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All nursing assistants, aides and CNAs do the same job- they make sure the patients get the best care possible. However CNAs are those nursing assistants, who have passed a nursing aid course and have finished their education with a CNA exam. Even though each state regulates its own requirements for the CNAs, the minimum training requirement in US is 75 hours of classroom and clinical training. Once you have done your CNA classes, you need to take the certification exam. When you successfully pass that, you will become a CNA and can work in variety of different places like hospitals, nursing homes, private residences etc.

When it comes to healthcare, you will discover that certified nursing assistants or CNAs are some of the most important members or the health care staff.

Career prospects for nursing assistants is varied- there are lots of different options available for you. One should not view their qualification as CNA as something final. Once you are in the nursing assistant position you can also learn to become a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). On top of that you have various other well paid degree options available for you!

Prior to looking at the tips and guidelines for finding and choosing the best CNA classes out there let’s first of all familiarize ourselves with what a CNA is. This in turn will enable us to comprehend the prerequisites for becoming a certified nurse assistant.

Who is a CNA?

CNA is an acronym for certified nursing assistant. These are health care professionals that work alongside with doctors as well as registered nurses. Certified nursing assistants not only work in hospitals, but also in other medical facilities such as rehabilitation centers. Without CNA it would be next to impossible for a hospital to operate smoothly. It is the skills coupled with your compassion as a certified nursing assistant that will lessen the agony and anxiety that most patients feel when hospitalized. Your daily chores as a CNA will include changing wound dressing, bathing patients and helping them to get off their hospital beds onto their wheelchairs amongst a myriad of other tasks. You will work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. Basically, you will be the “eyes and ears” of a physician. Given your close relationship with patients, you will be the first to note any slight change in their health.

Some of the most distinguished RN (i.e. registered nurses) begun as CNA. It is a well-known fact that if you want to move up the nursing career ranking easily, you have to start as a CNA.

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CNA Training Classes & Accreditation

Certified nursing courses are the shortest. The time taken to complete a certified nursing program is less than 12 months. Some of the prerequisites needed to begin certified nursing careers are at least 8 hours of clinical practice, certification from an accredited college or university plus a high school diploma. Instructions for a CNA training class within an accredited nurse assistant school can include the following:

  • Nutrition
  • Infection control
  • Fundamental nursing skills
  • Anatomy as well as physiology

As a student in a nursing diploma class, you will also get an opportunity to learn loads of hands on experience. This is usually gained during clinical practice. The prerequisites for CNA training class may differ from one state to another. Nevertheless, a majority of certified nursing programs provide an accreditation test.

Begin Your CNA  Career

If you are more than willing to start a career as a certified nursing assistant, you need to learn about the various training alternatives available. There are numerous certified nursing schools that offer CNA training classes, for example, community colleges, technical institutions and vocational nursing schools. A good CNA nursing training class is the most fundamental prerequisite that a potential certified nurse assistant ought to secure if he or she would like to become one at a later date. The first step towards getting entry to a nursing school is a high school diploma. However, there are nursing schools that recognize GED. Basically, the syllabus for certified nursing assistant program will comprise of classroom skills in addition to clinical practice. Clinical practice is designed to provide you with the much needed practical hands-on exercise session. Clinical practice for certified nurses usually takes approximately six to twelve weeks to complete. Whereas the minimum hours that a person aspiring to become a certified nurse ought to spend in clinical duties are 75 but this may differ from one state to another.

Selected Certified Nursing Schools

Once you have decided that you want a career as a certified nurse, your next step is to register with a certified nursing school or a health-care training institution that provides a CNA training class. An accredited nursing training class can vary greatly hinging on the state you reside in. In addition, the conditions needed to gain entry to a nursing school may vary from state to state. So as to avoid slip-ups, it is important to first of all consult with your local State Nurse Aide Registry. Alternatively, you can visit your local State Licensing Board to find out more about the conditions for gaining entry to a CNA training class. By doing so, you will not only be better informed about the conditions required but will also be able to get a proper guide on how to choose the best CNA training class in your state. You will be provided with a list of accredited nursing schools that provide certified nursing courses which you can attend.

Standard course vs. apprenticeship

You may opt to register at a medical facility, community college or vocational school which provides the certified nursing program that you desire. Registering with a standard school will automatically include costs. Therefore, you have to be well prepared to meet the expenses that come with nursing training. Another option is to search for a facility within your locality which provides residency. This type of CNA training class enables you to work as a student with the particular healthcare facility. Your nursing salary in this instant will be taking CNA training class for free.

Acquiring the training you require as an apprentice, can provide you with an added advantage since you will be gaining the much needed practical hands-on experience. The hands-on experience gained will come in handy while doing your certification exam. Certification exams usually test both practical and theoretical skills.

CNA training class online

CNA training class online can be a more practical option, especially if you do not have the kind of money required to attend a regular class. On the one hand, online courses are viable for persons that do not have the time to attend regular CNA training classes. Just because you are enrolling for online nursing classes does not mean that the quality of your training will be eroded. However, while enrolling for online learning for certified nursing assistant, you need to keep in mind that you still have to do clinical practice.

Other factors which you need to take into account while searching for the right CNA training class are:

  • The location of the certified nursing school
  • The forte of the medical facility you would like to get your certification in
  • Cost & scholarship options

So How Do You Become a CNA?

There are few steps you must take on your way of becoming a CNA:

  1.  Find the schools near you! There is no point in finding school that is too far for you, even though alternatively you should also check the online CNA classes.
  2. Request more info from those school! This way you can compare their course fees and lengths and make the right choice for you!
  3. Enroll for the course & study hard! Yes, there is no way around this part. You must complete all your training before taking the test!
  4. Take CNA test! Once you are done with your CNA classes, take your certification exam. If you pass, you will be entered into nursing aide registry and you can start looking for a job as a CNA.
  5. Find the perfect CNA job! Now that you have your qualifications, all you need to find is a right employer for you. With the growing demand for nurses and assistants, the demand for CNAs is higher than ever!