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A Complete Guide To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant

Welcome!! So you are interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA? 
A certified nursing assistant is also sometimes referred to as a nursing assistant or a nursing aide.

CNA Students/>Now is a great time to become a CNA with employment prospects looking good right now and for several years to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there will be a 19% growth in this particular job sector (for CNAs, orderlies and attendants) up to the year 2020.

You will find everything you need right here to learn more about the life of a CNA and how to get the best training for your certification, what life is like for a CNA, what you can expect to earn and a lot more.

If you have been considering a career in the health industry then becoming a CNA could be the perfect way for you to enter the profession and gain experience while mixing with all sorts of medical professionals. Even if you don’t want to be a CNA forever it will open up lots of choices within the industry. This isn’t to say that becoming a CNA is the easy route into healthcare. Training to get your CNA certification is tough going and you need an inherent desire to want to help and care for people.

Becoming a certified nursing assistant could be the start of a very rewarding career, and many CNAs go on to become LPNs and RNs – Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses – utilising the experience gained as a CNA. Working in this field can be very rewarding for the right type of person and can lead to a fulfilling and satisfying career that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

So don’t delay, take control of your future now!

The working life of a CNA

The life of a certified nursing assistant is certainly varied and no one day will be the same. This is exactly what appeals to a lot of people who don’t want to be performing the same work day in day out. Also, you will be working alongside and caring for, all sorts of different people of all different ages and backgrounds. What does a CNA do? To find out exactly what you can expect to be doing on a daily basis and what life will be like working as a CNA, then look at the CNA job description to get a better idea of what the job involves and all the duties that will be expected of you as well as the skills that a good CNA should possess.

Becoming a CNA

If you are serious about becoming a certified nursing assistant then you really need to decide on how to go about obtaining your CNA certification as soon as possible. If you want to find out about how to go about getting your CNA certification then click through to see how to become a CNA to find out this and a whole lot more. There are a number of facilities that will enable you to take classes and at the end of the classes take the CNA exam which will then lead to your certification. You could also train on the job with a scholarship from a nursing home or hospital in exchange for working for them for the duration.

CNA Skills

There are a large number of specific skills that you will learn as part of your CNA training. See the list of CNA skills and you might be surprised at how much you will have to learn in a relatively short period of time. You will need to demonstrate these skills in the training facility and then again in a real life healthcare facility.

CNA Schools

Now you know all that there is to know about the processes that lead to CNA certification, you will want to find the best local CNA schools in your area so you can decide which program you would like to enrol on. A good CNA school will make sure you are fully prepared to take the CNA exam and pass it with flying colors and it will include a healthy balance of theory work and hands on practical work in a real life healthcare facility. We have compiled a list of CNA schools for you and broken them down by state.

The Red Cross run a certified nursing assistant course as well. To find out more about that click here.

Preparing for your exams

Whether you are about to start your training or you are nearing the end, your mind will at some point turn to the CNA exam that you will have to pass before you are awarded your certification. You can prepare for your exam in a number of ways which we will discuss including how to go about trying out a CNA practice test to help give you a head start in knowing what to expect and the confidence you need to pass with flying colors.

Preparing for a job interview

When you reach interview stage, first of all, congratulations! You have proven that you are motivated enough to pursue working as a certified nursing assistant. If you have done your training and hold your CNA certification, or are about to get it, then you will have all the knowledge you need to succeed in your head. Interviews can be very nerve wracking for a lot of people and many people fall down at this stage. By being prepared beforehand you will present your best side to the interviewer. Prepare for your interview by reading our section on CNA interview questions and answers and of course, make sure you learn how to put a good resume together! We will suggest a number of questions that you may be asked and some sample answers to guide you.

What can you expect to earn as a CNA?

Pay for certified nursing assistants varies from state to state, and within each state. You can get an idea of the average CNA salary listed by state. Pay is listed by hourly rate and annual rate and the figures are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2012. Pay for certified nursing assistants is notoriously low although over very recent years there has been a slight increase in average pay. It is well acknowledged that this is not a job you want to do for the monetary rewards. This is definitely a job that you undertake for the love of wanting to help others. Becoming a CNA is often an excellent way to get into the healthcare field and after working as a CNA for a few years to gain invaluable experience many choose to undertake further training to move up the career ladder and therefore, the pay scale.

Top 10 States for CNA Jobs

If you are wondering which states have the most and the fewest job opportunities for CNAs then check out the tables on the CNA Jobs page. There is a big difference between the top and bottom – with 80 new job openings in Alaska and 3,900 in California. Look at the tables and see what's in between.