Certified Nursing Assistant - How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified Nursing Assistant

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Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Overview

 

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are there whenever a patient has a need for help with personal care. CNAs are there to help their patients, regardless of age, to perform the most basic daily tasks. They work under the supervision of a licensed nurse and play a key role in the lives of their patients.

Nurses’ Aides typically have extensive daily contact with each patient. They are also responsible for keeping the nurse up to date on important information about their patients.

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Responsibilities

 

A nurse’s aide or nursing assistant may provide assistance with any of the following tasks:

  • Getting dressed

  • Bathing and skin care routines

  • Feeding

  • Oral and hair care

  • Making beds

  • Assisting with toileting needs or catheter or ostomy care

  • Bladder and bowel care

  • Obtaining vital signs (checking blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respirations)

  • Assisting patients with walking

  • Assisting with range-of-motion exercises

  • Using patient handling devices safely to assist wheelchair-bound patients

  • Turning and properly positioning bedridden patients on a regular schedule

  • Making prompt reports to the nurse when a change is observed in a patient

  • Keen awareness of safety

  • Observing, reporting and documentation

  • Providing post-mortem care

 

All states requires the successful completion of a state licensure exam for all nursing assistants who work in nursing homes. The nursing assistant must be state-approved and be listed on the state registry.

The levels of certification for nursing assistants are certified (CNA), licensed (LNA) or state tested and approved (STNA). The National Network of Career Nursing Assistants can provide more information about a career as a certified nursing assistant.

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Skills

  

Service-Oriented

Must want to help people. You will not be able to complete some of the tasks if you don't have an affinity to help others.

Organizational

Must be able to compartmentalize tasks and duties. Keep documents and records orderly and not mix up important documents or medications.

Technical

Must be well versed in taking vital signs; temperature, blood pressure, pulses and respiration. Must be able to collect specimens, and recording results on those specimens.

Communication

Must be able to talk between patients, nurses, doctors, and family members. Must speak clearly and pass information effectively.

Empathy

Show empathy to their patients. Must be able to show compassion to those who are at a vulnerable and trying time in their lives.

Patient Assistance

Must be comfortable bathing, dressing, feeding patients. Help them move, sit, and assist them with bedpans.

Indirect Care

Keep areas clean, patients comfy, meet needs, create a safe environment.

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Working Conditions

 

Because of staffing shortages in recent years, many nursing assistants find themselves in a position of attempting to provide quality care to a high number of patients at one time. The stress of these working conditions, along with the job’s heavy workload and the physical demands, make the turnover rate high for nursing assistants.

Nursing assistants have multiple options when it comes to employment locations:

  • Hospitals

  • Nursing homes

  • Hospice

  • Assisted living facilities

  • Home health care

  • Community based long-term care programs

  • Correctional institutions

  • Adult or child day care facilities

 


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How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant:

 

Nursing assistant training programs are found in many locations: high schools, vocational and technical schools, community colleges, hospitals and nursing homes.

To become a nursing assistant, you must complete a state-approved education program. These programs teach the basic principles of nursing and require you to complete supervised clinical work.

 

1. Complete a CNA Program

 

Training requirements vary by state, so you need to check with your state to see what you need to do. You should also check with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing to see if you have accredited programs in your area.

You can get CNA training programs from many places:  the American Red Cross, local health care providers, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, and online training programs.

CNA programs can last up to 16 weeks and include clinical training. If you work at a healthcare provider you might have to work there for a set time after you get your certification. 

CNA classes are usually taught by a registered nurse. The length of the training period varies from program to program. These classes will teach the basics of what is expected with the job.

This is a career, however, in which the skill levels and confidence of the providers dramatically improve as the nursing assistant becomes an important part of actual caregiving on a daily basis.

Nursing assistants must typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training upon accepting a position with a specific employer. This allows the CNA an opportunity to learn the specific policies and procedures of their new employer.

 

2. Earn the Required Certification

 

You need to pass a certification exam that is specific to your state. You will probably be working before you get your certification, but maybe for only 4 months.

