A CNA certification is the culmination of certified nursing assistant training. It validates your knowledge and skills and tells prospective employers you are ready for the job. Sometimes you can be hired even before passing the CNA certification exam, but you eventually need the CNA certification to get better paying jobs and rise up the ranks, move on to earn a nursing degree or learn more technical skills.
Becoming a certified nurse aide is a good stepping stone for anyone hoping to build a career in the healthcare industry. Unlike other medical related jobs that require several months or years of training, you can become a CNA in a relatively short period. With so many certified nursing assistants jostling for positions, a lot of experience plus the CNA certification will give you the edge.
Every state has its own CNA certification requirements so this is the first thing to check once youíve decided this is the career you want to pursue. However, the most basic is to complete training for nursing assistants that is accredited. This can either be CNA programs offered in a vocational school or community college. You may also come across a free nurse aide course that will prepare you for this kind of job. Just make sure this kind of training will be acceptable to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which administers the CNA certification exam. Otherwise, you still will not be eligible for the test to get certified.
There is also the Red Cross CNA training, which is highly recognized by employers. These are intensive, short-term courses that provide as much clinical training for students even while meeting the instructional requirements for the state certification exam. †Free CNA training by a hospital or the American Red Cross to develop the basic skills are also options to prepare for the job..
Online CNA training is also available, but the clinical component needs to be arranged either by you or the school, to qualify you as candidate for the CNA certification test
If you intend to work in federally regulated nursing facilities, the training required must be at least 75 hours so be sure to choose programs that will comply with this requirement. A public nursing college will likely offer courses compliant with federal requirements.
Theory and practice
The CNA certification exam is made up of two parts: written and practical. If you paid enough attention during training and practiced all that was taught you in class, then you should have no problem becoming a full-fledged certified nursing assistant.
There is a lot of common sense involved when caring for patients, especially the elderly in nursing homes, which are mostly the clients of certified nursing assistants. It is more than giving medication or tending to their physical discomfort. It includes helping them in grooming, feeding, and even moving about. It also involves a lot of listening, empathy and compassion, and no amount of CNA classes or training will make you develop these qualities unless you already have the heart for this kind of occupation to begin with.
Practice makes perfect. And this also applies to the CNA certification test. Unfortunately, there are people who may be good during the learning phase, but have a difficult time during tests. Or some find it easy to pass practicals but may stumble during the written portion of the exam.
To help graduates get certified, there is a practice CNA certification online test that can be used to prepare for the actual examination. It is a simulation of the real exam to give you a feel of what to expect on test day. The purpose is both to review the candidate on what they learned in CNA class, as well as to make them experience what it will be like when they head out to the testing center.
A CNA training guide is an invaluable resource not only to review for the CNA certification exam but even when you are already in the workplace.
Once you get certified, you qualify for CNA jobs that offer better pay and maybe more responsibility based on your performance. It will also start you off a nursing career, which can help shorten further education to earn more formal nursing degrees in the future.
However, there is a requirement for regular CNA certification renewal. The period varies from every six months to every two years. To be sure, check your state’s requirements. The nurse aide requirements to renew the certification includes 40 hours of employment as nursing assistant and continuing education plus a small fee. You may inquire with the state licensing office if CNA classes online will be acceptable for the continuing education component.