For most individuals who enroll in CNA training classes, these are the first step toward a career in the healthcare industry sans the expensive tuition, lengthy learning process, and rigorous study demands required of other healthcare-related courses. This is not to say, however, that the job of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a dead-end job because it is not, far from it. Keep in mind that becoming a CNA is an excellent stepping stone toward a full-fledged career as a registered nurse.
Curriculum in Schools
The theoretical education and practical training provided for CNA classes are designed to equip students with the right skill sets in the workplace. Since the qualifications for certification among nursing assistants differ between states, the curriculum between schools will also vary. It then becomes important to ensure that the school or site offering CNA training classes are accredited by the state certification board before enrolling in the full course.
In general, the CNA curriculum in schools and online sites will include classes on the:
• Roles and responsibilities of the nursing assistant
• Anatomy and physiology of the human body
• Safety and infection control
• Communication and interpersonal relationships with patients, co-workers, and supervisors in the workplace
• Personal care procedures for patients (i.e., skin care, oral hygiene, and dressing/undressing)
• Environmental comfort for clients
• Nutritional requirements, techniques, and tools
• Exercise and activity
• Vital signs
• Elimination procedures (i.e., bowel and urinary bladder elimination)
• Care for clients with special medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, and respiratory diseases
Students are required to learn both the theory and the practice via classroom discussions and in-clinic work. This is true even for online CNA classes.
Depending on the curriculum, students will be required to attend weekday classes of 4 to 6 hours each in classrooms, which can either be physical or virtual kind. In-clinic training, which should be done in accredited clinics, hospitals, and nursing care centers, is also required for students to finish the course. Keep in mind that many state certification boards will require certification as to both aspects of the CNA curriculum in both online sites and schools.
As with any other medical course, training for nursing assistants also requires hard work, commitment, and dedication to your studies. It cannot be overemphasized that good healthcare is a right for every citizen and nursing assistants are important in its delivery.
Cost of Training
As previously implied, the cost of training for aspiring nursing assistants is reasonable and affordable. The specific tuition, fees, and other charges will vary although most schools and sites have a price range of $500 to $1,000 for a course lasting anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. In most cases, online classes are cheaper to take than brick-and-mortar classes because of lower overhead expenses on the website’s part of the site and lower travel costs on the student’s part.
The good news is that there are several options to enroll in CNA classes virtually for free. First, scholarships from the school are available for students who pass the requirements. Second, sponsorships from third parties can also be availed of. Third, present employers like hospitals may also shoulder the tuition and other school fees for their employees who wish to take the CAN course.
Once you successfully pass the CNA course and the certification exam, your job prospects are plentiful. Hospitals, clinics, and nursing care homes, among other medical facilities, require competent certified nursing assistants on their staff. The pay is good, too, at $10 to $15 per hour, which translates to $20,000 to $30,000 per year, aside from the perks of vacation leaves, medical and dental insurance, and bonuses.