

Any thoughts or tips you may have will be wonderful....how you make your schedule work with kids, studying, work, marriage, etc. What you like about CNA work...anything!

Thank you so much!

Goodness thats a LONG class. Mine took 2 weeks 8 hours a day. See if the school you're working with can get you a program like that. Otherwise I'd work inbetween the classes and schooling.

Also if you read my article about things I think all CNA/MA's should know down below I think that may hep with some things!

Specializes in TCU, Post-surgical, Infection Prevention.

Yeah, mine is "long" (by the above poster's definition too) - as it is on the weekends and through my local JC ($250 as opposed to $1400 or more). I wish I had the finances to take a full-time class, but that would be foolish in my case; and probably in the OP's case too, as she has a young child and has been out of the swing of full-time academic rigor for a while.

Once you become a CNA - the path and what you'll be able to do with your time will become more clear.

And if you want to eventually become a nurse (not saying that's your path) - it would be good to continue, as CNA is a good stepping stone - alot/if not all of the nursing programs in my area give extra points on the nursing application for being a CNA.

All the best to you, I start my CNA class in late August and I am sooooooooooooooooooooo excited!

my gosh I didn't realize they charged so much difference to take the full time class! Mine was 250 four and a half years ago regardless if you went part time or full time. I guess times do change! I feel old now :yawn:

Specializes in TCU, Post-surgical, Infection Prevention.

No, they dont charge based on attendance... The price difference is based on going to a community college (5 unit course @$46/credit, taking the class with the Red Cross ($1400) or attending a private-for-profit school ($2000+).

When I referenced finances - i was referring to being in a 1 income household (mine); so i cant just stop working for 4 weeks and expect to have a job (in California) - especially when taking off for a non-related industry.

And I don't think the OP can dictate how the program is. I know I couldnt, that's why i have the class that I have. I have access to about 20 training programs in my area (Los Angeles County), but this jives the best with my schedule/finances.

That pace will probably be good for the OP, building up her time away from home.

Thanks for the replies. I have been thinking about this all day now that I have decided to go for it.

The school is through the local CC and its at no cost (all you pay is parking fees, etc.). Evidently they have an ongoing grant from a donor that pays for everyone's tuition. I do agree with above posters that this will get my feet wet at a slower pace and let myself and my family adjust. I have been here for my family 24/7 and this will be an adjustment for us all.

I looked into the LVN course and you need to do the CNA course first and take a few prereqs and then enroll in the LVN course. It is a 3 semester course. That may be down the line depending on how the CNA goes. I know there are a year or more wait lists for the LVN and RN courses...Is that normal? I guess it gives you time to get your other classes done.

As you can tell, this is a whole new world for me. Part of me is really excited and part is scared. I'm 47 years old! I am probably going to be the oldest in the class!

Specializes in TCU, Post-surgical, Infection Prevention.

I'm so excited for you!And don't worry about your age in comparison to others, you have your own relevant experiences which will make you a stronger student. You've obviously mastered time management , raising a family.Also, since you will be at a CC, you can take advantage of so many programs and building an impressive gpa that will serve you well financially and academically.The wait time seems normal and like you mentioned, you could knock out your other pre-reqs for the LVN; bridging to ADN or BSN (if available).Good luck to you and keep us posted!


Congratulations on your new endeavor!

There is much to be said for being the oldest in your class--you'll see. (I did my CNA at 1.4 times your age--hope you're good in Math--grin.) You have very much life experience which will automatically come to the fore in your practical skills--you'll be surprised, and so will your classmates.

Do just remember what you already know--there's book larnin' and then there's on-the-floor larnin'. The book larnin' is to introduce general topics to you, in ideal situations; and to get you thru the state licensing exam. As a CNA, you may find a, ah, significant discrepancy between what your textbook portrays, and what you find you are doing on the floor.--(More how, than what.) It's normal.

CNA is a great place to start. As others have said, your eyes will probably be opened to a multitude of possibilities. And keep in mind, also, you are likely to find constant need of CNAs in your community or nearby. So, if it d/n seem just quite right where you are, other opportunities--each with their own challenges--exist.

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