How To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

Are you driven to help different people, despite their disabilities and age? Do you have the passion to reach out to as many people who are in need as possible? If you gain satisfaction from helping others, then you would definitely thrive in the industry for health care. However, do you not have the money to pursue a health care degree like nursing, physical therapy, psychology, medicine, etc.? Well, worry no more since you can still help out in the health care industry by becoming a certified nursing assistant or CNA. Becoming a CNA does not require you to obtain a college degree but you still have to pass certain qualifications and exams to get your license. In order to learn more about this, please read on.

What exactly is a certified nursing assistant and what is its job description?

Basically, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a health care expert who is responsible for providing different health care services to facility residents and patients. They are also known as orderlies or nursing aides. Their job description may include the following:

  • Applying first aid
  • Taking the vital signs of the patients
  • Assisting patients in bathing, eating, and some other day-to-day living activities
  • Assisting patients from their bed to their wheelchair and vice-versa
  • Dispensing medication (however, this would depend on the level of training and competency of the nursing assistant)
  • Applying support materials and bandages as directed by the registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or by the physician
  • Relaying the problems and concerns of the patients to the nurse in charge
  • Documenting activities and events that are related to the patient

What are the prerequisites to enter a CNA training program?

To enter a CNA training program, you will first need to present your GED certification or your high school diploma. Also, there are some CNA training institutions that would require you to complete courses in first aid training, CPR, human physiology and anatomy, and medical terminology before they enroll you. However, in case you do not have the time to physically attend classes, there are some training institutions that offer nursing assistant courses online. In addition to these, before you can be enrolled in a training program, you have to submit to a criminal background check and you need to pass a drug test.

What to expect during the CNA training program?

Once you are actually enrolled in a certificate training program, expect to face two different courses. The first course you have to go through will be the course for basic patient care. In this course, you will learn about your different responsibilities and duties as a CNA. Typically, this course is given by registered nurses (RN) where they discuss classroom theories and share real life experiences for better understanding. Keep in mind that this is a 75-hour course that covers patient assistance in eating and bathing, taking vital signs, how to provide catheter care, etc. Medical ethics and health laws are also covered during the classroom course.

The second course of the CNA training program is the clinical externship. Basically, in this part, you will get to practice and apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. You will be assigned to a local hospital or to a nursing home where you will be required to do actual nursing assistant work. However, you will still be guided and observed by a licensed practical nurse (LPN) as you complete your requirements for your clinical externship. For this part of your training, you will be expected to complete 16 hours of clinical externship before you will be certified by your state.

Tests You Need To Take To Become A Fully Licensed CNA

Nowadays, CNAs are really a vital part of the health care industry. However, it also comes with its own specific regulations. First of all, a CNA has to be certified – this is to ensure that you are capable and are fit to carry out the responsibilities and tasks required of a CNA. Also, in order to fully become a CNA, you will need to complete your 75 hours of training to be a nursing assistant. Aside from that, after your training program, you will need to pass a state approved comprehensive exam called the CNA exam. Once you have completed your training and passed your exams, only then will you get your official CNA certification and start your nursing assistant career.

What is the salary of a CNA?

Although helping people might be a passion of yours, it is understandable that you also need to make a living of your own. Becoming a CNA can help you fulfill your passion for helping people but it can also help you financially as well. Typically, the average salary of a CNA per year is at around $24,010. However, the top ten percent of CNAs can earn as much as $34,580!

So if you are looking for a career that can help you achieve your passion for helping people while still helping you earn some money, becoming a CNA is definitely the right job for you. If you’ve decided to become CNA certified after reading this blog post, you should check out for more help when training for your CNA.

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