It never hurts to become a CNA first. It gets your feet wet, and sure you may be in a nursing home, but that is all the better because you will be in the thick of it. If you have not yet, definitely try to volunteer with a hospital or clinic. It will get you close to the action, and see if nursing is right for you without risk. Do you know any nurses who would sit for an interview or let you job shadow a shift or two?
As far as strengths go, definitely make sure you have a strong constitution. On TV it looks like all we deal with is a lot of blood, but we see all of the body fluids. All of them. With the smells. Even a lot of blood has that metallic smell. Wounds, festering wounds galore. To me, and most nurses, this is all fun, and a challenge. The constitution can be acquired, which is also why getting some volunteer work and your CNA would benefit you. Also, be in fairly good physical shape because there is a lot of lifting and turning patients, and working on your feet most of the shift - a lot of times without a break. You don't have to be a triathlete or anything, but definitely be able to get through a shift. As a student nurse, you will be working shifts through your clinicals.
Pay close attention in your science pre-reqs. Chemistry and biology may seem a waste of time, but it all comes together in A&P.
Hope this is helpful =)
Ursula recommends the following next steps:
- Look for volunteer opportunities at hospitals or clinics
- Look into becoming a CNA