Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified Nursing Assistant Training

certified nursing assistantA certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides help to a nurse, who will usually be a registered nurse. While the duties of a nursing assistant have much in common with those of a nurse, the training requirements are less demanding and the job entails more hands-on care and less medical knowledge.

As a certified nursing assistant you might work in a hospital, a clinic, a physician’s office, or a patient’s home. You would help patients with daily tasks, monitor vital signs and report any variations to a registered nurse, and prepare patients for examination.

Training and Qualifications

While a registered nurse will usually earn an associate or bachelor nursing degree and then pass further exams to obtain a license, the requirements for qualifying as a certified nursing assistant are easier to satisfy. Nursing assistant programs may be offered by vocational schools and may be taken on a part-time basis.

A key part of nursing assistant training is learning how to help people with ADL’s (activities of daily living) such as dressing, personal care, hygiene, eating, and recreation. Other courses should cover basic medical knowledge. In order to become certified you will have to pass a state examination. The state exam has both a written and a practical section and you will be required to demonstrate your patient care skills on a real person.

Job Outlook

As with most healthcare jobs, the market is expanding, and there should be increasing opportunities for you to find work once you have completed your training. Certified nursing assistant positions exist in almost all healthcare locations. You can choose between working in a hospital or clinic, assisting in a medical practice, or working with patients in their own homes.