What Does it Take to Become a Certified Nurse Assistant?

Everyone wants to have a job that provides everything we’ll ever need – financial and emotional stability. And being a noble and restorative profession, Certified Nursing Assistants or CNAs have the benefit of both.

CNAs are healthcare professionals responsible for maintaining proper personal hygiene and basic bedside care to patients. They are usually supervised by a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and practice their profession in various healthcare facilities.

Because CNAs work in an industry that saves and preserves lives, a certain degree of competence is expected of them and it is mandated that all actively practicing CNAs must be registered with a state regulatory body.

Educational Requirements

Apart from taking and passing the test for CNAs administered by the state’s Department of Heath, Certified Nursing Assistants are required by federal and state laws to complete an approved post-secondary CNA training program from an accredited school by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) or join a two-year course provided by a community college or a specialty school.

Depending on the chosen school or institution, admission requirements include:

  • High school diploma or GED certification (or its equivalent)
  • Physical and mental health
  • Proficiency in English (IELTS)
  • Knowledge of simple mathematics

For mid-career changers and adult learners, some institutions require candidates to take the Test of Adult Basic Education or TABE.

Other Requirements

In some schools, aspiring CNAs are required to take an information session to get to know all there is to know about the course program such as fees, length of the course and possible job placement once a student has completed the certification.

There are also some schools that are particular about age because of the need to maintain a certain degree of maturity in this profession. With the onslaught of non-traditional education and adult learning institutions, CNA programs require students to be at least 18 years of age. However, there are some schools that offer a nurse aide course to 16-year-old students.

A Budget-Friendly Course

Because a college degree is not required to become a CNA, there’s really no need for exorbitant student loans. Aside from this, the length of the course is only about 2-4 months of in-class coursework, making it faster to complete than other nursing courses, saving time and money in the process. However, for those who need it, financial aid is still offered by the state and some medical centers. High school graduates are welcome to join as long as they meet the required level of intelligence as well as physical health, since the job would likely require heavy lifting. Compassion, patience and empathy are also required.

In view of all the requirements, enrolling into a CNA program is easy. For determined people who wanted to start a career in the healthcare industry, taking CNA training is a sure step into a bright and highly in-demand career.

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