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What is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) ?

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an important job because it may lead to a rewarding career in healthcare field. To become a CNA, you have to understand well about the job before enrolling the certification program. In short, a CNA’s duty is to help patients or clients with healthcare treatments under the supervision of an RN (Registered Nurse) or a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). CNA has different cope and code of ethics in each state. Therefore, you need more detail information about CNA to decide whether it is good for your career.

How to Become A CNA

You need to gain an accredited program that prepares you for state licensure to become a CNA. Usually the programs train the students to treat patients in various ways including learning about the different systems in the body and how to communicate effectively with patients and the staff. Other programs may include:

  • First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Infection control
  • Range of motion exercises
  • How to take vital signs
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Workplace safety
  • Patient care

The courseworks are designed to prepare the students to pass the nurse aide certification exam successfully. Make sure the program is approved and accredited if you decide classes online. Also make sure whether the program requires you to complete clinical hours. As we know, clinical hours are needed to help improving your skills and confidence in real life.

Traditional CNA programs are also provided at vocational and technical schools. The programs length varies, between 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

Certified Nursing Assistant Salary

Typically, CNAs are paid based on an hourly wage rather than an annual salary. So, the payment will fluctuate depending on whether you take few hours in some places, work full time, or constantly pull 60 hours. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for CNAs was $27,520 in May 2017. One thing for sure, the more experience you gets and the longer you work, you will get the more money. The additional certificates also take role, such as PCT (Patient Care Technician), RN (Registered Nurse), or CMA (Certified Medication Assistant).

How Long does it Take to Become a CNA

Most CNA programs take between four to twelve weeks. It is broken into contact hours and clinic practice. An accredited program offers a minimum 75 hours of classroom instruction with the clinical training. For instance, nursing assistant programin Daytona College offers 120 hours with this breakdown: 4 weeks class, 2 weeks clinical.

How to Get CNA Certified

To become a CNA you need to get certain trainings which are offered by community colleges, online schools or through medical facilities. Even many schools provide training within medical facilities to be a part of their course programs, too. Generally, after completing the training, you need to take a competency exam which tests both your knowledge and practical skills.

The practice tests and study guides are available online. It is a must to take an exam before CNAs become qualified nursing assistants. The exam lasts for two hours for the multiple choice section and 25 to 45 minutes to perform or demonstrate clinical skills.

To get CNA certified, you must also have some important qualities to be successful. The skills are various depending on your workplace and who you work for. But normally you will need these qualities to get certified:

  • Patience
  • Communication skills
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Observation skills
  • Physical stamina

How Much Does a Nurse Assistant Make

According to PayScale, a certified nurse assistant makes $12.09 for average hourly rate. The additional compensation for this job including:

  • Bonus: $125
  • Profit Sharing: $175

So, after knowing the details about CNA, it is time for you to make a choice. Explore the various online programs which are offered by some schools to move you toward the medical careers. A degree or certificate is indeed required for this career.