The job requirements and daily duties assigned to a certified nursing assistant are among the many reasons as to why this profession is regulated through certification. Throughout the United States, certified nursing assistants are monitored through a stringent certification process designed to challenge an individual professionally while promoting further knowledge and personal/professional growth. Although every state determines its CNA certification process, the following are universal throughout the country.
CNA Certification Education
No matter where you live, if you desire to work as a certified nursing assistant then you must be trained as such. While states require some form of education, the amount of education dramatically varies. Expect to undergo anywhere from 45 to 125-hours of classroom and clinical training. To determine exact CNA certification classes, contact an administrator of your nursing board or review the “Certified Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook,” which is easily available online and in print.
Unlike other medical careers, you don’t need an advanced-level degree to work as a certified nursing assistant. Rather, you must only complete a certificate-level program. This being noted, obtaining an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in a nursing-related field may garner higher salaries and more advanced-level certifications, such as a licensed practical nurse.
State Sanctioned CNA Certification
The actual certification process begins after graduation. Your state has several options in terms of the certifying organization, it uses to oversee CNAs. For example, in Georgia the certified nursing assistant certification is done through the Georgia Medical Care Foundation, which is a private contractor. Your state may partner with private contractors or with national organizations, such as the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NNAAP certification, whcih is used by states such as Alabama, Wyoming, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, just to name a few.
Regardless of who oversees and awards CNA certifications, all exams follow a standard format: written unit and clinical application unit. The written, or theoretical, unit consists of multiple-choice questions to evaluate your stored knowledge regarding patient care, medical terminology and legal issues. The clinical application unit, or skills test, involves hands-on demonstration of common CNA tasks. In order to earn the title of a certified nursing assistant, you must successfully pass both exam units.
Becoming a certified nursing assistant is strikingly similar throughout the United States. While individual states determine exact educational pathways and the certifying body, the standard processes and requirements are universal. If you’re interested in pursuing this career, contact your board of nursing or school career counselor for state-specific information.