A Complete Guide Covering How to Get Your CNA Certification

Certified nursing assistants serve vital roles in the healthcare industry. Working alongside doctors and physicians in hospitals, as well as outpatient and long-term care facilities, they assist patients who are unable to care for themselves with their medical conditions. Before you decide to get your CNA certification, you must first decide if this position is right for you.

In order to succeed as a CNA, you must possess certain innate characteristics that will enable you to thrive in an environment that can be fast-paced and very stressful at times. First, and foremost, CNAs are required to display a great deal of compassion for people. On a daily basis, certified nursing assistants come into contact with people who aren’t feeling well and may not be in the best of moods. As their caregiver, you must display compassion, patience, and a great deal of tact, along with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic. You must be able to provide thorough care, and conduct certain medical procedures with attention to detail, even when there are distractions.

Day-to-day duties of a CNA might include things such as: taking vital signs, monitoring food and liquid intake of patients, monitoring and reporting changes to your supervisor, who is usually a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse, and assisting patients with everyday tasks like eating, bathing, and using the bathroom. CNAs must be trained on how to conduct all of these tasks in a manner that is both efficient, yet thorough.

In order to obtain your CNA certification, you must take CNA certification classes. You may take them at a local community college or on-site at a local healthcare facility. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. The coursework at a community college will likely cost more, and take longer than the training you’d receive on-site. However, it is more extensive, and some CNAs have reported learning more this way. An on-site healthcare facility can train you in six weeks or less, but you may not learn as much. However you will get hands-on experience that will benefit you later, whether you choose to work in a hospital or a long-term care facility. Alternatively, you could obtain your CNA certification online, which will give you more flexibility, when it comes to your schedule.

Once you finish your coursework and training, you must then pass the CNA Exam given by the state in which you will practice. Every state has different CNA certification requirements, so it is important to know the guidelines set forth by your particular state. Once you obtain certification in one state, if you decide to move, you can apply for certification in another state as well.

There are many benefits to receiving your CNA certification. However, the education and training is only half the battle. The real test will come once you start working in the medical field and assisting patients on a daily basis. It is then that you’ll learn whether or not a career as a certified nursing assistant is right for you.

Why You Must Find an Accredited CNA Training Program

Perusing the many available certified nursing assistant training programs is the first step towards reaching your goal of becoming a CNA. The educational world is full of schools, classes, and materials that are all aimed at helping you achieve your dream of passing your CNA exam and embarking on this new and exciting career. As you search, though, you should keep one thing in mind: why you must find an accredited CNA training program.

The amount of CNA training programs that are out there is astounding, but the fact is that if they are not accredited they will not be recognized as legitimate by other professionals. You may be able to secure a job after attending a non-accredited school, but the fact of the matter is that it will only harm you in the long run to forgo an accredited education.

Accredited online CNA classes are some of the most popular amongst students looking to enter the medical field. Online classes are very popular and, as technology evolves to make distance learning more feasible and effective, can offer a variety of interactive resources that traditional learning programs have yet to implement. Certified nurse assistant school online is a great way to go if you want to secure your CNA training in a way that is convenient and easy to work around your schedule; however, you have to be careful when choosing which program to enroll in. Online schools are not always accredited, no matter how official their websites may appear, and you must do a bit of research before committing to an online institution.

CNA training classes are also offered by traditional schools, often community colleges that offer face to face instruction. While you have to be careful with these schools as well, as their lack of accreditation may not be obvious, you are a bit less likely to be persuaded to enroll in a program that is not recognized by your future colleagues. However, you do need to ensure that accreditation is in place and that the school itself offers the high standard of education that you are looking for. Some people may mistake traditional education for quality education, but the truth is that face to face colleges can offer a low standard to their students. For this reason, researching all of the programs you are considering is crucial to choosing the right school for your needs.

An additional thing to remember when choosing an accredited school is that the programs that are legitimate will provide you with CNA training material that will contribute to your success on the CNA examination, which you have to pass in order to become a certified nursing assistant. While general knowledge about the field is important, accredited schools will offer materials that will help you learn exactly what you need to know to pass the exam and get started on your new career!

Finding accredited classes that work with your schedule and personal learning style may seem a bit intimidating, but all it takes is a little research and effort. When  you graduate from an accredited program you will be glad that you put in the extra effort to ensure that your education was worthwhile!

Inexpensive CNA Classes

There are plenty of reasons why people become CNAs, or Certified Nursing Assistants. Their motives may be at least partially self-serving; the CNA position is a wonderful gateway to work in the medical field, providing a great steppingstone to future education as an LPN. Their motives may also be, in part or in whole, altruistic. Indeed, if you are looking for a career that enables you to truly help people who need it, you could do a lot worse than the CNA. You’ll be working in nursing homes and hospitals, providing a meaningful service to the people who need it the most.

So how do you embark upon this promising career path? The first step, of course, is to acquire the proper training. CNA work is something that involved a balance of many different skill sets, and you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing before you just dive in. Moreover, the more education you have, the better your odds of getting hired—and the higher a salary you’ll be able to get.

