Working as a CNA before becoming an RN can boost your chances of getting into nursing school. If you’re looking to get into a top school, you’ll want to show them your commitment to nursing as a career. Having CNA experience will also look good on your resume after completing your schooling. Employers are more likely to hire an RN with relevant, on-the-job experience than someone without it.
Gaining practical experience in the workplace will also help you in your studies. The learning you do in CNA jobs through practical experience, mentoring, and observation will not only help you do better in school, but it will also supplement your knowledge and make you a well-rounded nurse in the future. You’ll even learn valuable information about yourself as you work. Knowing what you like and don’t like doing in the workplace before even starting as an RN will give you a better idea of what specialties inspire you and which types of work to avoid.
Experience as in a CNA job can also be important once you land a job as an RN because RNs usually supervise a group of CNAs. You’ll know what to expect from them, avoid asking too much or too little, and gain an appreciation for what they do.
Also, never underestimate the power of networking. As a CNA, you’ll meet an entire staff of healthcare professionals for references, mentors, and connections to help you land your RN job later on. Some CNAs end up becoming RNs at the same place they worked as a CNA.