How to Become a CNA – 4 Steps to Follow

Being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) can act as a launching pad for your career in nursing. There are several ways to become a certified nurse aide. Those who want to get into this profession are required to take a certificate course and a license to work as a certified nursing assistant. They need to be well trained as they need to fulfill the patients’ daily requirements as well as they also need to handle medical equipment. Attending a training program helps them to prepare for the challenges that they will face in this field.

Here are some quick guidelines and steps to becoming a CNA.

4 Steps to Become a CNA

1st Step: Meet all The Requirements

The first thing you have to see is that if you meet all the requirements for becoming a CNA or not. To serve mankind is not an easy task for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to become a qualified Nursing Assistant. Yes, with time and experience you will develop skills within yourself but there are still some essential requirements.

The perquisites in order to become a CNA are:

High school Diploma: You have to either complete your high school diploma or GED. Like most of the other careers, becoming a CNA requires education beyond just high school.

Written and reading tests: You have to qualify in reading, writing, and English test conducted by the training institutions. Most of the institutions also seek for SAT score.

Health Statement: A documented proof of vaccinations and tuberculosis screening may also be required by many of the institutions.

2nd Step: Join a Training Program

After you meet all the requirements, you have to search for training that will lead you to toward your career path. The second step to becoming a CNA would be enrolling in quality training programs. The training program you choose to enroll in should be reputed, accredited by state, and must hold an excellent academic track record.

Enrolling in such training programs helps you to better understand the curriculum chapters and components ultimately helping you to get better grades in certification exams.

There are two procedures for getting CNA training.

  1. Enrolling into schools
  2. Clinical facility-based training (training usually at hospitals, clinics, orthopedics, home aids etc)

3rd Step: Pass The Certification Exam

After the completion of the program, you need to sit and pass the certification examinations conducted and regulated by state authorities. The examination comprises the examination of both theoretical and practical components, and students passing both components successfully only will become eligible for getting a working license.

Passing the examinations with minimum required grades can help you to get the licenses but most of the successful nursing assistants are those who had scored more than 75 percent in certification exams. If you want to become a successful CNA, then your hard work should show your commitment during exams.

4th Step: Get a License

Attainment of working license helps you to get a job. If you become successful to get a license with good grades then it becomes easy for you to work on the work setting of your choice. Among fresh CNA graduates, the graduates having good grades are likely to be chosen primarily by employers with a good offer of benefits. Additionally, the nursing assistant graduates with good grades are also respected for the hard work during work duties.

Become a CNA Through Schools

There are many CNA schools offering courses that will turn you to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Most CNA schools give training that will make their students eligible to pass the State Board of Nursing Exam.

But be sure that you choose to get admission into some accredited schools of universities otherwise all your hard work and money will go in vain. Also, there are different procedures and requirements for CNA certification exams in different states. Choose your CNA schools according to your state. And if you are already engaged in some kind of job, and don’t want to quit your job, Online CNA schools are always there to help you. Make a wise decision.

Become a CNA Through Clinical Facility

To become a CNA through a clinical-based, you need to search for such institutions offering their own training programs. To search for such programs you can search by visiting different websites online. But before getting enroll in any such CNA classes make sure that it is accredited by a recognized authority and is state-approved.

If you choose this type of program, you can also have an additional benefit of getting enrolled in any kind of job before completion of our CNA certification test. This helps you to get exposure to the market field even before you grab a license in your hand. In due course of time, this will increase your confidence level and level of experience you possess.

If you choose to get your certificate through this type of training you just have to committee yourself that you work for their faculty members for some specific period. Isn’t it great that you earn while getting training and still get a valid license at the end?

In due course of becoming a CNA, there are some other factors that influence your future. So consider all these factors before you decide to become one.

The different factors that have to be considered are:

  • Required level of CNA training
  • Workplace
  • Fees (Money)
  • Required time
  • Salary etc

Follow these effective footprints on How to Become a CNA. Undoubtedly, a nursing career provides a lot more benefits that other health care areas. Just you require is Enthusiasm, Hard work and Determination.

