There are many career opportunities in the nursing and healthcare sector but the CNA certification course is high in demand as they give ample scope for professional growth. CNA certification classes are the first step towards achieving the certification and subsequent listing as a certified nursing assistant in the registry of your state. It would be worthy if you can get enrolled for training in a school that is accredited properly, as employers seek certification from accredited schools or colleges.
You can find information on the colleges providing training programs for certified nursing assistants from your state’s educational department and it is better to compile a list first as you can apply only in those colleges which are accredited. You will have to go through the process of application and clear the test on communication skills in order to get enrolled in the training program. A detailed background check will also be conducted by the college as there are strict criteria related to preventing individuals who have been convicted for crimes in the past.
CNA Certification Classes
Classes are conducted by vocational institutes, community colleges, universities, nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities. If you have time constrains you can join CNA classes online and study as per your schedule. One of the most popular training programs is provided by the American Red Cross Society in 36 major cities of the country; you will have to check if there is any classes run by them in your locality.
Before you join any of the classes make sure that they are recognized by the state health department or the state nursing board. Such classes are of a minimum 75 hours divided into 51 hours of classroom training and 24 hours of clinical training; it is a US federal mandate. However, certification for nurse aides is a state responsibility so the minimum training hours vary from state to state.
Classroom & Clinical Sessions
The attendance is mandatory for the classes and you’ll have to follow a dress code for the classroom and practical clinical sessions. You may wear casual clothes in the classrooms but you are advised to wear thicker clothes as the temperature may vary in the classrooms as per the subject discussed or demonstrated. In clinical sessions, you will be required to wear the white or colored uniform provided by the college which is referred to as scrubs and you will have to wear clean white shoes along with the uniform. You should tie your hair properly and keep your hands clean with finger nails trimmed so as to maintain hygiene while doing tests and other activities during the clinical sessions.
The CNA certification program is a tough one and the classes require you to be neat and clean with proper self-hygiene and also you have to behave professionally in the classes with the instructors and other staff of the healthcare facility where you are doing your clinical sessions. Any individual who doesn’t follow the required code of conduct may be warned and may not be allowed to take the final qualifying examinations. You are required to have the minimum attendance necessary and the right code of conduct in the classes and clinical sessions in order to appear for the exams.
Clinical Sessions & Performance
There are certain clinical assignments assigned to the students which they have to perform as per the rules and within the deadline given by the college. You will be a part of a group and would be evaluated on an individual basis by your instructor. Your performance and sincerity will be evaluated and the scores matter when it comes to qualifying for the final exams. Once the sessions are completed, each student will be given a form to fill up that would be on the program as a whole and your instructor
You will have to behave properly in all the classes and if you are found to be abusing on drugs or alcohol during the class hours, you may be disqualified from the training and would not be able to become a certified nursing assistant. You are expected to be patient and kind with the patients while you are performing in your clinical sessions.
We get the news about reduced paychecks and job cuts almost every day in these economic downtimes, but the healthcare industry is booming with more job opportunities than ever with stable paychecks. If you have the flair for working in the healthcare field, nursing career might just be the right option for you and Nurse Aide will be a good entry level job.
But to become a nursing assistant you must enroll in CNA certification classes and clear a certification exam after you complete the training. The certification exam is conducted by the state health department and you are provided a license for practice after you pass the exam; this license is valid for one or two years as per the regulations in your state and before the expiry you have to apply for renewal.
Eligibility requirements for certification
To become a certified nursing assistant you must fulfill certain eligibility requirements before you enroll for CNA classes and apply for the certification exam. These criteria differs from state to state so you may check for the exact requirements with your state health department, but the basic requirements are the same:
- You must have a GED or high school diploma to enroll in the program; however, it is not mandatory in all states. In some states you have to clear GED (general educational development), if you do not have a high school diploma degree
- You must be 18 years of age
- There should not be any sentence registered against your name; you must submit a finger print card to verify the same
- A medical report must be submitted to notify that you are in good health and have not contracted any transmissible disease
- For the certification exam you must submit a program verification form which confirms that you were enrolled in a state accredited training program
CNA Certification Classes Cost
The certification classes for nursing assistant charge reasonable fees; you can find classes charging anything between $400 and $1200. The main factor compromising the cost is the number of hours for training you have enrolled for. You may find some hospitals and facilities that offer free CNA classes if you agree to sign an employment contract with them of six to twelve months after getting your license.
Apart from the training classes you have to pay for the certification exam, the charges for which are fixed by the respective state health department. Generally the certification exam charges are around $200 in all the states. If you fail in one of the papers you have to re-attempt that paper and it will cost you $100.
Formalities for the Certification Test
You have to fulfill certain formalities before you take the certification test. The application form will be available with the state health department or you can download it from their official website. After filling the form you must sign it and get it notarized; then you must send the form to the office of the State Nurse Aide Registry by mail.
Once you finish the training at your CNA classes you have to pass a certification exam and then you will get a license to practice as a nurse aide. The two papers for the exam are as follows:
- Theory paper During the training you are taught subjects like Body Mechanics, Patient Care, Anatomy and Physiology, Communication, Resident Rights etc. You are also taught the documentation related to patient’s admission and discharge from hospitals. The theory paper evaluates your knowledge of these subjects. The paper consists of 70 to 100 multiple choice questions (it varies from state to state) and you have to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly to pass the paper. It is followed by an oral test to judge your word recognition of the medical terminology.
- Practical paper In the practical paper you have to perform three to five skills learnt during the clinical classes of your training. Apart from these skills you have to perform hand washing skills and taking vital signs which are mandatory in all the stat exams. You are allotted a time of 25 to 30 minutes and have to perform the skills in front of the examiner. The practical paper is the evaluation of your clinical skills and you must perform all the skills as per the examiner’s expectation to pass the test.
CNA certification classes provide you with all the required training to pass the certification test and perform efficiently as a certified nursing assistant.
After you complete the classes successfully
, you will have to pass the required skills test and written exams with the required pass percentage in order to be certified and listed in the registry of your state. CNA certification classes provide the required professional training to help you become a successful certified nursing assistant and pursue a lucrative career in the nursing and healthcare sector. You will just have to be careful about choosing the right colleges or schools which are properly accredited before enrolling yourself in the CNA classes.