The most practical approach to adopt when you have decided to become a nurse is to become a CNA or a Certified Nursing Assistant as a first step. From there you may decide you love being a CNA, or decide to follow your plan to become a practical or registered nurse. To become a CNA, you have to pass the CNA training course and then a state CNA exam.
Just like in any other course of study, you have to do really well in it to be eligible to take the state CNA exam. And you have to do well on the exam to become certified to practice as a CNA. Once you are done with your course and exam, and you are extremely motivated, no one can stop you from becoming a excellent Certified Nursing Assistant.
To become a CNA, you should be well prepared. Here are some awesome guidelines which can lead you down the path to become the best CNA.
1. Get Your Horses Ready from High School
While getting your horses ready is just an expression, you should start preparing yourself for becoming a CNA while in high school or even before. You should opt for those subjects which revolve around health care and science. You have to be able to work with math minimally at a 7th grade level (which includes adding, subtracting, multiplication and some division.) You also have to prove your competency to read and write English, and the better you are at these, the easier it will be to compete in school and in the job arena.
Taking extra courses related to the health field can be a big advantage because you will get to know about a lot of health care issues from an early age. This can also help you in preparing for your CNA exam. As you become familiar with the various anatomical functions of a human body, this will help you provide the best care for your patients suffering from different diseases.
2. Get Your Diploma or GED
The basic requirement for CNA training is to be a high school graduate. So, if you are still in school and aspiring to serve people by becoming a CNA, you should keep working hard to get your high school diploma. However, if for some reason you are not able to get your diploma, then you should obtain a GED to qualify for becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant .
3. Enroll in a CNA Training Certification Program
Different types of CNA training programs are offered nationwide. Some have a short duration, while the others have a considerably longer one. And the prices for tuition varies greatly as well. The type of a job you will get depends entirely upon the training program you undergo, so do your research.
Every CNA training program requires 75 hours of clinical and classroom training. Keep it in mind that you will have to participate in clinical hours as well as classroom hours and pass the CNA exam. Some programs will arrange and schedule the practical hours for you, and some require you find your own source. There is no need to take your training in a rush. This training is really important as it will teach you all the requirements to become a good CNA. Take your time and learn as much as you can.
4. Take Your CNA Exam
The CNA exam is taken at the state level. Every training program clearly tells you where and when you can take your exam. The state board of nursing is the main body behind this decision. However, understand that your exam date will not necessarily fall right after the day when your finish your training. Sometimes, aspiring CNAs have to wait for a few weeks after completing their training to take the exam. So be sure to keep studying.
This exam basically determines how much you have learned during your training program. The written part of the exam mostly consists of multiple choice questions to test your level of understanding through some conceptual questions. There is also a practical part to the test in which you have to demonstrate what you have learned during all that time spent in the clinical part. You will be assigned to take care of a patient in front of the examiner and demonstrate practically what you have learned to show that you can practice safely as a CNA.
5. Get Your Certification and Apply for a Job
Once you are done with your exams, you will apply for and receive your certificate in the mail and then be able to start applying for jobs. Remember to keep up with your continuing education hours to renew your certification per your state’s requirement approximately every one to two years.