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Getting a CNA to RN Degree
The entry level position to become a nurse is CNA or certified nursing assistant. If you want to ‘test the waters’ and see if this is a suitable career for you, you can become a CNA in a matter of six months. You can enroll at a local vocational school or a community college that offers the training course. You will have to finish the 75-hour classroom instructions and aside from that, you will also have a practicum. The state will administer an evaluation and you should be able to pass to get the certification.
In the six months training, you will learn all the basic skills needed to become an effective and efficient nurse. As a CNA, you will be bathing patients, dressing them, assist in toileting, feeding the patients, monitor or take vital signs, making beds, organizing the room, relay information to other nurses, maintain documentation of the patient records, and many others.
From CNA to RN Degree
To become a registered nurse, you have two options to choose – to take up the associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and the bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Either way, you will become a registered nurse and leave your old job as a CNA.
The main difference is the time it takes to finish the course. For the ADN, it will take about two years to complete. The curriculum will already cover newborn nursing, maternal care, pediatrics, and at times psychiatric nursing, gerontological, and community health. The rate for ADNs is lower as compared to bachelor’s degree graduates but it’s also much higher than those of CNAs.
If you take up a bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse, it will take about four years. Aside from the topics covered by the ADN curriculum, the BSN will also cover nursing research, theory, and informatics. The rates are higher for BSN graduates and so if you can afford to finish a 4-year course, you can still be at an advantage. Taking up the bachelor’s degree is also ideal especially if you have plans to pursue advanced studies in the future and take up the MSN degree.
So basically, there are two roads to become a registered nurse. Depending on your future plans, you can decide on the best option. The faster way is taking up the ADN degree but if you want higher salary, you can finish a 4-year degree. You can take up the degree courses online or you can also study in local colleges.