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Career Information for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) assist patients in hospital settings with daily functions such as eating, bathing, and more. Compassion and patience are required to complete the task. Additionally, there are educational and licensing requirements for becoming a CNA. Learn more about the job duties and requirements for certification as a certified nurse assistant.

How to Earn a Certification as a Nursing Assistant

The BLS, which is short for Bureau of Labor Statistics, recommends the following courses to become a certified nursing assistant:

  • Complete a training program that has been authorized
  • Pass the competency examination required by your state

Additionally, some states require that you pass a criminal background check. Consult your state board of nursing or health to determine whether this is a requirement in your area.

Typically, CNA training programs are offered through vocational schools, community colleges, high schools, and the Red Cross. To guarantee a smooth transition from training to certification as a CNA, you’ll want to apply for your license within a specified time period after completing your training. This information is available on the website of your state board of nursing and should be provided to you during your program.

What to Expect on the Certified Nursing Assistant Skills Examination

The CNA skills test allows candidates to apply what they’ve studied in a test scenario in order to demonstrate that they are prepared for work as a certified nursing assistant. According to CNA Plus Academy, a renowned website for CNA certification preparation, the test is divided into two sections: written and critical.

Multiple-choice questions comprise the written or theoretical section of the exam. While the time limit varies by jurisdiction, test-takers typically get 90 minutes to complete 60 or more questions.

The clinical examination entails executing specified duties while demonstrating a set of specialized abilities, often five, as well as hand washing and indirect care. While the duration of the test varies by state, it normally lasts 30 to 40 minutes and includes 20 to 30 tasks. Several of these tasks include the following:

  • Sustaining a patient’s diet
  • Changing the position of a patient from lying to lying on their side
  • Taking care of a patient
  • Providing assistance to a patient with their bedpan
  • Emptying, documenting, and quantifying the contents of the urine drainage bag of a patient
  • Pulse readings on patients
  • Changing a patient’s bed while he or she is still in it

Three options exist to sit for and pass both sections of the CNA exam. If a student is unable to pass the written and clinical exams within two years of completing their CNA training, they must restart the program, including the application procedure.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant

CNAs make a significant contribution to their patients’ quality of life. They operate under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and assist their patients with a variety of duties. They take notes on the patient’s health concerns and report them to the supervising RN, monitor vital signs, perform housekeeping duties, attend to their patient’s specific health concerns, and most importantly, keep the patient clean.

CNAs work in a variety of settings; however, they often do identical tasks regardless of the setting.

Salary and Hourly Rates for Certified Nursing Assistants

CNAs can work in a variety of different settings, which affects their salary. According to the BLS, the national median pay for nursing assistants and orderlies was $28,530 in 2018.

The national median wage varies according on the type of work. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for nursing assistants in the top industries in which they worked was as follows in May 2018:

  • $33,800 Government
  • State, local, and private hospitals $30,050
  • Facilities for nursing care (skilled nursing facilities) $27,840
  • Services of home healthcare $27,290 Assisted living and continuing care retirement residences for the elderly $27,200

Career Prospects for Certified Nursing Assistants

According to 2018 BLS data, employment of nursing assistants is expected to expand by 9% from 2018 to 2028. quicker than the predicted growth rate for all jobs on average.

The increase is likely to correlate with the aging baby-boom generation’s higher medical needs as they enter retirement and beyond. CNAs seeking employment should anticipate increased demand from assisted living facilities, emergency rooms, and nursing homes.

License as a Certified Nursing Assistant

According to the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, if you are a CNA migrating from another state, you must seek “reciprocity.” This indicates that you are requesting that the destination state recognize the license issued in the source jurisdiction. For the majority of states, this requires a ‘Proof of Nurse Aide Registration’ form. It is available online or as part of the endorsement application packet when applying for a position in a new area.

Renewal of CNA Certification

Certified nursing assistants are in great demand and will remain so as medical issues become more complex and frequent as our population ages. Medical professionals and state licensing agencies demand up-to-date licensure to ensure their staff stick to protocol. Because CNA renewal requirements differ by state, it’s critical to understand how to renew yours.

If you are renewing your certification, the following points should be kept in mind:

  • Prevent your certification from expiring by renewing it. You may prefer to renew your license at least one month in advance, as the renewal process can take up to a few weeks.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you worked as a CNA for the minimum number of hours required by your state’s Nursing Aide Registry.
  • You may be asked to retake the certification exam if you have not worked as a CNA in the last two years.
  • Obtain and complete an application for renewal from the Nursing Aide
  • Registry office. The second section will be completed by your most recent employer.
  • Mail the renewal fee, application form, and any other papers necessary to the renewal application form’s address.

If you fail to complete any of these stages or do not renew your license on time, you may be compelled to retake the certification exam.

Consider a career in health care as a certified nurse assistant.

If you’re passionate about helping others, interested in working in a variety of health care settings, and willing to work hard to enhance the lives of patients, certified nurse assisting may be a wonderful fit for you. Numerous colleges and universities offer programs that will assist you in launching your new career.