Are you working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and want to change your career or find a new employer? This is not uncommon for CNAs to switch employers or consider leaving their job and pursuing another career path in healthcare. CNAs’s one of the highest turnover rates in the healthcare industry, which means they are leaving their positions faster or moving to other facilities in greater numbers than other healthcare professionals.
Why do you want to leave?
If you are contemplating switching to a new facility or leaving your job as a CNA altogether, the first question you need to ask yourself is why?
This is an important question to ask yourself. If you truly love working on patient care at the level a CNA is required to, but are not happy with the organization that employs you, then a switch to another facility may be what you need.
Ask yourself if you dislike the duties that a CNA is required to fulfill each day, and if the answer is yes, a move to a new facility will not change that.
If you enjoy patient care but want more responsibility with your patients or an increase in your rate of pay, then leaving healthcare may not be the best decision. Considering a career change within the healthcare industry is a reasonable change if you enjoy patient care.
You have been a CNA for some time and recently feel that switching employers will make you more satisfied in your career. If you have assessed the reasoning behind this thinking and feel working in a new facility is all you need to be happy, you are in luck.
Before you leave your current employer, make sure you have your new job lined up. Even with all the available CNA positions, you don’t want to force yourself into a position where you are financially stressed, and have to accept a job at a facility that is not your top pick.
Since you have time, think about what type of facility you want to work in. CNAs can work in various medical facilities that include:
Long-term Care and Nursing Homes are where many CNAs start. You may enjoy working with the elderly or recovering patients in these facilities.
Home Health Agency is a great place to work when you have experience. You can work without direct supervision, which will showcase your skills and level of responsibility, and knowledge.
Hospitals offer significant benefits and a great selection of different areas that a CNA can work.
After choosing what facility you would like to work at, update your resume and being applying. Once you are hired, give your current employer 2 weeks’ notice, so you can use them as a reference in the future.
Many CNAs switch jobs frequently, so leaving on good terms will always look good when you have references that would rehire you if they had the chance.
New Career Path
You were honest with yourself and working as a CNA is not for you. If you love patient care but want to advance in healthcare, your CNA experience is a great starting point. Now you need to decide what healthcare career you want to pursue?
Many CNAs enjoy their work but decide they want to pursue nursing. The education you received as a CNA is a great base and gave you a look into what nursing demands. If you want to take the fastest route to become a nurse and advance your career, you would follow the progression of nursing licenses.
Medical Assistant duties include clerical and administrative duties along with patient exams, recording vital signs, and administering medications and vaccinations.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) will require you to complete an LPN licensing program which can take 1-2 years depending on if you attend full time or part-time. These programs are available at many community colleges or vocational schools.
Registered Nurse (RN) to get your RN licensing, you can attend an associate’s program to obtain your RN, which can take about 3 years total with coursework clinicals. This will allow you to qualify to be licensed as an RN. RNs also have the option to get a bachelor’s degree, which can take 4-5 years to complete. Both programs train the nurses in clinical skills, but a bachelor’s program includes management and leadership.
Once you have decided on your career path, you can find an accredited school or program to receive your degree or certification.
Switching employers or leaving your career as a CNA to pursue an alternative career in healthcare should be a simple transition. Healthcare professionals are in high demand, so whatever path you choose in healthcare, you will find job openings. When leaving your career or employer, assess your reasoning so you are not deciding based on 1 terrible week or something that is only temporary. Remember, if you love what you do, then you are truly never working.