how can a CNA become an RN

Changing Careers from CNA to RN?

Nurses are, perhaps, the most dedicated professionals within the healthcare industry. Their compassion and direct patient care are crucial to the health and well-being of the sick and injured. Like many aspiring nurses, you may have decided to jump into the workforce quickly by becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). However, perhaps the CNA path has not given you the fulfillment, or patient care responsibilities, you are seeking. Now, you may be thinking about advancing your career and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). The process can feel a bit intimidating, but changing careers from a CNA to RN is easier than you may think. It is also well worth the effort.

If you are considering taking the next step and going from CNA to Registered Nurse, read on. Here we will share the benefits of taking this step and what to consider in the process.

Take On More Responsibilities

Registered Nurses have great power when it comes to saving lives. With this, comes great responsibility. While a CNA provides basic care under the supervision of an RN or LPN, an RN works as part of a team with doctors to provide direct patient care.

CNAs perform daily duties such as answering call lights, assisting patients with bathing and dressing, serving and feeding patient meals, taking vital signs, reporting changes to nursing staff, and transporting patients and making beds. RNs, on the other hand, perform detailed patient assessment and work with a physician to deliver patient care, from preliminary exams and treatment all the way to follow-up visits. They routinely assess patient conditions, perform tests, administer medications, coordinate treatment plans, and more.

Reap the Personal Reward

The work of a nurse is hard, and you may have gotten a taste of this as a CNA. RNs often endure long hours – sometimes on overnight shifts and weekends – and spend much of their time on their feet. Patients can be difficult, from the stubborn patient who refuses treatment to the angry, scared, or emotionally charged patients. Treating people during some of their scariest moments in life can be tough, but nurses are even tougher. Because of that toughness, they reap the benefits of their work.

Not only do RNs earn higher salaries than CNAs (more on that to come), they also enjoy personal benefits from their experiences with patients. When you work closely with people at their worst moments, you also become the superhero you know you set out to become. Success stories will make your day, and seeing your patient go from sick to smiling will make every day on the job worthwhile.

Enjoy Higher Pay

Registered Nurses earn a solid salary in the healthcare field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs earned a median salary of $73,330 in 2020.

This is significantly higher than CNAs. Nursing assistants, according to the BLS, earned a median salary of $30,830 in the same year.

Expand Your Horizons

RNs enjoy more job eligibility than CNAs. Registered Nurses can work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, such as:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Private practices
  • Rehab facilities
  • Summer camps
  • Military settings
  • Airports/airlines

Hospitals are the most common work environment for RNs today, but the sky is the limit when it comes to nursing. Traveling nurses are becoming more popular, and telemedicine is on the rise, offering more work-from-home options for nurses. RNs have more freedom in work environment because the RN license is the standard for nursing practice.

How to Become an RN

Before you switch careers from a CNA to RN, you will need a great education. A reputable nursing program, like the many available at Goodwin University, can give you the foundation you need to advance your career. While nursing school may sound intimidating, you should be confident in the fact that it is, in fact, attainable. And you are already on the way there, with previous exposure to the nursing field!

Goodwin also offers flexible scheduling that allows students to maintain their CNA jobs (and family responsibilities) while earning a degree. Classes for the associate degree in Nursing (ADN), for example, are offered days and nights, with clinicals offered on weekends, too. This program may be completed in as little as 20 months part time, so you can get going on your career as a nurse within two years’ time.

Pursue your dreams and start your journey to becoming a Registered Nurse today! Contact Goodwin University at 800-889-3282 to learn more about our flexible nursing programs, or visit us online to learn why we’re a leader in nursing education in Connecticut.