When you go to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, you won’t need a college degree. A CNA school is usually a college or vocational school that offers classes that will enable you to become certified as a nursing assistant.
A CNA will work alongside of RNs and LPNs, caring for patients in different types of healthcare settings. They work very closely with patients but do different kinds of tasks that an RN or LPN might do. Typically, CNAs work in nursing homes.
They help with daily activities such as bathing or dressing. They may take a patient’s blood pressure, temperature or other vital signs. They dress wounds and help with other types of medical procedures. There may be some unpleasant responsibilities involved and it can be physically demanding but a CNA can develop strong relationships with their patients.
Requirements for a CNA Certification
There are a number of requirements that you will have to fulfill to get certified. It varies by state but the requirements are very similar. You will need to check to make sure that your education program has been approved by your state. You can find this out by checking with the health or nursing board.
If you have a CNA certification from another state and you move to a different state, you will have to check to see what you have to do to meet that state’s requirements. You may just have to apply for certification endorsement.
CNA classes will take about four to 12 weeks. You will learn how to deliver personal care, taking vital signs, work on your communication skills and learn about patients’ rights.
Taking The Exam
The CNA certification exam is usually given by a third-party. There are different test centers located in different areas of your state. Although the exams may vary from state to state, most consist of a written multiple choice section and then, a manual skills test in which you will be evaluated by an RN who watches you perform certain skills.
You will take both parts on the same day. You typically get about two hours to finish the multiple choice part and then about 25 to 45 minutes on the clinical skills section.
A CNA will have to have a minimum of 48 hours in continuing education every 24 months. Many of the states will require that a CNA does a minimum of 12 hours per year of this two year time frame. Some of this important training will consist of first aid, medical record documentation, patient rights and domestic violence.
The state board of nursing where you are located will provide all the information you need to allow you to earn these credits. You will be required to show proof that you were actually paid as a CNA during that two-year period. Very often, your employer will pay for these courses or they could even provide you the necessary education.
The job outlook for CNAs is expected to be faster than average for growth. As more of our population becomes older, they will be entering into nursing homes. You could also work as a home health care CNA.
If you think this could be a career you are interested in, be sure to find a CNA school that offers you the classes you need to get started today.