The good news is that CNA training programs do not have to be super expensive. Indeed, inexpensive CNA classes and educational resources are easy to come by, if only you know how to look.

For starters: Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Over the last few years, the Red Cross has been pushing forward with an initiative to offer affordable and convenient CNA training classes. Their classes tend to be fairly efficient, demanding relatively little of your time, and also about as cheap as these things get. Not all Red Cross chapters offer these classes, of course, but your local chapter can at least point you in the right direction.

Another option is to seek out free CNA training programs from facilities that employ a lot of CNAs—and yes, that does say free! CNA professionals are in such high demand these days that many institutions are willing to train them for free. Contact some of the hospitals, nursing homes, and long term care facilities near you, and inquire about CNA training programs. Again, you won’t necessarily have luck everywhere, but these facilities can at least tell you where to look.

Finally, conduct a quick Google search for free CNA resources. There are plenty of professional organizations out there with a vested interest in cultivating good, knowledgeable, and hard-working CNAs. You can ask many of these organizations for free resources, like training DVDs and written materials, and they will be happy to send. These materials will help you brush up on your important skill sets, and prepare you for work in the field or else for further education.

The options for learning are plentiful then—and so are the jobs themselves. That’s what makes this such a promising and exciting field. If you’re looking for stable work, for a bridge to further medical training, or simply a way to help people, consider looking for some inexpensive CNA training near you.

Advantages of Online CNA Training Courses

Deciding to become a certified nursing assistant is a big step, so congratulations if you have determined to pursue this career! The next big question you must answer, though, is how will you get the education you need to earn your certification? Several different options are available to you at this point in time, but it is important not to overlook the advantages of online CNA training courses.

Quality CNA training is essential to your success on the examination that you will have to pass to earn your certification, which is why attending the best CNA training classes is crucial to your career. With the right education, you can start your new profession easily and quickly adapt to your new job. If you do not get a great education, though, you could find yourself floundering once you enter the workforce.

The advantages of taking online courses are many, including a more flexible schedule, the ability to complete your work on your own time, and the avoidance of long commutes to and from school. Though these advantages are valuable, you should also consider your own learning style when choosing whether or not to take online courses. Virtual learning is perfect for independent learners that are capable of maintaining productive schedules and managing their time effectively. If you know that you can handle these added responsibilities, then online courses may be the perfect method of instruction for your educational needs!

Online courses do come with a few cons that you should consider before enrolling. First, they will not provide you with the hands on training that you may find valuable. Becoming a certified nursing assistant will require you to perform a variety of procedures on patients, but online classes can only tell you how to do them and do not give you adequate opportunities to practice the technique under direct supervision. Additionally, if you are not able to manage your time effectively you will have a great deal of trouble keeping up with your assignments.

If you have weighed your options and determined that online classes are the way to go then it is time to start looking into the CNA training material you will need. Different CNA training classes require different materials, ranging from paper books to ebooks. Additionally, some CNA certification classes will also require you to purchase medical equipment that you may need during your career. This may seem expensive up front, but these are materials that you will utilize and reference for many years to come and are well worth the investment.

When taking certified nursing assistant classes keep in mind that there really is no difference, from a qualifications perspective, between online and regular degree programs as long as the online program is accredited. If you are attending a recognized school then your degree should be accepted. The cost of CNA classes will vary based upon which online school you attend, but again this is an investment in your future that you should not hesitate to make.

Taking online CNA training courses can help you get a jump start on your new career!

CNA to LPN Online Classes

There are plenty of great reasons to consider becoming a CNA—some of which have precious little to do with the job itself. While many who practice in the CNA field really enjoy the rigors and rewards of the work itself, there are others who use the job as a sort of stepping stone, a bridge to an altogether different career. You see, the CNA position has long been a foundation on which LPN careers are built—so if your goal is career development and the cultivation of professional skills, look no further than the CNA.

Historically, of course, it’s always been that a CNA would go back to school to become an LPN. These days, though, it doesn’t quite work that way, at least not always. Thanks to the luxuries afforded by distance education, you can now find CNA to LPN online classes, allowing you to train in your own time, perhaps even while still working full-time. Going from a CNA to an LPN is never going to be easy, of course, but there are plenty of perks to doing it this way. Taking CNA to LPN bridge courses online will enable you to work on your own time, while still pulling in an income/ And many of your basic CNA class credits will transfer over into LPN studies—making the CNA to LPN bridge a relatively simple one to cross.

But that’s hardly to say that all or even most of your challenging classroom work is behind you, of course—even if you’re learning online and not in a traditional “classroom” setting! There are a lot of important classes you’ll need to take in order to become an LPN. For starters, nursing concepts will be strongly emphasized, far more than they were even in your CNA training. These classes will help you grasp the theories and practices that make for effective nursing; you’ll learn about spotting illnesses and diagnosing them effectively, and also about how to provide quality patient care and communication.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your training will also involve some serious studies in human anatomy. Obviously, it’s important for you to understand the body parts, tissues, and internal systems of your patients. For that matter, you’ll also need to understand their minds. You’ll need to understand the behavior of your patients, what motivates them to act the way they do. Thus, your LPN classes will feature some psychology.

