It takes an extraordinary person to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Anyone can complete the CNA training and pass the certification exam, but only a few posses the compassion and genuine sincerity to serve those people who are ill or with disabilities. Certified nursing assistants are employed in hospitals, private clinics, hospices, and long-term care facilities. They perform daily routine tasks and direct care to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). They are the “unsung heroes” in the health care field, and their passion to care for others is the ultimate reason why so many of them entered the profession. Working as a CNA also offers a great stepping stone to a more advanced health career.
The job description of a certified nursing assistant will vary according to the health care facility where one is working. For example, a CNA will be assigned mainly to help with the activities of daily living of patients or seniors in a nursing home. Others working in hospitals will be tasked to observe, document and report treatment and clinical information of patients, assist with motion exercises, as well as monitor their vital signs such as pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Typically, the responsibilities and duties of a CNA include:
- Bathing and dressing
- Dietary care
- Assisting RNs and doctors with medical equipment and procedures
- General precaution and infection control
- Collecting specimens for medical tests
- Emotional support to patients, their families and other caregivers
- Daily medical documentation and report
To learn more about certified nursing assistant job description.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified nursing assistants earn an average salary of $20,000 to $24,000 annually. That’s about $10.00 per hour, or up to over $12.00 an hour. However, more experienced and skilled CNAs earn as much as $30,000 per year, which equates to about $14.99 per hour. Additional benefits also include one week of paid vacation, health insurance, and other benefits. Read our article about certified nurse assistant salary for more detailed information.
The best thing with choosing a CNA career is that the training is relatively easy to obtain. It also takes just a few weeks to finish. CNA training programs are usually offered at city colleges, vocational schools, or healthcare trade schools. The entire CNA coursework can be completed from 6 to 12 weeks. Each state has different prerequisites to qualify for the training, so be sure to do your homework about the requirements in your state. The CNA training will generally include basic nursing skills, physiology and anatomy, proper nutrition, infection control, and patient-care programs. More importantly, you will gain hands-on experience of various clinical procedures. Read more about certified nursing assistant training here.
Students can complete the required CNA classes generally within one or two semesters. The program consists of a minimum of 75 hours of classroom lectures and hands-on clinical training. However, the required duration of certified nursing assistant classes differ from state to state. CNA classes usually cover the fundamentals of nursing assistance, proficient knowledge in patient care, and procedural processes. Certified nursing assistant online classes are also available for those who look for a flexible training program that suits their busy lifestyle. Learn more about certified nursing assistant classes, click here.
CNA Practice Test
Practice test is one of the most effective methods to prepare before an exam. It enables students to familiarize with the types of questions that will appear in the actual exam, get used to the time limits, and gauge their level of preparation. Taking a lot of CNA practice tests will help boost your confidence as you head into the exam, as you have already some ideas of what to expect from the two-part CNA test.
Get free resources for CNA practice tests here.
Most states and employers require that you first get a CNA certification before you apply for employment. The state-issued certification will serve as proof that you’ve completed the required CNA training and pass the state competency exam. To keep your credentials current, there is a CNA certification renewal once every 2 years.
Some employers, however, don’t require a certification at all, so it’s best to check first with the health care facility you’re applying for.
Read our article on CNA certification for more info.
A well-written and informative resume is the key to snagging a job. That’s why it’s very important that your certified nursing assistant resume should stand out from other applicants to land the job you want.
Check out our guide on how to write an impressive CNA resume.
As mentioned above, CNA training programs vary from one state to another. The whole program in one state may only take 75 hours to complete, while others take as long as 150 hours. The requirements to qualify for the program also differ. But the coursework typically covers the same knowledge areas in providing nursing assistance.
Get information about the CNA programs in your area by checking our CNA articles by state.
Job growth for certified nursing assistant is projected to increase at about 28% in the next 7 years. For home health certified nursing assistant, specifically, the growth is expected to rise at 49%, which is the highest in any health care profession.
As long as you’ve completed the State training requirements and passed the certification exam, you have plenty of job opportunities out there. You can start your search today using our own certified nursing assistant jobs finder.
To get more additional information, download our free eBook “Top 10 Tips to Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant”. Follow the smart steps we have outlined for you there for a smooth transition to a health career that will give you a great satisfaction and fulfillment for years to come.