Nursing Professional Development for Transitioning from CNA to RN

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Certified Nursing Assistants: Advancing into the Nursing Profession

As a nursing professional, aligning your career path with your personal goals is a great way to support your professional development. Taking advantage of opportunities to continue your education can open more doors in your career. As a certified nursing assistant (CNA), you may desire to delve fully into the nursing profession and become a registered nurse (RN). Desiring such career advancement is expected since you may yearn for the kind of autonomy and salary registered nurses have (over 2x that of CNAs).

As a CNA or Patient Care Assistant, you are on the frontline of patient care as a certified professional to help patients with their basic healthcare needs and daily living under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or any other healthcare provider. Your duties as a CNA include helping patients eat and make their beds, measuring and recording patient vitals, and assisting nurses with their procedures.

Have you considered taking the next step in your career to become a registered nurse? Furthering your education to obtain a nursing degree will be essential. However, being a CNA before delving into nursing makes your time in school so much easier. Your foundation as a CNA makes your career path into the nursing profession less of an uphill task. Learn what the journey from CNA to RN entails below.

Transitioning from CNA to RN

A registered nurse’s responsibilities consist of assessing patient conditions, conducting diagnostic tests, analyzing test results, administering treatment and medications, and more.

There are a few options in terms of advancing your career path into the nursing profession. Individuals typically become nurses in a few different ways:

Career Paths

Individuals interested in becoming RNs typically get:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN)
  • An associate degree in nursing (ADN)
  • A diploma from an approved nursing program

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN)

As with most other professions, having a Bachelor’s degree offers you greater professional esteem, higher pay, and more job opportunities than the Associate’s degree or Diploma. However, schooling tends to be higher and it can take up to 4 years to complete your degree. Most employers prioritize BSN holders when hiring nursing staff.

Accelerated BSN Program

Already have a degree in another subject? The accelerated BSN program could be for you, as it is available for those who already have a Bachelor’s degree in another profession. You can complete the program within a year. Note that as a CNA, your certificate isn’t considered a degree. You would only be eligible for this program if you have a degree in any other subject.

CNA to RN Bridge Program

The CNA to RN Bridge program is the fastest and easiest way to advance from a certified nursing assistant into a registered nurse. This program allows you to get your associate degree in nursing (ADN) in just one year while still working as a CNA. The program acknowledges the fact that you already have a background in nursing. However, you’d be required to take a couple of general courses. To get your license as a registered nurse, you must pass the RN licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN. This comes soon after you complete the CNA to RN course.

Now that you have additional information about potential career paths, it could be time to take the next step. Explore some of the best nursing schools to earn your next-level degree.

Best Schools to Get Your Online Nursing Degree Programs

As reported by US News & World Reports, the following are the best schools to get your nursing degree:

  1. Rush University
  2. University of South Carolina
  3. Duke University
  4. Ohio State University
  5. Xavier University.

After getting your nursing degree, you don’t have to stop there. You can advance your career into a Master’s and even a Doctorate of Nursing. Here are some of the top schools for furthering your nursing degree:

Best Nursing Schools to Get Your Master’s Degree in 2022

  1. Johns Hopkins University
  2. Emory University
  3. Duke University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. Columbia University

Best Nursing Schools to Get Your Doctor Of Nursing Degree in 2022

  1. Rush University
  2. Johns Hopkins University
  3. University of Washington
  4. Duke University
  5. Columbia University

Ready For The Next Stage of Your Professional Development?

Now that you know all the opportunities open to you, it’s time to take action and pursue your dreams. As a registered nurse, you’ll have access to a variety of job opportunities with higher pay that offer the potential for continued advancement in the profession.

Looking for flexible nursing opportunities in the meantime? Join the CareerStaff network today and connect with one of our career-minded recruiters. You can search our list of available nursing jobs here, or submit a quick application to get started here.