Steps to CNA Continuing Education
It is no secret that in this slow economy, jobs can be hard to come by. As the baby boomer population continues to age, however, health care professionals are increasingly in demand. In fact, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) are more needed than ever before. If you need a job, and are considering going back to school, CNA continuing education is one route that you can go. Becoming a CNA requires relatively little schooling, compared to many jobs in the medical field, and the current nursing shortage means that there is no lack of employment for CNA’s. If you want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, however, there are a few steps you will have to take in order to become qualified.
Most CNA continuing education programs require their students to have a high school diploma. If you did not complete high school, however, there are a number of ways to obtain your high school equivalency. The GED test, or General Educational Development test, can verify to potential colleges that you have the knowledge level required to graduate high school. The High School Equivalency test, or HEP, offers additional support services. In order to take the HEP, however, you must have worked at least seventy-five days on a farm over the last two years.
Once you have obtained your high school diploma, GED or HEP, you can enroll in CNA classes. The basic classes cover the policies, laws and procedures relevant to the CNA profession. These classes involve roughly 120 hours of class time and are offered by a number of organizations. Traditionally, students have taken their CNA classes through a local community college or vocational school. The internet, however, has provided a means for many students to take these classes at home. Online classes may offer greater flexibility than college classes, but do not offer the same level of teacher-student interaction. Regardless of where you take your classes, it is important to make sure that you are taking them from a state-accredited institution.
Although classes may be taken from the comfort of your home, CNA’s must also complete a certain number of internship hours. These hours must be performed under the supervision of a CNA teacher, and they will give you the hands-on experience needed to excel in the field. Internship requirements differ somewhat from state to state, so it is important to research the number of hours you must do before you begin.
Once your training and internship are complete, it is time to take the CNA exam. While it may be possible in some states to take the test online, you will probably have to find a nearby testing center. Once you have passed, you are considered a qualified CNA and you can begin the process of contacting potential employers and handing out resumes.
Being a Certified Nursing Assistant can be a demanding, thankless job. If you are a dedicated, nurturing person, however, it can also result in a very rewarding career. In the end, many people have found CNA continuing education to be a worthwhile decision.