What is CNA certification and why do nursing assistants need to be certified? Depending on where you live, you may need to become certified to be able to work as a nursing assistant. In the United States, nursing assistants or nursing aides need to pass certification and this includes a written and a practical exam.
Nursing and nursing assistant careers are plentiful in the United States and offer exciting opportunities for those who have a passion to help other people in times of physical need. The certified nursing assistant (CNA) is one of many such jobs in this field. But in order to be a CNA one must go through proper training and receive certification.
Nursing assistant careers is one of the top professions in the United States that offer several job opportunities for those who would like to offer their help and services to those who are sick and disabled. But before you start your career as a nursing assistant, it is very important that you get your certification as a CNA or certified nursing assistant first. And this is not acquired in that instant. You need to undergo some proper training programs and be able to pass the CNA examination, before you can be granted with a CNA certification.
If you are planning to take nursing as a career, the most ideal way to would be to start as a CNA first. Then, advance your education to later on, if you want to become a registered.
But before you start getting anxious about taking tests, here is step by step procedure onhow to attain CNA certification when you plan to work as a nursing assistant in the United States:
1. Enroll in CNA training; this is the first step in CNA certification and probably the most important one as well. CNA training usually lasts from two months to two years and is a comprehensive training course on the important knowledge, skills and behavior needed to become a nursing assistant. There are actual colleges or training centers that offer CNA training and there is online CNA training; you may choose which one is the best for your current situation. But before you enroll in an online course consider the following points:
Will employers or the company you plan to work with accept online diplomas for CNA?
Will certification committees in my location accept online CNA training?
Will I be able to cope up with learning on my own from an online course?
Will I learn the important skills needed for CNA certification?
If by chance I consider working abroad, will my online credentials be accepted?
Understanding these important questions will help you make a firm decision on whether an online or a traditional type of learning will work for you.
2. Pass entry requirements for CNA training. This are usually sets of tests, a physical examination and your high school credentials or an equivalent. Some training centers and colleges may consider subjects that you have taken in other courses and credit them on your training workload.
3. As you live the life of a nursing assistant student, you need to attend lectures, skills training and behavioral classes on the various fields of study needed for CNAs. Since you will be working closely with nurses and other members of the medical team, you need to learn basic subjects in the medical field like anatomy, physiology, communicable diseases, first aid, taking care of pregnant women, taking care of newborns, taking care of patients who will undergo surgery and post surgery and taking care of senior patients.
Incorporating professional behavior is one of the key concepts of training for nursing aids and nurses as well. Learning how to take care of individual patients’ needs is also important in relation to their gender, nationality, ethnicity and even their role in the community.
4. You will also need to pass examinations, pass reports, make projects and attend seminars during the entire duration of CNA training. Towards the end of your comprehensive training, you will start an on the job training exposure where you will work with actual patients in an actual medical suite. This will ensure that the skills that you have learned while in training is applied correctly; you will be closely monitored and evaluated by registered nurses, trainers and certified nursing assistants themselves. Rotation to different areas in the hospital is often the most common practice in on the job exposure training. You will be assigned in maternity wards, newborn or nursery suites, surgical areas, communicable disease areas, dialysis centers, geriatric care and many more.
5. Your CNA training is evaluated with final examinations, return demos, projects and specific course requirements. You will also be instructed about certification which is very important before you could practice what you have learned in CNA training.
6. After you graduate, you should consider getting CNA certification right away. Different states have different requirements regarding certification so it pays to check this out as soon as you can. Complete all the necessary requirements and take the exam.
Certification exams for nursing assistants usually come in two parts. The written exam, which is made up of all the important knowledge, skills and behavior that you have learned while on training and a practical part where you will be asked to undergo practical tests to find out your competency skills for the job.
You don’t need to fret over certification exams and tests; this is merely a summary of all you have learned while you are on training. This is why taking training seriously is the best thing to do to earn certification right away.
7. After passing CNA certification, you may now work as a nursing assistant. There is a whole world of possibilities for your field and while certification limits you to practice only in your state, you can explore so many employment possibilities locally and internationally. Nursing assistants may work in the following fields:
In a hospital setting where he will assist nurses, doctors, therapists, surgeons and other members of the medical team.
CNAs may work in specialty clinics and centers like dialysis clinics, surgical clinics, dermatologist clinics, geriatric care, children’s clinic and in nursing homes.
Nursing assistants may work in patient’s homes where they will take care of patients that require personal assistance like post surgical patients, post maternity, along children and individuals with learning disabilities and to care for senior citizens.
8. You may think that exams and training are over once you practice working as a certified nursing assistant; you may need to take up continuous training to be able to retain certification. This requirement may differ from state to state and you must find this out as early as you receive certification. You will need to train on the new technologies and skills that are relevant in your field of work allowing you to get course credits to continue certification. Aside from being a requirement for certification, you may choose to undergo extra training to be able to get better employment compensation and increase your chances of getting a promotion as well.
The CNA certification Benefits
Why do you need to have CNA certification? Well, there are many benefits of receiving a CNA certification. First and foremost, many employers now are looking for the right candidate to work for them. So, if you want to have the edge over the others, you must have a CNA certification. Remember highly qualified certified nursing assistants, especially those with certifications are the ones that are most likely hired by the employers. A certified nursing assistant is what the employers are eyeing for in the tough job market. So, if you have a certification, then, most likely, you will easily land on a job in the growing market of nursing assistant careers.
In addition, CNA certification also provides you better opportunities in your professional career as a nursing assistant. But it does not only offer professional benefits for it gives the individual CNA a number of personal benefits such as career growth, more competitive pay, and bonuses. Aside from that, CNA certification also is a major requirement for those CNAs who would like to advance their level or position on the nursing assistant career ladder. The CNA certification even gives you more exciting opportunities that would definitely benefit you not only professionally, but financially as well.