The process for CNA certification begins with finding a great CNA training program. Typical CNA training courses last anywhere from 6-12 weeks up to 6 months depending on where you take them. Fortunately they can be taken in several places.
Where to Find CNA Training Classes
Community College CNA Classes
Community Colleges that offer nursing programs will almost always offer courses specific to earning your CNA certification. Many times the classes are spread out over a semester or two which makes the process take longer than some of the other options.
Long Term Care Facilities
Many long term care facilities hold CNA classes. This can be a great option for your CNA training because these facilities prefer to hire students from their internal programs. It does not guarantee that they will hire you, but it can really give you an advantage. In some cases they will pay for the course if the student agrees to work for the facility for at least a predetermined length of time. Learning your new trade from your future employer can be very beneficial for the novice CNA.
Online CNA Classes
Online CNA Classes have become a widely used path to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. Online courses are ideal for someone who is disciplined and requires flexibility in their schedule or needs to do the bulk of their work from home. You will still have to complete some clinical work that needs to be done with an instructor in person, but quite a few classes can be knocked out in your pajamas!
Nursing Trade Schools
The most efficient way to complete your CNA training is through a private trade school or University. Classes typically begin year round so you would not need to wait for the next semester to start, and because you will be working towards a specific degree or certification the length of the program is usually condensed and offers the quickest path to certification. Many CNA programs can be completed in 6-12 weeks. To find one of these schools in your area you can use the “Get Started” form at the top of this page.
What Does CNA Training Consist Of?
Once you pick the program, it is time to get your hands dirty, literally. Being a nursing assistant is not for the faint of heart. You are surrounded by blood, body fluids, and feces on a daily basis. You will also be witness, and at times a participant, to life and death situations. Your CNA course instructors will do their best to prepare you for these situations. The training program will provide an overview of nursing fundamentals as well as legal and ethical issues. Course work will also include anatomy and physiology, laying the groundwork for those who may choose to further their career in the medical field.
Specific Skills You Will Learn
- Basic patient care
- Vital sign measurement
- CPR procedure
- Infection control
- Patient privacy
- Basic human biology
Aside from the class work, there is a heavy emphasis on clinical work. Students will learn CNA duties in a simulated patient environment. Among these are proper transfer techniques, vital sign assessment, feeding the patient, ambulating the patient, catheter care, changing an occupied bed, and assisting with the bed pan.
Your CNA Training is Complete, What’s Next?
Once your training is complete you must pass an exam in order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. The journey from deciding to join this exciting field to completion of your CNA courses is rather quick, but can be challenging. One thing is certain, it will be worth it.