Are you considering taking the leap into the challenging and complex realm of nursing school? While the nursing industry is expected to only increase in demand, deciding if you’re ready to embark on this rewarding but intense adventure isn’t always easy. However, as many aspiring nurses uncover, there’s a unique opportunity to grow in both experience and knowledge without immediately diving into a RN program.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) jobs are not only a solid career option, but also act as a unique stepping stone into nursing school. In fact, it’s because of this that so many people chose to embark into this beneficial field.
How does becoming a CNA prepare you for nursing school?
Let’s take a moment and review the top reasons why you should consider being a CNA before a nursing student.
#1 – Dynamic Real World Learning Opportunities
Nursing school is hard. No matter how much you study, there are some concepts best learned via observation and hands-on practice. While the exact learning opportunities you’ll find as a CNA varies based on employer and job, all CNA positions bolster your working knowledge of patent care.
Certified Nursing Assistants learn and work with key medical supplies, administrative tasks, patient care and baseline nursing skills. As you progress in your CNA experience, you’ll have opportunities to observe high-level nursing care tactics, which gives you a competitive edge when enrolled in nursing school.
#2 – Unfiltered Reality of Being a Nurse
Even though most nursing students hold a fairly realistic understanding of what the work and life demands of nursing requires, until this becomes your reality, it’s impossible to fully be prepared.
However, becoming a CNA not only requires you to personally experience life as a nursing staff member, but to observe the life requirements of your future position. For some, this crash course in nursing reality confirms they should seek out a different career path. But, for many others, it provides the motivation to continue working and learning.
#3 – Makes You More Competitive for School and Career
Becoming a CNA not only makes you a more attractive option for nursing school entry, but adds to your overall experience in patient care. By working in this position, nursing schools have documented results of your passion, abilities and potential. This can help make you more competitive, especially when applying for a desirable program.
However, the competitive benefits of being a CNA extend far beyond schooling. As employers review your work and school history, demonstrating your competency with CNA experience often yields greater job search results. In fact, most employers are more willing to interview a newly graduated Registered Nurse if they hold previous experience as a CNA.
Ultimately, this is the result of having greater hands-on experience with patients and nursing staff members. As you progress in your CNA career, and prepare for entering nursing school, your experience and knowledge will propel you into not only a successful nursing student, but a successful nurse upon graduation.