Obtaining certification is an essential component of becoming a certified nursing assistant. While this profession requires a set number of training hours, typically 75 hours of state-approved education, this is only the first hurdle aspiring CNAs must jump through. While it's no secret that studying for the certification examination is required, did you know you can receive some of the most effective training without ever leaving your home? Online study materials for the CNA examination offer interactive training modules and up-to-date information.
Online Practice Examinations
The importance of online CNA practice exams is paramount to the overall success of aspiring nursing assistants. Practice examinations offer a host of benefits, with the most important being a physical gauge of how well you're understanding necessary information. These examinations offer detailed results regarding your current strengths and weaknesses. Use these exams as a means of narrowing in on areas that require further study and areas where you're the strongest.
The best online CNA practice examinations are those released within the previous 24-months and sponsored by leading test taking publishers such as Pearson Vue and Learning Express. While free practice examinations are available, consider purchasing higher-quality exams to ensure the most current and accurate testing information.
State-Specific Online Guides
Although the standard knowledge requirements are universal throughout the United States, states may choose to amplify certain areas of CNA training during its examination. To ensure you've covered all bases, visit your state's professional licensing board or nursing board to review a copy of the Certified Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook.
Any profession that requires certification or licensure has a specific candidate handbook, which is filled with testing information and exam components. Eliminate any questions you may have regarding testing procedures and covered topics by reviewing this online manual. When used alongside current study guides and practice examinations, the candidate handbook ensures you're nothing but fully prepared come exam day.
There are also many information guides online that contain information regarding CNA training and certification. One of the most helpful sites I used during my training was CNA Certification Scoop.
Certified Nursing Assistant Forums
Sometimes the most effective test taking tips and techniques can be learned from your peers who've successfully passed the CNA examination. Search out forums designed to assist new and existing certified nursing assistants. If you have questions regarding specific elements of the forthcoming examination or experiences during the actual exam process, online forums will soon become your go-to source for real and accurate information.
It's important to note, like any other open-source forum, some information may be incorrect. Therefore, only visit forums sponsored by legitimate nursing organizations or advocacy groups. Speak with your instructor or school career counselor to obtain forum recommendations. If that fails, search social media for CNA-specific online groups.
In the booming healthcare field, recent graduates and those looking to solidify themselves in a field with significant upward mobility are attracted to the nursing assistant career. While this profession offers a wide array of career options, there seems to be mass confusion regarding the difference between Certified Nursing Assistants and Nursing Aides. While these positions may seem similar, several stark differences must be noted.
CNA and Nursing Aide Defined
Essentially, the roles of a certified nursing assistant and a nursing aide are the same except for several primary differences. Both positions are similar in that these professionals work to provide patients with various caregiving procedures while simultaneously supporting nursing staff in daily duties. The primary difference between a certified nursing assistant and a nursing aide is within training requirements and future job prospects. For example, a healthcare company may hire a nursing aide, which typically only requires a high school diploma, who desires to stay in this current position. Those wishing to advance through the nursing field, as well as enjoy statistically higher pay, will undergo coursework training to take and pass national certification for the title of a Certified Nursing Assistant.
The job functions between a CNA and a nursing aide are strikingly similar. In reality, both positions work to assist nursing staff in terms of patient care and gathering vitals. While CNAs receive in-depth practical and theoretical training, nursing aides typically receive hands-on training when hired. Therefore, the differences between what a CNA and a nursing aide are capable of doing is minimal.
While the actual job function of a CNA and a nursing aide are surprisingly similar, the true differences between these positions is the mode of required training. In order to become a certified nursing assistant, students must successfully complete a CNA educational program from an accredited university or vocational training institution. Upon completion, students may then apply and take the national CNA certification examination. Upon successful completion, newly certified CNAs may apply for state licensure and progress their training to higher-paying nursing positions.
While certification is not necessary to hold the nursing aide title, certain states and employers require a basic-level of training before dealing with patients. These programs, typically handled in communication colleges, vocational training institutions or in high schools, last anywhere from six to 12-months and result in a certificate of completion or a diploma. While this training may be necessary, the bulk of education is delivered through on-the-job training.
