Without a doctorate or years of training, working as a certified nurse assistant (CNA) might be a terrific way to enter the healthcare field.
CNAs must successfully finish a certification program, gain practical experience through clinical training, and pass a certification exam to operate legally in a healthcare facility.
It can be easier to decide whether a CNA career suits you if you know how long this process can take and the prerequisites.
This article shall address frequently asked questions regarding how long it takes to become a CNA, including how long the certification procedure takes, how much CNAs make, and what skills they possess.
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What is a CNA School Like?
Most states do not demand a high school diploma, and some jurisdictions provide CNA certification for high school students.
Usually, aspirants to become CNAs need to finish a program of study that has been approved by the state and pass a competency test.
Depending on the state, a CNA course can range from 75 to 180 clock hours and include classroom and clinical training.
Between one and three months are typically needed to complete these hours.
RegisteredNursing.org lists the various CNA certification and licensing requirements in each state.
The training is instructed by registered nurses and is broken down into modules that include fundamental nursing skills, patient safety, confidentiality, infection control, and communication.
As of 2021, CNA Plus reported that the average cost of CNA training was $1,300.
You might want to look at free CNA training programs on the CNAFreeTraining.com website before enrolling in a pricey course and paying registration fees.
Additionally, you can get in touch with the nearby nursing homes and Job Corps centers.
Is Attending a CNA School Worth It?
A degree from a CNA school may provide the following advantages for students:
1. Job rewards
Being a CNA school graduate is satisfying in and of itself.
Being a licensed nursing assistant could be highly gratifying for people with a sensitive nature who want to aid others.
Some people have enough experience with the many nursing responsibilities that a CNA has to feel they have made a difference in the lives of others, particularly their patients.
To feel satisfied and appreciated at work, a person does not need to become a registered nurse.
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2. Cheaper Tuition
Compared to earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, CNA training has much cheaper tuition costs.
People who can’t afford to attend a real nursing school can significantly benefit from this.
While becoming a nurse may be the main objective, for some, financial constraints may make attending CNA school sufficient.
3. Faster time to find work
While bachelor’s degrees might take at least four years to complete, CNA training normally lasts one or two years.
Some people can earn their nursing assistant certification in half the time it takes to earn their registered nurse certification, which solely affects the amount of time spent in school.
This will result in finding employment more quickly than individuals with bachelor’s degrees.
The CNA school might be a fantastic option for people who want to find a satisfying job quickly.
4. For several nursing programs, CNA is a requirement
Some nursing programs need CNA certification as a prerequisite for enrollment.
Of course, those who have attended CNA training will greatly benefit from this.
In addition to being more likely to get hired, certified nursing assistants will gain from having acquired knowledge and expertise that is relevant to the nursing sector and profession.
5. Requisite expertise
After graduating from a CNA school, a person’s skills and expertise may qualify them for relevant coursework in legitimate nursing programs.
This could imply that a student needs fewer classes to obtain a nursing degree because their training may be recognized as being equivalent to a nursing-specific program.
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6. Knowledge of different medical specialties
One benefit of becoming a certified nursing assistant is collaborating with other medical specialists, including vocational nurses, physical therapists, and many more.
For those who desire to pursue a different area of medicine, this kind of experience might also be helpful.
Graduating from a CNA program is an excellent alternative for those who want to work in the helping industry or gain experience in the medical sector.
Compared to standard bachelor’s degrees, CNA programs not only cost less but also require less time for training, which means graduates can find employment much sooner.
What Schooling Do You Need to Be a CNA?
Candidates must complete a certification program, accrue the necessary clinical hours, pass a certification exam, and become CNAs to work as CNAs.
An in-depth examination of each of these prerequisites is provided below:
1. CNA Certification Program
To complete your CNA training, you have a wide range of program options to select from.
Courses might last anything from one month to more than six months.
Consider looking into classes to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Candidates typically need to have completed high school or an equivalent to qualify for a certification program.
Although a college degree is not required to become a CNA, if you want to pursue a career as an RN, you may decide to finish one later in your nursing career.
