A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who works within the medical field. They work under the supervision of doctors, and surgeons. CNA’s are also known as a State Tested Nurse Aid (STNA). The difference between them is federal vs. state mandating. CNAs are registered on the same registry list as STNAs.
What Schooling Do You Need to Become a CNA?
First, a high school diploma or GED will be needed to start the schooling. Applicants must take a minimum of 75 hours of study and have completed 16 hours of clinical training by a nurse or physician’s supervision.
Local trade schools, and community colleges, usually offer the courses which will take 2-6 months to complete. Depending on your states requirements and the area in which you plan to work, the length of time will vary from program to program. Applicants interested in becoming a CNA should contact their state registration board for a list of recognized agencies that offer the CNA or STNA course. If there are not any courses available in your area, you may also be able to part of your courses online. However, you will still need to complete the clinical training.
Which Classes Can You Expect to Take?
You will need to complete courses in personal care skills, nutrition, basic health care, body mechanics, communication skills and anatomy. In addition, CNA students must also complete 16 clinical hours in a healthcare setting. The CNA courses and clinical hours help students to pass the mandatory state certification exam.
What Certification Tests are Required to Become a CNA?
Those who complete the courses and training need to pass certain examinations to be registered by their State Licensing Board. There are two parts to the exam; a written part and clinical (practical) part of the test. The clinical aspect of the exam includes being able to read and record vital signs, maintain a healthy environment, follow emergency procedures, and safety transfer techniques.
All graduates of the CNA program must submit a drug screen and criminal background prior to registering for the CNA certification test. This is to ensure the safety of disabled and ill patients that CNAs may work with.
Where Can CNAs work?
Most often CNAs can work in hospitals and nursing homes, retirement community housing and sometimes doctor’s offices. In hospitals and nursing homes CNAs are often administer medications, monitor patients, assist in surgery, assist with patient’s hygiene and much more. CNAs are in high demand currently to assist in the care of elderly patient’s homes and retirement communities.
What is the Typical Pay for a CNA?
According to salary surveys on the PayScale website, CNAs can expect to make an average of $8-14 per hour or an annual salary of $16,000 to $29,000. However, many employers would prefer to promote within their existing employees, which means the opportunities for career advancement will increase.
A career as CNA is a great stepping stone for future nursing advancement. Often times Registered Nurses started out as CNAs. Becoming a CNA is great for nursing students, as it provides great employment opportunities and allows nursing students to work so they can attend classes for obtaining their RN Degree!