California RN Program To CNA license
In Massachusetts they told us that after our first clinical rotation we could take the CNA exam. I believe we needed a letter from the director of the program stating that we met the requirements or something. We tested through the Red Cross. We basically sent them our papers, waited forever, then went in for a written and practical exam. The written portion is very basic (e.g., don’t abuse old people) but the clinical portion is fairly strict. You are tested on perfect hard washing technique, introducing yourself to the patient, putting the call-light in reach, range-of-motion, nail care, etc. Basically your fundamentals class. Contact your professors and ask them if you’re unsure, though I’d imagine most facilities would take you in anyway since you’re in nursing school. Getting your CNA license is a good step and getting your foot in the door/gaining experience is the most important thing in getting a RN position.
I’m a CNA in Miami, FL, I’m not familiar with California laws, but in Florida you can challenge the test without any prior schooling. All you have to do is pass the background check, clinical and multiple choice test.
I am just starting my last semester of my RN program. When we finished out first semester of the program they sent us all an email with the paperwork we needed. I didn’t opt to get my CNA but I know several people that did.
I’m not sure if you can get your CNA after the first semester of and LPN program.
I know here in Arizona we had to send our paperwork to the Arizona State Board so you may want to check with your state board.
Many of my classmates in nursing schools (California, graduation May 2011) became CNAs in school. You pay a fee, challenge the exam and maybe end up taking the exam. It was painless, and it helped at least one of them land a job directly after graduation.
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