Is a Nursing Assistant Job Right For You?
It definitely is if you like a fast paced career that provides you with plenty of security as well as a chance to enter the lucrative heath care industry. As a nursing assistant you will gain valuable experience you can use later on to help get a great paying career as a licensed vocational nurse, registered nurse, or physician assistant.
As a nursing assistant you will help out in hospitals, hospice centers, nursing homes, health clinics, adult care environments, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities and doctors offices.
You may have the traits of a successful nursing assistant if you:
- Desire to help people, and make an impact in their lives.
- Have the ability to make correct judgement
- Like communicating and interacting with people
- Can stay calm under pressure
- Have a reassuring manner
- Desire to help people who are in need
- Are energetic and have a good sense of humor
- Are in healthy physical condition
Enrolling in CNA training can be a life changing event that sets you on the rewarding path as a health care professional with a great paying career. In order to ensure you are a good fit for a health care occupation, we’ve listed some of the top skills you’ll need on the job.
Helpful skills of a nursing assistant:
- Communication skills
- Observation skills
- Knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology
- Understanding of medical terminology
- Observance of safety regulations
- Following disease processes
- Maintaining correct Infection control
- Attention to safety regulations
- Knowledge of patient and resident rights
- Competency in following state and federal medical guidelines
What is it like working as a nursing assistant?
Primarily you will provide basic patient care under the supervision of the medical staff. You’ll be working closely with patients to provide needed care such as checking vital signs and assisting nurses with medical equipment. In addition, many of these types of health care workers provide help with grooming, feeding, bathing, transporting residents, catheter care, assisting with range of motion exercises and other housekeeping duties to assist the hospital staff. Read more about CNA duties here.
The work hours of those employed as a nurse aide generally can be full or part time. In most health care facilities there are three shifts available. Employees are required to be able to walk and stand for long periods as well as help lift patients and equipment. You can read more about where a CNA can work on this page.
What’s the average salary of a nursing assistant?
Right now since the nurse aide position is an entry level occupation the median annual salary ranges from $20,600 to $34,580. Those who work in health care facilities and hospitals make slightly more than those who work in a long-term care center, assisted living facility, or provide home health care. Many who eligible to work go on to become registered nurses which can pay from $54,000 to over $80,000 a year. This is an entry level job that typically requires a high school diploma or GED and 0-2 years of education and related experience. At this time approximately 75% of the employees in this profession are female and 25% are male.
What training is required to get a job as a certified nursing assistant?
You will need to complete classroom training which is usually a 6 to 12 week program that prepares you for the exam. The certificate program is conducted at an accredited community college or health care facility. It can be challenging to find schools that are approved by your state and provide the appropriate amount of hourly instruction and the correct curriculum. Programs must meet specific state and federal guidelines to qualify you to take the license exams which are necessary to complete before you can become certified to work. To ensure you do not sign up with a class that will not help you receive your certified nursing assistant certification it’s important that you select an accredited school or health care center training program. To check if a program is accredited in your state you can contact the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission, or your states nurse aide registry list.
Where can you find state certified training schools?
You can typically find state approved nurse aide schools in local vocational facilities, colleges, and nursing homes. Check out these links to find out what CNA classes are available in your state and the current nursing assistant requirements to qualify to take the certification exam. In addition these links may be helpful if you are specifically looking for information on enrolling in nursing assistant classes online. Before enrolling in a course always make sure it is accepted by the state Department of Health or state registry. This is especially true if you are taking an online course.
How do you find free classes?
Often those who qualify can find free CNA classes at nursing facilities and health care centers that are willing to train you, and offer you a job after completion of your license exams. These opportunities are provided in the expectation you will either work at the facility upon completion, or in some cases pay back the school costs and exam fees by working at the job. There are also many state and federal government programs that offer grants to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria. You can frequently find information of these government grants and programs by contacting your states Department of Health or nurse aide registry for more details.
What can you expect when taking nurse aide classes?
The steps you need to take vary from state to state with each local training facility or health care center program providing you with the necessary environment catered specifically to the area you are in. During your classroom training you will receive experience set in a clinical setting. With these classes you will receive both classroom and hands on experience in a hospital like setting to prepare you for taking the certification and your new job. Typically the school you enroll in will require a state and federal background check, physical exam and photo identification before you can enroll. You can read more about how to be a nursing assistant at this link.
How do I get my nurse aide certification?
After successfully completing a certified nursing assistant training program you will be eligible to take a written exam issued by your state. Certification requirements and exam testing varies from state to state. However, generally this exam will cover your basic nursing competency, infection control, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition knowledge. In most cases the competency exam is split into two parts which are a written multiple choice or oral test and a skills demonstration exam. Find out more about CNA testing here. If you have already taken the state exam and need to get re-certified, click this link for information about a CNA refresher course.
Becoming a certified nursing assistant is a great way to get the experience necessary to prepare you for an excellent career in health care. With an aging population and the rising demand for medical professionals, a health care career is an excellent career choice. Now is the right time to get your training, you can find a class in your city right now and get the personally fulfilling health care career you’ve always wanted.