Nursing is a profession that frequently provides an amazing amount of opportunities and great experiences. Starting your career as a nurse is means lots of schooling, clinical experience, and a true passion for the field. Still, sometimes people interested in the field don’t start out pursuing their registered nursing credentials right away. For individuals who want to get their feet wet and eventually take on nursing as their life-long profession, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a common situation. Today we’ll discuss transitioning from a CNA to an RN and what you need to consider to be as successful as you can!
Transitioning from a CNA to an RN | The Basics
Transitioning from a CNA to an RN doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Taking the time to understand what steps this requires ultimately helps to ensure your success. Already as a CNA, it’s likely that you have excelled at basic patient care with a firm grasp of many medical conditions and symptoms. It’s no secret that stepping up into the role of a fully registered nurse will bode well for your bank account. Of course, that means a significant increase in the amount of one’s responsibility.
Taking on an RN’s Responsibilities
Becoming a full RN allows you to join the higher level of any facility, right below physicians as the go-to professionals. Providing advanced patient monitoring and care, in addition to overseeing other members of the nursing staff constitute a large portion of the shift you’ll make when transitioning from a CNA to an RN. While the average CNA salary checks out around $6.00 to $12.00 an hour, RNs can make anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00 an hour! This of course, all depends on your location, experience, field of practice, and overtime. In specialties like cardiology, surgery, or dialysis, the pay could be even more rewarding!
As mentioned, your transition to an RN comes with a significant increase in responsibility and skills. Registered nurses can carry out any task a CNA is able to, in addition to critical duties like:
- Starting IV and PICC lines
- Administering IV meds and IV push meds
- Administering injections
- Communicating and enacting physician orders
- Managing teams of nurses or CNAs
What’s The Training for RNs Like?
The actual process of transitioning from a CNA to an RN can take a minimum of 2 years to complete. In some cases, nursing schools won’t even accept individuals who aren’t already CNAs. Nonetheless, it’s often a wise choice to apply to several schools at once in order to increase your chances of acceptance. After acceptance, RN programs themselves amount to two essential halves.
Firstly, these programs focus on theory, including the intricacies of reading paperwork and testing patients to evaluate their conditions. Future RNs learn all about mediations and how to administer them, all while studying the systems and functions of the human body in relation to many diseases.
The second half includes your clinical training. This allows you to perform the duties of a fully licensed registered nurse under the supervision of a functioning staff within an actual medical setting. During your clinical rotations, you’ll have the opportunity to provide direct care for actual patients and get a feel for the basic duties of an RN in a staff environment.
Passing Your Final Exam
After receiving the necessary training and education, it’s time to pass your licensure test, the NCLEX-RN. It’s not uncommon for many aspiring nurses to fail this test the first time as it’s incredibly rigorous. However, passing means your transitioning from a CNA to an RN is complete! That said, your education as a nurse never really ends and should be supplemented with additional job training courses, professional conferences, and employer-provided programs. Additionally, you’re now able to work and travel throughout participating states where the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) has been enacted!
Ultimately, transitioning from a CNA to an RN is a very involved process but the results are well worth the effort! Have you recently become a fully registered nurse? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!