The journey to becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an achievable goal that does not take as long as many people might think.
Finding the right CNA program to help launch a rewarding career in health care is a critical step for those who are interested. It might take some time to go through a state approved CNA's training program. So, search for "CNA classes near me" to find the nearest course and make sure to look into this article on how to become a CNA.
As a nurse, I am proud to say I have helped several friends become CNAs and research nursing schools. It is the very reason why I decided to start this website -- to help reach more people who are interested in this career. On how much a CNA makes, read here.
There are many options for those people looking to become certified nursing assistants (CNA), but first let's answer some common questions about how to complete the CNA training here and which CNA course is best to complete. In addition, this post will help you find out if you have a necessary set of skills to become a CNA.
How long does it take to become a CNA?
As a former health care professional, I often encounter the question of "How long does it take to become a CNA?" by many different people interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant.
The duration of time for someone to become a CNA varies depending on location and state requirements. In general, most certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs usually take between 4 and 12 weeks to fulfill those requirements and officially become a certified nurse assistant.
Most nurse assistant training programs require at least 75 hours of classroom training, plus time learning the necessary clinical skills in providing long term care for a patient.
Other CNA programs may be 120 hours in duration that is spread over six weeks that may include four weeks in class and two weeks in a clinical setting, depending on state guidelines.
Although is it not a requirement to have a high school diploma or GED to become a CNA and get the appropriate certification, there are often many benefits or advantages by having one.
For example, many hospitals , nursing home owners and other employers often prefer to hire people with a high school diploma or GED. After passing the CNA certification exam, many CNAs work at nursing homes and help administer a home health test for elderly patients.
By having that education and graduating with that state-approved proof of educational background, many employers may find you more job-ready and attractive for certain positions one you officially pass the CNA certification test. Having some other level of graduation done such as at a community college may also improve your job prospects.
What is the Difference Between a Registered Nurse (RN), a Nurse Practitioner (NP), a Nurses's Aide (NA), and a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)?
Both registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) work closely with patients in providing care for both acute and chronic illnesses as well as monitoring their overall health and vital signs. In addition, both RNs and NPs typically work within the same health care environments such as hospitals, outpatient care centers, physicians offices, nursing homes, and other similar workplace settings.
The educational requirements that you need to become a nurse practitioner (NP) is generally a bit higher than that of a registered nurse (RN). For example, a NP usually will need a master's degree in the field after obtaining appropriate RN licensure and more years of clinical practice. A nurse practitioner is a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and will generally need more years of training than a RN.
Registered nurses (NPs) have a lower requirement and different educational paths that can fulfill different state requirements with the right certification. Some possible educational paths include a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing, or a diploma from a state-approved nursing program (sometimes available online). Next, qualified candidates that fulfill the necessary educational requirements must pass the qualifying exam for the nursing license called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
A nurse aide (NA) is sometimes used interchangeably with a certified nurse assistant (CNA). Certified nurse assistants (CNAs) and nurse aides (NAs) are essentially the same role. At the core of the job responsibilities of a nurse aide is addressing the most fundamental elements of a patient's care in daily living. A nurse aide also helps to feed, dress, bathe, and groom patients in order to give them their sense of normalcy and wellbeing. CNAs generally work under the supervision of nurses or physicians.
All of these forms of "nurse" jobs in health care are in high demand job growth in almost every state. Each level of nurse roles require a type of certification exam that a student must pass before they can get the appropriate licensure to practice and work long term.
Is becoming a CNA worth it?
Yes. It might depend on your definition of "worth it", but most nurses agree that becoming a CNA is worth it. The work of a nurse aide may be challenging, but the daily job responsibilities working with patients can also be emotionally rewarding by helping each patient get and feel better.
Becoming a CNA will test your abilities, knowledge, and mind. It is critical to find a reliable CNA program that is both state-certified and provide a good classroom experience with exam-qualified curriculum. Each state may need slightly different credentials for the test requirements. You may need to visit the CNA school to see if it provides the required support for future nurse aides to be test-ready to ace the exam.
Especially for extremely compassionate and empathetic people that love their time working with other people, becoming a CNA can be one of the best jobs for someone to take to help make a positive impact on the lives of their patients.
What can I expect from a CNA class?
A CNA class helps prepare students to become certified nurse assistants (CNAs). During CNA and training, students take classes that teach the skills necessary to start a rewarding career in the health care field.
Each CNA program is different but most CNA classes and training teaching some of the most critical skills and knowledge at the core of becoming a CNA: fundamentals of patient care, communication, and supplying basic needs to patients at various types of health care facilities such as hospitals or health clinics.
Another important topic of the training program for CNAs is infection control. Some standard precautions include hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), injection safety, environmental cleaning, and respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette) as well as transmission-based precautions (contact, droplet, and airborne).
A good state-certified CNA training program can effectively teach these necessary skills necessary to become CNAs for people coming from different backgrounds. Usually, CNA training programs are about 12 weeks long to complete. A good state-approved CNA program will provide future CNAs with the necessary skills that they need to pass each course and skills test, pass the state certification test , get a job, and find rewarding work in patient care.
There is a lot to learn when students embark on this new career path of becoming a CNA. Luckily, many CNA classes can be either in-person or online. Some students love that they can learn online at the convenience of their homes.
What is most important is putting in the right number of hours in both training and actual clinical practice when deciding to become a nurse aide. Becoming a CNA has many requirements such as classes and clinical experience in order to get a certification.
Where can I learn more about CNA classes nearby me?
Prospective students for the CNA License and Certification that are looking for CNA classes nearby can find more information here.
As a professional nurse myself, I am happy to answer any questions for those interested in becoming a certified nurse assistant (CNA). The required hours may seem long and daunting, but investing in your education and future is a good way to spend your good time.
Once you pass your test and fulfill the necessary hours to help build your clinical skills, then the world is really your oyster. The best CNA programs help prepare you with the right skills such as patient care that can translate to an immediate job offer right after graduation.
Some nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross also offer CNA programs. The American Red Cross sometimes may need a simple background check before enrolling in one of their training programs. The Red Cross has been training men and women as nurse assistants for almost 30 years.
Students at the Red Cross CNA training program can look forward to becoming nursing assistants within 4 to 8 weeks from the start of their training once they complete all the required in-class and clinical training and pass the required state certification exams.
If you have any further questions, about the CNA education programs or training online, feel free to reach out. I love helping students find the right CNA course and finally pass their exams to become a CNA! It takes some time to learn those skills, maybe a few hours a week consistently, to really prepare for the exam, but the light at the end of the tunnel is truly rewarding!