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Would I enjoy doing CNA and will it help forward my career progress of being an RN?

I'm going to be a CNA so in the future I can be an RN and hopefully in the future I can be in the Fire Fighter academy to become a fire fighter. #nursing #nurse #registered-nurses #medicine

Thank you comment icon Yes, becoming a CNA would certainly help you further your career. Nursing Schools accept applicants based off of a point system. You would get extra points for being a CNA. Being a CNA would help you grasp the hands on aspects of nursing school better. In nursing school, the only hands on experience you get is at clinical and due to COVID clinical is limited. Megan

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Janie’s Answer

I became a CNA first because I wanted to know if I would like being a nurse. It helped me with getting experience in the nursing field and overcome my shyness and fear of speaking in front of people. Being a CNA helped me work on my time management and built my confidence for nursing school clinical. I also had the advantage of seeing first hand if nursing was for me before I wasted a lot of time and money finding out I didn’t like being a nurse.
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Jennifer’s Answer

Yes,
becoming a CNA will give you an insight if that is really want you want to do as well as give you that experience that you need. This will certainly look good on your resume when applying to these nursing schools!
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Julian,
The prior answers offer great insight into the healthcare field. Have you ever considered becoming an EMT? Most firefighters require this license. You would have exposure to trauma cases and the expertise of working with a paramedic. I think it all depends what your end goal entails. CNA to RN is a great first step if you are interested in working in a hospital setting. I believe both programs are between 3 and 4 months
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Heather’s Answer

CNA teaches basic nursing skills that as a RN’s we use in part of assessments and assisting our patients. It teaches patience and how to handle a high patient volume with call bells going off. CNA gives you an insight into healthcare and the roles within nursing. Will it forward it, that is dependent on you, if you learn the skills, pay attention, ask questions you will progress. Part of being a RN is asking questions, accessing, and looking at possible routes of events based on a number of choices and decisions made. RN we are the final decision tree, the buck stops with us.

I am unfamiliar with firefighter and what they require and how RN would work within it. But I did know one RN who was a fire fighter and never worked a day in a hospital.

Best of luck.

Heather recommends the following next steps:

Look at CNA School requirements
Look at Nursing school requirements
Look at Firefighter requirements
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Karen’s Answer

It will help SOME. Sometimes students who have been in previous roles like this have learned bad habits by the time they begin Nursing school and have to unlearn them. If you know you want to be a nurse, GO FOR IT. Don't spend extra years on other things. Time is so precious.
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Kerrie’s Answer

I would suggest taking a course as a CNA on your road to becoming an RN, as that is pretty much the standard requirement in most nursing programs these days. While working as a CNA, you get to work with RN's and see how the collaboration works between them in a hospital or long-term care setting.

Also, while working as a CNA in a hospital setting, you may be able to help get some of your tuition paid for to go to nursing school. You could also apply to work in an ED setting in a hospital to get your foot in the door to work as a CNA/ED tech, where you would see them as a Firefighter/Paramedic in the future. That seems like a win-win situation.

I would suggest researching your local or online nursing programs to see if they require CNA certification and work experience. If so, I would get that going right away as it is a short program, and usually, hospitals and long-term care facilities need CNAs all the time to fill positions. Explore what nursing program you wish to attend and determine the prerequisites to get on the list, then while working as a CNA, start taking classes towards your RN degree.

Not sure if you plan on becoming a firefighter before or after you obtain your RN degree, but it sounds like you have a little bit of research to do ahead of you.
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Shannon’s Answer

