When you close your eyes and imagine the career you’d be most satisfied in, do you see yourself working as a nursing assistant? If so, it’s likely you’re also imagining working with the elderly in nursing homes or in a hospital setting.
Creating Reality from Imagination
While these images can conjure up a lot of excitement for you, it’s important to first think about what you need to do to make your imagination a reality. The first step is to have at least a high school diploma. The second step is to seek post-secondary training.
This post-secondary training and a certification exam are most important in a nursing assistant career because you can’t find a job without them. You’ll also need experience in a healthcare setting, which will be included in your training in the form of an internship.
What to Expect from a Nursing Assistant Training Program
While every program differs, most of them have the same types of courses because all students must pass a nursing assistant certification exam. So, when it comes to deciding on which program you should choose for training, just make sure they are reputable.
At some point in your training, you’ll need to complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course. Just so you’re prepared, it’s best to seek this requirement as soon as possible.
Most training programs last 6 to 12 weeks, and the ones that last the least amount of time are accelerated. Consider your schedule right now to decide if you can handle the influx of coursework for 6 weeks with everything else you have going on. If you think it will be too much, take the 12 week program.
During the weeks you’re in training, you’ll learn from textbooks, lectures, and additional reading material. You’ll also participate in lab studies, so you can take the information you’ve learned and apply it. Finally, you’ll receive supervised clinical training. This usually takes place in the healthcare setting with a supervisor watching everything you do. It’s a valuable part of the your training program because it ensures you know all you should to be ready for the CNA exam and take care of patients in the field.
Once students complete the required number of training hours required, they can take the certification exam. For some states, a physical exam is also necessary. Check with your state’s CNA requirements, so you receive the complete exam.
When students pass the certification exam, they will be added to their state’s nurse aide registry. This is what gives them the permission to seek employment as a CNA.
Moving Forward in the Nursing Field
After working in the field for some time, you may want to move forward by being a licensed practical nurse, which comes along with added responsibility, and in many cases, more pay. Some nursing assistants apply their CNA credits to a nursing degree program to become a registered nurse (RN).
There are so many options in the nursing field, and they all could be open to you by receiving your nursing assistant certification. Get the education you need for the career you want in nursing. All you need to do is find a program and enroll.
Will you take that first step?