What CNA Training is Best Suited to Your Needs


CNA training teaches those individuals who are seeking a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant how to provide hands-on and intimate care to patients in medical facilities such as hospitals, rehab centers, assisted living communities, and nursing homes. CNAs assist medical patients with the basic activities of everyday life, such as bathing and hygiene, dressing, and moving patients to PT, dining rooms, and the like.

Once you’ve completed your CNA training, you need to pass a certification test. Then you will become a member of a group of paraprofessionals classified in the medical community as an unlicensed assistive personnel. You will have the authority to assist with the bedside care and activities under the supervision of a registered nurse.

CNAs are Essential to Quality Care

CNAa are a very important asset to any medical facility. Not only are these nurturing individuals beneficial to their patients, but they elevate the facilities’ level of patient care and attention by alleviating RNs of non-medical responsibilities. As more CNAs are trained in providing their particular brand of care, patients and their providers will realize the advantage of this specialized training.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a certified nursing assistant, you may wonder what kind of training you’ll need to obtain. Though a career as a CNA may appeal to you at this point, you may decide to go forward and obtain a BSN degree. That would entail pursuing a “growable degree”, such as an associates degree. Additionally, you may not have the time to attend classes on campus and an online course may appeal to you. Before deciding on your next move, review all the ways you can obtain the CNA training that suits your needs.

CNA Training and Certification

The typical length of a CNA training program is around 12 weeks. The course load would include classes in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, geriatrics, pediatrics, pharmacology and essentials for nursing assistants. Depending on your program, and your state’s licensing and certification requirements there may be additional courses necessary to obtain your certification.

Certification varies from state to state, but the basic requirements to become a CNA are as follows:
Completion and passing grade for an accredited course program
Pass your state’s respective CNA examination
Pass an exam that will assess your practical ability to perform basic CNA skills and duties
Have the required amount of hands-on experience under the supervision of an RN
Register within the state in which your exam was performed

Benefits of Associates Degree

Although an associates degree in Nursing/CNA requires nearly three years of schooling, this degree leaves the door open for you to pursue a Bachelor Degree in the future. An associates degree in nursing will require the same courses as a CNA certification program, with the addition of an advanced anatomy class, nursing, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, as well as some other core courses, depending on your school and state requirements. Both certification and degree require clinical practice in addition to education.

Though a full associates degree is necessary to hold onto the credits you have for the courses you’ve already taken, when advancing your degree, some schools will give you credit for classes taken under your CNA certification program. Be sure to check with the school before you choose your course program.

Online or Traditional?

With the introduction of online programs, it’s become much easier for those who want to fulfill the course requirements for a CNA program while working full-time. For those who want to change careers, aren’t near a school that offers the CNA program, or may have young children in their care, an online program makes it much easier to complete the education portion of your training. You will still be required to attend labs, as well as your clinical practice, but the online program will help ease the burden of completing your courses.

Finding a school that offers the entire program, except for the clinical portion, online might prove difficult. There are some out there, but there are many more brick-and-mortar programs available to you. Most community colleges, and commuter schools will offer a CNA program, and there are also medical training colleges that offer certification programs, as well as associates degrees.

Many schools do recognize that the majority students are employed, at least part-time. For this reason they will offer at least part of your CNA program online. If online classes are necessary for you to complete your training, ask your advisor, guidance counselor, or look at schools in your area to learn more.

Grow Your Degree

Finally, you never know what the future will bring and leaving the door open to further your career by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a very wise choice. Especially for those just starting out. A college degree might seem like a pipe-dream right now, but as you move forward, you may find it isn’t all that far out of your reach.

Photo credit: tmccnevada via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

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