Certified nursing assistant's career is the most demanding career option in the health care sector. The main duty of a Certified Nursing Assistant is to provide complete support to patients, taking care of everything. It seems to be a simple job, but it requires utmost dedication and the ability to work with precision. A candidate willing to make a CNA career requires meeting all state and federal prerequisites related to nursing.
A Certified Nurse Aide not only takes care of patients but also assists doctors in their work. Patient care includes bathing, feeding, brushing (teeth), bedpan, providing support for walking and doing exercises, hygiene, and nutrition. CPR training is also provided to CNAs. They also monitor vital signs of the patients including respiration, temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure checks. They maintain and update records and report the same to the doctors regularly. They work under the supervision of an authorized nurse in any hospital, clinic, long-term care facility, rehabilitation center, etc.
They also require ensuring safety of the patients especially during emergency. Other responsibilities include restorative care, taking measures to prevent and control infection, encouraging patients rights, etc.
Scope of nurse assistant career
There is no bound to scope when it comes to CNA career. As per the estimation made, future for those looking ahead to become a nurse aides is secured, as they claim to see a rise of at least 19% in CNA position over the next 5-6 years in U.S. Even the salary packages offered to certified nursing assistants are good. Normally, a CNA on an average makes anywhere between $23,000 and $27,000 yearly. Above all, this profession not only enhances your professional life but also makes your personal life happy and healthy.
Requirements for certified nursing assistant's License
An individual aspiring of becoming a Certified Nurse Aide in U.S. needs to satisfy the requirements set by the state authority specific to nursing. Generally, a CNA is needed to complete a state-approved certified nursing assistant course and thereafter, requires passing the certification exam. Although some states in U.S. require a candidate to complete a CNA course compulsorily, some states do not require it. However, passing certification exam is extremely essential to acquire a license in all states. A training program generally provides at least 75-120 hours of training, varying from state to state. Some states provide 175 hours of training. This training stresses on equipping the students with providing all facilities and knowledge in performing the required duties and responsibilities, training them conceptually as well as practically. Special attention is given to improve their clinical hands-on skills. To pursue a course, a candidate must be able to fulfill the following requirements:
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Must be a high school diploma holder or GED holder (recommended)
- No criminal record
- Passing medical and drug test
After fulfilling all these requirements and completing a CNA program in the state, the next step is to appear and pass certification exam within two years from the date you completed the course. This exam requires a candidate to go through two tests, namely a written test and clinical skills evaluation test. Written test typically requires an individual to complete 50-75 multiple choice questions within 90-120 minutes. In most states, 70 multiple choice questions are needed to be solved within 2 hours during this test. This test is based upon the concepts that are taught in the training program and tests candidate's conceptual understanding. Most of the states also provide a provision to take written test as oral test. The second part of this exam, i.e. the skills test includes a nurse aide evaluator who randomly selects and assigns any 5 skills from 25 skills and asks the candidate to perform those skills under his/her supervision. A candidate must pass the written test and in each skill in order to attain a license in that state.
Fulfilling this thing will place them under that state registry, providing them with a license to achieve employment in any sector of health care industry of that state. A candidate always requires renewing his/her license after every two years in order to ensure employment continuation in that state. Every state asks for some experience as a nurse aide in that state. Generally, in most states, a work experience of at least 8 hours as a CNA, performing nursing specific activities under the supervision of a registered nurse in that state is required.
Another way of attaining a license in the state is transfer through reciprocity. Almost all states provide this facility. This procedure is meant for those who are looking ahead of shifting to another state for employment. Generally, requirements for this include proving that you possess a valid certificate (must be in good standing with home state), have completed a state-approved nurse aide program, have passed state certification exam, and are criminally clean.
Thus making a CNA career is the fastest way of entering health care industry. It is not at all time-consuming and will definitely lead you towards progress and satisfaction.