A Detailed Guide to Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Jun 21, 2020 7:00 PM ET

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), also referred to as patient care technician, nurse aide, home health aide or orderlies, is the front liner inpatient care. She works while supervised by a senior nurse and interacts directly with patients during her duty hours. A CNA is particularly in demand in institutions or facilities specializing in aged care or the continuing care which includes assisted living for the aged.

The CNA course is actually the initial step in gaining entry to the world of the nursing profession. In fact, there is this common notion that the best registered nurse started as CNA. According to surveys, there is a constantly fast turnover for certified nursing assistant positions because most, if not all, of them choose to upgrade their education so that they can come closer to the more involved medical careers, using CNA training as a stepping stone to gain experience and earn some amount of money to further their studies.

Moreover, the Certified Nursing Assistant course is somehow designed especially for those who cannot readily afford to go straight to baccalaureate degree due to financial strain, as it is supported by certain government agencies that offer financial aid to interested individuals.

CNA is a short-term training of about four to six weeks – although others may conduct the course up to twelve weeks. It is usually offered in community colleges, online schools, the Red Cross, and through medical facilities. Classroom instructions generally cover these subjects:

Basic nursing skills;
Anatomy and physiology;
Nutrition, and;
Infection control

Students will also get to experience hands-on training during their clinical activities.

Once completed, the student is required to undergo a competency examination to evaluate his acquired theoretical knowledge and practical skills. When he passes it, he is issued a license and ready to work.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant is not easy. A certified nursing assistant helps patients in their hygiene needs, performs basic care, takes the patient’s vital signs, and collects other pertinent information about the patient. She also does routine duties, including, but not limited to:

Apply clean dressings, stockings, slings, or support bandages on patients.
Dispense medications or treatments, such as catheterization, suppository, enema, irrigation, douches, and massage.
Record temperature, blood pressure levels, and respiration levels of patients.
Take note of the patient’s daily functions like going to the bathroom, their behavior, complaint, and physical symptoms and report the same to the nurse in charge.
Maintain a chart for patients and keep the doctor in-charge informed of the patient’s condition.
Help patients during their lunch and dinner time.
Maintain cleanliness and sanitation inpatient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, and other patient areas.

Likewise, A CNA is trained on how to handle a patient, making sure the latter is comfortable when moving about. She may also exercise a bed-ridden patient.

Picking Out the Best CNA School

After so much discernment and research work, you have finally decided on a specific nursing path to take in college. But then, here is another challenge! Which school should you go to and how do you pick the best cna school? It is a fact that as demand increases, many more learning institutions are opening courses in Nursing and other related fields.

Here are some tips that might be of help to students or aspirants in choosing the appropriate cna school.

Evaluate Yourself: If you take the course as a full-time student, single, and do not have any other responsibilities that might get in the way of your studies, then you should not have a problem with class schedules. However, if you are working part-time or full time, having a family to take care of, or any other responsibilities that may share your school time, you need to adjust your schedule accordingly. You should take into consideration that some subject areas can demand much of your time.

Location: You have to consider that traveling to and from school can be time-consuming and stressful. Therefore, it is recommended that you choose a school near your place. If this were not possible, how about temporarily relocating to accommodations near your chosen school?

The Convenience of Schedule: If in case you find it difficult to attend to an actual school because it runs conflict with your work and other responsibilities, or it is far from home and temporary relocation is not in the budget, you may want to opt for online classes, instead. With online classes, you can take your lessons at your own pace in the convenience of your home.

School Accreditation: It is important to check on the credentials of the school you are going to join because some hospitals and employers take this into consideration in hiring employees. Most often, they would choose graduates from reputable schools. Besides, there are governing bodies that review the school’s policies, curriculum, financial standing, boards of trustees and instructors. If your school is not accredited by NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission) and also the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education), then you will find it difficult to find work later on.

Teaching Quality: It matters a lot to be taught by teachers having years of in-field experience which they can lend to your learning process.

Tuition and the Possibility of Financial Aid: Check on the school if it offers scholarships and whether you qualify for one. It is also important to know if the school offers tuition reimbursement in the event something happens along the course of your study that forces you to discontinue.

Career Placement Assistance: When you take a course, you are actually investing your time, hard work, and money in a nursing school. Therefore, you would expect that after graduating and passing the board examination, you would land on a satisfying job. Some colleges offer career placement to graduates, while others do not. During enrollment, inquire from the school whether it provides career placement assistance to its graduates.

The CNA profession offers a wide range of possibilities and opportunities, and the secret to achieving a successful career in this field starts with a good school that builds for you a solid foundation and picking the best cna school is a good start to your career.

Top 8 CNA Schools in US

1. Lincoln Technical Institute: Lincoln technical institute offers hands-on training courses in nursing and also other fields in nursing. The school is a 60 year old institute that has a strong reputation for giving society qualified nurses, skilled graduates and well-trained employees.

2. Kaplan University: Kaplan University nursing degree is one of the most perfect training universities, that emphasis teaching how to absorb and apply real-world knowledge that can help you obtain a bright future and have a successful career in Nursing.

3. Everest Institute:Here at the Everest Institute, students are offered flexible programs that fit your daily schedule. The schools offer classes in nursing and other health care programs.

4. South University: South University is dedicated to providing nursing education opportunities for those who want to pursue nursing as their career. The University offers various degrees and certification programs in Nursing and helps achieve students their best in their nursing career.

5. Steven Henager College: Steven Henager College offers you certification and degree programs along with grants and student loans are also provided for those who need financial aid. The college is also well known for providing great education in Nursing and other courses.

6. National American University: National American University has been regarded as one of the most well-known university to provide good nursing education and offers flexible nursing associate, bachelors, and diploma and master’s degree programs and are also designed for those who work and are seeking new careers. They guide their students and also take an interest in their progress and show them the right path to have a bright and successful career in nursing. They focus on each and every student and his needs.

7. Fortis College: Fortis College helps students get the right knowledge and the correct skills needed to be a good nurse. They also provide hands-on training for many of their programs. They fulfill the dream of students to become a great nurse and rise in their position by studying in their college. Fortis College knows its students, unlike the big schools that do not know one student from the other. They emphasize personalized attention and teach them with the utmost interest.

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and in getting to the Certified Nursing Assistant training, you only need to have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

Now you know how to find a CNA School, Get admitted and become a CNA.

Note, If you are aspiring to be a CNA practitioner, you must take note that the job can be challenging, straining you both physically and mentally as you deal with different types of patients on a daily basis. You must have the right attitude and physically fit in taking up this profession, as the job may require you to work extended hours. If you are short-tempered, then perhaps, CNA is not the right career path for you.

For more information on that topic, visit Top Nurse Info. At Top Nurse Info, We aim to provide you with useful up-to-date information about the CNA. In a constantly changing world, we continue to find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of readers seeking the best information on all aspects of CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). Content by Digital solutions

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