The coastal state of Florida has over the years has been heavily dependent on the agricultural industry for the economic needs along with tourism.
But these industries have suffered a painful blow in the economic downtime that are prevailing today.
Healthcare has been one of the important industries that have been contributing to the economy of Florida and this industry is in boom even in these tough times.
An easy way to enter this industry is by enrolling in one of the CNA nursing schools in Florida and start a nursing career which will ensure job security and steady growth.
Certified nursing assistants work in various health care settings assisting patients in routine activities like feeding, bathing, changing clothes etc. under the supervision of a licensed nurse or physician.
However, to become a CNA you must acquire the CNA nursing skills which are taught at the various training programs.
The Santa Fe College in Gainesville and Simone State College in Stanford are two of the most popular colleges that offer 165 hours of CNA training which last for 12 to 15 weeks.
The Jacksonville, Panama City and Tampa chapters of the Red Cross also offer nursing assistant training in Florida and these programs have a great reputation across the country.
You will have to research for best programs near you if you wish to join a nurse aide training program.
Becoming a Nurse Aide in Florida
Florida is one of the states where training is not mandatory to appear for the Florida state CNA exam, but if you fail to pass the exam three times then you will have to attend the training before attempting to pass the exam again.
However, nursing assistant is a hands-on job, so it is recommended that you enroll in a training program to acquire the skills so that you will not have to worry about the CNA skills exam which many students find challenging as compared to the theory paper.
You must either have completed 18 years of age or must have a high school diploma or equivalent degree to take the state certification test.
There are certain criminal offences that will disqualify you for the exam and these offences are mentioned in the Florida Statute 435.
You can apply for exemption on certain conditions and if exemption is granted you can appear for the exam. For details you must contact the nurse aide registry.
The Certified Nursing Assistants Council provides recommendations regarding training and certification the nursing board and regulates the nursing assistant requirements as sanctioned by the board under the Florida Statute 464.
When you pass the state exam you will be issued a license to start practice. If you have a valid nurse aide certificate of another state you can apply for transfer of license without giving the state exam; however, you must submit two fingerprint cards for the FBI background check.
How Long Does It Take To Become a CNA in Florida?
Even though training is not mandatory in the state of Florida many aspiring applicants understand the peculiar nature of a nurse aide job and opt for training programs.
To meet the training requirements many community colleges, medical facilities and technical training schools in Florida have started imparting very good nursing assistant training to those who wish to be trained before attempting the exam.
As training is not mandatory there are no fixed hours for training in the state, but most programs follow the federal mandate of at least 75 hours of training.
Many institutes offer training programs that are as long as 150 hours plus to provide all round training for their students so that they can easily pass the state exam and also serve patients efficiently once they start practice.
On an average the cost of nurse aide training is $1,000; it is different in various CNA nursing schools in Florida and the cost mostly depends on the number of training hours.
The nurse aide registry does not charge any fee for the certification; the exam is administered by Thomson Prometric Services and they charge you $100 for the exam.
The license fee is fixed at $30 and the license is valid for two years and if you practice for a minimum of 12 hours a year you can apply for renewal.
The training programs cover all the subjects required to work as a nursing assistants and the focal point of these programs is the skills training.
Apart from community colleges and medical facilities training can be taken through online programs if you have time constrains.
For those who can’t afford to pay for the training can look for free training that is offered by some medical facilities if you sign an employment agreement with them.
How Much Does a CNA Make in Florida?
When it comes to job opportunities, Florida is the second best state after California as the demand for nursing assistants is very high.
Florida is the fourth most populous state in America so it is natural to have more people who need healthcare assistance.
Every year Florida needs 3,600 new nurse aides and the forecast is even higher. You can earn a salary from $21,000 to $35,000 as a nursing assistant in Florida the average salary being $28,000.
CNA nursing schools in Florida are encouraging more students to enroll in the training programs even if the training is not obligatory; they emphasis on the fact that nursing is a skills job and thus training is an essential element in starting the nursing career.