Indianapolis is in the heart of Indiana, and the need for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow by 11% until 2026, which is faster than average among all occupations. This has much to do with the baby boomer population needing assistance as they age. CNAs are trained to handle the needs of the elderly and other types of patients. They work under the direction of a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or licensed vocational nurse to ensure the basic needs of patients are met in many types of settings. These settings include nursing homes, hospitals, patient homes, and assisted living facilities. Indianapolis has a population of 864,771, as of 2016. With the elderly population being the second highest population, the demand for CNAs is outpacing the supply.
Becoming a CNA in Indianapolis starts with completing an Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH)-approved nurse aide training program. Such a program consists of at least 75 hours of training in a clinical environment and 30 hours in a classroom. Once the program is completed, the next step is to take a competency evaluation within two years. An application will have to be completed to ensure you are eligible to take the exam. After approval, the exam is taken in written form unless it has been previously attempted and failed. A previous attempt will result in a skills examination being required in addition to the written exam. Once this test is passed with a minimum score of 80%, you become certified. As long as you remain in good standing in the Indiana Nurse Aide Registry, you can practice.
However, it starts with finding the right program. If you live in the Indianapolis, there are many ISDH-approved programs that you can join so you can work toward Indiana CNA certification.
Finding the right program doesn’t have to be overly complicated because you don’t have to go to a university or community college to receive the necessary training. There are over 20 programs in Indianapolis that are administered either through medical facilities or small colleges. This makes earning a certification much more accessible, giving some flexibility in how it is earned. If you prefer hands-on training, that’s an option for you, just as earning your education online or in a classroom environment are possibilities.
One point to touch on is the transfer of certification to Indiana. If you will be transferring your certification from another state, you must contact the Indiana Department of Health. A significant requirement is that you are in Registered with the Nurse Aide Registry in the state you are transferring from. You are also required to have worked as a CNA for at least 8 hours within the past 24 months in your former state.
To complete certification in Indiana, you will be required to complete an application to take the written exam. Supporting documents showing your former state’s certification and that you are in good standing must accompany the application. The written test is then scheduled within 30 days of the application being processed.
The average CNA salary in Indianapolis is $27,190 (BLS)
If you will be training at a facility or school, it is best to know what public transit options are available to you if you won’t be driving your own vehicle. As you probably know, traffic in Indianapolis is heavy and public transportation can be an effective way to get to training on time.
On the IndyGo website, you can look at transit maps and schedules, buy bus passes, and establish a transit plan so you can get where you are going when you need to. If you prefer taxi service overtaking the bus, there are 20 different taxi services. Of course, there is also Lyft and Uber if you prefer one of those methods.
To become a CNA in Denver, you will need to attend classes and clinicals on a regular basis. Consistent attendance is a must, so it’s important that you have a reliable method of transportation.
With nearly two dozen approved CNA training facilities in Indianapolis, it can be difficult to determine where to start. One route is Ivy Tech Community College. If you prefer a school atmosphere rather than on-the-job training in a facility, this might be the option for you. The cost is $125 per semester for students in the nursing program. For online classes, there is a $20 per credit hour fee per class.
The total hours in the Ivy Tech Program is 105. Once completed, Ivy Tech can help you with the exam application process. Ivy Tech is also approved by the ISDH to administer the CNA Competency Evaluation. The cost for the exam is $75 and both the skills and written portions are administered.
If you are transferring your certification from another state, Ivy Tech has the resources to help with the entire process. That way, each step moves as smoothly as possible so you can get back to work.
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Aside from financial aid opportunities that could completely fund your education, particularly at technical colleges or vocational schools, there is on-the-job training. With Indianapolis having nursing facilities that are approved to train, the training can be provided for free under specific conditions. For example, a facility might only train employees. Another example is that the CNA training program might be solely for hands-on training rather than employment. In the case that you join the facility to learn rather than be employed, you are providing effective labor under supervision in exchange for getting the necessary training for free.
To find such programs, the Indiana State Department of Health has a list of approved facilities that you can contact. When looking for free training, simply inquire about the cost of their programs and if there are free training options. Of course, the availability of free training is also dependent on the facility having openings. If openings are hard to find, then the community or vocational option may be ideal so you can receive training and then pursue job openings.