Going From a CNA to an RN – It’s Not As Hard As You Think
When most people think of nurses, they think of Registered Nurses (or RNs for short). After all, being an RN is one of the most popular healthcare professions on the planet – and one of the most in-demand positions, to boot!
What exactly do Registered Nurses do?
If you’re a CNA, you may take orders from an RN, but you may not be totally sure of all the ins and outs of their daily job duties. One of their biggest responsibilities they have is to oversee other nurses (like LPNs) and nursing assistants (like you!).
In fact, the only people above them on the healthcare “totem pole” are the doctors themselves!
Plus, Registered Nurses are involved with just about every facet of the diagnostic and treatment process. They help doctors perform diagnostic tests, then help analyze the results. They also keep track of patients’ symptoms and medical histories.
As a result, you see RNs everywhere from hospitals, to private doctors’ offices, to nursing homes, to schools.
Sounds exciting, right? Well, there’s even better news!
Being an Registered Nurse is very lucrative. So, if you’re looking to turn your nursing assistant experience into something a whole lot more profitable, going from a CNA to an RN may be the perfect choice!
But how hard is it to make the jump?
Not as hard as you might think! In fact, working as a CNA is the perfect start for a future as an RN. You’ll be able to get valuable work experience under your belt, while you move forward with your RN studies.
Best of all, there are special CNA to RN bridge programs that will let you use your certified nursing assistant credits towards your RN certification.
You’ll find these programs online, at your local community college, or you can take things one step further, and do your RN studies at a 4-year university. No matter which option you choose, though, you’ll be able to cut down dramatically on your study time by being a licensed nurse aide first.
In order to be a Registered Nurse, you need to have at least an Associate’s Degree. (A Bachelor’s Degree will fetch you a higher salary, but even an Associate’s Degree will help you make considerably more money than you’re getting as a Cerified Nursing Assistant.)
If you were to simply sign up at your local community college and get a degree, it would take you two years to do it.
However, by having CNA credits under your belt, you can finish your RN studies in about a year.
Going from a CNA to an RN brings another big benefit to the table – it makes you stand out. Since Registered Nurses are one of the most popular jobs out there, most schools will put you on a waiting list. (In fact, count on having to wait a semester or two before you can start taking classes!) But, by having your CNA certification, you can stand out ahead of the pack that doesn’t have any type of nursing experience.
However, just any ol’ nurse aide training won’t get you into an RN program. Before you’re accepted, you’ll need to prove that you have an active CNA license. You’ll also must have actual experience working as a certified nursing assistant. Furthermore, you’ll be required to hand over your official CNA transcript. (If you have any grades lower than a C, you probably won’t be admitted!).
And, the better grades you got in your CNA training courses, the better. Your GPA will determine just how many of your courses will transfer – which can make a huge difference, both from a time AND money perspective!
Working as a CNA first can be a great way to test the nursing waters before you spend the time and money going for a full-fledged RN degree.
If you don’t like the industry, you’ll have only wasted a few months in CNA training, as opposed to a few years in a nursing school.
Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?