Will Being a CNA Help Me Get Into Nursing School?

If you’re a CNA and love your job, you may be thinking that you want to do even more in the healthcare field. You may have decided to become a nurse because of the many opportunities nursing offers:

  • Ability to help others in a greater capacity
  • More money
  • Room for job advancement
  • Potential for travel

You may also wonder if being a CNA can help you get into nursing school. Admissions to nursing school are now more competitive than ever, so you may want to know what you can do to make yourself stand out in a sea of applicants. Read on to find out how being a CNA can help you become a nurse.

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Will Being a CNA Help Me Get Into Nursing School?

Being a CNA is a great experience to put on your nursing school applications, and it can help you get accepted into a nursing school. There has been an influx of applicants to nursing schools in recent years, so admission has become competitive. Having experience as a CNA can give you an edge over the other applicants.

How can being a CNA help you get into nursing school? Simply put, you’ll have much more experience in the field than many of the other applicants. Many nursing school applicants are applying straight out of high school, meaning they most likely haven’t had a chance to work in the healthcare industry. You’ll have valuable experience that can set you apart.

What is a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA helps provide care to patients. While a CNA cannot fulfill all of a nurse’s duties, he or she can help keep patients comfortable, monitor vital signs, and more. A CNA is a critical component of a healthcare facility, often bridging care gaps that nurses simply don’t have time to provide.

CNAs often work in hospitals and work in nursing homes, hospices, long-term care facilities, and even homes. CNAs often work with patients and families to help them transition into at-home care after a period in the hospital or other facility.

A CNA has several different roles. He or she may help keep patients comfortable through feeding, bathing, and other activities. CNAs are often responsible for taking and recording routine vital measurements. They can consult with nurses regarding patient care. In some cases, they can provide first aid.

Other Ways Being a CNA Can Help You as a Nurse

By starting as a CNA, you are gaining invaluable experience to help you in your future career as a nurse. You’ll have on-the-job training and a chance to observe and learn from seasoned nurses who know the ins and outs of the job.

Being a CNA is also a great way to see if nursing is the right career path for you. It’s much more preferable to train as a CNA and then realize that you don’t work in the healthcare profession instead of going through nursing school and then realizing you chose the wrong career. Nursing school is more costly and time-consuming.

Once you’ve made it through nursing school, your past experience as a CNA can put you a cut above all of the other recent graduates. While their experiences will be limited to what they’ve done in school, you will have the in-school experience plus on-the-job training. Employers will see you as an asset that will require less training.

How to Transition From Being a CNA to Being a Nurse

Being a CNA can also allow you to fast track your career to become a nurse. Many nursing schools offer a bridge program that will enable you to transition from CNA to RN a little more easily than going through traditional nursing school.

In many of these bridge programs, you may have to start by taking a few general education courses, especially if you haven’t yet done any college coursework. You’ll then move onto nursing-related coursework, such as science and healthcare classes.

One of the benefits of starting as a CNA is that the bridge programs are often much cheaper than doing the traditional route to a nursing degree. Your employers may pay for you to get your CNA certification or even go to nursing school in some cases.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’ve always wanted to become a nurse or your time as a CNA has helped you discover a new passion, working as a CNA can help you get into nursing school. By working directly in the healthcare field and getting to observe doctors and nurses, you’re setting yourself up for success both in nursing school and in your nursing career.

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Matt Lane

Matt graduated with a BSEd in Kinesiology from University of Georgia and is now pursuing a medical degree. He enjoys sharing his experience with other ambitious young people.