Become a CNA, Then a Nurse

(This is guest post by Sandra Stevens, a Career Blogger. For more information on Certified nursing assistant Training you can visit her blog over at

Have you been thinking about a career as a nurse?  Are you looking into nursing schools for your new career or to attend upon graduating from high school?  If so, you might want to consider training to become and working as a certified nursing assistant first.  You might even have noticed that some nursing schools require applicants to have the CNA Certification.

A CNA certification does not take long to obtain.  In fact, you can find many courses that only run for 3 to 6 weeks.  During that time you will have classroom instruction, demonstrations and clinical lessons.  You will learn to perform a variety of nursing assistant skills.  The duties of a CNA depend on the setting in which they work.

Nursing assistants often help to teach patients range of motion exercises.  A nursing assistant will take and record vital signs.  A CNA will help patients with their activities of daily living.  Nursing assistants are often asked to help bathe and groom patients.  A nursing aide can help patients to use the toilet or to change patients who are unable to use the restroom on their own.

If you decide that you want to or need CNA Training, you will want to find a nursing assistant training course that is fully accredited to provide you with the credentials you need to take the examination for certification.  You must attend your classes and make good grades on your exams to prepare for the certification exam.

When it comes time to take the certification exam, you will need to answer a series of multiple choice questions.  After that portion of the test, you will need to demonstrate nursing assistant skills to the person administering the examination.  Once you pass the exam, you will be eligible for your certification.

Consider working as a CNA for a few months before applying to enter into a nursing school.  This will give you time to work as part of the nursing team.  You will learn to provide kind and compassionate care for patients.  The time you work as a CNA will prepare you to move on to a career in nursing with more responsibilities and challenges.

Working as a CNA, will give you time to practice your bedside manner.  You will learn a great deal about how to work with patients who are scared and sick.  Of course, you will also learn how to work with and interact with other members of the healthcare team.  This will benefit you when the time comes to do your clinical rounds when you do attend nursing school.

It will be easier for you to gain acceptance to a nursing school if you have your nursing assistant certification.  In fact, you will find some schools for which this will be a requirement.  You will even find that some of your coursework in nursing school as a result of what you already learned during your training and work as a certified nursing assistant.

  • 2 Comments...Your thoughts?


  1. I know quite a few nurses that were cnas before they became nurses. It really gives you a feel for what nurses do and how hard they work. I know a couple of nurses that spent time going through nursing school but switched careers due to the workload. Had they been cnas prior, they would have gone to school for something else. Good info, thanks!!!

  2. Sandra says:

    @Jennifer exactly! I find becoming a CNA gives you a feel for what nursing is going to be like.. kind of like an acid test to see if you’re up for it.

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