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The Ultimate Guide You Need To Read Before Join CNA Classes

The CNA classes are offered at many schools, colleges, hospitals and nursing homes. These classes help the aspirants to become a certified nursing assistant. An applicant can enroll in a nurse aide course at a community college, or can enroll in nursing aide programs at a nursing facility or can opt for online courses. The demand for CNAs will never become less as the medical field is one which will always grow.

The certified nursing assistant’s class usually includes information about

  • Anatomy
  • Diet-chart
  • Nutrition
  • Bacteria
  • And infection

These classes not only offer the student with theoretical knowledge, but also provide practical information about the human body.

The student receives theoretical information during the classroom hours and has the opportunity to put their theory to practice during the clinical training.

Requirements for CNA Classes

There are some requirements that candidates must meet in order to pursue nursing classes. A candidate must have no record of wrongdoings and must pass medical and drug test.

Some facilities require a candidate to be at least 16 years old and be a high school diploma holder or GED holder. It is also beneficial in a way, as at that age, you become more mature and are able to understand what is happening around you.

Although it is not necessary, some qualities or skills will help you a lot, if you implement them during the course of your class.

This includes optimism, patience, and tactfulness. You must be calm and good at communication and must behave politely and humbly with patients, doctors and your co-workers.

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.

In CNA Classes, Student Can Learn:

  • How to record the patient’s vital signs like blood-pressure, temperature, pulse, etc
  • How to measure a patient’s height and weight
  • How to provide basic hygiene to patients, i.e. cleaning the patient’s finger and toe nails; brushing and flossing the teeth, brushing the patient’s hair; etc.
  • Techniques of bathing a patient using bathtub, bed bath or shower and so on
  • Techniques of moving ambulating patients
  • Positioning bedridden patients in lateral positions/supine or Fowler’s position as per the health of the patient
  • Learning about motion exercises and how to help the patient perform them
  • Feeding techniques
  • First aid procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support
  • How to ensure patient’s safety
  • How to apply an urinal catheter and how to offer perineal care to a person through a urinal catheter
  • How to prevent and control different infections
  • How to collect patient’s specimens, i.e. stool/sputum/urine
  • About admission and discharge documentation
  • How to communicate and create an emotional bond with the patient
  • How to use the medical equipment in any health care facility
  • Learning about the main health issues of patients in the long term facilities
  • Learning about body mechanics and mobility techniques to avoid injury

These are some of the things taught in CNA classes.

In order to become a CNA, the candidates must have very thorough knowledge of the both theory and practical aspects of the job. This is because after the completion of the course, the students have to take the certification test in order to get a license as a certified medical assistant.

Pursuing CNA classes is the first step towards making a certified nursing assistant career in U.S. Many community colleges, nursing schools, and independent facilities in U.S. offer nursing classes.

You must pursue a state-approved certified nursing assistant program to become eligible for certification.

Such classes last for around 7-14 weeks and include at least 75-120 hours of training, which includes classroom training and clinical exercises. Institutes in some states may provide 175 hours of training.

The training hours depend on the rules set by that state’s board of nursing or department of health. This training provides maximum knowledge, preparing you in all the fundamentals of nursing.

They encourage learning and implementing the aspects related to:

  • Patient care (including handling, hygiene, and nutrition)
  • Restorative care
  • Vital signs
  • CPR instruction
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Medical terminology
  • Documentation and reporting

CNA Certification Classes Overview

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.

CNA 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.

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.

CNA Certification Exam

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 your certified nursing assistant class, you can sit for certification exam in your state. Passing in this exam is very important if you want to attain a nursing license in your state. It comprises two parts: written test and clinical skills evaluation test.

This exam tests the understanding related to nursing facets that the candidates learn during this course.

If you pass in this exam, it will lead to nursing aide license acquirement in that state. This license will allow you to work as a certified nurse aide in any recognized facility in that state.

Renewing this license after every two years is essential to continue working as a certified nursing assistant in that state.

In general, you require proving that you have worked as a certified nursing aide for at least 8 hours, performing nursing responsibilities in a facility over the last 2 years in that state to renew your license.

Most of the states in U.S. provide the provision of transfer through reciprocity. This is for those who want to shift to another state for employment.

For this, you will require to collect, fill and submit the reciprocity form to the state registry. They will verify your certificate status, program completion status, reputation, experience, and criminal background. If you are able to clear all the requirements, you will get a nursing license in that state.

If unfortunately, you are not able to satisfy the conditions, you will have to attend certified nursing assistant classes (not required in some states) and certification exam to gain employment in another 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.

