Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is one of the most rewarding choices you can make. The steps to becoming a CNA can vary greatly, depending on the particular type of environment that you’re looking for, and where you live.
You can usually find local health care facilities advertising in the newspaper, offering both paid (getting paid while you train) and free CNA classes. These classes are usually offered to any interested candidates, requiring no prior medical experience.
The first step to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is finding a program that is most suited to your needs. If you do apply to one of the heath care facilities that offer free classes, make sure you check to ‘fine print’, as some facilities require that you commit to work for them for a certain length of time after you become certified. If you are hired at a health care facility, be prepared to submit to a background check (criminal) and a drug test. These are usually mandatory for all health care personnel.
Through a health care facility, classes may run anywhere from two weeks to six weeks of full time training. Through the Red Cross CNA class or a Community College, classes may run for up to six months, depending on the schedule.
At the end of the classes, you will be scheduled to take a State administered CNA Certification Test to become certified. Some places will allow you to work, upon completion of your CNA training, up to four months after classes without your certification.
If you are in high school and you’re considering becoming a CNA at some point in the future, try to take some extra science classes, such as Biology and even Chemistry. While the CNA classes normally do not delve into the Sciences at great length, having some basic knowledge will help you understand more of the terminology and treatments you will witness once you become a CNA.
Being a nursing assistant is very much a job in which most of your skills and knowledge will come through hands on care, rather than in a classroom. If you are going to make your decision on where to attend classes based on more classtime or more comprehensive study, keep in mind that CNA’s learn to truly be CNA’s once they get out on the floor, working with patients. The skills that you will need to perform your job as a CNA will be taught in any class you attend, due to the fact that at the end of your training, you will then have to take a State Exam to recieve your certification.
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant will give you life-long satisfaction, a good income, and the kind of job security few other professionals enjoy!