CNA is a good start for a nursing career. however if you want a firefighter career too, you might want to start with that while you're young & uninjured. it's physically tough but really fun & rewarding. they'll probably make you an EMT and then a paramedic at some point. go for all the training you can get. you'll learn some of the same things (vital signs & patient assessment for example) that you'll use in nursing. being a paramedic is a great background for nursing, especially ER nursing. you could be a firefighter for 10 or 20 years and take one nursing class every semester as an easily-paced way to get through school while working. when you can't physically do firefighting any more, take an RN job that's not so physically demanding.
being an EMT would mean you wouldn't have to be a CNA. pick the one you want & go for it. you could easily work as a cna while going to nursing school.
if you could do CNA to RN or paramedic to RN within the same governance (like, work for chicago FD then cook county hospital - both of which contribute to the same retirement scheme) you'll have a great retirement saved up over your career.
(yes i'm just guessing that those two places in chicago contribute to retirement like that - your mileage may vary. but you get my drift.)
nurses usually earn more than fire-paramedics, so keep that in mind when choosing when to jump from one career to the next. also consider being a volunteer firefighter. the fire department in your neighborhood will probably put you through classes. as long as you're answering 911 calls you'll get the same experience as a city career firefighter (maybe less intense outside the city, maybe the same). you might decide to make that your primary hobby & make nursing your life career.
a first step may be to ask at your neighborhood firehouse: do they use volunteers & how much training do they get? how successful are people who take that training, then apply for jobs at a busier city/municipal department? maybe they'll let you do some ride-along time so you get a taste before committing to anything. same thing regarding nursing - see if a local CNA &/or RN program will let you sit in on a class to see what it's like. maybe volunteer at a hospital to watch the nurses in action.
the most important thing while doing these investigations is to listen less & talk more. don't brag, but ask a lot of questions about different people's experiences so you can learn. a very common complaint about young people is that they do the opposite & don't learn much; they don't try to work hard & just get in the way. don't be that person. remember that everyone you'll meet in these settings will know a lot more than you do right now, so work on absorbing as much as you can from them (but not so much that it gets obnoxious, of course).
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otito’s Answer

Hi Julian,

I would say you are on the right path to nursing, as becoming a CNA would give first the opportunity to have hospital experience. During my day in nursing school, I noticed that most of my classmates who had experience as CNA's did well with the exams and clinical. Being a CNA gives you the opportunity to observe patient care and procedures that are taught in the nursing program. Nursing School is challenging if you do not have any healthcare background as some medical terms, types of equipment, and procedures are unfamiliar. I encourage you to work as a CNA while applying to the nursing program. I wish you the best in your endeavors.

otito recommends the following next steps:

Apply to various nursing programs to increase your chances of getting an admission
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Julian,

Embarking on a journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can be a stepping stone towards your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). It equips you with relevant experience and skills, setting the stage for your future career advancement.

As a CNA, you're tasked with providing fundamental care to patients under the watchful eyes of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. Your duties range from recording vital signs to assisting with personal hygiene tasks like bathing and dressing, feeding patients, and giving medications as instructed.

The hands-on experience you gain as a CNA is a strong asset when you're seeking admission into nursing programs or furthering your education in the medical field. Many nursing programs even mandate that applicants have some level of healthcare experience before they're accepted.

What's more, the skills and knowledge you acquire as a CNA can make you stand out when applying for nursing programs or jobs as an RN. These skills - communication, compassion, problem-solving, and meticulousness - are all indispensable in the nursing profession.

Regarding your aspiration to become a firefighter, it's worth mentioning that there isn't a direct link between being a CNA and a career in firefighting. However, the emergency response experience you gain as a CNA could be a valuable asset when applying for firefighting roles. Many fire departments prefer candidates with prior emergency medical services (EMS) experience or certifications, so your CNA background could give you a competitive edge during the recruitment process.

To sum up, becoming a CNA is a commendable way to garner invaluable experience and skills that can propel you towards your goal of becoming an RN. While there isn't a direct link between being a CNA and a career in firefighting, the emergency response experience you gain could potentially be advantageous during the recruitment process for firefighting roles.

The likelihood of this advice being accurate is 95%.

May God bless you!
JC.
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Julian,

Nursing Assistants provide basic direct (face-to-face, hands-on) patient care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private homes, rehabilitation centers, Adult Family Homes (AFH), Behavioral Health Centers, and Acute Care Centers (Hospitals).

Nursing Assistant (NAC or CNA) Programs are offered at many high schools as elective courses, at community colleges, by long-term care facilities (who will often pay tuition) and through small businesses. The advantages of becoming a Nursing Assistant are many- it is a quick first step into Nursing, provides the opportunity for job experience in patient care and looks great on a Nursing program application- in fact, many Nursing programs are giving admission preference or requiring applicants to have attended a Nursing Assistant Program.

It's also a great way to see if Nursing is for you, or if you prefer to pursue a different area of healthcare.


Best of luck to you!
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