Become a CNA Through Training Institute

In order to become a CNA, you have to go through CNA classes and training for at least 6 months. These 6 months are the standard requirements but if you wish to get some higher training for higher certification you will have to undergo through some more years of training.

1. Online Certified Nursing Assistant Training

There are many ways in which you can be certified as a CNA. The most popular one is through online CNA classes and online training. None can overemphasize the benefits of online medical assistant programs. Online CNA classes are formulated in giving a better, cheaper, economic, timely, quality and flexible teaching schedules in the best possible ways.

2. Red Cross CNA Training

For most of the people willing to get an education through classrooms, RED CROSS CNA TRAINING programs are also available.

3. In-Class CNA training

You can also get your Certified Nursing Assistant Training and complete your courses through community CNA schools, accredited universities, colleges, hospitals, vocational trade schools and other health-related institutions.

4. Free CNA training

If you are lucky enough you can get free CNA training with the aid of government, INGO’s or various institutions. Just meet all your credentials and requirements and fill up for anyone of such free programs.

Become a CNA Through Online Classes

It doesn’t matter if you are a busy bee and want to continue both your study and job side by side. Many of them are focused on student’s benefit and the schedules are managed in such ways that are comfortable for busy students. And if you can’t take your classes regularly or if you are intended to take your classes at home you can easily go for online studies.

Online classes are cheap and cozy. If you are lucky enough you can also find them for free. Online classes that provide some virtual lab videos are somewhat little expensive.


  • You can utilize your spare time and continue your job at the same time.
  • If you live far from your school you don’t have to manage extra time for that.
  • ONLINE classes are relatively cheaper and equally effective.
  • You can go through your lectures at a convenient time.
  • They are effective if you have lost your license and documents which can act as a refresher course then.
  • You can ask your queries through emails and chatting. Interesting, right?


  • You can’t have direct contact with teachers and classrooms.
  • You can’t rely on all online programs. You have to be very careful in choosing such online programs. Many of them can be a fraud.
  • Online CNA classes can’t rely on cover the wholesome aspects of real training and experiences.

So it is recommended that you join some vocational training courses before you apply for the test. CNA classes are a great decision if you want a successful career in terms of both salary and self-satisfaction. Grab the best opportunity. Afterward, what is better than a highly rewarding career?

Time Frame Required to Get Certified

The time duration of examination is divided into two parts, theory and practical. In theory section, you will be tested on your theoretical knowledge acquired during your study period. And during your practical test, you will be tested on your practical knowledge and skills acquired during your clinical trials and practical sessions.

The Certification test also differs from the state. Like there are different approaches for CNA training in Indiana or pattern of CNA classes in Michigan differ from that in Chicago. So make sure you get admitted to CNA classes in the same state you choose to give your certification test.

Typically, the time frame is as follows:

  • Online Certified Nursing Assistant Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Certified Nursing Assistant Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Certified Nursing Assistant Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Certified Nursing Assistant Masters – 2 years
  • Online Certified Nursing Assistant Ph.D. – 2 to 5 years

What will be Taught in Classes?

During your CNA classes, you will be taught on aspects of patient care, such as keeping and maintaining their progress reports, how to act as a communicator between doctors and patients, monitoring their vital body signs, giving them injections, and skills on interacting with patients.

Other subject matter includes

Giving injection to patients, maintaining the hygiene of patients, giving them medicines, collecting their blood sample, washing their clothes and supporting a patient both emotionally and practically.

The courses offered are

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Basic science
  • Health and population education
  • Infection control
  • Basic medical terminology
  • Nursing skills
  • Nursing ethics
  • Patient care and safety
  • Information regarding maintenance of equipment’s and many more

Who is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a qualified and trained health care professionals who work under the supervision of Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or senior nurses and assist sick and handicapped person with health care facilities. Certified Nursing assistants are simply known as CNA, Nurse Aid, medical assistants, or simply patient care assistant. You can also find several online medical assistant programs, Certified Nursing assistant online classes, and nursing courses.

