So you are thinking about working in health care and wondering how you can become a CNA. You will find that working as a CNA can be an amazing and rewarding career that can be a launching pad to even higher nursing positions.
In the following article we will go over the main steps you will need to take in order to become a certified nursing assistant in a reasonable amount of time and to get started quickly.
What to do Before You Can Become A CNA
You will need to remember that before you become a Certified Nursing Assistant, then you will need to pass a background check. If you cannot pass a background check or a drug test, then you will not be allowed to become a CNA.
Based on the state that you are enrolling in the nursing assistant program in, you might have to do all of this before you even start the whole process of taking the program.
But most of the time, you will have to take this tests before your certification test or before you take a job at a healthcare facility.
The 5 Steps to Becoming a CNA
1 – Find an Accredited Program
The first step to becoming a nursing assistant is to enroll in an accredited nursing assistant program. CNA training programs can be found in a number of high schools, vocational schools, technical colleges, and community colleges.
There are also some great online schools that are a blessing for those with a busy schedule.
You might even be able to work at a hospital, a nursing home or even the American Red Cross are examples of where you can do some on-the-job training.
The main setback for going this training route is that you will have to agree to work at the hospital or facility for a required amount of time after your training has been completed.
This may limit the number of job opportunities available to you.
2 – Complete Your Training Program
The second step on how to become a certified nursing assistant is to make sure that you complete an accredited or a state-approved program. This might sound silly, but you must successfully complete the program before going any further.
CNA training can take just a few weeks or as long as a few months. The length of time it takes to complete your program depends on where you have selected to train – not only type of program where you train but also the state you are in.
The absolute minimum according to the federal government is 75 hours of combined classroom and practical training. However, your state may require more hours so it is best to contact your state’s Board of Nursing for regulations in your state.
3 – Pass the Certification Exam
The third step on how to become a CNA is to make sure that you take and successfully pass the certification exam.
This exam is something that you will have to take in order to become certified after you have graduated from the nursing assistant program.
The exam will have about 55 to 70 questions on it that are multiple choice along with a clinical skills demonstration of five procedures. You must pass both parts of the examination in order to become certified.
You will need to take this exam so that you can show that you have learned and understand everything that you need to know about being a CNA.
This is going to include the practical experience, which is going to be one of the most vital parts of the exam.
Therefore, you will need to remember all of the safety precautions that you will have to take when you are working with a patient. This is one of the main things that your examiner is going to be looking for during your exam.
This means that they are going to be looking very carefully at everything that you are going to be doing during the exam.
4 – Register With Nursing Registry as a CNA
The fourth step is to get a CNA license (i.e. become certified) in the state that you are planning on working in.
Technically this isn’t a license but you will be registered in your state’s Nurse’s Aide Registry which serves as a type of license.
There may be specific requirements that you will need to meet depending on the regulations of your state.
5 – Apply for a Job to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant
The fifth step is to apply for position as a CNA at one of the healthcare facilities that are in your area.
You will have a better chance of getting a job if you apply for employment with your certification and training intact. Then you will need to comply with any of the facility’s pre-employment screenings.
Once you have a certification you will need to do the necessary steps to keep it active. Each state has slightly different rules when it comes to the upkeep of your certification. Commonly, your certification is valid for two years.
Also, you must have worked for a specified amount of time during the two previous years.
If your certification does lapse, you may have to re-enroll in a CNA training program and retake the certification exam.
How You Can Start the Process to Become a Nursing Assistant!
If you are interested in starting a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, you check out are up to date list of training programs in your area by using the search feature in the upper right hand corner of the page.
In no time at all, you too can become a CNA and start making a difference in your and everyone else’s lives.