Whether you are beginning your career in nursing, meeting nursing school entrance requirements, or looking to expand your current job opportunities, obtaining your certification as a Nursing Assistant is a great way to begin. If you are interested in using your talents to care for others, enjoy spending time with all kinds of people, and want to feel like you have done something worthwhile at the end of your workday, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant may be the right choice for you.
It may also be one of the more stable career choices in today's economy, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job outlook for CNAs to continue to grow at a rate of 20%, which is faster than average. This means that job openings are growing quickly, especially in settings where the elderly and aging population receive healthcare and help with daily living, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Almost 500,000 new CNA jobs openings are predicted by 2020 (O*Net, 2013), making your choice to look into CNA programs well founded.
We at BestNursingDegree.com understand that you are ready to begin your search for CNA classes, and we are here to help. There are several programs to choose from, and we've made every effort to assist you by listing all of the programs we could find on our site. All you need to do is submit a request for information to the schools that you are interested in, in order to learn about requirements, class length and location, as well as the cost of the program.
Simply request information about the programs you are interested from our list of Certified Nursing Assistant programs below.
What is a CNA Program Like?
One of the most enticing aspects of a career as a nursing assistant is the ease with which you can become certified. The process usually includes a background check, including valid residency documents, and anywhere from 80-100 contact hours of instruction and clinical time. After certification, you will be licensed to practice in many patient care settings, and may earn up to $12.00/hour to start (O*net, 2013), depending upon your location.
In your Certified Nursing Assistant training, you will be taught how to accurately take vital signs, including pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature. You will be instructed on many essential caregiving skills, such as: assisting with transferring and repositioning patients; adhering to dietary plans; performing wellness checks to ensure those you are caring for are safe and secure; answering calls for assistance; and carrying out and assisting with tasks assigned to you by nursing or other medical personnel.
You may practice your patient caregiving skills in a clinical lab, with simulators that act as patients, or you may utilize your CNA classmates, practicing your skills on one another as you progress through your CNA classes. Your instructor will likely provide you with a combination of demonstrations, book work, videos, and hands-on learning opportunities that can give you the knowledge you need to work as a Nursing Assistant. Be sure to check the requirements in your own state for specific entrance and graduation requirements.
What Does a CNA Do?
As a certified nursing assistant, you are one of the most important players on the healthcare team. You will be responsible for many aspects of what is referred to as 'direct patient care'. This means that you will be responsible for interacting with patients, day in and day out, caring for them and assisting them with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). You will help those who are in need to perform basic tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing and routine health maintenance.
If you have cared for friends, family members, or others that require assistance, or have experience caring for young children, you are well prepared for working as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The majority of your tasks will likely be things you do for yourself every day, you will just be doing them for others, or helping others to do them safely. Teeth brushing, denture cleaning, cutting food, feeding those who have difficulty to holding and using tableware, toileting, and simple conversation, interaction and attention will make up the majority of what you do as a CNA.
Becoming a CNA requires compassion, patience, understanding and attentive listening. If you enjoy helping others, find pleasure in simply learning about others' lives and interests, and have an inclination toward healthcare, then becoming a CNA could be one of the most rewarding decisions you make in your life. According to the CNA Network, there are a great number of CNAs that find an outstanding amount of pleasure from their work, regardless of whether it is the starting point for further career goals, or a satisfying career in and of itself.
We fully support the development and enhancement of all aspects of the nursing profession, and as a CNA you are part of the backbone of the profession. You can position yourself at the forefront of patient care, providing essential services to those who need it most.
As you take some time to look at the schools we have on our list, keep in mind that CNA programs are continually growing, and we are continually updating our database as a result. Request the information you need today, and prepare yourself for the possibility of an education and important career tomorrow.
Patient Care Technician Programs
You may have noticed that many of the schools that offer a Certified Nursing Assistant program also offer a Patient Care Technician program. Many of the core courses between the two programs are quite similar, and include basic care giving skills, assisting patients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), maintaining patient safety, and performing tasks such as changing linens and maintaining facility cleanliness.
In addition to learning all of the aspects of working as a CNA, Patient Care Technicians are typically trained to perform bedside electrocardiograms (ECGs), venipuncture and urinary catheter insertion and care. These procedures require specialized training and education, and are not usually performed by Certified Nursing Assistants.
Most PCT programs also provide sufficient material for you to take the CNA exam in your state, highlighting the similar nature of the programs. To decide which program is right for you, click on the schools that you are interested in learning more about, and submit a request for information. You may find that slight differences in program costs, requirements and enrollment options can make a big difference when it comes to successfully choosing a program of study.