If you are compassionate, a good communicator and have an interest in healthcare, a career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may be ideal for you. CNAs work in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and in private homes assisting clients with daily living needs and activities. Usually working under the direction of a nurse, CNAs play a vital role in the healthcare system. In the Kansas City area, several educational programs can help you get started as a CNA.
Nursing assistants in Missouri are certified by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS), which maintains a CNA registry. In order to qualify for the registry, you must pass a state-approved course and examination. The course will include 75 classroom hours and 100 hours of hands-on clinical training. Courses generally run 6 – 8 weeks. The final examination is a two-part test, both written and oral. In a CNA training program, you will be educated in basic nursing skills, first aid and fire safety and emergency preparedness. Procedures for assisting with patient hygiene and feeding and infection control will be covered. You will also learn how to monitor vital signs and document medical records. The curriculum will also include a component on patient rights.
Kansas city programs offering programs leading to CNA certification include Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, the Heartfelt Training Program, Manual Career Technical Center and the Medical Education Development and Support, Inc. (MEDS) program. Training is also available through the Excelsior Springs Job Corps. In order to be eligible for CNA courses, you must be at least 18 years old. You will need to pass a background check and have a negative tuberculosis test or chest X-ray. Some employers will pay for training or will reimburse you for training if you work for them for a minimum length of time.
Job opportunities for CNAs are good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job growth in the field will be stronger than the average rate of growth for all occupations. According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for CNAs in Kansas City is$27,000 for 2012.
Get Your CNA!
Find CNA schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.