Nursing Assistant

nurses

Nursing Assistant

If making a difference in someone’s life and working hard throughout the day is something that sounds appealing to you, then you may enjoy a career as a certified nursing assistant or CNA. This is an entry level position into the nursing field but will offer you a rewarding experience as you make a difference in people’s lives. CNAs are valued members of the healthcare team in hospitals, long-term care facilities, home healthcare agencies, and rehabilitation centers.

Educational Requirements for Nursing Assistant Programs

Earning your certification will give you the title “certified” nursing assistant, which allows you to practice in most U.S. states. Some states require you to obtain a license, either through the Department of Health or Board of Nursing. After you complete the assistant nursing program, you qualify for licensure and certification. While this varies from state to state, most programs will allow students entry with either a GED or HS diploma. Some states allow students in high school who are 16 years of age to earn certification.

CNA Program Courses

The CNA program lasts for about three months and will include classroom and also practical experience. Sometimes you can earn your certificate at a hospital, but there are many facilities that are licensed by the state to provide programs to you. You will learn a wide range of different skills, and your focus subjects will include patient status reporting, fluid intakes, patient’s mental status, patient meal preparation, and basic bedside care. In most U.S. states, it is required that all CNA programs offer 150 hours of training. There should also be 100 clinical hours of direct supervised clinical education under an RN.

Certified Nursing Assistant Salaries and Job Duties

A certified nursing assistant is someone who provides assistance to registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Typical job duties include bathing patients, assisting with daily living chores, such as dressing and feeding, and patient transport. This career requires that you have excellent communications skills, a caring disposition, and a good work ethic.

Once you become a CNA, you will love all of the opportunities that are ahead for you. This rewarding career will help you gain experience in the nursing field and also allow you to make a difference in people’s lives. According to most web sources, a CNA salary can fall anywhere from $17,000 to $31,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average income of a nursing assistant at $24,000 per year. This is a great career that is in demand and perfect for those who love to help people.

Resources

ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010): http://www.bls.gov/
National Association of Health Care Assistants (2013): http://www.nahcacares.org/
National Network of Career Nursing Assistants (2013): http://cna-network.org/
Nurse.Org (2013): http://www.nurse.org/orgs.shtml

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