Charlotte is the most populated city in North Carolina and Mecklenburg County’s county seat. The population is estimated to be almost 900,000 people, which makes it a top 20 city in the country as far as population goes. It’s a fast-growing metro area with almost 10% of the population being individuals over the age of 65. That’s approximately 71,000 people in this growing age group, which increases the needs for CNAs in the Charlotte area. The need is felt in the seven hospitals in the area, as well as the nearly 40 nursing homes in and around Charlotte. There are eight state-approved CNA programs in Mecklenburg County, so there are opportunities to learn this trade and use it as a long-term career or as a stepping stone into a more advanced nursing position.
In North Carolina, CNAs can practice in many areas. If you wish to care for the elderly in a nursing home, you will need Nurse Aide I. This is the basic credential awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services. You also have the option of pursuing the Geriatric Nurse Aide Certification. The North Carolina Board of Nursing awards the Nurse Aide II certification.
Nurse Aide I must be completed before Nurse Aide II. The state-approved course must be at least 75 hours. It’s common for these courses to occur over a 12 week period. Sixteen of the 75 hours are for hands-on training. To enroll in the course, you don’t have to have your high school diploma or GED to enroll unless the school you are enrolling into requires it. You must be at least 17 years of age with the ability to pass a drug test. Vaccinations against Hepatitis B, and Varicella. You must also get the two-step PPD and TDaP vaccines.
In the course, you will learn basic care skills. These include taking vitals and helping a patient take care of themselves. You might have to help a patient get dressed, feed themselves, bathe, and do basic care tasks. Each task will have to be properly logged and reported back to the registered nurse that oversees the case.
Once you get your CNA certification, you will need to find a job. Nurse Aide I allows you to work in nursing homes. With so many in and around Charlotte, you should be able to find a position. The average salary for a CNA in the area is just over $25,000. However, how much you’re paid depends on where you work. If you wish to increase your pay and opportunities, you can pursue the Nurse Aide II certification, which will allow you to work in hospitals, hospice facilities, and other care environments with people of all ages and conditions. One common theme of both certifications is the ability to assist people in need with their daily activities, keeping the environment clean, and even ensuring that medications are taken in their proper doses. The exact descriptions can vary from person-to-person.
The average CNA salary in Charlotte is $25,110 (BLS)
You will also need to get to and from work. If you won’t be driving yourself on any of the many roadways that can get you to where you are going and back, there are public transit options operated by the Charlotte Area Transit System. The options include light rail, express shuttles, historical trolleys, and bus services. Practically all of Mecklenburg County is serviced by these options.
In 2018, the LYNX light rail and commuter rail lines were opened. This is a more environmentally friendly transportation option. It’s expected that there will be a more expansive environmentally friendly option by 2030.
If you happen to live close to where you work, there is always the option to walk. Charlotte is the 49th most walkable city in the country. This is good news for those looking for a safe way to go to and from work on foot. Bicycling hasn’t quite yet made its way to being a safe mode of transportation, as Charlotte hasn’t established numerous bike lanes. This doesn’t mean that you cant ride a bicycle to work because it is possible; it just requires caution.
If this sounds like the career field for you, it’s important to find a state-approved CNA training program. Central Piedmont Community College offers such a program. Their Nurse Aide program teaches basic nursing skills and personal care for adult patients. Special emphasis is placed on the social, mental, and physical needs of elderly individuals. This includes procedures for personal care, nutrition management, patient’s rights, social needs, human body functions, activities, disorders and diseases, communication, documentation, and the role that nursing assistants play.
An application must be completed to attend Central Piedmont Community College. Immunizations, a drug screening, and a criminal background check are required. The estimated program cost is under $500 for in-state students and over $1600 for out-of-state students. Book and uniform costs are separate. However, there are other additional costs that can increase the cost for in-state students to over $1700 and out-of-state students to almost $3,000.
|Charlotte American Academy of Healthcare, LLC||4917 Albemarle Rd Suite 207||Charlotte||NC||28205||704-525-3500|
|Charlotte Central Piedmont Community College - Central Campus||1141 Elizabeth Ave||Charlotte||NC||28235||704-330-2722|
|Matthews Central Piedmont Community College - Levine Campus||2800 Campus Ridge Rd||Matthews||NC||28105||704-330-2722|
|Charlotte Chosen Healthcare Institute, Inc.||8401 University Executive Park Dr #111||Charlotte||NC||28262||704-547-1988|
|Charlotte CPR Works of Charlotte||9305-D Monroe Rd||Charlotte||NC||28270||704-517-7847|
|Charlotte Divine Health Academy||5633 Monroe Rd||Charlotte||NC||28212||704-566-2955|
|Charlotte Serenity Nurse Aide Academy||6636 E W.T. Harris Blvd Suite H||Charlotte||NC||28215||704-567-8000|
|Charlotte Unity Nursing Institute||5715 Westpark Dr Ste 202||Charlotte||NC||28217||704-525-1448|
If you can’t afford the tuition costs or you simply don’t want to pay them if you don’t have to, it is good to look for free CNA training programs or other payment opportunities. You can apply for financial aid to pay for the classes. Completing a FAFSA is a great first step. You can also look for scholarship opportunities. For instance, there are scholarships out there for adults wishing to go back to school or even parents that want to start a new career path. You can ask an advisor at the school you wish to attend if there are opportunities to help you pay for your education. This simple inquiry can result in you having to pay a lot less, if anything, for your CNA training.