If you’re a single mom, you’re not alone. Researchers agree that over half of American children will be cared for by a single parent at one time or another during their childhood years. As the sole provider for young children, single mothers need employment options that provide flexibility, a higher-than-average hourly wage, and a fast track to a career in high demand. Find out how becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may provide you with the options you need for success.
Fast Online Training for Moms
Although you must ensure that your online training program is state-approved, you may be able to complete the first half of your CNA program in an online environment. The theory portion and practical skills training are accomplished by reading online text, watching training videos, and completing assignments in a virtual classroom. If your priority is to be home for your family, learning online may be the optimal option for you.
The Clinical Portion of CNA Instruction
Depending on the state you live in, most CNA programs can be completed in four to twelve weeks of training. After completing the classroom part online, the second part of your program includes the completion of at least 30 hours of clinical practice that allows you to care for actual patients under the supervision of your instructor. Depending on your program policy and the state that you reside, your options may include:
- Selecting an online program that blends the clinical and online training
- Working for a local nursing home that meets your clinical practice needs
Flexible Scheduling Options
Hospitals and nursing homes are open 24-hours a day and offer flexible working schedules that include evenings, weekends, and nights. As a CNA, you may be able to plan a schedule that meets the needs of your family while ensuring a full-time paycheck each week. If you need more options in your work schedule, consider working as a CNA in home health and plan your visits in accordance with your family responsibilities.
Benefits of Working as a CNA
According to the U.S. Labor Department, the national minimum wage is $7.10 per hour. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, CNAs made a national average of $12.51 per hour. With a relatively short period of training, nursing assistants can earn a much better income and enjoy access to healthcare insurance, life insurance and retirement packages as an employee of a nursing home or hospital. Also, many hospitals offer child daycare for their employees at minimal or no costs.
A High Demand for CNAs
Whether you live in a small town or a big city, chances are good that CNAs are in desperate need by your healthcare community. According to the BLS in 2013, over 320,000 CNAs will be necessary by 2022. Although most CNA programs prepare you for a job in a nursing home, positions for CNAs are available in an array of medical settings such as:
- Adult and children’s hospitals
- Daycare and school settings
- Home care and private duty
- Walk-in care settings and outpatient clinics
Opportunities for Growth and Change
As your family grows and your needs change, you may want to advance your nursing career with education and training. Many hospitals and nursing homes offer tuition assistance after a specified time of employment to help you pay for school and increase your earning potential. As a CNA, you may be able to manage life’s transitions and move forward with confidence.