CNA certification training provides you with the knowledge and basic skills required to begin your career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. In as little as four weeks, you can not only be prepared to take your state’s certification exam, but also gain important, hands-on experience that will help you land your first job!
The CNA Certification Process
At present, all 50 states (including the District of Columbia) require their nurse aides to pass a CNA certification exam, and be listed in their registries before becoming eligible to work.
Fortunately, becoming certified is a relatively simple process that consists of just three basic steps:
- Complete an accredited CNA training program
- Pass a nationally-recognized certification exam (e.g. the NNAAP)
- Get listed in your state’s nurse aid registry
This entire process usually takes just a few months to complete, and is one of the quickest ways possible to become eligible for hire at your local hospital, long-term care facility, or home health care agency.
CNA Training Programs
Because of the growing need for Certified Nursing Assistants in every part of the country, you will likely find multiple CNA training programs in your area. Before choosing to enroll in one, however, there are a few important things you should consider.
The admission requirements for CNA classes differ from one program to the next, and are also usually different in each state. However, it is generally safe to assume that applicants to any accredited program must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be able to pass a criminal background check
- Test negative for hepatitis and tuberculosis
In order to ensure that a program’s curriculum qualifies you to sit for a recognized CNA certification exam, you should verify its accreditation status with the appropriate local (or national) organizations.
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is one of the largest, national accrediting bodies that oversee Certified Nursing Assistant training, but you’ll also find a number of other organizations that monitor schools at the state level as well.
Traditional Classes vs. CNA Training Online
In response to the recent popularity of distance learning, many programs now allow students to take their CNA classes online. This option is tremendously beneficial to anyone who must work while going to school, has small children and other family responsibilities, or who simply prefers the flexibility of studying at his or her own pace.
The material covered in online CNA programs is virtually identical to what is covered in traditional classes. The only major difference between the two comes in the area of clinical hours where online students may be responsible for coordinating their own training schedules with local hospitals or clinics.
Certified Nursing Assistant or Home Health Aide?
Home health care is one the fastest-growing sectors in the entire U.S. labor market, with a projected 70% growth in new jobs between now and 2020 per www.bls.gov. While some of these positions will be filled by Certified Nursing Assistants, the majority will be taken by Home Health Aides.
If you’ve decided to become a CNA, and you’re interested in working with seniors, you have the option of pursuing an additional HHA certification that will allow you to work in home care settings. For students already enrolled in CNA training, the additional coursework usually amounts to approximately 40 hours of study.
Start Your Career Today!
As you may have heard, America’s aging population and rapidly-expanding healthcare industry may cause a national nursing shortage by the year 2020. Couple this with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate that the number of new jobs for nursing aides will grow by 20% during that same period, and the timing couldn’t be any better to become a CNA.
This site provides you with all of the tools you’ll need to get started, including: searchable listings for accredited programs (see our search feature at the top right), the latest information on CNA salary, and a whole lot more. We thank you for visiting CNA Certification Training, and wish you the best of luck in your future career!