I've been thinking about trying to find a new career. I've been working for a communications company and writing about poetry for a long time. And I'm kinda tired of it. I've been thinking of becoming a certified nursing assistant or even an registered nurse. I wrote 10 reasons (I guess trying to convince myself) why I should become a CNA or an RN.
1. To many RN aspirants, the first step to becoming a full-fledged nurse is usually via the CNA route. A CNA gets a closer foretaste of the RN profession, after devoting a relatively short period for training and certification. CNAs work in the same medical and healthcare settings as with registered nurses or other medical practitioners. Ever wonder how long it takes to be a CNA? 6 months. Also, did you ever wonder how long is nursing school? It takes two years to become a registered nurse.
2. To one those who find it difficult to make up their minds on pursuing a career in nursing, becoming a CNA first could be a crucial element in the decision-making process. Being able to work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, nursing homes, and assisted-living centres allows one to experience the nursing field up close.
3. While a CNA’s job belongs in the same classification as orderlies and attendants, they are allowed to assist, every so often, in minor medical procedures under the supervision of an experienced or senior registered nurse. Their responsibilities and tasks vary from conveying, nourishing, and helping patients in their daily care, exercise regimens, and proper hygiene.
4. The work of a CNA helps build and develop a person’s strength and character. Over time, you will learn to be emotionally mature and physically strong, and you will develop compassion and patience to care for the sick, the old, the weak, and the disabled.
5. There are more than 1.5 million employed CNAs as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. CNAs have bright prospects ahead, with growth rising faster than the average for all occupations in the country. BLS forecasts 21% growth between 2012 and 2022. I also like that I could go to school and become an RN, which has more growth. I read that an RN does not have to work in a hospital, either. There are non clinical nursing jobs outside the hospital for RNs.
6. For the short training and certification process involved, CNAs get decent pay. Their median pay as of 2012 was $11.97 per hour or $24,890 per year. This annual median indicates that 50% of people working in this occupational group earn below this median, while the other 50% earns more than this median. The top earners are those who work in federal executive branches earning as high as $35,950 per year. Other top-paying industries for CNAs are insurance carriers, junior colleges, universities and professional schools, and state government, where CNAs earn at least $31,000 a year. The top-paying states are Alaska, New York, Nevada, Connecticut and Massachusetts. So if you live in these states, CNAs are paid higher here than in most other states.
7. Nursing care facilities or skilled nursing facilities hire four times more CNAs than RNs. This is where CNAs find the highest demand for their profession. The hourly mean wage in these institutions is $12.01, slightly higher than what CNAs receive on the average. General medical and surgical hospitals, on the other hand, hire only 1 CNA in every 4 RNs. The hourly mean wage for CNAs in these medical institutions is much higher than average, though, at $13.53.
8. CNAs who get the opportunity to work in federal executive branches enjoy greater stability in their work. Aside from their higher pay, as mentioned above, their benefits may also include retirement packages and 401K plans.
9. For persons who love traveling, becoming a CNA may provide an opportunity to combine travel and work. There are CNAs who become traveling nursing assistants. This job provides higher pay, travel and perks, and the excitement that is otherwise not present in the mundane nature of the regular CNA job.
10. If those reasons have not yet clinched your decision yet, here’s another one. Training to become a CNA can take as short as 6 weeks only, although there are longer programs. For instance, the state of California requires at least 150 hours of training, inclusive of classroom and clinical instruction, while the American Red Cross requires 160 hours. Acceptance to the CNA program does not require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent GED. It does, however, require a clean slate – background check on felonies, crimes, and drug-related issues will be quite stringent. Licensing involves two steps – a written test about concepts and a practical test about actual skills learned.