With its many beaches, its proximity to many amusement parks as well as to the mountains, Long Beach is very appealing to many college students. Those students who want to pursue a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, have many institutions from which to choose, both online and on campus. Most have financing available for qualified students and courses can usually be completed in two years or less.
Due to the expansion of the health care industry, the demand for additional CNA’s is expected to exceed a half-million by 2014. Not only is this an appealing career field because of the growing demand for CNA’s, but because the time it takes to become certified is considerably less than most other medical careers. The average pay for CNA’s in Long Beach is $31,000, which is 5 percent higher than the national average.
A career as a CNA can be very rewarding for those who have a genuine desire to help others as well as make a positive contribution to their community. The duties of a CNA will vary depending upon their choice of establishments. A hospital environment will require more technical duties such as taking vital signs, transporting patients to their appointments and so forth. A convalescent facility or similar, will require more personal patient interaction such as assisting patients with bathing, dressing and grooming, and other daily activities. CNA’s work directly under the supervision of the nursing staff and, at the discretion of the nursing staff, may be trained in additional and more advanced duties.
Long Beach has many state-certified institutions that offer CNA training. The American Red Cross has a two-part, 171-hour program that provides classroom training and certification equivalent to the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support training in the first part. The second part is hands-on training working with patients under the supervision of a Nurse Assistant Instructor who has been certified by the State of California.
Upon completion of training, students will take their State certification exam at the facility where they trained. Tuition includes books, two uniforms, training supplies and a stethoscope.
Both Long Beach City College and the California State University at Long Beach offer CNA training courses in a traditional college setting. Both have financial assistance for qualified students and both are accredited by the State of California.
For those who may not otherwise qualify for financial assistance, Goodwill offers a CNA training program that provides both the classroom training and the on-the-job training necessary to obtain CNA certification. Education credits earned at Goodwill are transferable both to Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach. In addition, successful graduates of the Goodwill CNA program receive additional assistance for up to five years in order to upgrade their skills and maximize their potential for advancement in their career.
Contact information for the above schools is as follows:
To pick up an application:
American Red Cross
Greater Long Beach Office
3150 E. 29th Street
Long Beach CA 90806
To drop off an application:
American Red Cross
Health and Safety Department
2227 Atlantic Blvd.
Commerce, CA 90040
(562) 435-3411 ext 277
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA 90808
California State University at Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840
No matter where the training is received, a career as a CNA is rewarding and satisfying. It enables an individual to make a positive contribution by helping patients and their families cope with a difficult time in their lives.