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Thoughts on CNA Certification

The largest healthcare occupation that exists is Registered Nursing (RN). There are actually more than 2.7 million jobs for RNs, as per the latest findings of BLS (May 2011). If becoming an RN is something you aspire to, achieving entry level Nursing Assistant Certification (CNA) is a great way to start your career.

CNA to RN Bridge Programs

The shortest way to becoming an RN is to get CNA certification. You can then, from an accredited community college, undergo a 2-year associate degree program. But should you want to avoid the CNA route and still become an RN, you will need a Bachelor of Science from a college or university, or obtain a 3-year Hospital Based RN diploma. In the case of the Bachelor of Science degree, the duration of the program is 4 years.

The same course work is followed by the bachelor and associate degree programs, which include studies in biology, social sciences, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, anatomy, and nursing. Also, both these programs require basic college courses in mathematics, English, humanities and history.

You are also going to need to study management and leadership, if you undergo a Bachelor degree program. RNs must also acquire laboratory work and clinical experience, besides their classroom studies. Teaching hospitals, for providing required classroom work to students, very often will work with local universities or community colleges.

You can apply for a license, once you have successfully completed the course. The authority for issuing a certificate is the state board of nursing. For working in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a license for an RN is required. From one state to the next however, the requirements will vary a bit. In addition, to work as a registered nurse, you will need to pass a National Council License Exam.

You are going to need to submit a medical and background check to the licensing authority, in order to obtain that license you are seeking. And to the local department of safety, you will have to submit a fingerprint card. The fees for work requirements, continuing education requirements and licenses are going to vary, depending on the norms of each state involved.

59 Responses so far.

  1. Margherita says:

    Thank you for this very informative article. But I would just like to clarify something. A 2-year associate degree and a 4-year bachelor’s degree will both result to RN after passing the NCLEx? Why would people go through four years if the can get the same professional license in just two years?

    • Jinel Cooper says:

      In answer to the question: ” Why would people go through four years if the can get the same professional license in just two years?” People who take this route aren’t really getting out of two years of university by taking the 2 year associate degree. because they first have to take a course (approximately a year) to become a nursing assistant. After that, it is expected that they work in the field for a year or two to gain experience. After that, they take the two year associate degree. So it is actually not any shorter, and may in fact take more time. It is helpful, however, if you are not sure if a nursing career is something you really want or will have an aptitude for, as you can get a feel for it without putting in as much money or time.

  2. Joanne says:

    Bless all the nurses in the world. For most of us, we only take care of our family. But nurses extend that same love and compassion for their families to the patients in the hospitals. Sad but many students still can’t afford even the CNA program. I hope the next government can do something about it.

  3. MIco Robin says:

    In here Philippines that is known as Vocational courses. Personally, however, if things go well I insist on getting a degree rather than getting half of that. I have no qualms in 2 year courses but having a full degree increases chances for better careers.

  4. Miaka Yuuki says:

    If you think 2 year courses are short think again. Countries like Philippines have 6 month 3 month courses why we do that? Its because people now are looking to fast track money making, People are out for jobs not for school in particular the less fortunate.

  5. Karen says:

    It is my opinion that one should get the bachelor’s degree if they plan on becoming a nurse. The more extensive the education, the more the person will know about different health issues.

  6. Kathy says:

    The good thing is, whether you plan to become an RN or a CNA, you can find a job most anywhere you go. Deciding whether to be an RN or a CNA is a personal choice, depending on your goals. This is a helpful article for anyone trying to decide.

  7. Tanysha Woelfl says:

    One should enter the work field as quick as possible, especially in this era when there is so much competition out there. Reducing the programs is a great idea if they give you the opportunity to work and become experienced in practical life.

  8. Hashim Khan says:

    A CNA certification seems to be the best option for those who don´t have time to hit the books for 4 years. Many of us have families to take care of, and do part or full time jobs. I encourage anyone interested in this amazing field to try this out.

  9. Jeena says:

    Sadly not anybody could afford it. Informative article and all but I personally think that we should make education affordable first before having faster ways to get jobs.

  10. Jenna Hunter says:

    It was helpful to know that one is going to need to study management and leadership if you undergo a Bachelor degree program. I am currently going back to college since my kids are all grown up and married. I will be sure to talk to a counselor about this tip!

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