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Certified Nursing Assistants are crucial to patient care. Becoming a CNA is one of the quickest ways to start a career in health care.

Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are trained healthcare professionals. They perform a wide variety of duties, including:

  • Turning or repositioning bedridden patients.
  • Answering patient call signals, signaling lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patient needs.
  • Feeding patients or assisting patients to eat or drink.
  • Measuring and recording food and liquid intake or urinary and fecal output, reporting changes to medical or nursing staff.
  • Providing physical support to assist patients to perform daily living activities, such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking, or exercising.

They are often supervised by a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). CNAs are confused sometimes with LPNs, but LPNs must pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse) and train six more months than CNAs.

Although CNAs can work in hospital settings, they usually work in rehabilitation centers, senior daycare centers, or similar facilities. Certified nursing assistants provide the bulk of the care to residents in nursing homes (80-90%), but with enough expertise, CNAs can take to some of the higher-paying industries, such as hospitals or home health aide agencies.

Becoming a CNA opens the door to many opportunities, and many CNAs with enough experience and education choose to advance to an RN or LPN. Converting to one of these positions means you will have to earn either a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree and pass the NCLEX-PN.

How do you become a CNA? What classes will I need to take?

You won’t need a college degree if you want to become a certified nursing assistant. With that being said, CNAs typically must earn a GED or high school diploma and pass their state's competency exam. To prepare for the exam, many aspiring CNAs take take a certification course.

How much do CNAs make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medicn salary in 2020 for certified nursing assistants was $14.82 per hour or $30,830 a year. When analyzing the mean wage, remember that these figures are what the 50th percentile makes and you may make a lot more or less depending on your expertise and your location. If you manage to make it into the top 10% of CNAs you’ll be earning a steady $44,550.

The top three US states where certified nursing assistants were highly paid were Alaska, New York, and Hawaii, which made $42,500, $40,620, and $39,280 as their median annual wage respectively. In terms of employment, New York and Los Angeles employed the most CNAs.

How do you choose a certified nursing assistant program?

No one CNA program will suit everyone, as we all have different needs. When choosing a certified nursing plan take into consideration.

How much time am I willing to invest in becoming a CNA?

CNA programs are among the shortest it gets when it comes to entering the healthcare workforce. The ,for example, prepares students for licensing exams in four to eight weeks. When choosing a certified nursing assistant program, you might want to select a

How much do CNA programs cost, and do I have the money?

It’s a great idea to figure out your finances before you start your training for a CNA. CNA programs are reasonably cheap compared to other medical courses, but at a price of $1,300 if you’re training at the Red Cross, it certainly isn't spare change. On top of that basic course fee, you might need to purchase additional program supplies and certification examination fees.

Is the program I want to take accredited?

This one goes without saying. You might want to make sure your program is certified by either the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accredited Commission), the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing), or the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education), or you may find yourself putting in a lot of effort for nothing in return.