Taking CNA courses is one of the fastest ways to a rewarding new career! Certified nursing assistants are in high demand, and with training programs that can be completed in as little as four weeks, there are few professions that offer such amazing opportunities. Take a few minutes to find out more about the profession and where you can find CNA courses near you.
Role of Certified Nursing Assistants
Nursing Assistants are quickly becoming the most common care provider in all types of healthcare facilities and specifically in long-term care, assisted living, sub-acute care, rehab, and acute care facilities. Most patients probably don’t realize that they spend more time with nursing assistants than any other type of care provider when they are in a hospital or urgent care facility. Some of the tasks carried out by CNA’s include:
- Taking and Recording Vital Signs
- Positioning of Patients
- Evaluating and Reporting Symptoms
- Bathing Patients
- assisting Patients with mobility
- Feeding and Hydrating of Patients
- Speaking with Patient and family
- maintaining Records and Reporting to RN or LPN
What are the Prerequisites for CNA Classes?
The good news is that because Nursing Assistant is an entry level position there are very few requirements for potential students. Although some schools may have individual specific requirements, generally all that is required is a high school diploma or equivalent, up to date immunizations, a clean criminal background check, and students should be at least 18 years old.
Where are CNA Classes Offered?
As demand for certified nursing assistants has continued to rise, so has the availability of CNA training programs. You will likely find several options available close to you no matter where you reside. Most programs are ultimately going to teach you similar skills, and all of them should prepare you to pass the certification exams. Where you will find differences is in the length of the program and in the cost. It is important to do your research and request information from all potential schools so that you can make the most informed choice possible.
Vocational or Trade Schools
Vocational schools generally offer the fastest path to certification. Programs are usually accelerated and some will have you ready to take the certification exam in as little as 4 weeks. Another benefit of these types of schools is the availability of online CNA courses.
If you are considering a Vocational or Trade school it is important that you make sure the school is accredited by either your State’s Board of Nursing or an organization like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This will ensure you are getting a quality education, and will make things much easier for you if you plan to continue up the nursing career ladder.
CNA courses at Community Colleges typically have lower tuition than you will find at Vocational Schools, but there are unique challenges that come with low costs. CNA classes at Community Colleges are almost always full meaning that there may be a waiting list and class sizes will always be large. Another potential negative is the length of time the classes take. Depending on the school, the training program may be stretched out over an entire semester, or more, in some cases the course work will last up to six months.
Career and Salary Outlook for CNA’s
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median CNA salary in the United States is $24,400 as of May 2012. This makes Nurse Assisting one of the highest paying entry level positions in the healthcare industry. According to the BLS Certified Nursing Assistants working in hospitals or remote locations can expect to make even higher average salaries.
Careerinfonet.org predicts that CNA jobs will increase by 20% over the ten year period 2010-2020. This equates to over 49,000 job openings every year for qualified Nursing Assistants.