Do you want to become a Certified Nurse Assistant? Can’t decide which program is right for you? If you are one of those people looking for a career as a nursing professional, look no further. We offer in-depth information on how you can become a CNA. From basic information, training pre-requisites, tuition fees, licensing procedure to top-rated nursing schools near you, we’ve got everything for you.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a continued demand for health care professionals until the year 2020, including for CNAs and other, related nursing professionals. If that’s not enough reassurance for aspiring CNAs, the average annual income is around $15,000 - $25,000, depending on the area of practice.
What is a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)?
Also known as NA or Nursing Assistant, State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) or Patient Care Assistant (PCA), CNAs, as the name suggests, are health care professionals that provide assistance to nurses in hospitals, medical centers, hospices, adult day care centers, personal assisted living facilities, nursing homes and community care facilities for the elderly. They work under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RNs).
What Does a CNA Do?
The job of a CNA is known for its versatility. Depending in which facility they work, their responsibilities can be quite varied. However, the most common task they do is to provide basic health care to patients such as administering basic bedside care and upholding proper hygiene all the time. They give basic health care services like:
- Feeding – This task is included in the basic bedside care.
- Personal hygiene – This includes basic grooming like bathing and maintaining cleanliness.
- Repositioning and movement – CNAs help bedridden patients to move to promote proper blood circulation and prevent bend sores.
- Administering prescribed medication – This is always done under the supervision of a doctor or an RN.
- Taking Vital Signs – CNAs are sometimes assigned to take patients’ temperatures, blood pressures, respiration counts and pulses.
As front liners in the health care industry, they make sure patients are well taken care of, assist doctors and nurses during emergency procedures as well as help patients through recovery.
How to Become a CNA?
Starting a career in an industry that saves and preserves lives is noble and one must be ready for it. And just like with any other booming career, the lure of becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant can be attributed to the high demand for health care professionals that will continue to rise as time passes and the handsome monetary compensation. Here is how you can become a CNA:
- Complete a CNA training program – Enroll in an accredited CNA training school and complete the course. There are hundreds to choose from in the US. There are also online CNA programs available for working professionals and mid-career changers for convenience.
- Background check and drug test – Being a part of the health care industry has certain expectations such as living a healthy lifestyle and being a model citizen.
- Take and pass the CNA test – Administered by every state’s Department of Health, all aspiring CNAs must take and pass the test to be qualified to work as a CNA legally.
- Get a license – To practice their profession legally, CNAs must apply for a license and pay the necessary fees in the state they want to work in.
- Get the needed experience – Apply for an internship program. There are many healthcare facilities that require a certain number of clinical practice hours before they can be certified and guaranteed a post.
Top 10 CNA Schools
If you are an aspiring CNA looking for the best of the best, here’s the list of the top 10 CNA schools in the US that offer accredited and state-approved CNA training coursework:
- Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson Street, Madison, WI 53704
- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
1019 South Knowles Avenue, New Richmond, WI 54017
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54303
- Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53144
- Johnson County Community College
12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210
- Davis Applied Technology College
550 East 300 South, Kaysville, UT 84037
- Washtenaw Community College
4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
- Fox Valley Technical College
1825 North Bluemound Drive, Appleton, WI 54913
- Front Range Community College
3645 West 112th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031
- Harper College
1200 West Algonquin Road, Palatine, IL 60067
Online CNA Training
Online training programs are increasingly becoming popular. For most career changers and those managing their time between work and personal life, online CNA training programs are available from the following schools across the country:
- A.T. Still University
- Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
- Graceland University
- Quinnipiac University
- St. Joseph's College
Be a CNA and join an industry where nobility and a deep sense of life preservation that promises to attain a work-life balance that most people are searching for. As the first step to becoming a nursing professional, CNA training is surely a ticket to a bright future.