Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are the lifeblood of any medical practice. They assist both doctors and nurses in caring for patients, often providing more hands-on care than either of them. Thus, CNA Training Program is a must-have!
In addition to taking vital signs, giving medication, applying bandages, and other medical treatments, CNAs also spend time assisting patients with their daily lives in the medical facility, aiding them in bathing, eating, dressing, going to the bathroom, and moving around
If you’ve always wanted to work in the medical field, but don’t have the money for med school, becoming a CNA is an excellent way to start. Whether you’re planning to move up into nursing, or you want an exciting new career, you’ll find many benefits to completing a CNA training program.
The 11 Benefits of Completing a CNA Training Program
It’s hard to quantify all of the material and emotional benefits of becoming a CNA, but we’ve done our best to describe how rewarding it is to train for and become a CNA. Some may surprise you.
Unlike a lot of professional training programs, CNA courses won’t drain your bank account or leave you with a lot of student loans to pay off later. That fact alone makes it worth a look.
The average cost of a CNA program is just $1,200, and many schools offer payment plans so you can break up that cost over several months. You won’t have the financial burden that other training might have.
Once you complete your CNA training, some states require you to take an official exam, which will cost you about $125 and includes a practical test as well as a theoretical test. Also, most states offer a diploma or certificate that will run you around $50 on average.
Anyone Can Do It
The vast majority of CNA programs don’t require any college degree or secondary education. Some of them don’t even need a high school diploma or GED. It’s all dependent on state guidelines, so you should look up the specific requirements for your state.
The pre-requisite skills for a CNA are a willingness to learn, a desire to help people, and a positive attitude. With those three attributes, you can get through anything your CNA classes throw at you.
Most CNA programs only last four to twelve weeks. That means you could walk out with your state certification in three months or less.
Typically, a CNA course requires 75 hours of classroom training, plus some hands-on work with patients to develop clinical skills. How quickly you get through the course will depend on the course schedule and your availability to attend labs and clinical examinations.
You’ll Have So Many Job Opportunities
Once you have your CNA certificate, you can find jobs in almost any kind of medical facility, from nursing homes to major hospitals to private family practices. You can choose any specialty you want, and switch specialties if you need a change of pace later.
Most states also have “reciprocity” plans, allowing you to transfer your CNA license to another state if you choose to move. That means you can find work almost anywhere in the United States. All you’ll have to do is register with the new state’s Nurse Aide Registry and provide proof of identification and certification.
Jobs Are In High Demand
Building on the last point, CNAs are in high demand. Over the next six years, the medical field is expected to increase their demand for CNAs by around 18%. That means they’ll need almost 300,000 new CNAs to fill those roles.
Because of how hands-on the job is, medical facilities need way more CNAs than they do doctors or even nurses. That means you’ll have the leverage to negotiate a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as a schedule that fits your needs.
The Pay and Benefits Are Good
Compared to other jobs requiring the same amount of schooling, the pay and benefits for CNAs are excellent. The median annual salary for a CNA in the US was $27,500 in 2017, though it fluctuates based on skill level and the cost of living in the area.
Also, most CNAs receive benefits like medical and dental insurance, paid time off, and disability insurance. You’re unlikely to find benefits like that in other entry-level jobs.
It’s a Gateway to Nursing School
Many nursing schools are looking for CNAs to join their programs, and some even require a CNA certification as a pre-requisite. Having both the state certification and practical experience in the field will make your application stand out from the competition.
A big part of nursing programs is hands-on clinical work in the field. As a CNA, you’ll be way ahead of other students in this regard, both in terms of your technical skills and your ease and rapport with patients. You’ll also have contacts in the industry, which will make it easier to find a nursing job after graduation.
That leads to the next benefit.
You Can Continue Working Your Way Through Nursing School
While you’re in nursing school, you can continue working as a CNA. Not only will this help you pay for your nursing program, but it will also continue to build your practical experience in the field.
You can also determine what specialty you want to focus on school, based on the work you’ve been doing as a CNA.
Also, many nursing students end up dropping out because they realize, during their clinical rotations in the field, that nursing isn’t right for them. By first becoming a CNA and then working in the field for a while, you won’t make the same mistake or waste money on a degree that you’ll never use.
You’ll Gain Networking Opportunities
As a CNA, you’ll be working directly with doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators, which can help you build relationships with people who can help advance your career, especially if you plan to transition into nursing.
Even if you don’t plan to move on to nursing at some point, being able to meet and work with so many other medical professionals means you might find other opportunities for promotions. Also, just having a group of people around you who work in the same field and know the challenges and hardships you face makes it much easier to get through the difficult times.
Photo credit to Nursing Classes Online
Every Day is Different
For many people, the draw of working in the medical field is leaving the tedious, 9-5 office job where every day is the same. As a CNA, you’ll always be facing new challenges, learning new things, and meeting new people.
At hospitals and other large facilities, CNA schedules are often flexible as well. That means you can choose a work schedule that allows for your other responsibilities, such as nursing school or child care. It’s also another way to break up the monotony of most careers.
The job will undoubtedly be difficult, but your days will pass quickly, and you’ll always have more work to do.
The best thing about being a CNA, and the thing that attracts most people to the field, is how rewarding it is. You’ll be working directly with patients, getting to know them and taking care of them in a way that not even nurses get to do.
You may get stuck with dirty work like emptying bedpans, but you’ll also get to spend time talking to your patients, helping them with their daily activities, and providing compassionate medical care. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone get better, or even just making their experience in the hospital more comfortable.
There’s nothing quite like the experience of nursing someone back to health in a hands-on way, and the gratitude you’ll receive from most (but not all!) patients will be overwhelming. There will always be difficult patients that will make you regret coming into work, but they’ll be vastly outnumbered by the patients who appreciate your care and compassion. That’s why these patients are one of the top benefits of completing a CNA training program.
The full benefits of completing a CNA training program are too vast to name them all here. You’ll have the prestige and respect from working in the medical field, without having thousands of dollars in student loan debt, or many years of schooling.
In addition to the job opportunities, money, and scheduling benefits, you’ll also have the chance to work with patients one-on-one in a way that doctors and nurses don’t get to do. Your patients will trust you implicitly to take care of them and keep them informed and will appreciate everything you do for them.
Without CNAs, medical practices would fall apart. By becoming a CNA, you’ll ensure that more people can get the medical care they need, from professionals who treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve. There’s nothing more rewarding than that.