To work in the nursing field, CNA certification could be the right fit forward. Certification is the access to a career in which you are indispensable to registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) or even a doctor. Here as CNA one need to take care for those who cannot care for themselves.
CNA Eligibility Requirements
Requirements to become a certified nursing assistant is a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) and the completion of a 6-12 week training program followed by certification. CNA certification is essential for a nursing assistant job, because it is mandatory and offers some advantages like job security, a better salary and more hiring opportunities. A nursing assistant can work in hospitals, health care facilities, retirement homes, adult day care facilities or at the patient's private home.
How to Obtain a CNA Certification
To obtain training one needs to enroll name for the certified nursing assistant training program. The courses are conducted in community colleges, online courses or health care facilities that offer a training program. The program includes theory as well as practical skills with number of different topics such as Basic Nursing Skills, Infection Control, Proper Body Mechanics, Nutrition, Basic anatomy and Physiology. After completion of the course, the student has to clear a certification exam to obtain a CNA certificate followed by obtaining license from respective state to practice further.
CNA Certification Exam
A CNA test for certification includes theory as well as practical skills test, so the students must work hard in both the regards to clear the test. In many states it is mandatory to clear the skill test to appear for theoretical test. The tests are conducted by the state health department or even by American Red Cross Society and the students have to give the test as per the norms of their respective states.
The written exam includes portion covered in lectures, whereas the skill test will cover that the students learned during clinical class. Tests varies from state to state, but a student must pass both the tests for CNA certification. Practice test papers are available and nd even online practice tests are also available.
Exam Pattern in Brief
There are two parts of the certification exams:
This paper refers to the student's theoretical knowledge regarding the basic health care information studied in the classroom. The student must have theoretical information about the human body mechanism, moving patients, bathing and feeding procedures and also handle different medical equipments. They should also have the information about the admission and discharge procedures, as well as other documentations.
The theoretical test consists of 70 multiple-choice questions along with ten pre-test questions to verify the arithmetical knowledge of the students. It is followed by an oral exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions and ten word recognition questions.
Clinical Skill Exam
The clinical or the skill test evaluates the practical skills of a student. To pass the practical test, the candidate have to demonstrate three to five nursing skills on a live model. The test is closely observed by a nursing examiner. The student have to present his abilities and skills including hand washing procedures, helping the patient with the daily living activities, moving and repositioning the patient and measuring the vital signs (blood-pressure, pulse, temperature) etc.
A student has to pass both the exams to become a certified nursing assistant. If a student fails in the exam, then they can re-appear for a maximum of 3 times. If they do not clear at the third attempt, then they have to again undergo the training session.
Before the certification, candidate need to do some formalities such as
- The applicant has to fill a state application form at the Nursing Aide Registry licensing authority. The candidate has to sign, notarize and then send this application form to the State Licensing Office.
- One may require to fill up a training verification form to ensure that the training course that they have attended is a part of the credited program. The application form will then be sent to the Nurse Aide Registry to support the applicant's license.
- One need to undergo background and medical check. For the background check, the applicant has to fill a fingerprint card at the Department of Public Safety to pass the criminal background check.
After these procedures are finished, the license application has to be approved by the local board of nursing. The application will be processed in four to eight weeks and the applicant will be informed through an e-mail or a letter.
The rules regarding the retests and the frequency at which one can re-appear may differ from one state to the other. Students must check about the same with their state health department.
Most colleges and universities have an agent to help the students in placing them at different medical settings as per their experience and workplace expectations. For home health aides, there is a national certification that is administered by the National Association for Home Care.
However, if you do obtain a license, you will have to renew it after one or two years as per the norms of the states. There are certain other aspects regarding certification, which are mentioned below: