How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified nursing assistants apply direct care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, home care, clinics and mental health facilities. Certified nursing assistants are, also, known as nursing aides, nursing assistants, home health aides, patient care technicians, and orderlies. Working under the direction of a Registered Nurse, or Licensed Practical Nurse, they are responsible for basic patient care such as bathing, dressing, making beds, light housekeeping, assist the nurse, feed patients, take vital signs, basic treatments, give emotional and social support and provide vital information about patient’s condition to the nurse in charge.
Certified nursing training will help a person get ready to be able to work and care for patients of all ages in a very short period of time. You will need a high school diploma or a GED, before you can register for a nursing assistant’s course. There will, also, be a background check (criminal) and drug tests as you get prepared for your new career as a CNA. Training can possibly be provided by the nursing home you work for, online training, in college, or by the Red Cross. Before you begin your training, be sure you contract the State Nurse Aide Registry and/or State Licensing Board to find out if you meet the requirements for nursing assistants.
Classroom instructions generally lasts between 6 to 12 weeks and include courses such as basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, and nutrition, patient care, basic nursing skills and clinical science skills, and infection control. Students get plenty of hands on experience during clinical activities like learning CPR, taking vital signs and so on.
Certification will vary from state-to-state and you will need one depending upon where you will live. Certified nursing assistant jobs are expected to expand as the Baby Boomer aging population grows.
Certified nursing assistant salary are the fastest growing and can earn at entry level between $20,000 and $30,00 a year. It basically boils down to where you work as each industry have different requirements and different pay levels and how much experience you have had in the past.
There are many tests to take before you become a certified nursing assistant and then at the end of the training sessions, there will be a final assessment test. Then, you will be given your certification and begin work as a CNA.