I was a CNA off and on for years before graduating from nursing school. Nursing homes, asst. living, home care, and 6 months in a hospital in Ghana. All of those experiences certainly helped during nursing school and continue to help as an RN. Nursing school was still incredibly challenging in many aspects (and should be)–but the basic care of patients was never an issue. However, many in my nursing class had various other experiences in healthcare (not necessarily CNA)–such as medical assistant and EMT. Any experience helps. (That said, nobody realizes what it is to “be” a nurse until you actually are one). The best CNAs on our floor are currently doing pre-nursing, so they will eventually leave us. Yes, there are a few unique folks who are excellent CNAs (career CNAs) w/no desire/means/whatever to be nurses. But high turnover for CNAs will likely always be an issue d/t many factors–low pay, injuries, burnout, advancing/changing job, etc. etc. Although I do have to say that CNAs in the hospital setting are generally treated much better than those in nursing homes (at least in my experience).