The questions vary based on your state but will include both clinical and practical components. Some states have additional requirements like passing a background check and complete continuing education hours

Related: 5 Best Ways to Gain Clinical Experience

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant in MS, required. Prefer previous experience. (192)
12.05.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant in MS. Prefer previous experience(192)
12.07.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
12.07.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
12.07.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
12.05.2016
High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily living, provides for personal care,...
12.05.2016
High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
12.05.2016
High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
12.05.2016
High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
12.05.2016
Position may be eligible for a $1000 Sign-on Bonus! Do you want to start your career in healthcare or are you seeking a "forever" career? Then come and join our outstanding Certified Nursing Assistant team. What is a Certified...
12.05.2016
Position may be eligible for a $500 Sign-on Bonus! Do you want to start your career in healthcare or are you seeking a "forever" career? Then come and join our outstanding Certified Nursing Assistant team. What is a Certified...
12.05.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics (Job ID: 16760) UnityPoint Health Sioux City FTE: 0.6 Part Time with Benefits plus evening differential 7 PM - 7 AM; every Friday and Saturday Responsibilities: The nursing assistant assists in...
12.05.2016
Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics (Job ID: 16757) UnityPoint Health Sioux City FTE: 0.9 Full Time 1500-2300; every other weekend 12 hour day Responsibilities: The nursing assistant assists in patient care throughout all nursing...
12.05.2016
DESCRIPTION OF POSITION A Certified Nursing Assistant is responsible for administering direct patient care and performing any other duties deemed necessary to insure optimal patient care under the direction and supervision of the Registered...
12.05.2016
DESCRIPTION OF POSITION A Certified Nursing Assistant is responsible for administering direct patient care and performing any other duties deemed necessary to insure optimal patient care under the direction and supervision of the Registered...
  1. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Certified Nursing Assistant in MS, required. Prefer previous experience. (192)
  2. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Certified Nursing Assistant in MS. Prefer previous experience(192)
  3. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
  4. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
  5. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Tupelo, MS North MS Medical Center
    Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of MS. Prefer previous experience. (192)
  6. Certified Nursing Assistant Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily living, provides for personal care,...
  7. Certified Nursing Assistant Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
  8. Certified Nursing Assistant Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
  9. Certified Nursing Assistant Gainesville, GA Northeast Georgia Health System
    High School/GED Preferred CNA - Certified Nursing Assistant 1 Year of Experience Required Demonstrates direct and indirect resident patient care activities under the direction of an RN or LPN. Assists residents with activities of daily...
  10. LTC-CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Marshall, MN Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
    Position may be eligible for a $1000 Sign-on Bonus! Do you want to start your career in healthcare or are you seeking a "forever" career? Then come and join our outstanding Certified Nursing Assistant team. What is a Certified...
  11. LTC-CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Marshall, MN Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
    Position may be eligible for a $500 Sign-on Bonus! Do you want to start your career in healthcare or are you seeking a "forever" career? Then come and join our outstanding Certified Nursing Assistant team. What is a Certified...
  12. Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics Cedar Rapids, IA UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital
    Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics (Job ID: 16760) UnityPoint Health Sioux City FTE: 0.6 Part Time with Benefits plus evening differential 7 PM - 7 AM; every Friday and Saturday Responsibilities: The nursing assistant assists in...
  13. Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics Cedar Rapids, IA UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital
    Certified Nursing Assistant-Pediatrics (Job ID: 16757) UnityPoint Health Sioux City FTE: 0.9 Full Time 1500-2300; every other weekend 12 hour day Responsibilities: The nursing assistant assists in patient care throughout all nursing...
  14. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT (CNA) Morris, IL Morris Hospital
    DESCRIPTION OF POSITION A Certified Nursing Assistant is responsible for administering direct patient care and performing any other duties deemed necessary to insure optimal patient care under the direction and supervision of the Registered...
  15. CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT (CNA) Morris, IL Morris Hospital
    DESCRIPTION OF POSITION A Certified Nursing Assistant is responsible for administering direct patient care and performing any other duties deemed necessary to insure optimal patient care under the direction and supervision of the Registered...