The first thing you need to know about getting a CNA certification is to learn as much as you can about the CNA classes and certification requirements prior to enrolling. Understand the steps you need to take in order to take the exam. Once you pass the test, the next step is to apply for a CNA certificate in your state.
The requirements may vary per state. If you want to know the list of requirements where you are living in, you can check out your state’s government website and look for a licensing code that itemizes the prerequisites of a CNA certification.
CNA Certification Requirements
The first step towards your goal is to enroll in a CNA program that is approved by your state. Choosing the right certified assistant nursing school is crucial to your success. Make sure you check the list of approved CNA program and CNA classes online. Take note that most states will not allow you to take the CNA license exam if your school is not government approved.
Your chosen school should be able to meet all the qualifications mandated by the federal and state decrees. Make sure that the curriculum and CNA study guide will be able to cover all the important specification, information and most importantly, the skills you need to be able to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). These details will ultimately guide you towards a successful career in the nursing industry.
After completing your training and certification, you can immediately apply for assistant nursing jobs. If you want to continue to advance your education in nursing, you can get a degree by enrolling in advanced programs. One of the best methods of enhancing your skills is to take part in an online practice test. However, if you prefer to start working as a certified nursing assistant while earning a nursing degree, there are nursing schools that can approve certain credits from your CNA course.
You can also train as a nursing assistant at the American Red Cross which is available in 13 states across the U.S. The course costs around $1,300. The training program is designed to meet the requirements of each state.
Required Hours and Documents
Most states require 75 hours of training while other states expect students to complete 80 to 180 hours. Maine sits on top of the list at 180 hours. These hours include a combination of classroom education and clinical training which requires 16 to 100 hours of practical drills.
Before you enrolling in a training program, you will be required to pass several documents. You may check the list of requirements in your state to help you prepare.
Here are some of the requirements you will need:
The legal age requirement is 18 years old. However, some states will accept applicants who are 16 to 17 years old but with parental consent. You need to pass a high school diploma or GED, a state driver’s license ID, background check, physical exam, first aid and CPR certificate, proof of immunization and TB exams.
What to Expect During your Certification Exam
Each state requires a specific number of questions as well as a time limit during the exam. Here’s a rundown of various topics that you can expect in your CNA exam.
The subjects include aging, anatomy, physiology, body mechanics, communication, patient rights, collection of data, legal and ethical issues, medical terminology, personal care, nutrition, infection control, vital signs, safety and precautions as well as duties and responsibilities of a CNA.
What to Bring
On the day of the test, don’t forget to bring a copy of your test confirmation and ID. Other states may ask for a social security card. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your exam time. Bring clean scrubs for your practical skills training.
Coverage of the Exam
Some of the states hire a third party to coordinate the exam. When it comes to the practical portion of the test, you need to perform three to six skills using a mannequin or sometimes with your fellow examinees. The skills portion often takes 30 minutes.
A nurse will supervise the exam and provide a checklist of what you need to perform. The skills will be randomly selected which is why it is important for you to master all the skillset. Make sure you practice beforehand to increase your chance of passing the clinical exam.
Some of the skills you can expect include taking vital signs, making an occupied bed, dental care, body positioning and transferring the patient from one place to another. You may feel the pressure but if you make a mistake, you can tell the facilitator right away so you can correct it.
With hard work and practice, you will be confident enough to take and pass the CNA exam. A CNA certification will move you to new places. It will help you develop your career in the healthcare industry and earn the assistant nurse salary you’ve always dreamed of.