Overview of the Certification
Nurses don’t involve in diagnoses or medical treatments, but their services are indispensable in any healthcare institution. They are responsible for ensuring that the patients are comfortable, hygienic, and sanitary. They are responsible for taking care of the patients, bathing them, checking their medicines, making sure their meals consider their allergies, giving them their medications, and more. Certified nurses ensure patients receive fundamental care and daily living.
As a Certified Nursing Associate, professionals don’t just care for them as anybody else would. It makes sure that the services that the professionals provide meet a higher standard than otherwise. It is also a springboard for other careers in the medical field. This entry-level position can act as a gateway for other careers, not just in the medical industry, but in the hospitality industry. This saves a lot of commitment and resources until the professional is absolutely sure they want to pursue a line of career.
Why is CNA certification important? It signifies that you have gained the right level of knowledge to care for patients. From taking vital signs to knowing what to do in an emergency, CNAs have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Certification ensures your knowledge has been tested and tells employers you carry the skills necessary to do your job well.
Is This Certification Right for You?
Certified Nursing Associates are involved in providing good quality-of-life services to the patients. They are involved in every kind of job in the hospitality and medical sectors. A CNA is there to assist the nurses, so their duties can cover a wide range of tasks.
This can include assistance with hygiene, changing clothes, taking vital signs, and assisting with exercises. Certified nursing assistants are the ground-level foundation for a healthcare or nursing facility. Although they serve an important function, many people choose to use a CNA career as a stepping stone to other positions, including Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses.
While many CNAs essentially work as general caretakers, LPNs are more involved in the administration of healthcare services, such as taking blood pressure, reporting patient status, and giving medicine to patients.
RNs or Registered Nurses are more educated and have more responsibilities in the treatment of patients. They plan patient care, assist with diagnosis, study recovery results, and deliver instructions to patients. They may also be responsible for overseeing and guiding other medical workers, such as CNAs and LPNs.
How to Become a Certified Nursing Associate?
CNA does not take a long time to achieve the certification. Several careers use CNA as springboards in the medical and hospitality industries. Becoming registered for CAN is relatively simple and surprisingly quick. The certification process includes
- Meet the required basic requirements like high school GED or diploma
- Complete the in-person training processes and practicum
- Complete the state-approved CNA requirements
- Complete the certification exam
- Get registered in the CNA registry for being in the networking loop.
Even though the process may appear simple, the classes themselves require focus and commitment. The best part about this certification is that there are no graduation requirements to complete this course. The state requirements will vary depending on the state that the professional is attempting a certification from. Be sure to check what requirements your state has mandated for getting certified as a nursing associate.
On average, each state will include the following requirements.
- A certain number of hours of training
- Practicum and in-person service from accredited training institutes
- Clearing the competency exam
- Health and fitness requirements
- Clear medical check-ups with no prior history that can negatively impact the hiring
Before the program is over, students will have to complete on-site training, which is typically called “clinical studies” or “clinical work.” During this phase of your education, CNA students will work under the guidance of a medical professional like a registered nurse.
One of the top benefits of this program is that there are no enrollment prerequisites. Once you’ve completed the training and met the state-mandated requirements, you need to pass the licensing exam. This is important because otherwise, you will not be counted as a registered nurse.
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Further Educational Programs
To become an LPN or an RN, you don’t need to get separate training programs if you already aim to continue some associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree in nursing includes courses in anatomy, nursing, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, among others. Getting an associate’s degree from scratch usually takes two to three years to complete, but some programs may give you credit for CNA work experience or prior training.
There are several CNA-to-RN bridge programs, which take less time than a two or three-year associate degree program. After you earn an associate degree, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree program considers your previous coursework, allowing you to graduate sooner. RNs with BSNs tend to advance further and earn higher salaries.
What are the Job Prospects?
CNAs are one of the lowest-paid employees in the medical profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Nursing Assistants and Orderlies” make an average of $27,710 a year, with an average hourly wage of $12.36 per hour. The lowest 10% in the field make about $19,000 a year. However, the top CNAs make more than $36,000 a year, so there is potential for a high-quality income that compares to the national averages.
While the pay may not be substantial, the potential jobs are readily available. The BLS says that the demand for nursing assistants will grow by 18% from 2014 to 2024. Most certified nursing aides will work in nursing care facilities. About 41% will be employed by these types of facilities, while 25% will work in hospitals. Other industries that employ CNAs include home health care and retirement or assisted living communities.
Where to Get Online Resources for Certification?
Several institutes offer training and certification for a CAN. The certification offered by the Red Cross is one of the most popular ones for nursing associates. Apart from that, the training material for online resources is provided by portals like Get Educated as well. In most cases, the hospital and the institutions that are the training providers have their material for training and service for certification, practicum, and other services.