Training programs are frequently provided by colleges, care facilities, and vocational schools; many of these establishments also offer online courses that may be taken around hectic schedules.
Typical subjects covered in training programs include:
- Emergency procedures and protocols
- Nursing ethics
- Patient rights
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection training
- Mental and community health
- Basic care training
- Hospice care
- Long-term patient care
- Patient vital signs
- Life support
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
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2. Requirements for Clinical Hours
In addition to their classwork, CNA students must complete clinical requirements in a care facility.
There are minimum hour requirements in many states, usually at least 75 hours of hands-on training from a CNA training center that has received accreditation.
While some certification programs include clinical hours in their program offers, others might not, depending on their curriculums.
Make sure the program best fits your particular requirements and goals by researching what it includes.
Before you are eligible to sit for your state’s certification exam, which is sometimes referred to as a practical or clinical, you must finish your clinical hours.
While you can pick up some skills in the classroom, like taking vital signs, working facilities can give you a more thorough opportunity to experience real-life nursing settings.
Most clinical hours are dedicated to developing skills, including giving patients a bed bath, assisting them with daily tasks, and giving nurses high-quality, efficient support.
3. Certification exam
To become a certified nursing assistant, you must pass a certification test.
Finding a testing center nearby is made simpler by the fact that the majority of states have several of them.
The average test is four hours long and has a similar structure.
Candidates must correctly respond to a sequence of multiple-choice questions intended to assess their knowledge to pass the exam.
They typically also need to demonstrate their abilities in a practical exam section where they carry out a variety of CNA duties and skills in front of an RN.
You may usually finish both of these test sections on the same day.
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How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed CNA?
It might take four to sixteen weeks to become a certified nursing assistant, depending on the certification program you select and the regulations in your state.
Some certification programs can take up to six months to complete, while others may take longer if you have to balance your training with other obligations.
Aspiring CNAs normally need to finish an accredited training program, meet their state’s clinical hour requirements, and pass a certification exam to complete the certification process.
By investigating the precise timetable for your selected program and learning about your state’s clinical hour requirements, you can find out what to anticipate.
While participating in the certification program, you may be able to finish your clinical hours under some programs.
This can shorten the time it takes to complete your accreditation.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed CNA?
CNA training programs are available through community colleges, vocational institutions, and establishments like the American Red Cross.
These diploma programs’ tuition normally ranges from a few hundred dollars to about $3,000 per year.
In contrast, the tuition cost for a two-year nursing associate’s program would be about $3,600 per year.
Some hospitals and nursing homes provide nursing assistant training courses that are affordable or free to new hires.
You might get the education you need from this choice to meet the requirements for certification and a job.
The institution also hires a capable individuals at the same time.
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Salary and Job Outlook for CNA after Study
CNAs may anticipate earning an average pay of $36,391 per year, depending on their region, job, and degree of experience.
Most CNAs hold full-time employment, and they can further their study to become registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or licensed vocational nurses (LPN) (RN).
These jobs frequently have greater earning potential and more varied career options.
Up until 2031, CNA employment is predicted to rise on average.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, factors like an aging population and a rise in the number of patients with chronic illnesses are expected to contribute to an employment increase of 5%, which is right in line with the national average for all careers.
In home healthcare and community-based care, CNA employment opportunities are considered excellent.
Lastly, hospitals and facilities for assisted living employ CNAs as well.
In the treatment and well-being of their patients, certified nursing assistants play a crucial role.
Notably, it is difficult to build a connection between the clinical staff, the patient’s family, and themselves.
The best way to launch your career in the healthcare sector, though, might be to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNA employment is anticipated to increase significantly over the coming years. A growing number of chronic ailments, an aging population, and high turnover rates are all said to contribute to the CNA industry’s claim to have the highest growth in the nation.
CNA is the ideal stepping stone if you want to launch your career in the healthcare sector.
Lastly, call MAS Medical Staffing as soon as you have finished your CNA training course.
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