Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) play a critical role in healthcare. A nurse assistant’s everyday tasks include:
- Answering patient call lights
- Assisting patients with activities of daily living like bathing and getting dressed
- Turning and repositioning patients
- Helping patients eat meals and use the restroom
- Measuring and recording vital signs
Becoming a CNA can be a life-changing career opportunity that provides endless job satisfaction and room to grow within the nursing field. If you are interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant, keep reading for the four steps you need to complete to start your career as a CNA.
1. Complete a Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program
The first step to becoming a certified nursing assistant is to complete a training program. Coursework can vary from program to program, but schooling takes about three months.
Programs are available to fit every schedule, with classes offered on weekdays, weekends, and even online. The average cost of a nurse assistant training program is approximately $1,500.
2. Take a CNA Certification Exam
The CNA certification exam varies from state to state, but as long as you complete a certified training program, you will be eligible to sit for the exam. The exam includes a written examination and a practical skills assessment.
The written part of the exam covers questions about patient care, patient safety, and medical documentation. The questions are multiple-choice, and you usually have up to two hours to complete the test. During the skills portion of the exam, you will demonstrate three to six tasks to prove your ability and knowledge.
3. Obtain Your License
Once you pass your CNA certification exam, you can apply for your CNA license. The exact requirements you will need to apply for your license can be found on your state-specific board of nursing website. Once you complete the required forms, you will receive your certified nursing assistant license.
4. Maintaining Your License
Like other healthcare professionals, you’ll need to participate in continuing education courses to stay on top of new developments and healthcare initiatives. Federal law requires certified nursing assistants to complete around 12 hours of continuing education courses each year. These requirements vary by state, so it is essential to know your state’s requirements to maintain and renew your license.
Become a Certified Nursing Assistant
Becoming a certified nursing assistant can change your life in unique ways. Not only is the healthcare profession indescribably rewarding, but CNAs also have the unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of others. Take the next step toward your future and enroll in a certified nursing assistant program near you!