It's important to note certain health care settings require specific training for nursing aides or CNAs. For example, working in nursing homes or dealing with complex patient care systems typically require advanced-level training and certification for both job titles.
While both certified nursing assistants and nursing aides are essential components of a well-functioning nursing team, whichever job title you choose can determine your future career opportunities and salary. On a foundational level, if you desire upward mobility while being able to step into the position with a vast array of knowledge and experience, go with the CNA position. On the other hand, if you wish to simply learn and engage with a new career without the stress and worry of prolonged training, perhaps a career as a certified nursing assistant is just what the doctor ordered.
Do you have a desire to intimately work alongside medical professionals while playing a direct role in patient treatment and recovery? If your career goals revolve around making a true change in the life of patients while continually being challenged professionally and personally, then you may want to consider a career as a certified nursing assistant. Although becoming a CNA requires advanced-level training and passing a national certification exam, the time and mental dedication is well worth the satisfaction of improving the quality of care for a myriad of patients.
The first step in becoming a certified nursing assistant is to graduate from a CNA program delivered by a state and nationally-accredited educational institution. Along with holding an accreditation from the U.S Department of Education only choose a program sponsored by your state's department of health or nursing board. Contact the nursing board for your state to receive a current list of fully-accredited and approved programs. Failure to ensure your program is properly accredited may result in your inability to take the certification examination.
CNA Certification Training is typically carried out at community colleges, vocational trade schools or at high schools. While program duration varies, most CNA programs result in an Associate of Science degree or Bachelor of Science degree. Depending on your state, you may qualify to work as a CNA after completing a diploma program.
Since certified nursing assistants are monitored by local nursing boards, contact your state's nursing board to review specific educational requirements.
The CNA examination, also referred to as the State Competency Test, is required to work as a certified nursing assistant. This certification, and its eligibility requirements, are determined and monitored by your state's professional licensing board. While exam specifics may vary according to your state, most states require successful completion of both written and clinical tests. Passing both parts of the examination is rewarded with the official title of Certified Nursing Assistant and qualifies you to register with your state's nursing board.
It's important to note the eligibility requirements for this examination vary from state-to-state. Most states require the following: completion of a state-approved program (some states require a minimum number of hours of classroom and clinical training), passing a background check and providing a government-issued ID card.
While becoming a CNA requires dedication of both time and money, the end result is something to be proud of. Ultimately, the sacrifices you must undergo are well-worth the professional and personal advancement a career as a certified nursing assistant provides.
Although working as a certified nursing assistant provides an up-close-and-personal view into what goes into treating a myriad of conditions, this job is just not ideal for any person with an interest in the medical field. Unfortunately, countless aspiring CNAs are left with their jaws gaping as they realize their dream career is one filled with stressful situations, dynamic co-worker personalities and demanding patients. While it's important to understand the pros of working as a CNA, it's even more important to carefully weigh out the cons of this profession.
Undesirable Patient Situations
While you may be a compassionate and caring person, it takes a special person to deal with a patient who has lost control of his bodily fluids or one who is belligerent due to a mental illness. Although not every patient is worthy of a short story, CNAs work intimately will a myriad of people and personalities. It's essential you understand and accept the fact you won't always deal with pleasant people - either as patients or co-workers.
If you work in a 24-hour medical facility, then you may be required to work overnight hours. While this schedule offers some perks, such as a more relaxed environment and a unique camaraderie between yourself and the other workers, living life in the night can have detrimental effects on interpersonal relationships. Moreover, the psychological effects of rarely seeing the sun are real and complex. While this con may not be applicable for all CNAs, it's essential to consider if you're planning to work in a hospital or nursing home.
When you work in a cubicle, you are relatively alone; except for when your manager decides to pay you a visit. Life as a certified nursing assistant couldn't be more different. Instead of dealing with a single task, you're constantly flooded with instructions and duties from a myriad of individuals. Therefore, you must be able to handle dynamic personalities and stressful situations.
If you find yourself shying away from confrontation or not being able to think clearly during moments of extreme stress, then you may not be a good fit for this position. If you're still interested in working in the medical field, but without the pressure of dealing with nursing and doctor staff, perhaps a career working a clerical position within a healthcare facility is a better fit.