Becoming both a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Registered Nurse (RN) require quite a structured pathway to their desired, future job roles. Undertaking any nursing based major helps prepare students for a range of care giving roles across a myriad of settings. RN’s and CNA’s both have the opportunity to work within hospitals, from emergency medicine to paediatrics or neonatal intensive care, in nursing homes, or working within the government for city health departments or Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are a variety of job roles which can be made easily accessible upon the completion of a nursing major, but which nursing major or pathway is the right one for RNs and CNAs?

The best Majors for RNs

RNs have a wide range of degree majors, or focuses, which will get them well on their way to becoming fully qualified and ready for their dream job. For applicants that want to get to a RN level in the shortest time undergoing an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) major is the best way to go. This is a two-year nursing degree program; it is offered mainly by community colleges or vocational based schools. This allows the applicant to prepare for their career and is an important steppingstone of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing that can be completed afterwards.

LPN-to-RN degree programs are tailor-made for those nurses who are ready to become fully qualified RNs. It is usually a bridging major, used to fill in the blanks between their already fruitful knowledge and that of a RNs. This is a great way to progress your career and learn some really valuable insight into the nursing world whilst being in a learning environment, both practically and theoretically.

With RNs there is a need of some formal education to be able to undertake the job, this can be within community college, vocational schools or some universities and colleges. Nevertheless, it is not always necessary to attend college to become a RN, this is great for those applicants hoping to plunge into their desired line of work.

If you do wish to seek a college education prior to taking these examinations and practical healthcare experiences, it would be prudent to choose a major either within the Sciences or of a Health and Social care focus. Psychology has been coined a very worthy major to take when aiming to go into the nursing-based profession too.

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The best majors for CNAs

CNAs provide varying levels of care and support to both physically and mentally disabled people that, due to their illness, are unable to take care of themselves anymore. This future employment can come from hospitals, mental health facilities, clinics and even directly through a patient’s family to provide home visits and companionship for their loved ones. The most employment for CANs are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities where they take care for the elderly.

Due to the nature of their work it is not a necessity for CNAs to attend college or even community colleges, the admission for these works is based on a background check, experience and any additional insight they might have to the patient(s) in question. They need to complete a CAN certification, but this can be completed online, in hospitals, through vocational schools and other educational settings.

CNAs communicate with nurses and doctors on behalf of their patients, they are caregivers and assist patients with every aspect of their lives, from changing bedsheets to administering their medicines. The CNAs course allows participants to understand jargon, covers anatomy and physiology, the coursework aspect of the training prepares them for evidence-based patient care.

Whilst there are no real requirements for CNS training, especially not a college degree, if the applicant had sat a degree and majored in psychology, physiology, sociology, health and social or science would be most favourable. These subjects really epitomise the CNS training course and so it would make it very easy them to pass.

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Conclusion

It is important to remember that not all professions require a college-based education, rather some of the most rewarding job roles such as nursing don’t require this formality at all. It is always a bonus to have been able to go to college and study a subject you love, however in the nursing world these are done via more hands on, relevant experience, working in-conjunction with hospitals or care homes rather than reading and theorising these situations.

Many nursing professions require community college-based courses or attending vocational schools from anywhere between 4 weeks – to – 2 years and counting, depending on the level you wish to reach. If you do decide to gain a college education it is important to focus in on subjects that allow you to humanise the workload, both the sciences and social sciences are a great place to start. Majoring in psychology and continuing on to become a CNS for a mental health hospital or home would be a perfect path to success. There are many more steppingstones just like this which would send you well on your way to achieving your nursing goals.

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