When you are looking to start a career as a certified nursing assistant, you will need to take CNA classes. After completing a training class, you will then need to take and pass the CNA certification exam. There are a variety of options available to you if you are looking to take CNA classes.
Some community colleges and vocational colleges offer courses to train you to become a nursing assistant. There are healthcare providers that offer training programs for those who are looking to become a CNA. Online CNA courses are available. The Red Cross is another organization that offers certified nursing assistant training (in select cities).
The basic curriculum for CNA classes will be similar because courses must be designed to meet requirements set forth by the state and federal nursing boards. The length and intensity of certified nursing assistant training can vary depending on the path you are taking to receive your certification. Tuition for CNA training will differ from one program to another.
For a list of training centers in your state, select from the list below:
Where to Get CNA Training
CNA training through a healthcare provider is often available to you if you want to work for that particular healthcare facility. They will provide you with training if you agree to work for the healthcare provider for a specific amount of time. Of course, you can continue to work for that employer after the minimum time period is met. It is common to be able to receive CNA training at long-term care facilities, through home health agencies and even at some hospitals.
The American Red Cross offers CNA classes in about 36 different cities throughout the United States. They provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career as a nursing assistant. Their training programs are excellent and you will be well prepared for your certification exam upon completion of the Red Cross Training.
Many community colleges offer CNA training classes. These classes can last several weeks or even several months. Typically, these training courses are non-credit courses. You will become a certified nursing assistant after completing all training and passing the exam.
There are online CNA training programs as well. You will be able to complete much of the work that you would normally complete in a classroom and lecture setting online. Of course, your hands on training will need to be completed in a healthcare setting.
Criteria For Choosing A CNA School:
Finding a CNA school or CNA training program is not a process that should be taken lightly. There is a list of criteria you should look for when considering prospective training programs.
I. A CNA program must be approved/certified by the state where you are working to become certified with the ability to work as a CNA. If a program is not a state approved program, you will not be able to sit for the nursing assistant certification competency exam once you finish training. Therefore, it would not be possible to work as a certified aide.
II. Find a CNA school that is able to offer flexible schedule opportunities. If you work during the day for instance, you do not want a course that offers only daytime classes. Search for programs that have both day or evening courses. You can also seek programs that provide for weekend training opportunities in full or at least in part.
III. When considering criteria for a great CNA school, you will want to consider the experience and expertise of the training staff for each potential program. CNA programs should be taught by nurses. Most states will require that the instructor be a Registered Nurse. Look for programs with instructors who have several years experience working as nurses as well as multiple years as a CNA instructor.
IV. Ask prospective schools for statistical information for their program. For example, what percentage of individuals who enroll in the program end up completing the CNA course in its entirety? Look for schools with the highest percentages. Check to see what percent of students pass the CNA competency exam on the first try. Once again, you will want the programs with the highest success rates on the first or second tries.
V. Review carefully the clinical opportunities provided by CNA programs of interest. Some programs offer more clinical hours than others. You will find that the level of hands on experience provided can vary greatly between CNA programs. Look for a program that will offer you as much experience as possible performing CNA duties before you sit for your nursing assistant certification exam.
VI. When considering criteria for a good CNA school, find schools with the best reviews and feedback. You want to attend a nursing assistant program that current and prior students speak of positively. Do not consider a school with more negative than positive reviews. If you have heard good things about the school from a CNA you know personally, this makes the great reviews or ratings even more valuable.
VII. Search for a nursing assistant training program that has a strong history of placement of graduates. An ideal school is one where a large percentage of graduates find work as nursing assistants after obtaining their certification. Ideally, graduates will find a job within a short period of time. Consider looking for schools that even offer some job placement services.
Your nursing assistant training will prepare you for the certification examination that you must pass. The test will have a written portion as well as a skills portion where you will demonstrate your ability to perform a variety of tasks. You will need to pass this test in order to receive your certification.