Duties and Responsibilities 

The job prospects in the medical field are unaffected by recession. The jobs in this field are well-paid and have great future prospects.

The number of people trying to make a career in this field has seen a tremendous increase. Certified nurse assistant is an entry level job. They need to report to the Registered Nurse. The perks in this job are high and the basic qualification required for this job is a high school diploma and the candidate must be greater than or equal to 18 years of age.

However, the responsibilities and duties they perform are the same in all states. The activities may differ depending on the healthcare facility, and the department you will be working in.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant has many advantages.

You can get a job in:

  • Public clinics
  • Private clinics,
  • Hospitals,
  • Nursing homes,
  • Long-term care facilities,
  • Prison
  • Rehabilitation centers.

Further, you can work on your own terms by looking after a single patient in a family as a freelance nursing assistant.

Hence, opting for this career path would prove fruitful for many individuals who want to build a long term career in the field of nursing and health care. It is not necessary to get trained by attending college. The candidate can become certified nurse assistant through online CNA certification.

A certified nursing assistant is responsible for:

  • Bathing
  • Cleaning
  • And changing clothes of the patient
  • Taking them for walk
  • Providing feedback about their health to their family member
  • Making sure that the patient takes medicine on time and assisting them in eating food and also provide them healthy drinks
  • They also need to keep a track of the medical needs of the patients
  • Check their blood pressure
  • Temperature
  • Collect samples of blood
  • Urine for laboratory test etc.

Hence, the candidates can find loads of opportunity for the entry level position in nursing field. The candidate should have understanding about the responsibilities of the certified nursing assistant, before opting for this career.

The candidate should know that they would need to take care of the:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Cleanliness
  • Toilet needs
  • Medical needs
  • Medical records
  • Wound care
  • Prevention of bed sores
  • Dietary care
  • Equipment care
  • Health monitoring
  • Assistance during exercise
  • Sample collection

And providing appropriate guidance to the family of the patient to take appropriate care of the patient.

The yearly salary of certified nursing assistant ranges from $25000 to $35000. The fresher in this field are paid a salary of $10 to $12 per hours, while the experienced are paid around $15 to $17 per hour. The best aspect of this job is that the salary is on hourly basis.

How Much Salary CNA Can Expect?

Salary of a certified nurse aide depends on several factors. It varies from state to state. Some states may pay higher salaries, while some pay low.

This thing depends upon the economy, population, requirements, and demographics of the state. It also depends on where you work (in which facility and at what post). Salary is bound to increase with time and experience.

In fact, additional benefits like insurance and paid time-offs are also provided. You will be able to make anywhere between $25,000 and $35,000.

In addition to this, a survey claims that U.S. is expected to see 19% growth in CNA position over the next 4-5 years, which is quite good.

Thus these figures show that you will get professional satisfaction, which will make your personal life happier too.

Hence it is recommended to pursue certified nursing assistant as a career, as it is the best opting for those who want to build a long term career in this profile. But make sure that you have gathered all the related information about it.

Overview Of Online CNA Classes

Online classes have the advantage of being flexible and accessible for the students. The students who opt for these classes can pursue their career along with the course.

Most of these online courses can be done at a lesser cost than the regular full time courses. One of the popular choices amongst students is the American Red Cross.

The organization offers online classes as well as full time courses. They also provide free instruction for students who cannot afford to pay their fee. They get in touch with a local government agencies that fund the course fee of such students; especially for students who are unemployed.

The eligibility to apply for CNA classes is that applicants should have passed high school or have cleared their GED.

Many institutes also test the reading, writing and learning skills of the aspirants. They also ask the aspirants to submit a complete record of health check up, including vaccination records and so on.

These institutes also check if the aspirants have any criminal records; candidates should not have engaged in any illegal activity prior to joining the course.

Most people thing about pursuing this career, would like to opt for online certified nursing assistant certification as it helps in saving time, one can study from home, and needs to pay less time than attending full time course. In today’s modern era, everyone is proficient in using internet.

Therefore, completing any course online has become easy.

Online CNA Classes Features

  • The online program includes around 75 hours of training. The duration of time required for studies is around 5 to 7 weeks.
  • The benefit of online certification program is that the candidate can study at home and can plan their own schedule and study time.
  • The course includes study of nutrition, biology, psychology, anatomy, physiology, and basic pharmacology.
  • All the candidates opting for online certification need to compulsorily attend 5 days of training at a hospital or medical clinic.
  • The candidates can learn through online tutorials, forum, video, and chat.
  • Before appearing for the certification exam the candidates should first attempt the online practice tests.
  • After considerable amount of practice one needs to appear for the state certification exam.

