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 CNA classes or a training program delivered by a state and nationally-accredited educational institution. Along with holding an accreditation from the U.S Department of Education only choose CNA classes or programs that are 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 CNA classes. Failure to ensure your program is properly accredited may result in your inability to take the certification examination.
While each state has unique requirements for CNA certification, there are many options for CNA training classes such as the Red Cross, community and technical colleges. Some stations even have CNA certification options at local high schools. Check with your specific state's board of nursing for their unique certification requirements regarding your CNA classes and training. While program duration varies, some are as quick as a few weeks, while other CNA classes result in continuing nursing education, leading to 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 basic diploma program.
Since certified nursing assistants are monitored by local nursing boards, contact your state's nursing board to review specific educational requirements for CNA classes.
CNA Certification Examination
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 training program (some states require a minimum number of CNA classes and clinical training hours), 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. Study hard at your CNA classes and the rest of your medical career will have a solid foundation to build from.