Health care industry; particularly nursing industry holds a faster growing job market when compared to other industries.
Thus, stepping in the nursing field right after the high school graduation is definitely a good option that gives assurance of getting a job immediately after taking appropriate education.
In Louisiana; many high schools, vocational technical schools, community colleges, health care centers, public health care facilities, nursing homes, medical institutions, etc., do offer CNA training programs for the students who want to pursue their career in nursing.
Certified nurse aides work as the assistants of the senior registered nurses and doctors at various settings like nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, private and public health care centers, long-term care centers, convalescent homes and elderly care centers.
Outline of CNA Training in Louisiana
The main entity that regulates and supervises the CNA trainings, certification and other related aspects is the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
It also recommends that one should go for the enrollment in an approved program of certified nursing assistant, as it gives quality education meeting the standards set by the national nursing board.
Most of the community colleges offer approved classes for certified nurse aide.
Taking an approved training ensures that the students would take and pass the national level nursing exam.
A typical training program for certified nursing assistant comprises of total 100 hours, out of which 50 hours are given for the theory classroom instruction; while remaining 50 hours are given for the practical session or clinical hands-on practice.
The equal time allotment indicates an equal focus on both the aspects of nursing. It is always recommended for the students to be high school diploma holders or at least possess a GED (general educational development) test proof in order to enroll in the CNA training, but the CNA training does not mandate this condition.
In classrooms, the students get to learn and understand all the theory topics. They get the handouts on the course material; attend organized lectures, interactive sessions, group discussions, etc.
All these cover the theory very well. The practical session includes actual hands-on practice of the clinical tasks of a certified nurse aide.
In the duration of 50 hours, the students get to acquire and develop the clinical skills under the guidance senior nurses and course instructors. They get enough time to practice the skills.
Theory Classroom Instruction
- Human body mechanism
- Anatomy and physiology
- Basic science
- Medical terminologies
- Infection control
- Basic patient care
- Basic nutrition
- Ethics of nursing
- Basic patient care
- Feeding and medication
- Bathing and grooming
- Room preparation
- Preparing simple dressing
- Providing with bed pan and catheter care
- Helping the patients to stand up and move
- Taking vital signs and reporting to the doctors
- Keeping health updates in form of charts
After accomplishment of the course work, the students are set to take the state exam for CNA.
The state of Louisiana follows NNAAP (National Nurse Aide Assessment Program) examination in order to assess the competency of the students.
The exam is conducted in 2 sections of which the first section is technical and the second section is clinical. This exam does not have an option of an oral test for the written test.
The written test asks 70 multiple choice questions based on the covered syllabus; while the practical test asks to perform 5 clinical skills.
The students have to appear for the tests under continuous supervision of senior nurses and course instructors. The evaluation result is based on the assessment of their skills.
Passing this exam signifies that the candidates have the competency to practice nursing as certified nurse aides and can work now at any professional setting across the state of Louisiana. Thus, they get the certificate and license for the same.
The CNA license enables the candidates to work as certified nursing assistants throughout the state, but not in any other state.
Thus, those who are already working as certified nurse aides in other states than Louisiana have to transfer their credentials and license to this state if they want to work here. The state has reciprocity agreement with other states for reciprocity applicants.
Free CNA Training in Louisiana
Usually, the trainings for certified nurse aide are quite affordable; but the state offers certain scholarship programs for the students who cannot afford to pay the fees.
This financial aid helps such students to take their education for a bright career.
There are many free CNA classes too; provided that the students must agree to work for the same facility immediately after they graduate.
In such cases, the students can take the exam without paying for the fees.
They also get a job right after their graduation, at the same facility. The facility too has a benefit of getting qualified and skilled nursing professionals without paying them.
There are a few facilities which also allow the students to start working as nurse aides at the health care centers while they are completing their CNA training. Such students can complete the course work and simultaneously, the working experience along with earning.
Taking an approved CNA programs is a good option to choose if one wants to enter the nursing and health care industry.