Many people that pursue nursing as a career ultimately want to become a certified nursing assistant, also known as CNA for short. That is understandable considering that CNAs are highly in demand even during a bad economy and have better paying salaries. However, cna training and certification is required in order to be hired. The cna certification program is faster than the time it takes to earn a nursing degree. The cna training gives individuals the opportunity to gain good work experience and learn more about the nursing profession.
Due to the high demand for nursing professionals, most employers will support your nursing education. Free cna training will come in terms of tuition assistance programs are offered by many employers. Some will pay for a percentage of the cost. Others will cover a dollar amount. It is common that upon completion, you will be required to work for them for a specified length of time. In addition to providing financial assistance, employers will often offer a more flexible work schedule to accommodate your nursing education. CNA certificate programs are offered at many medical facilities and across many college campuses. Colleges include community colleges and state universities in addition to vocation schools. Just make sure that the school is an accredited institution approved by the Department of Education. Some of the most popular training schools include Bryman College and Concorde College. On average, nursing programs at these for profit schools cost an average of $5,000 for their cna certification program. Textbooks and other fees can add another $2,000 to the total cost of your education. In addition, there are online nursing programs available to those that need a more flexible schedule. Many may wonder how useful a nursing program will be if it is offered through an online university. The reality is that despite its unconventionality, many people that have obtained cna certification through online colleges have received great nursing job offers and many have gone on to be the top performers in the nursing field.
The idea behind getting an online degree in nursing is just like other degrees that are available online. The nursing program is split into two sections including the nonclinical part and the clinical part. With the nonclinical training, individuals can complete their online courses by studying and completing course materials and homework posted by the lecturer on the class website. Most of the time, students can finish their homework on their own time line, other times the teacher will have a deadline for the assignments.
With the clinical courses, online colleges offering nursing certification will generally have several medical facilities in your area where students can obtain practical training experience. Most universities will allow students the choice of selection for their the medical facilities.
When it comes to the nursing exam, some nursing schools that offer nursing degrees online allow these exams to be completed in the student’s own time, after which they are emailed to the instructor. However, there are some tests offered by a number of universities that are required to be proctored meaning students need to complete the exams with someone overseeing the process.
In order to be a certified nursing assistant, certification is required. Some requirements may vary depending on which state you reside in, but in general the following are the specific requirements that all CNAs must attain:
- Pass CNA certification program
- Obtain 75 hours in CNA training classes
- Obtain 16 supervised credit hours in a clinical setting
- Pass final exam that demonstrates nursing skills and knowledge
- Master basic skills such as CPR, bathing, and feeding patients
- Obtain 12 hours of continued education
These are standard requirements that all state certification adhere to. However, it is best to double check with your state’s certification board in case there are any additional requirements that must be met before cna certification is presented.
After obtaining your cna certification, the next step is to get a cna license. The cna licensing process includes:
- Fill out a training verification form to ensure that your training is complete
- Pass a background check
- Pass a medical check
- Complete the application form including a photograph and mail it to your state licensing office.
There is also a license processing fee. The fee ranges from $300 to $600 depending on which state you live in. Getting your cna license can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks from the day your state licensing office receives your application. Applicants will be notified of their status only by email or letter.
To learn more about becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA), watch the following video: