You might want to consider taking the time to receive your training to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) before applying for nursing school. It might surprise you to know that many nursing schools now want, or even require you to be a CNA to apply for the nursing program.
If you want to become a CNA, you will need to locate an accredited CNA training program in your local area. These programs are often offered through community colleges, healthcare facilities and even some branches of the Red Cross. Training programs will usually last from 3 to 6 weeks, although some programs can last longer.
After completion of a CNA training program, you will be required to take the certification exam. This test will include two sections: written and practical. The written exam will ask you to answer multiple choice questions about the information you learned during your training course. The practical section of your test will be your opportunity to demonstrate some of the CNA procedures you learned during the course.
As a CNA, you will learn many skills that will make you a valuable part of the nursing team. You will check and record vital signs for patients. In most settings, you will help to groom and bathe patients. It will often be your job to show patients ranges of motion exercises. You will also help patients with their activities of daily living. These are just a few of the tasks that you will complete as a nursing assistant.
Nursing assistants can find work at hospitals, continuing care communities, rehabilitation centers and home health agencies. Your exact duties will vary depending on the setting in which you work. When you work as a home health aide, you will often also do some light housekeeping for your clients as well as providing some companionship.
Working as a CNA, before applying to nursing school is a good idea. The CNA salary and pay scale isn’t too bad as well. You will have the opportunity to work in the healthcare setting. It will give you the opportunity to develop a good beside manner. When you are working as a certified nursing assistant, you will learn how to work with other members of the healthcare team. You will be able to observe some of the duties and tasks that are completed by nurses.
If you work as a certified nursing assistant, you will have the opportunity to determine if working in the healthcare field is right for you. After working as a nursing assistant for awhile, you might realize that you want to further your career as a healthcare provider. This is when you should start to consider furthering your education to become an LPN or RN.
Nursing schools can be quite competitive and some are even difficult to receive admissions. You will have an edge over other students who do not have their CNA training. If you have worked for awhile as a CNA, this will provide you with valuable experience that can not only help you to be admitted to nursing school, but can also leave you better prepared for your training.