My Nursing Journey- CNA to BSN


TWELVE years ago (Oh my that’s hard to believe) I was in my last semester of high school and signed up at the local career center to take a STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant) course. I had decided I wanted to be a nurse and knew that CNA/STNA is where I wanted to start. It was a 2 week course with 2 days of clinical. At the end I took the state written/practical exam (you had to perform five random skills) and was officially certified!

After graduation, I moved to SC and obtained my first CNA job. I worked at a skilled nursing facility (aka nursing home) and it was one of the hardest jobs I ever had. The amount of work you have to do and the little amount of help you have is astounding. Dressing, bathing, and feeding 10 Residents a day is so much work. I have so much respect for all CNAs after my time in a SNF. I then went on to home health and worked as a CNA until I passed my state boards for nursing. If you are a CNA and looking for some tips and trick I have learned over the past 12 years, check out my blog post.


Working as an LPN at a SNF

I attended an LPN program in hopes of starting my nursing career. I always knew I wanted to go on to ADN and BSN, but if LPN is your stopping point, that is amazing too! I worked at a Skilled Nursing Facility on their subacute rehab unit- taking care of patients who were there for physical rehab- strokes, hip and knee replacement, those who needed long term antibiotics, etc. I learned a lot and grew a lot as a person and a nurse!


First day as an RN at the hospital!

I applied and was accepted to an LPN to RN program at our community college. We took one transition class- which was essentially lectures and tests over the first year of nursing school- in 7 weeks. Yep, it was a doozy. We then joined a traditional path RN cohort for the rest of the program. After graduation, I worked on a cardiovascular-telemetry unit for 3 years. I fell in love with cardiac nursing and worked with some truly amazing people. I even became a preceptor for new graduate nurses! I learned so much and it really helped teach me to be a great nurse.


First day of the RN to BSN program

I did my RN to BSN online through Medical University of South Carolina while working full time as an RN (and planning a wedding!) and I loved it and cannot recommend it enough! I graduated magna cum laude with a 4.0 and really enjoyed my classes. I will say I don’t buy into the narrative that a BSN is necessary to be a nurse- but I did learn from my community health and research classes. I also like that it opens the doors to more non-bedside jobs and I’m ready to go to graduate school if and when I decided too.

Travel Nurse

A day off in Washington, D.C. during my first assignment

In April 2020, I submitted my resignation to my staff job and become a travel nurse. My first travel assignment was in Arlington, VA just outside of Washington, D.C. and we loved it! The assignments have been hard with Covid, but I enjoyed traveling and it was nice to be better compensated for the work I do.

I currently am on a break from nursing. It started with taking time for my mental health, but I am currently unable to work due to long haul covid symptoms. I’m using this time to decide what I want to do with my career as a nurse and think of new and exciting options for the future.

The Journey

Working the Covid Unit as a travel RN

This journey has took me 12 years, from the time I became a CNA until when I graduate with my BSN. I want you to know the no matter how long your journey takes, you can accomplish your goals! When I was first starting out, this point in my career seemed so far away. But here I am, considering grad school and planning my future as a BSN, RN.

Also reminder, if CNA, LPN, ADN, BSN, whatever it may be, is your end goal. That’s amazing! I had people say awful things to me when I was an LPN. But some of the best nurses I have worked with have been LPNs, and they have taught me so much in my career. Don’t let people make you feel like your accomplishments aren’t amazing. Because they are!

Where are you in your nursing journey? 

Other blog post for nursing students:

Preparing for Senior Practicum

Nursing School Prep

Other blog post for nurses:

Floating:The Nursing Nemesis. Tips from a Float Pool Travel RN

Travel Nurse Adventures: The Face Palm Moments

2 thoughts on “My Nursing Journey- CNA to BSN”

Melissa Weaver

Proud of you 🥰

Mark Weaver

You have had a quite the journey . Can’t wait to see where the journey takes you ❤️

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