How to Pursue Additional Education as a Working CNA

CNAs who aspire to be RNs can complete the necessary schooling while holding down full-time jobs. Find out how to advance your education while working as a CNA in this article.
How to Pursue Additional Education as a Working CNA

Like many Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, you may have selected this position to kick-start your nursing career. Being a CNA is demanding, however, so you may be worried about pursuing the additional education you need to progress in your career while working as one. Fortunately, thousands of people like you do so successfully, and you can too. The main thing to keep in mind is that your life will be busier than ever for the foreseeable future. In the end, though, all the extra effort will pay off in spades.

Even if you are satisfied with your role as a CNA, there are lots of advantages to pursuing additional schooling to progress in your career. Most notably, becoming an RN will open up many more career opportunities and make you eligible for much higher pay. Another point to keep in mind is that progressing from CNA to RN isn't too difficult. There are lots of ways to achieve this even while working full time and juggling other responsibilities.

In years past, CNAs who aspired to progress in their careers and educations faced a serious dilemma. The only option was to attend local schools, and doing so while working full time is pretty much impossible. Fortunately, the Internet now exists, and online schooling is readily available. There are many online educational paths to follow. Please note that they typically require in-person clinical work also, so you must be flexible enough to handle it.

A few of the top educational paths for full-time CNAs to follow include:

Bridge Program

Many online schools offer CNA-to-RN bridge programs, or ladder programs, that cut the length of time it takes to earn an RN license. In as little as one year, you can fill in the gaps in your education to become eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Upon successfully completing it, you will receive your RN license.


You can also complete online courses to earn your Associate Degree in Nursing, or ADN. The vast majority of the work can be done online. Such programs typically take about two years to complete. Your online program will have connections with local facilities where you can complete your clinical requirements.


Earning an ADN is great, but if you really want to keep your options open, consider completing an online BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, program. Some programs may take your credentials and experience as a CNA into consideration, which may allow you to skip some prerequisite courses. It takes around four years to earn a BSN, but the extra work is well worth it for the opportunities this degree provides.

Additional Courses

You may also be able to complete just a few additional courses to move up to a more advanced CNA role. For instance, you may be able to earn a new title such as geriatric technician. Such a promotion would also mean higher pay and better benefits.

As a full-time CNA, your workdays are hectic and demanding. Like most adults, you probably have lots of other responsibilities to handle at home too. Still, the right online schooling can help you pursue additional education that is sure to make a positive difference in your career, so investigate the available options today.

Amanda Jordan
Amanda Jordan

A registered nurse with a BSN degree, skillfully simplifies complex medical topics as a healthcare writer, contributing valuable insights to a diverse audience.

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