You Got Your CNA Certification, Now What?

In today's time of unemployment and recession, entering medical or health care field for your long-term career is definitely a good option. Both these fields are always in demand for working professionals and never fall short of new career opportunities. Becoming a CNA is one of the quickest career options after training. In nursing profession, certified nurse aides are those who are considered to be the backbone of nursing practice. They are the front line health care professionals dealing with the most basic direct patient care so that the physicians and nursing staff would be able to pay attention to the major health issues of the patients. Certified nursing assistants perform various responsible and challenging tasks which require formal training. Those who wish to work as certified nurse aides professionally are supposed to have the accredited training program for the same and then start working after they get certified by their own state.

CNA Training and Certification

One must be state certified to be able to work professionally as a nursing assistant at any medical or health care facility across the state. CNA training programs are offered by various high schools, community colleges, vocational or technical academies, certain independent programs, American Red Cross, nursing homes, long-term care centers, etc. A typical approved training program for certified nursing assistant comprises of minimum 75 hours of course work. This duration may be extended in some facilities or states depending upon their course content and schedules. However, the entire duration is split into 2 sections of classroom learning and clinical skills practice. First session covers theory aspects of nursing and second session covers practical aspects of nursing. These classes prepare the students both technically and clinically to pass the state approved examination and then, work as the certified nurse aides in professional settings. Once the students complete their training of 75 hours, they have to appear for and pass the state exam for certified nursing assistants. This exam evaluates the competency of the students in the technical knowledge and clinical protocols. Technical talent is tested through a written test of multiple choice questions; while the clinical protocols are tested through a clinical skills performance under absolute supervised conditions.

When the students clear both the tests of the exam, they obtain the CNA certification from the state's nursing board. Getting the certificate as a nursing assistant makes them eligible to apply for the CNA licensure. Both are valid proofs of the candidates' possession of the desired talent and skills required for a successful professional nursing assistant. However, the certificate and license are only temporarily valid and need to be renewed every 2 years. This practice tends to keep the certification and licensure active and valid.

Future Prospects after CNA Certification

Once you have got your CNA certification, now what? Well, it is an accepted fact across the globe that becoming a CNA is the easiest way to enter the health care industry. It is always beneficial to have training for a short time span and then, immediately getting a kick start in the industrial domain. Considering time investment, it is always better to get trained for a month or so rather than spending years in studying for a degree and then, searching for suitable jobs for a longer time. The training program for certified nursing assistant may last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. One can take the classes and can immediately go ahead for the future prospects after the state certification. In fact, the students can start working while they are taking classes. This way, they can learn and earn at the same time to afford their own expenses. After getting the state certification, the certified nurse aides get listed on the state's nurse aide registry and thus, get accessible to almost all the health care employers across their state. The employers can directly contact the prospective nursing assistants for the best suitable jobs. However, the CNAs can individually go and contact hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities for the best of job opportunities they may offer.

One must keep in mind that anyone can do a CNA's job after the desired training, but there are a large number of long-term employment opportunities for those who really wish to pursue career in nursing and stay in the same for lifetime. One can opt for the continuing education in nursing. After CNA, there are some more steps for a nursing professional. Becoming a registered nurse (RN) requires a special training after years of experience. The intermediate step between certified nurse aide and registered nurse is the licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN / LVN) which also requires a special training as the job becomes more challenging at that stage. Thus, all these 3 stages of a nursing professional have a lot of employment scope in all kinds of health care facilities.

Choosing to become a CNA is a good decision to make. You indeed will have a bright future in health care industry. Job of a nursing assistant is very rewarding for an individual who is compassionate to serve for the sick and disables.

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