How to get your CNA License

The CNA training programs form a vital element in providing assurance of success to the people entering the healthcare field. CNAs (certified nursing assistants) provide nearly 80% of the direct care required by the people staying in healthcare institutions. As the US population advances in age, there’s greater demand for CNAs who have an increasingly important role in maintaining the health of chronically ill and elderly people.

Requirements to qualify as a CNA

Though the requirements to qualify as a CNA vary state to state, all states have stipulated some guidelines that have to be followed before a person can annex the term Certified / State Approved / Registered / Licensed to the Nursing Assistant title. Nursing assistants can’t work in a long-term healthcare institution or nursing home, until they have been approved or certified by the state.

Completion of the training program for CNAs can take some weeks to a few months. It is very important to contact the department that deals with CNA training in the state, to obtain the requirements to qualify as a CNA.

Two phases of CNA Training Program

The training program for CNAs consists of two phases that have to be completed prior to the certification examination. The first phase is classroom training comprised of courses in Fundamentals of Nursing, First Aid, medical terminology and other medically-related subjects. These courses prepare an individual to work safely and effectively in a clinical environment.

The second phase is the clinical training, where hands-on experience is gained by working in an institution. The required clinical hours that a person has to work vary in each state, and range from some weeks to one month. Some institutions offer payment for the clinical hours worked, and then a placement after passing the certification examination.

About the CNA Test

A person who qualifies for the CNA examination by completion of the classroom and clinical training can apply for the test through the respective state department of Nursing Assistant Programs. The test will be in two parts, the first part being based on the classroom courses. The second part based on the clinical training, will test the examinees whether they possess the requisite skills.

If CNAs move to another state, they should submit the ‘Request for Reciprocity’, and this may require additional coaching before its approval. Once the request is approved, the CNAs will receive their titles for the state they have been assigned. In some states, CNAs are known as Licensed Nursing Assistants.

If you enjoy doing your work as a CNA, you can consider an online nursing program to advance your career and move further up in the healthcare world.