Nursing schools have waiting lists two and three years long. If you want to become a nurse, but don’t want to stand in a long line to get into nursing school, rest assured that there are many ways to avoid the long waiting lists.
There are many job openings for qualified nurses. In fact, many employers pay to-start bonuses that range from $2,000 to $10,000. They will help pay for your continuing education.
In this article, we’ll discuss the quickest and least expensive way to become a nurse and will point you to other ways to bypass the long nursing school waiting lists.
The Career Ladder for Nursing Jobs
No matter where on the nursing career ladder you start, the nursing profession offers job advancement at a steady manageable pace. One scenario is to start as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN), then obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
This method is great for anyone wanting to get into nursing, gain experience, and have their employer help pay for nursing school along the way. Many nurses enjoy working only 3, twelve hour shifts each week. This leaves plenty of time to attend nursing school to study for the next logical step in a nursing career.
Also, if you decide to start out as a CNA, it is a great way to get your feet wet without spending three years in school to then find out that the day-to-day nursing activities are not for you.
How to Become a CNA
Entering the nursing profession as a Certified Nursing Assistant is a relatively easy route to take. If you already have a high school diploma or a GED, there are several paths to getting the training and experience you need to become a CNA. You can attend CNA classes at community colleges and vocational or adult schools. Some hospitals still offer CNA programs but they are few and far between. Classes generally last 6 to 12 weeks or a minimum of 75 hours of instruction. Some states require more hours and programs range from 75-150 hours.
The quickest route into nursing is through a vocational school, but that is also the most expensive route. Waiting lists for Certified Nursing Assistant programs are either non-existent or very short.
Advantages of Becoming a CNA:
1. In a relatively short period of time, you can enter the nursing profession
2. While you work as a CNA, you can apply to a Community College or Vocational School to become an LPN
3. You can gain experience as a nurse, gain an understanding of where you would like to take your career
4. You will know nursing from the ground up
5. With the experience you gain, your application to any school will be considered more seriously because you have already demonstrated your commitment and passion for nursing.
6. It is the least expensive route to becoming a nurse
Disadvantages of Becoming a CNA:
1. You must juggle work, school, and other commitments such as family
2. There are limits to the care that a CNA can give. If you want to provide more care to those in need, you will need to wait until you gain your LPN or RN license.
3. It may take a little longer to accomplish your ultimate career goal
One pragmatic way to start nursing school in the next month or so is to consider earning your CNA certificate… Learn about other ways to attend nursing school with no waiting lists, and find listings of all nursing schools, and all nursing jobs in the United States.