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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


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 R.

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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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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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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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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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