Once you have completed your CNA training you may well want to look into further education and career advancement. One of the more skilled nursing industry positions and qualifications is that of Registered Nurse, but what is the difference? Do I have to finish my CNA training before I embark on my RN training? We’ve compiled a brief guide to get you thinking about whether upskilling to RN is right for you.
After CNA Training; Becoming an RN
What is the difference between a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Registered Nurse?
An RN is able to formulate plans of care and authorise limited doctor prescribed medications, whereas a CNA is unable to undertake any care that is not first approved by a nurse or doctor. RNs are trained to determine the best possible care plan to encourage the best possible outcome and this additional training equips them with a medical knowledge that CNA training does not provide. RNs are also qualified to provide in depth medical information to patients and their loved ones. RNs are responsible for delegating patient care to CNAs and LPNs.
What additional study do I need to do?
Unlike the CNA training course and LPN training course the Registered nursing qualification is not a higher education certificate but a 3 year degree or diploma in either Nursing or Science in Nursing. Both avenues require dedicated study and workplace training. The full time study load requires commitment and self-motivation but the rewards are huge. The RN qualification is largely internationally recognised, unlike the CNA qualification.
What is the difference in pay rate?
The registered nursing pay rate can be up to 3 and a half times greater than the average pay rate of a CNA in America. With an average yearly wage of $69,000 compared with $20,000 after CNA training, qualifying as an RN is certainly beneficial financially.
What is an education pathway?
An education pathway is a streaming device used to assist students to take gradual steps towards their eventual goal. Many Universities work in conjunction with vocational training providers to create these plans. They generally start with an entry level degree allowing the student to then work and study for the next course applying any possible credits to the next level of qualification, cutting down the students workload. Many university degrees site education pathways or bridging courses as a prerequisite for acceptance to a undergraduate degree.
How can education pathways be applied to CNA training?
It is very easy to apply an education pathways model to nursing and nursing support studies. The pathway plan would typically start with the CNA training course and exam, then a Licensed Practicing Nurse training course and exam, followed finally by the Registered Nursing qualification, being a science degree or nursing diploma.
Where can I find more information about education pathways?
Your local university or nursing college will be able to help you. Specifically talk to a careers guidance counsellor and members of the science and nursing departments. Talk to as many local institutions as you can to get a good feel for what is available to you, and at what cost.
Registered Nursing requires dedication and determination but for those who has been through or who are embarking on CNA training it can be a rewarding and attainable career goal.