The process to achieve Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification is not complicated or difficult, but there are definitely requirements to become certified. First off, CNA candidates should be caring people who have the patience and ability to complete daily, repetitive tasks. A firm desire to provide quality care for the patient is a must, since patients often are visited by a CNA more than their doctors or nurses.
Qualifications for CNA certification vary from state to state, but after determining your state’s requirements for training, programs abound for those interested in a great career in health care. Across the nation, you must have your GED or high school diploma to pursue your CNA certification.
Training programs can differ greatly in length. Some programs can be completed in as little as six weeks, while others finish in nine months to a year. Be sure your state requirements are met by the training program you choose and that it provides a quality education.
During your course of study, you will receive instruction in nutrition, basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, and infection control. You will also learn basic medical terminology and healthcare techniques. Later, you will probably participate in supervised patient care, depending on your training program.
Online training programs are also available to prospective CNA students. Take into consideration, however, that online training does not offer practical, hands on experience during the program.
CNA Certification Exam
After completing the training program, the next step is to take the CNA certification exam. You must pass the exam to become certified as a CNA. The primary exam for CNA certification in the U.S. is the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP). Since each state has individual requirements as well, make certain to take the certification test in the state where you plan to work.
All aspects of your training will be tested by the certification exam. CNA certification is contingent upon passing both a written and practical exam. The written portion is typically taken with fellow students, while the practical portion is assessed individually. Some tests may also include a short oral exam covering basic comprehension questions.
Your written exam will test your knowledge of the basic medical procedures and information you learned during your studies. Scenarios and situational questions can be expected. Most CNA written tests must be completed within two hours and have approximately one hundred questions to answer.
The practical exam will test and evaluate your ability to perform the skills you learned during your hands-on training in a simulated hospital setting. You may be asked to change a patient’s bed, move a patient, and record vital signs of a patient – skills of that sort.
Certified Nursing Assistant Careers
When you have passed the certification exam, your rewarding career in health care can begin. Don’t forget to renew your CNA certification each year through the state agency by which you were first certified. Remember that certified nursing assistants are a critical part of a patient’s care team on the frontline of health care and do your best in your new career.