Nurse aide is an entry-level job in the medical field. There are a lot of career advancement options in CNA profession. By taking some extra courses, nursing assistants can move up the career ladder. Along with academic performances, job experience is also given equal weightage, during promotion.
CNA Career Path
If a certified nursing assistant enrol for proper training program and acquire the right credentials, he/she can be promoted to the following positions:
- Registered Nurse
After working as a nurse aide for many years, most of the medical professionals opt to become a registered nurse. This career path provides a change of environment and higher pay grade to the aspirants. CNA to RN programs are designed to help the entry-level nurses to rise one level up. These programs are of short duration.
- Licensed Practical Nurse
One can become an LPN, only by acquiring associate’s degree in nursing (which is a 2-year course) or bachelor’s degree in nursing (which is a 4-year course). You also need to qualify the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nursing). You can also enrol for CNA to LPN programs. The job of a licensed practical nurse is very rewarding.
- Nursing Home Administrator
Very few CNAs climb up to this administrative position because this career requires strong people skills and a solid academic foundation. You can become a nursing home administrator by gaining some work experience and acquiring a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Some states appoint registered nurses; having associate’s degree, for this designation. However, due to increased competition, other states expect a bachelor’s degree from the applicants. As a nursing home administrator, you will get the opportunity to perform administrative duties and earn a handsome income.
- Geriatric Care Manager
These professionals provide medical services to the elderly patients. As compared to RNs, LPNs and nursing home administrator, this job requires more job experience and higher educational qualification. For this position, some facilities hire only those candidates, who are having associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing or medical administration.
Besides these paths, nurse aides can also choose other career options, like becoming a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or CNA instructor at a training school. They can also move to other administrative roles in the field of nursing.