According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the need for Certified Nurse Assistants is expected to grow 11 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. That’s a faster-than-average growth rate, demonstrating how critical the need for qualified candidates will continue to be for the next several years.
It takes relatively little time to become a CNA. Compared with completing a four-year or even a two-year degree program, the educational hours required are minimal. Nonetheless, CNAs can expect to earn a desirable salary. Opportunities for even better financial remuneration and professional advancement are possible for the dedicated individual.
The first step to becoming a CNA is to finish an approved education program. These programs involve classroom time as well as supervised, hands-on training. California law requires that prospective CNAs complete a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of hands-on training under the supervision of experienced nursing staff.
It’s possible for people who have completed part of an RN or LPN nursing program to meet the basic educational requirements for becoming a CNA. Individuals who received medical training while serving in the military similarly may already meet the basic, academic requirements. To qualify, such individuals must demonstrate recent, paid employment in the healthcare field.
After completing the educational requirements, CNA candidates must pass an examination. In California, applicants sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program or NNAAP. The test consists of two portions: a knowledge examination and a skills examination. Oral and written formats are available for the knowledge test. The oral format consists of 60 questions and 10 reading comprehension and word recognition questions.
Each NNAAP is conducted at a Regional Testing Center. The Center in Huntington Beach, California, is the one that is used for CNA candidates in Los Angeles. Applicants fill out a CNA Exam Registration Form for the southern region, and the form is mailed in with a cashier’s check or money order to pay the exam fee. To take the written and manual skills exam for the first time, the fee is $100. Candidates who need to retake the written test must submit $35 while a person who needs to retake the manual skills test must send $65. An additional fee of $15 is required for an oral exam. If a candidate misses their scheduled test date, then they must pay a $25 fee to reschedule.
On the day of the test, applicants must be prepared to present their photo identification and social security card. Additionally, candidates should bring a copy of their Certified Nurse Assistant and/or Home Health Aide Initial Application from the California Department of Public Health website. Identified as Form 283B, this document is completed upon enrollment in an approved CNA training program in Los Angeles.
Regulations state that candidates should pass the written and skills tests within two years of completing their education. Retraining is necessary for anyone who delays taking the tests until after this period.
Criminal background checks are required by California law for all prospective CNAs. Form 283B requests that applicants disclose whether or not they have been convicted of a crime at any time with the exception of a minor traffic violation. Applicants must undergo a digital fingerprinting process as part of the criminal background check. Certain criminal convictions automatically disqualify individuals from becoming CNAs in California.
Most CNA training programs are incredibly flexible and convenient because the organizations that administer these programs recognize that many of their students are employed and have various family responsibilities. In fact, it may be possible to complete some of the classroom portion of the CNA program online. However, the work of the CNA is hands-on and in-person, which makes the skills portion of the training vital.
Accordingly, you can expect to spend most of your training time in a brick-and-mortar location with a teacher and other students. This hands-on training ensures that you are ready to take on the responsibilities of the CNA.
Ultimately, the goal of CNA classes in LA is to prepare students to pass the state licensure exam. Graduates from approved programs are prepared to take patient vital signs, provide guidance with nutrition, bathe patients, promote an active lifestyle and to help patients see to their basic hygiene. The hands-on training covers all of these aspects and more. Graduates from CNA programs have a working knowledge of anatomy and physiology and all major systems within the body. Plus, they learn how to recognize common health problems like diabetes, respiratory ailments, and cognitive impairment.
CNAs frequently build strong and lasting relationships with their patients. This is because they may be providing care for the same individuals on a daily basis, sometimes for several years. Most CNAs find this to be an incredibly rewarding aspect of their career. They simply enjoy interacting with people who are under their care.
While building a personal relationship, the CNA may administer oral medications, perform blood glucose testing, maintain catheters and perform dozens of related tasks. The work is often difficult and challenging, but CNAs consider their efforts worthwhile as they make a positive difference in the lives of others.
The average CNA salary in Los Angeles is $31,430 (BLS)
The LA Metro system is one of the largest and most complex in the U.S. Fortunately, this means that it’s possible to use public transportation just about anywhere in the region. Metro uses a handy TAP card system for paying for fares, making it easy to just tap a card when boarding a bus to pay. Public transportation includes buses, light rail trains and subways. Visiting the www.metrto.net website is the best way to plot a route to any destination in the area.
The city is packed with reputable CNA training programs. One of these is provided by the Los Angeles Job Corps while another is found at Narboone High School. The Genova Health Institute & Services offers one of the more convenient programs, with options for AM, PM and weekend study. Angeles College administers a particularly well-respected program that emphasizes patient comfort, medical ethics, critical thinking and communications. The program requires 164 hours to complete, and students may choose from between daytime and evening classes.
Another worthwhile option is found at Westchester College. Requiring six weeks of full-time study, this program consists of 159 hours of instruction including in-class and skills training time. Students then spend an additional two weeks covering additional topics in Home Health Aide Modules. Totaling 40 hours of training, this portion of the course prepares students to take on the more complex tasks of the CNA.
|Advance Career Institute||3407 West 6Th St.; S-701||Los Angeles||CA||90020||213-368-6006|
|American Medical Careers||3333 Wilshire Blvd||Los Angeles||CA||90010||213-355-5306|
|Angeles College||3440 Wilshire Blvd.; Ste-310||Los Angeles||CA||90010||213-487-2211|
|Angeles Vocational Institute - Wknd||3540 Wilshire Blvd.; S-411||Los Angeles||CA||90010||213-480-4882|
|Bloom Cna School||4371 Crenshaw Bvoulevard Unit 1B||Los Angeles||CA||90008||323-596-3253|
|Cet Nursing||639 S. New Hampshire Ave. #301||Los Angeles||CA||90005||213-387-8383|
|Creative Skills Nursing School||3717 W. 3Rd Street, Suite # 206||Los Angeles||CA||90020||213-908-7051|
|Difai City College||2107 West Manchester Ave Ste-202||Los Angeles||CA||90047||323-750-0449|
|L A School Nursing Career||6399 Wilshire Blvd Suite 201||Los Angeles||CA||90048||323-852-1882|
|Lausd Dace East La Skills Center||3921 Selig Place||Los Angeles||CA||90031||323-224-5970|
|Lausd Dace La Technology Center||3721 West Washington Blvd.||Los Angeles||CA||90018||323-732-0153|
|Lausd Dace Maxine Waters Epc||10925 South Central Avenue||Los Angeles||CA||90059||323-564-1431|
|Lausd Rop/Narbonne High School||716 East 14Th Street, 1St Floor||Los Angeles||CA||90021||213-745-1940|
|Los Angeles Job Corps||1031 South Hill Street||Los Angeles||CA||90015||213-741-5361|
|Los Angeles Job Corps||1020 South Olive Street||Los Angeles||CA||90015||213-748-0135|
|Los Angeles Southwest College||1600 W. Imperial Hwy||Los Angeles||CA||90047||323-241-5247|
|Technical College/M-F||2300 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 102||Los Angeles||CA||90006||323-587-2364|
|Westchester College Of Nursing||8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 302||Los Angeles||CA||90045||310-981-9644|
|Zero-Max Career Institute||5300 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 415||Los Angeles||CA||90029||323-570-4127|
Free classes for prospective CNAs are available across LA. The Red Cross is perhaps the best-known purveyor of this free training, which is approved by the state. Other free training courses are available at medical facilities. Registrants agree to work for the facility upon completion of their training. Some of these facilities are Brierwood Terrance Convalescent Hospital, Ararat Convalescent Hospital, and Los Angeles Arbor Convalescent Hospital. Some of these programs even pay students while they learn.