One of the fastest growing careers in the medical field is the certified nursing assistant or CNA. The CNA works under the Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at a medical care center or hospital. The nursing assistant helps patients fulfill their health care needs and they are an essential part of the health care setting.
What are duties and responsibilities of a CNA?
Specific job descriptions may vary depending on the place of employment. Nursing assistants are in high demand in a variety of settings including hospitals, assisted living facilities or nursing homes, adult day care centers and doctor’s offices. Their role is acting as the eyes and ears of the nurses and helping patients and nurses communicate with each other.
One of the most vital functions of the CNA is to fulfill basic quality-of-life needs for patients, such as administering medications or treatments and maintaining sanitary conditions in patient rooms. They are also tasked gathering information about their condition in order to maintain nurses and doctors up-to-date on patients’ health. Their role is also one of motivator and empathy, helping patients in their recovery by providing care and compassion. This can be crucial for patients and extremely fulfilling for the nursing assistant.
What is the demand for certified nursing assistants?
Typically, the CNA position is a stepping stone for other medical careers including nursing, which means that the medical field is always in search of skilled and caring nursing assistants. This is especially true in facilities that provide continuing medical care and assisted living facilities.
Many nursing assistants find it simple to study and become RNs while working as a CNA. That’s because studying and working as a CNA gives you a solid preparation and background for a career in nursing.
How can I become a nursing assistant?
In order to apply to become a CNA by examination in the state of Florida, applicants need at least a high school diploma or GED and have completed the nursing assistant curriculum developed by the Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership Grant. For students seeking this training, they can be obtained online, through community colleges, or trade schools offering state-approved CNA programs. Federal aid can help offset the cost of nursing assistant training programs.
Once the applicant has submitted all required documents, they will be fingerprinted in order to determine eligibility to take the Prometric CNA exam. This examination consists of a written and practical portion that allows students to demonstrate their skills. The written portion consists of 60 multiple choice question and the manual skills evaluation assesses your ability to complete five nursing assistant skills. Both parts of the exam must be passed in three attempts. When passed, applicants will be added to the FL Nursing Assistant Registry.
How much can I earn as a CNA?
Certified nursing assistants have an average annual salary of $26,820 in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In some fields, such as the federal executive branch and universities, the mean earning potential is as high as $36,760 a year.
Whether you want to pursue a career as a certified nursing assistant or obtain the certification as a stepping stone to more other careers in the medical field, there are many benefits to becoming a CNA. The path toward certification is straightforward and can teach you many valuable skills for your future.