If you're looking for an entry-level position in the healthcare field, you may be thinking about becoming a nursing assistant. While some employers will hire nursing assistants without any official credentials, the vast majority only consider candidates who have earned their CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, license. Although you may be eager to find a job quickly, it's in your best interest to obtain your license first. With that hurdle out of the way, you will be eligible for many more jobs and will enjoy a variety of other great benefits.
Top 5 Benefits of Earning Your CNA License
Before looking for nursing assistant jobs, consider these top advantages of earning your CNA license:
- It Takes Very Little Time - From completing your program to taking your CNA licensing exam, the entire process can be completed in as little as four weeks. Of course, program lengths vary. If you are in a big hurry, investigate all the available options to find one that can be completed quicker than all others. You can often apply for your license while still completing your program. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your license that much more quickly.
- It Makes It Easier to Qualify for Other Programs - Even if you're pretty sure you want to be a CNA throughout your career, it's nice to keep your options open. Should you decide to pursue your LPN or RN license, having your CNA license squared away will increase the odds of being accepted into the program of your choice.
- It Helps You Qualify for Better Jobs and Superior Pay - CNA jobs are widely available, but some are much more desirable than others. Candidates with CNA licenses are much more attractive to employers because it shows that job seekers are serious about pursuing long-term careers. It also tells employers that you know the regulations and laws that apply to such positions. Additionally, candidates with CNA licenses have gone through schooling, so they typically need less on-the-job education. Many times, this translates into better pay.
- It Can Be Used as a Stepping Stone - If you have the desire to eventually become a registered nurse, earning your CNA license is a very smart idea. Your schooling will give you a taste for what you will be in for in nursing school. You will gain real-life experience during your clinical practice, which will help you decide whether you truly want a career in healthcare or not. Later, if you decide to move forward with your nursing education, you will already have the basics squared away and will have a much easier time.
- It's Affordable - Like many people, you may dream of being an RN, but simply can't afford to pay for two to four years' worth of schooling. Since CNA learning is much less involved and takes a lot less time, it is much cheaper. Even if you have to save up for it, it won't take long. Once you have your CNA license, you can apply for better paying jobs. Eventually, you will be able to afford to attend nursing school.
As tempted as you may be to simply apply for nursing assistant jobs without obtaining your CNA license, it's not the best long-term decision. In just a few weeks, your schooling will be out of the way, and you will have the credentials you need to qualify for CNA jobs.