How to Become a CNA

How to Become a CNA

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Do you dread going to work every morning? Look no further, CNA is one of the most rewarding and valuable positions in the healthcare industry. Also, CNA jobs are on track to becoming the most in-demand profession over the next decade.

Becoming a CNA does not involve years of coursework and sitting in classrooms listening to boring lectures. Instead, you will enjoy the experience of hands-on training in health and medical settings.

Learn how to become a CNA in as little as 4 weeks!

CNA Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following information about CNA job outlook and salary:

  • An 11 percent growth in positions between 2016 and 2026 (faster than average)
  • Median salary of $28,500 (about $14 per hour)
  • Number of CNA positions in the U.S. in 2016: nearly over 1, 500,000

Contact us to learn more about taking your first step towards an exciting career as a certified nursing assistant.

What Does a CNA Do?

Primary responsibilities of a CNA include:

  • Taking patient vital signs and recording them for RNs and physicians to examine later
  • Relaying pertinent patient information to doctors, nurses and surgeons
  • Recording observations and notes on patient charts. These observations are ultimately included in the patient’s general medical record
  • Making sure patients are adhering to dietary restrictions
  • Assisting patients with personal hygiene needs (bathing, grooming, getting dressed)
  • Administering (but not prescribing) medications to patients
  • Using medical billing software to assist in preparing statements

CNAs are vital to streamlining and completed numerous tasks expected of registered nurses who are often inundated with caring for the complicated needs of multiple patients. As a CNA, you will be the most accessible source of companionship, emotional support and comfort for hospitalized patients.

How to Become a CNA

CNA training guidelines differ according to the state in which a student resides. Before enrolling in a certified nursing assistant training program check the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing website or your state’s Department of Health agency for information regarding certification requirements.

CNA Training Programs Provided by Community Colleges and Vocational Schools

Usually lasting between six and 16 weeks, community college or vocational school CNA programs focus on the fundamentals of nursing, such as human anatomy, basic pharmacology, medical terminology, infection control, pathology, nutrition and more. In most cases, community colleges and vocational schools offer CNA courses on campus, online or a combination of both forms to allow flexible scheduling.

CNA Training Programs Provided by Hospitals

Some hospitals offer CNA training programs focusing on hands-on care and expedited coursework. Hospital-based CNA programs often take less than three months because of the many hours of hands-on experience provided to students. Additionally, a few hospitals may offer CNA training at no charge to students, especially if the need for CNAs is overwhelming at that particular hospital.

What is the CNA Certification Examination?

Before you can legally work as a CNA, you must pass the CNA certification exam, also called the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). There are two parts to the exam: a written/computerized exam and a clinical exam. You may be asked to bring a friend on exam day to demonstrate skills learned through coursework and hands-on practice.

Featured Nurse:

My name is Katelyn, I have been a nurse for over 7 years, and I became a nurse after getting a Medical Biology Bachelor of Science. I was always caring for my friends and family. It took me a while to find nursing and when I did it just clicked, nursing was my calling, and it was what I was meant to do. Katelyn H.