How To Become a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

It is a known fact that the healthcare industry is the fastest-growing industry today. Right now, working in the healthcare industry is one of the best career choices to make. With the increasing demand for nurses, nursing assistants, physicians and other healthcare related jobs, this industry is very attractive to undergraduate students as well as those who want to switch careers.

The easiest way to enter the healthcare industry is by becoming a certified nursing assistant or CNA for short. Nursing assistants have less training compared to registered nurses but their roles are very important in the healthcare industry today. Do you want to know how to become a CNA?

Is This Job Really For Me?

Before going into the details of how to become a CNA, you must first ask yourself if this is the job a good fit for you. A nursing assistant should be compassionate and should be someone with a desire to help people. The job of a nursing assistant is not easy. There are times when the workload of a nursing assistant is overwhelming and the stress can be taxing on the the mind and body. It is the genuine desire to care and treat people that will help nursing assistants push through the daily challenges of their jobs.

Nursing assistants who take on this job just because they want to earn money will not succeed in this profession and are better off pursuing a different fast online degree. Nursing assistants should be patient, mature and have self-confidence. Nursing assistants should be communicable to both co-workers and patients. Do you think you have these traits?

How Do I Become A Certified Nursing Assistant?

If you aspire to be a nursing assistant, here are the steps on how to become a CNA and how to be successful in the healthcare industry:

  • You must enroll in a CNA training program. This is the first step in becoming a nursing assistant. You must look for good nursing assistant programs that will provide you the necessary training you need. You can enroll in classes offered by a vocational school, local hospital, nursing school or even community colleges, or take the quickest online degree.
  • When under training to be a nursing assistant, it is important that you really study hard and complete all the requirements in the program. A nursing assistant’s job is tough and you should be prepared with all the duties and tasks you will be asked to do. The CNA training program will lay the foundation of your knowledge and skills so make sure you are a diligent student.
  • You must take the certified nursing assistant exam. Once you complete the training program, taking this exam is your next step. Every state will administer this exam but the standards differ from one state to another. If you are a diligent student, this exam will not be a problem for you. Nonetheless, reviewing and taking sample exams will help guarantee that you pass this certification exam.
  • Once you pass and get your certification, it is now time to start looking for a job. You need a resume where information about your educational attainment and other qualifications are highlighted. Your resume is what employers will review to see your experiences in the field. Hence, if you can take part in volunteer work, this will be huge plus in your resume. If the employer decides to hire you, prepare for the interview. Then, if  you are looking to become a nurse, there are some accelerated nursing programs.

Once you land the job, you are now a practicing certified nursing assistant. You will work closely with patients and nurses in hospitals and clinics. Being a certified nursing assistant requires commitment and dedication as you will work long hours and even on weekends and holidays. Nevertheless, being a nursing assistant is a rewarding job. If you want to further your career and become a registered nurse, you can easily do so as well.

How Long To Become A CNA?

So, how long does it take to become a CNA? Most nursing assistant programs will last up from a month to 6 weeks. For part-time students, the classes can last up to 5 months. After that, you can already take the certification exam.

Where Should I Work?

Well, the answer to this will really depend on you. It will be a good idea to determine if you are interested in a specialization in the near future. For instance, if you plan to pursue pediatric nursing someday, it will be best to apply for a job in the pediatric ward in the hospital or work in a pediatric clinic. If you want to focus on working with the older people, nursing homes will be a good place to work and build your experience.

Is There A Guaranteed Job For Me?

The employment rate for the healthcare industry is projected to increase in the next 6 years. This means that all jobs in the healthcare industry will increase significantly. In addition to this rapid industry growth, the demand for nursing assistants is growing rapidly as well. With the aging population, there is a high demand for nurses and nursing assistants in the coming years. Today, there is a shortage in direct care giving and nursing assistants are the ones needed the most. The combination of the growing aging population and the shortage in direct care-giving employment, will create an abundance of nursing assistant jobs.

A certified nursing assistant is a valuable and important job in the healthcare industry. Now that you know how to become a CNA, the simplicity of starting your career should motivate you to start now.