If you are entering the field of nursing, it is best to consider all your options before choosing a set path to pursue. Because there are so many positions available in healthcare, there are many starting points that can begin your career. Depending on your situation, there are benefits to taking a more gradual approach to becoming a nurse. Training as a certified nursing assistant is a great way to begin your professional life as a nurse because there are not many qualifications required and it provides extremely valuable work-experience. Consider some of these advantages to starting your nursing career with CNA training.
In state-approved nurse aide training programs and places of employment, CNAs are exposed to a small portion of nursing duties, most often related to elderly or bed-ridden patients. The position of nurse aide is just below registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, meaning that all responsibilities and duties are delegated to nurse aides by a supervising nurse. For people without any experience in healthcare or medicine, it is extremely beneficial to work beneath a seasoned expert. No challenge is encountered alone, and the opportunity to ask for advice or directions will be available on a regular basis. Compared to RNs or LPNs, these are much less stressful working conditions and can ease any individual into a higher degree of comfort with their job as a healthcare professional.
The work hours of nursing assistants are also much more regular than those of professional nurses. Though there are many different types of shifts available, CNAs that work at a nursing home can usually expect a regular work schedule, like 9-5. This is not always the case for RNs and LPNs, as they are most often employed at hospitals and must remain on call for many odd hours of the day. Working in an intensive care unit or emergency ward will be time-consuming. By starting as a CNA, you can decide in advance if you are ready to commit to that type of schedule for your career. Sometimes, people choose to become nurses before they realize the type of lifestyle they must adapt to succeed and these individuals can become disenchanted with their career early on.
To become a professional nurse requires a college education, and this makes it a competitive job market. Some college nursing programs require CNA certification, but even if they don’t, having relevant work experience will greatly improve your resume and application to colleges. Proving that you are passionate about the future of your nursing career will be easy if you already have an understanding of what will be expected of you. Working with RNs and LPNs before becoming one can provide some valuable perspectives, and even professional references, for your future as a nurse. There are many advantages to training as a certified nursing assistant before training as a professional nurse, but everyone’s path is unique, so consider all your options.