A certified nursing assistant provides basic healthcare to patients under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. They work in such environments like hospitals and care facilities assisting nurses in providing quality care to patients and directly helping patients with bathing, dressing, eating and other activities of daily living.
Any aspiring certified nurse assistant (CNA) is required by the Federal and state laws to complete an approved post secondary training program. Applicants must earn a high school diploma or achieve a passing score in competency tests on reading and math. This program is mostly offered at vocational schools and community colleges. Some institutions may require students to acquire CPR certification either before or during the program. Students should also meet health requirements that include proofs of vaccinations and tuberculosis screening.
CNA training programs are a blend of coursework, laboratory studies and clinical experience. A typical program lasts from two to four months and requires at least 200 to 230 hours of coursework. Courses covered include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, infection control, body mechanics, nutrition, patient’s rights and knowledge of diseases. Gaining knowledge about these subjects along with basic exposure to laboratory studies and clinical rotation can help students put the skills they have learned into practice. Find out more at www.cnanurse.org.
CNA certification requirements vary from state to state. Upon completion of an approved training program, applicants must register with their state health department and pass a written qualifying examination. Students who are in the process of completing their RN or LPN degree program may also sit for the exam and work as a CNA once they pass the test. Some states may allow nurse assistants to work for a limited time while still processing the application and testing requirements. Once you pass the competency exam, you are now license to work as a CNA.
Job opportunities for certified nurse assistants are steadily growing. Experts project the increase at 19% from 2008 till 2018. This could be attributed to the increasing number of senior citizens who are part of the baby boomer generation. This simply means that more employment opportunities are waiting for CNA’s. If you are passionate about helping people and making a difference in this world, it’s not yet late for you to enter the healthcare industry. Becoming a CNA can provide you with a stable career and good pay.