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How can I become a CNA before I begin nursing school?


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John’s Answer

Tricia working as a CNA will provide you with practical, hands-on experience that will only enhance your nursing school experience. Your knowledge of the nursing world will not come only from textbooks, but real hours that you’ve put in performing the responsibilities your schooling is preparing you for. Additionally, experience as a CNA will help you to determine with certainty whether a career in nursing is right for you. Working in-person with the patients, with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or other conditions that require special care, and potentially less-than-pleasant bodily fluids, will introduce you to the realities of working in nursing. Outside of your controlled academic space, you will have the opportunity to learn critical bedside manner and gain practice in conducting yourself around patients of many different ages. You will also gain exposure to different aspects of the healthcare system that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Perhaps most importantly, experience as a CNA is required for many nursing program admissions, so if you are not yet enrolled in a nursing program and are wondering if you have to decide between becoming a CNA or doing school full-time, this is a reason to decide to both!

CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT CERTIFICATION

Nursing assistant programs can be completed in just a few weeks and generally include lab and clinical instruction. While enrolled in a program, you will learn basic nursing and personal skills, clients' rights, and effective communication techniques. Because nursing assistant programs require you to have certain basic functional abilities, good courses to take in high school in preparation for this occupation include math, reading, and English. Paying close attention to these areas in high school can also help students prepare for the assessment tests required by many CNA programs. Additionally, nursing assistants need to be able to effectively communicate patient information to nurses and other healthcare workers. Speech or writing courses in high school or other academic programs can help develop these skills.

Once you've completed the education requirements, nursing assistants must take a state competency exam. Some states then grant individuals the title of certified nursing assistant. However, the specific title can vary by state. Also, nursing assistants who have passed the exam are placed on a state's registry. To work in a nursing home, many states require nursing assistants to be on the state registry. Preparation courses are available for CNA exams. Prospective nursing assistants also should be familiar with specific state requirements. A state's board of nursing or health will have information on whether continuing education courses, background checks, or any other requirements are needed for full qualification as a nursing assistant.

Tricia CNAs might opt to advance to higher-level nursing positions, such as licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN). While experience as a CNA could prove helpful, additional education is also necessary.

John recommends the following next steps:

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – LPN degree programs are generally short, with most taking 11 to 12 months to complete. LPNs generally work full-time and may work non-traditional hours, as patients may require care 24/7. Many LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities, followed by hospitals and physicians' offices. LPNs are primarily responsible for providing basic medical care to patients and assisting RNs and doctors. Although it is not a formal requirement, LPNs need to be detail-oriented to take care of patients well. These professionals also need to be compassionate and patient with people who may be in pain, feeling scared, or experiencing a wide range of emotions. It also requires a high level of effective communication to be able to explain procedures and answer any questions patients may have concerning their experience.
Registered Nurses (RN) – RNs must have at least a diploma or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing program. Because chances for advancement increase with education, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will offer more opportunities. Registered nurses are employed with hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, clinics and other medical facilities. They can work as general care nurses who assist doctors or, with additional training, as advanced nurse practitioners or specialized nurses in fields like oncology, pediatrics or midwifery. Registered nurses often work fluctuating schedules and may be required to be 'on call.' The physical and emotional demands of registered nursing can be tolling. RNs must be prepared to care for chronically or critically ill patients, some of whom may require 24-hour supervision. RNs also must stay on their feet for hours at a time.

Thank you for all the information! Tricia L.

Your Welcome Tricia, It was my Pleasure. The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not in the job. John Frick

Thank You Ed. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill John Frick

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Eric’s Answer

Hi, first I would like for you to understand the field is a demanding job. It comprises a lot of the ground work and back bone of the nursing world. I would suggest joining the military for basic crewman in the nursing field. A lot of other training you can also work towards being paid while learning about working as a team.
But if you are dedicated try to go the route of being sponsored by a hospital .
Some times you don't get trained properly by some online as well as some cna schools that are presented. Regardless what ever school you find make sure your credits are tranfereable. If I were you just go for the RN BSN because that is now the starting point now for career wise tract. But understand what nursing really is. Try job shadowing Talk with an hospital to really know what each job entails how long is expected. Talk about wages for labor and bebefits. Then you can make a more informal decision.
Not to discurage you but for you to understand to make a career fun it'll last longer if you enjoy what you do. Instead of thinking about it as work.

Thanks for your help! Tricia L.

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KatieAnna’s Answer

You can check with your local hospitals or assisted living facilities. A lot of times they will hire you, train you and send you through a CNA course. You can look on job boards for titles such as Patient Assistance Technician, Patient Care Technician, and CNA and read in the description to see if they offer the training and certification with the job.

Thank you for your response--I appreciate it! Tricia L.

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Kerrie’s Answer

Search your local area for programs that offer a CNA course. There is a requirement to complete this course before applying for a position for a CNA to ensure you know the responsibilities of a CNA. Then while you are taking the course (many of them vary in their length of time), look for local job listings hiring for CNA positions. These positions are commonly found in nursing homes, hospitals, private duty, and other care facilities. This is a great way to get your career started as a nurse.

Thank you Kerrie! Tricia L.

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