Other classes will be less medical but equally relevant. As you can imagine, you’ll need to know how to use various computer programs in your nursing career, so some basic computer classes will be a must. And again, communication is key; expect to have some communication courses. For all of these, though, your CNA experience will be vital preparation. It’s a foundation on which you’ll be able to build the rest of your professional education and development.

Get Training at Red Cross CNA Classes

It should more or less go without saying, at this point, that the American Red Cross knows a thing or two about quality healthcare. The organization has been at the forefront of numerous health-related initiatives and causes since its inception, and has, if anything, been getting more publicity than ever lately, what with its continued involvement in Japanese tsunami relief efforts and its good work in helping Americans ravaged by recent, catastrophic storms. Even on a local level, Red Cross branches take blood donations and offer services that make out neighborhoods safer and healthier.

It should come as no big surprise, then, that the Red Cross is also involved in medical training. No, you cannot obtain a medical degree from the Red Cross—they haven’t gotten to quite that level yet! But you can take classes to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. Red Cross CNA classes are just one small part of what the organization does, of course, but they nevertheless comprise a vital service.

The point of Red Cross CNA training, of course, is ultimately to obtain certification to practice as a CNA. The role of the CNA is different than that of, say, an RN, but it is nevertheless challenging work. More to the point, the Red Cross recommends the CNA certification as a step toward any future medical career; in particular, enrolling in a Red Cross CNA class can be credited toward your RN degree later on, should you choose to pursue a career in that particular field.

The Red Cross also notes that a CNA certification offers relative job security. Our population is aging, and that means there are more and more elderly folks who rely on quality medical caregivers. Often, a CNA will be enlisted to serve such people, which means, in essence, that the CNA position is only going to become more and more valuable in the near future. A Red Cross CNA class is, ultimately, an investment in your own future.

And taking CNA classes with Red Cross is one of the best ways to do it. It’s a pretty streamlined and efficient program, taking just a few weeks to complete. Brief though it may be, this training is also developed to be effective. Certification requirements for becoming a CNA differ from one state to the next, but Red Cross CNA training—led by an experienced nurse—is customized to help you meet whatever requirements your own state may have. Additionally, finding a Red Cross chapter that offers this training is easy, as there are branches all over the country that are getting involved with this CNA initiative.

There are other options for pursing CNA certification, of course, and the Red Cross by no means wishes to suggest that their methods are the only methods. That said, the Red Cross training is some of the most efficient and convenient out there, making it a great way to invest in your own future as a medical professional.

Take a CNA Practice Test

Becoming a CNA isn’t an easy thing to do by any stretch of the imagination, but all the hard work you put into it will likely be met with ample reward down the line. A CNA—or Certified Nursing Assistant—enjoys a job that is challenging in all the right ways, forcing them to think on their feet and ultimately giving them the reward of knowing they’ve helped those in need. To boot, a CNA certification is often used as a springboard to a career as a full nurse, meaning that obtaining CNA credentials now can ultimately save you time and headaches down the road. But if the rewards are numerous, obtaining them comes with a few hurdles.

The most obvious one, of course, is the education itself. Becoming a CNA requires some training, and, ultimately, you have to sit for a CNA certification test. The CNA test can prove daunting to many, though, so before you go to take the test to be a CNA, you might first decide to take a CNA practice test. Happily, there are plenty of free CNA tests all over the Web.

Certainly, a CNA free practice test will give you a major advantage when you go to take the test for real. By taking a free CNA practice test, you’ll know what to expect in terms of CNA test questions. A sample CNA certification test can also be helpful in helping you gauge about how long it will take you to complete the real test, which you can use to facilitate your own time management skills.

CNA practice test free sample questions can be helpful in other ways, as well. Sample testing questions for CNA certification and you will realize just how broad and diverse the field really is, something that will not only help you appreciate the scope of the certification itself, but also to appreciate the career path on which you have embarked. You’ll see what a hearty balance a CNA must strike between, say, lab work, patient interaction, and administrative tasks—helpful as you plan what your future as a CNA might look like.

And lest we neglect to mention one of the most crucial reasons why taking a practice test can come in handy, it’s worth mentioning the matter of money. While CNA training is often fairly affordable, licensure itself is not. Even taking the test can cost you money, which means, obviously, that it’s not something you want to have to do any more than is necessary. Taking a sample CNA certification test beforehand will help you minimize your odds of blowing a big chunk of change on multiple testing sessions.

At the end of the day, though, sample tests are not designed to stress you out. They are meant to simulate the rigors of the real test, but only so that you can know what you’re getting into and not feel daunted when the real testing day arrives. Sample tests are meant to help you—so use them freely!