Nursing assistantWelcome to FindCNAClasses, an all-inclusive online resource designed to help students interested in a career as a certified nurses assistant (CNA). We’ve collected a ton of information that will help make things easier for you as you decide on this new career path. With our carefully selected CNA sources and insightful articles about this rewarding career field, we offer insightful information and answer the questions that can help you make the best decisions possible about your formal training and career choices as a CNA.

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What is a certified nursing assistant?

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) attend state-approved programs that train them for an entry-level position in the nursing field. CNAs work under licensed nurses and perform the duties that define basic nursing care within their scope of practice. A CNA program is generally four to twelve weeks in length and graduates are eligible to take the state certification examination. CNAs provide basic nursing care for patients who need help with mobility, eating, dressing, and bathroom activities. You may also assist your patients and their families with emotional support for end-of-life care issues. 

Most CNAs work in nursing homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities, while others work in assisted-living facilities. As a provider of basic care, you may perform intensive physical activity that involves lifting patients, positioning them in bed and changing bed linens. CNAs require the ability to deal with body fluids, bedpans and urinary catheters without displaying negative expressions when caring for their patients. CNAs are not expected to perform the duties of licensed nurses, diagnose patients, or work as an independent healthcare provider.
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How do I know this is a good career choice?

Entry into a CNA program is usually easy and you may graduate in a few weeks of classroom and hands-on training. Depending on your program, classes may be intensive and require studying and paying close attention to class lectures. Since entry into CNA programs is generally easy, students can prepare for jobs quickly and gain experience in an entry-level position in healthcare.

Your job as a CNA may provide the knowledge and experience you desire to further your education in the nursing field or complete a prerequisite to your particular nursing school. However, your CNA certificate limits you to entry-level healthcare positions and you will have to obtain more formal classroom training, certification, or licensure to advance your health career as a nurse or any other area of the healthcare field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, nursing assistants, nursing aides, and nursing care attendants are in high demand and continue to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. With an expected increase of 21 percent faster than all other occupations, nursing assistants who have certifications and work in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities will benefit for the most job prospects for the next ten years.

Average Nursing Assistant Salary 2006-2011
average cna salary

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Looks promising, but is this right for me?

Are you a compassionate person who enjoys caring for the physical needs and emotional support of those who cannot care for themselves? Successful CNAs are highly social and approach the frequent interactions with physicians, nurses and patients and their families with good communication skills. Overall, CNAs are optimistic about life and strive to support patients and their families with positive, helpful solutions.

Good CNAs have the power of observation and notice the slightest changes in people that may be significant to their health and safety. If your personality demonstrates patience, a desire to improve the quality of patients’ lives and a dedication to lifelong learning, a position as a CNA may be right for you.

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I’m convinced! How do I become a CNA?

Although you don’t require a college degree to be a CNA, you will need to attend a state-approved program that trains you to perform as an entry-level healthcare worker. Although you don’t require a college degree to be a CNA, you will need to attend a state-approved program that trains you to perform as an entry-level healthcare worker. Find and enroll in a CNA training program and pay for the tuition and fees. In six to twelve weeks of classes, your CNA program teaches you to perform basic care for patients and prepares you to pass your state certification examination.

Most cities or towns have technical/vocational CNA schools or adult training centers that offer CNA programs. Brick-and-mortar schools offer traditional classes, practical skills training and the mandatory clinical practice for working with actual patients in a nursing home.

Online programs for nursing assistants are highly popular and offer the flexibility and convenience of learning the identical CNA classes at home. Online accredited programs may cost less and allow you to keep your job and manage family responsibilities while you learn. Although classroom training is studied and completed online, your online CNA program may require that you arrange the clinical practice portion on your own.

After you complete your courses, you take the certification exam that includes a skills performance test and a written test. The skills section tests your ability to perform basic nursing care, such as making beds, taking blood pressure, and recording a temperature.  When you pass both parts of your exam, your certification number is placed on the CNA state registry.  Healthcare employers are then able to lookup your certificate and know that you’re qualified to be hired as a CNA in a hospital, nursing home or home health agency.

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OK, I earned my certification. What kind of jobs can I get?

Congratulations! You got your CNA certification and it’s time to find a job. Here are some examples of jobs that are available for certified nurses assistants:

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