This is a guest post by Catherine Bynes. Catherine is a career/ educational blogger and she writes mostly about CNA Training and Certification over at her blog.


Choosing to become a CNA as a career option can be a good choice if you enjoy helping others and want to start an entry-level healthcare position.  If you work as a CNA, you will provide assistance with activities of daily living for patients, monitor vital signs and provide other basic care services for your patients.

A career as a CNA can be a good option if you know you want to work in the medical field, but if you do not want to spend a great deal of time in training.  Most nursing assistant Continue reading


     This was a guest post done by me for Sandra Stevens on 03/28/2010.  Sandra’s site addresses help and training issues for certified nursing assistants.  She posted as a guest here on 03/27/2010.  Often bloggers exchange information on one another’s  blog site.  If you would like to see the original, please visit Sandra’s site at:      

          Good morning readers.  By way of introduction, my name is Stephanie Jewett.  I have been a registered nurse for 30+ years in a host of fields and also hold a MBA from Regis University in Denver, Co.  I’m going to talk a little bit about how I got the idea to go into nursing school, some of the reasons I love nursing and other options for nurses that want to be out of the hospital setting.  In addition, I’d like to address why I think it is a good idea to obtain your CNA training and certification before you head off to nursing school.  I met Sandra via the Internet and observed her useful website – there is very good information here, so please frequent her site.  My site is somewhat different, in the fact that I share 30+ years of nursing experience and knowledge with nurses, students, caregivers, moms, patients and the general public.  Usually I address specific diseases and disorders, but often incorporate my nursing skills, administrative years and financial background in a variety of areas.  I just started blogging this year and welcome you to visit my site, Nursing Comments. 

          When I was younger, I was extremely close to my grandparents; they lived just down the hill from where I grew up (Iowa).  I believe nursing was always in my ‘blood’, as I would help my grand folks as they started to age.  I noticed little things like limping carrying in the groceries, a dirtier house than normal, older food in the refrigerator, less than perfect hearing, hair turning grey, naps during the day, a surgery for a temporary colostomy, oxygen to breathe, falling on the ice, and the list goes on and on.  After attending college at Iowa State University for two years, I came back to my home town to start a nursing program.  It was a three-year diploma program at the main hospital where I lived, and I was sure I had found my niche.  The studies were rather intense at first, but it helped that I worked part-time as a nursing student on various floors to learn more about the actual clinical duties.           

          The reasons I love nursing are many.  First of all, I can’t think of a more rewarding career than nursing.  Not only do you help the patient, but most times you help the family as well.  Your skills need to be sharp, every case is different, rotating on different floors gives you an excellent education on just about every disease process, educating family and patients about specific diseases gives you reassurance in your abilities as a nurse, working with skilled professionals always sparks your interest to learn more and the specialty areas (surgery, emergency room, intensive care, etc.) keep you on your toes and insist that perfection is a part of your job.  It never gets boring, as there is something new to learn everyday! 

          Throughout my career, I have developed several skills, in the areas of management, floor nursing and entrepreneurship.  Today you have access to so many areas and options where nurses can be consultants, entrepreneurs, writers, bloggers, etc.  A few weeks ago I did a post on many job opportunities for nurses that did not want to be in the hospital setting.  I came up with forty-two different job options.  I have done many of these, as I raised two sons alone and desperately needed flexible schedules, salary increases and extra income.  So, I have written two books that I sold on the Internet, had my own transcription business, have been a legal nurse consultant, a home-health care nurse, medical billing and coding entrepreneur, a school nurse, a medical and legal chart reviewer, a nursing recruiter and an administrator for a surgery center.  These were all in addition to the many fields of nursing that I did in the hospital setting. 

          Finally, I want to stress the importance of knowing that you really do want a career in nursing.  When I started school, there were not nearly as many courses offered for certified nursing assistants.  Nursing is not for everyone and it is a marvelous stepping stone to get your CNA training and certification before you start nursing school.  Sandra makes this a simple process, has a lot of information regarding the exam itself, how to renew or transfer a CNA license, salary and pay scale data, interviewing tips, a list of Nurse Aide registries by state and other helpful tips on obtaining this very important license before you make the choice as to whether or not you want to become a nurse.


Why Many Nursing Schools Require Students to Hold a CNA Certification

If you have been looking into nursing school, you have noticed that many nursing programs require you to have your CNA certification before you can apply for the nursing curriculum.  You can receive CNA certification by completing an accredited nursing assistant certification program.  Additionally, you will need to receive a passing score on a certification exam. 

Completing certification as a nursing assistant will help to provide you with the building blocks for an education and later a career as a nurse.  There are many skills that you will learn when you are training to be a nursing assistant.  You will learn to assist patients with activities of daily living and even to oversee range of motion exercises for patients who need help with mobility. 

When you train to become a nursing assistant, you will learn to take patients vital signs and to record information in their chart.  Your training will teach you CPR and other basic first-aid and safety skills.  These skills will be valuable when you do your clinical rotations in nursing school and once you start working as a nurse. 

Many schools want people to work in the healthcare field before they make a final decision to apply to nursing school.  This helps to prepare students for the stresses and hard work of working in a healthcare setting.  Some people will be more ready than ever to train to become a nurse after working as a certified nursing assistant.  Of course, there will be other individuals who will realize that a career in nursing is not a good fit after all.

Training to be a CNA also provides you with access to employment while you attend nursing school.  You will be able to continue to gain valuable experience working in a hospital, continuing care community or home health setting.  You can transfer much of what you learn into your education to become a nurse.

Working as a CNA before and while enrolled in nursing school will provide you with a way to earn an income while you complete your nursing degree.  You will be able to earn money for your living expenses while you are in nursing school.  Your work as a CNA can provide you with income to help cover the cost of nursing school as well. 

Many nursing schools want you to be a CNA before they will consider your application to the nursing school or nursing program.  In fact, some schools will not even consider accepting you unless you are a certified nursing assistant.  These schools recognize the many benefits of training to be and working as a CNA before attending nursing school. 

If you want to become a nurse, you should consider starting out as a nursing assistant.  You can find CNA programs at many healthcare facilities and community colleges.  Some nursing schools offer CNA training as well.  Courses usually only last for a few weeks, though some training programs are actually for a few months.

This is a guest post by Sandra Stevens who is a blogger over at  She writes about and answers questions on all Nursing Assistant related topics.