Role of CNA

Your role as a Nursing Assistant varies depending upon the state in which you live. Certified Nursing Assistant can work in various work areas such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Medicare
  • Physician’s clinic
  • Orthopedics
  • Home aids
  • Old age home and many more

A CNA works as a communicator between a registered nurse and patients. Being a Certified Medical Assistant, you can proudly say “we are the front line health care executive and we serve as eye and ear of our supervisors in any health care institution.

In general, following are the roles played by Certified Nursing Assistant

  • They spend major time with patents providing moral and emotional support.
  • They help patients in many of their daily activities such as showering them, giving them medicines, maintaining their hygiene, cleaning their clothes, brushing their teeth, eating foods, and others.
  • They also perform vital signs such as monitoring blood pressure, pulse, glucose level, giving them injections, evaluating every individual condition, and narrating these conditions to their supervisors.

Known the Job Responsibilities

Now you are done with the nursing assistant program and hold a working license. Congratulations!!

Now questions may be hovering in your mind, what or where next?

Above all, a big HOW?

How do I get started with my career?

How do I get employed?

A lot of other HOWs killing your thinking.

Relax! We are here to help you. All you need to do is to follow this article and simply you are done with your puzzle!

The first thing striking in your mind before starting a career as a certified nursing assistant should be the job description of a CNA. What exactly does a certified nursing assistant do?

You must have done some researches or asked some of your colleagues about the job description but you must be bored with gathering information in cut pieces. Well, then, let me explain to you in detail.

Nursing assistants can be found working in hospitals, nursing homes, long term care units, rehabilitation centers, assisted health care centers and other such medical facilities.

They are primarily responsible for providing basic nursing care to the patients which include assisting patients in their daily living activities like

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Taking light exercises
  • Even toileting

Besides these, they also need to help you patients for relocating and changing their bedsheets. Since all these responsibilities are primary to any health care facility, the nursing assistants are therefore regarded as the primary respondents to patient and symbolically they are termed as ‘eyes and ears’ of patients.

Nursing assistants are also responsible to monitor the vital indicators of patients such as blood pressure, body temperature, and blood sugar level and so on.

All of these indicators should be closely monitor and recorded with periodic reporting to the nurse in charge, doctor or higher medical staff who are responsible for their supervision.

These indicators will help to ease the recovery process and again it comes under the responsibility of nursing assistants to prepare patients for further medical procedures such as surgery or any other therapy.

The job description may vary from one health care setting to another and there may be additional responsibilities. Apparently, the job responsibilities differ from one department to another.

For simple instance, the job responsibilities of nursing assistants deployed at the intensive care unit differ from those working at general wards. But whatever or wherever the positioning may be all CNAs need to be very careful and dedicated while performing their job responsibilities.

Now, I think, you have got knowledge of job responsibilities of CNA but remember all of the tasks mentioned above require a high level of work motivation and are highly challenging at the same time.

Only dedicated CNAs are able to give continuity to their career as dealing with panic conditions of patients is not everyone’s cup of tea!

How Much Will You Get Paid?

According to the Bureau of statics, the average earning of a Certified Nursing Assistant is about $25,000 per year. This is just the beginning and it goes higher with higher knowledge, experience, time, and hard work. After passing the exams you will be registered in the state registry. Now you can apply for jobs as a Certified Nursing Assistant in spite of which age, sex, race, culture, community, gender, color you belong to.

The Work is Not Finished Yet!

Wait: The Work is Not Finished Yet. Your Real Journey Begins Here.

Getting good grades on certification exams and getting employed in the work setting of your choice is not the complete way to become a successful one. Now the real story begins. You need to show all the necessary traits and virtues required for your job performance.

Dealing with patients in a chaotic environment is not easy, thus a great deal of patience is required. You need to be friendly and conversant with everyone, including your colleagues. Despite any stress, you cannot let it be out of your speech or behavior. Managing conflicts, handling stress, and presenting yourself in the best way possible with a high focus to work can help you to become a successful CNA. Best of luck!


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