Choosing a Good CNA Certification Program
Each state requires that people who have interest in becoming a certified nursing assistant complete a specific set of educational steps that includes learning basic medical skills, vocabulary, industry standards, and passing a certification exam. The demand for qualified nursing assistants has grown exponentially over the past several years as the American population has aged. Fortunately, this has also led to an increase in the number of state-approved CNA certification programs and schools.
When it comes to becoming a certified nursing assistant, there are several options for obtaining the required training. If you happen to live in a city that has an active chapter of the American Red Cross, you can contact the nearest branch office to find out if they offer a program for nursing assistants. Not every chapter offers this program but if it is available in your community, it might be a good place to start your search. They are well-respected in the medical community and have a long history of providing quality courses at a very reasonable price. While a traditional school may offer a program that costs anywhere from $1200-$1700, the Red Cross CNA classes are often priced between $700 and $1200 and can usually be completed within just a few weeks. Courses start at various times throughout the year and convenient scheduling is available in most locations.
While this is not always a possibility for students in smaller cities or in all areas, local colleges and skill centers almost always offer certified nursing assistant training as well. These classes are slightly more expensive but they usually make up for the difference in cost by facilitating the clinical portion of the certification process and assisting with job placement once the student has completed his or her classes and passed the exam. When you are looking at different schools and training providers, be sure that the programs you are considering have Registered Nurses as instructors. You will want to select a program with an experienced staff of nurse faculty that has a thorough understanding of the theory and the clinical practice aspect of the training curriculum. The classroom coursework provides the foundation on which the rest of your knowledge and skill set will be built.
It is important to find a class that will teach this information in such a way that you can retain it over the long-term vs. simple memorization for the test. The most important part of the process involves getting hands-on experience working in a live clinical setting. Since certified nursing assistants spend many of their working hours caring for patients and providing essential healthcare, it is imperative that students can perform each of their regular job functions flawlessly. The only way to accomplish this is through practice and working with real people. Since every situation is unique, repetition in this type of setting is the best way to develop a level of comfort and confidence.
Employers these days demand applicants that are well-rounded and can hit the ground running with minimal supervision. A quality CNA course will prepare graduates to handle a variety of situations with professionalism. These are the skills that will make CNAs successful and offer an educational foundation that you can build upon later if pursuing a career as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse.