CNA Certification: A Product of Florence Nightingale Syndrome?

Florence Nightingale syndrome is a well-recognized quirk of the pop culture world, involving women who have a clear instinct to take care of those who are sick or hurting (the modern, politically-correct world also includes men).  While most of these individuals do not go on to become nurses, there is a high percentage of nurses who found their calling through stories of Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton, some of the most recognized nurses throughout history.  Earning an RN is one of the more advanced degrees in the nursing industry, which is why many who have these feelings opt to earn CNA certification instead.

A certified nursing assistant is the more advanced form of a nursing assistant that many future nurses like to experiment with before earning their full certification.  Nursing assistants are much more involved in the clinic and hospital settings than most of us realize – taking on many of the responsibilities of registered nurses when they are too overloaded with patients.  Additionally, nursing assistants get to experience all of the “hustle and bustle” of the nursing industry without committing to a set future with a particular hospital.  For many students who have the romantic notion of becoming the newest Florence Nightingale, CNA certification is the fastest way to continue on this route.

It takes half the time to earn CNA certification than it does to become an RN.  Of course, the responsibilities are much less and you will not be able to experience the full nursing experience as an assistant, it offers the perfect opportunity to gain a serious insight into the medical community.  Nurses in particular have come a long way from the war-strewn days of Florence Nightingale: technology has changed, new positions have opened up, and the nursing industry as a whole has revolutionized itself at the same time.  We are no longer confined to one particular area of nursing, but can instead experiment around with different realms of health; nursing assistants are especially allowed this freedom because they have not received their full nursing certification yet.

Many nursing assistants are not state certified, although earning your CNA allows most individuals to make more money per year as well as interact more with their patients.  Many current RNs started their nursing career as a nursing assistant only to discover that they wanted to be more involved in their career choice.  Florence Nightingale may have lived in a different century, but her legacy lives on throughout the many forms of nursing today.