As the career prospects for certified nursing assistant are good, most of the nursing aide perceive further certification and move up in the hierarchy level to the post of registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Benefits Of Online Classes

A benefit of online certification is that you can manage your household responsibilities or current job and get this certification completed.

You do not need to take the risk of leaving your current job to become a certified nursing assistant. You can easily plan your schedule and study from home. If you have the responsibility of looking after your children, then you can manage the certification through the online mode.

You can study at anytime of the day, as the online learning tools are available 24 hours. You even save the travel expenses that you spend going to and from the college. After the completion of the nursing certification you can get a job with a good pay scale.

The studying from home with online CNA certification is the best suitable for those who would like to enter this field without leaving their earlier job or the candidates who do not have time to travel and attend college.

It is beneficial to opt for online course as the online study process is easy and affordable. One does not have to make the sacrifice of disturbing their family life or leave their job to complete this certification.

After the successful completion of this certification, the candidate has a successful career in this field as the career prospects in this field are ever growing. Even the further growth in this field is wonderful and well-paid.

These are some of the information regarding online certified nursing assistant certification which would prove to be of great help while opting for this as a career path. Make sure that you collect all the relevant information regarding online CNA certification beforehand from an authentic and reliable source.

Private CNA Classes

The number of aspirants who want to get a job in the healthcare sector is increasing day by day and as a result of the demand, the number of CNA certification schools is on the rise.

There is a general opinion that one should pursue the required training from a state recognized and accredited CNA school, whereas some say that it doesn’t matter much even if you do it from private CNA classes.

Clearing the state CNA test is the actual criteria and pursuing training from an accredited or non-accredited school does not matter for some individuals. Though the real situation differs from cases to case, it all depends upon the general situation in your state.

If the employers, that is, healthcare facilities in your locality hire you based on the license you possess and not on whether the nursing school you were trained from is accredited or not, then you can very well pursue the CNA training program offered by such private nursing schools.

The classes at a community college give a chance to the student to interact directly with the patients, peers and instructors. However, these classes are usually more expensive and are usually for a longer duration.

Some of the nursing aide programs at nursing facilities can ask the student for a written commitment to work for them after the classes have finished.

State Wise CNA Classes

First, understand that certified nursing assistant, nurse aides, and home health aides are the same. Each state refers to this healthcare professional differently.

To start working, the state you live in should certify you. This means you must have a legal permission from your state to practice the nursing skills. The certification is achievable after completing the CNA classes and passing the CNA certification exam.

These are the simple rules you have to respect whatever state you are trying to get certified in. Since there are hundreds of training-providers all over the state, you should take care and look for the classes that are approved by the State Nurse Aide Registry of your state.

If you ask where to get information about CNA classes, the best place is to find in the local nurse aide registry website. You can also call or visit the local office of nursing board and check the places you can enroll in.

You will not have any problem in finding the training providers. All states have many schools, community colleges, and technical training institutes offering the training.

Some states have more than 650 training centers. You can also join the classes with the Red Cross Society, if there is one in your state because they have been catering this service only in 36 cities as of now.

Maybe, by the time you decide to enroll in the CNA classes, they may offer it in your city as well.

In addition, many healthcare facilities all over the state sponsor the training program to those who cannot manage the course cost.

This benefit is provided to those students who are willing to work with them with whatever period they demand once you have the certification. You are free to decide whether to continue working with them, or look for new employment after the time period is over.

Further, there are online training options in all the states of America. All training-providers offer an online training to interested students. This type of training is good for working people and family people who are already tied-up with their commitments.

You can take the online course by learning about them from the local office. You will have the training in your house with a computer and an internet connection. However, for hands-on experience, you need to participate in the practical session.

For this, you need to be present at the scheduled time in any hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility the training-provider may have an affiliation with.

The state and federal government control the CNA certification process. As per the federal rules, students of all states have to complete at least 75-hours of training as eligibility criteria for the certification exam.

The requirement of training hours is different in each state. Further, all states have authority to decide what they require from students for getting the CNA certificate.

Some states expect you to complete at least 100-hour of training, and other may ask you anything from 180 to 200 hours.

In some states, the CNA classes are offered at weekends, and evenings. Even if you are busy for the first half of the day, or throughout the weekdays, you can easily enroll in the training program. With the training, you will have skills and knowledge on patient-care. You will also be able to receive a good salary once you have the CNA certification.

To conclude, we would say that the best option to do the CNA classes is to approach the Red Cross chapter, or the Nurse Aide registry in your area. This way, you will be free from worrying from the approval status of the training program. In addition, you receive the guidance and knowledge about job opportunities in your state.

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.

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