Are you interested in starting a career in the nursing profession? Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a great entry point. CNAs provide important basic care services to patients, such as feeding, bathing, and taking vital signs. They work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and play a crucial role in the patient care team.
If you’re considering a career as a CNA, there are several factors to consider when choosing a CNA training program:
Each state has its own requirements for CNA training and certification. It’s important to make sure that the program you choose is on your state’s approved list. This ensures that you will meet the necessary requirements for certification upon graduation. While the basic care principles are the same across the country, states may have different requirements for classroom hours and clinical practice.
CNA training programs are generally less expensive than LPN or RN training programs because the curriculum is less in-depth. The cost of a program can vary from school to school. When calculating the total cost, be sure to include tuition, books, course materials, uniforms, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees, and the cost of the certification exam.
CNA training programs typically take 4 to 12 weeks to complete. This fast completion time allows CNAs to enter the workforce more quickly compared to aspiring LPNs or RNs. Many CNAs use this position as a stepping stone to determine if nursing is the right career for them. They may choose to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
Online vs. On Campus
Consider whether your school offers online courses. Online programs can be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations. They provide flexibility in completing assignments at home on your own schedule. Some traditional classroom programs also offer evening and weekend classes to accommodate students’ needs.
Online CNA Classes & Programs
A growing number of schools are now offering online CNA courses, allowing students to complete their coursework at their own pace and from a location that is convenient for them. While in-person clinical practice hours are still required, some coursework can be completed online.
The advantages of online CNA classes include flexibility and convenience. You can complete your coursework around your work and family obligations. Online courses also offer a wider range of school options. In some cases, online programs may be more cost-effective than classroom programs. Additionally, you can save on commuting and parking expenses.
Admissions and Certification Requirements
Admissions requirements for most CNA programs include a high school diploma or GED certificate, a physical examination, TB test, and a criminal background check. Some schools may prefer students with healthcare work or volunteer experience. After completing the required coursework and clinical training hours, you must pass a state-approved certification exam to start working as a CNA.
CNA Curriculum & Program Information
CNA training programs prepare students for their state’s nursing assistant certification exam. Coursework includes training in CPR, first aid skills, human anatomy, patient caregiving basics, infection control, and general safety. Hands-on training is also provided, allowing students to practice their skills with patients.
Program length varies from 6 to 12 weeks, with some programs offering completion in as little as 4 weeks. The completion time depends on factors such as the school type, full- or part-time study, and self-paced online courses. The relatively quick completion time makes CNA training appealing for those who want to start working as soon as possible.
The cost of a CNA training program is generally more affordable compared to other nursing degrees. Additional expenses such as uniforms, stethoscopes, books, and certification exam fees should also be considered.
Each state has specific requirements for CNA education and certification. Make sure to choose a program that is approved in your state. After completing the training program, you will be eligible to take your state’s competency exam. Passing the exam allows you to work as a certified nursing assistant.
CNAs also need to fulfill their state’s continuing education requirements for re-certification. Typically, 48 hours of continuing education courses must be completed every 24 months. Check with your state’s board of nursing or health for specific requirements in your home state.
If you’re ready to start your journey as a CNA, consider enrolling in a CNA training program. Abstract Education offers a comprehensive CNA program that will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your career. Click here to learn more.