Everyone wants a job that is emotionally fulfilling along with the financial security, and the profession of a ‘Certified Nursing Assistant’ is that one. Along with being a lucrative career, it can also be a stepping stone for the better and bigger careers opportunities in the medical field. Certified Nurse Assistant courses are increasingly becoming popular and a number of U.S. universities offer CNA courses. 

As we know that earning a College Degree is very pricey. But the saddest thing is that even after graduating, there is a trouble in getting student loans. But, aspirants need not drop the idea of becoming a ‘Registered Nurse’ as they can live up their dreams by giving a start to their career as a Certified Nursing Aide.  Many aspirants of Registered Nurses consider the option to become a CNA first as the eligibility requirements of it are easy to accomplish. Moreover, the certification of Certified Nursing Assistant can take from some weeks to months, for completion. Hence, becoming a CNA opens a door to many greater career opportunities in the medical field.

CNAs get the opportunity to offer nursing care to the sick and elderly people. CNAs don’t just work in hospital settings but at other places too, like Community care facilities, Home health Agencies, Hospice Nursing, Assisted living Facilities, Sub-acute Care Facilities, Doctor’s offices Nursing Care facilities and more. 

The job responsibilities of CNAs include assisting other nurses with medicinal equipments, providing emotional and social support to patients, checking vital signs of patients, keeping the environment of their patients clean and also giving critical information about the changes in the health-conditions of patients immediately to nurses and doctors. 

The certification process starts with the training program and followed by the examination. The examination is known as Certified Nursing Aide Certification Exam (CNACE), National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) or Nurse Aide Assessment Examination (NAAE).  The exam is basically a way to test the classroom learning through a written and skill exam.   Every state maintains a registry of all CNAs who have successfully qualified the testing. The registry also maintains the information concerning to the current status of the certificate (active or inactive).

Why to Earn CNA Certification?

It’s a tool to earn the respect in the society and the trust of the doctors, supervisors, co-workers and patients.  Possession of the CNA certification indicates having the skill, talent and knowledge of nursing.  It makes aspirants eligible to work in patients’ homes and community healthcare centres. Top of all, it nurtures the medical career and aids in earning a little better.  

CNA Certification Requirements

College degree is not required to earn the CNA credentials, which means candidates do not have to face the financial crunch to become a professional Certified Nursing Assistant of the U.S.

In order to appear in the Nursing Aide Registry and work as a CNA, different states have varied requirements in terms of the minimum age of a candidate, or number of hours classroom study or clinical training. 

But, all states demand a proof of GED or diploma of High School from aspiring Nursing Aides, and also the completion of a six-to-twelve weeks state approved nursing aide certificate program.

Where to Enrol For CNA Courses

Before rushing out to enrol in a certified CNA training program, candidates must check out that the training course is accredited and certified by the recognized organizations. Candidates may inquire with the State’s Nursing Aide Registry or NLNAC (Nursing Accrediting Commission) in order to verify the legality of the offered CNA course and place.

CNA Training and Certification   

The training and certification process for certifies nursing aide usually takes around six-to-twelve weeks. It is conducted at medical facilities and community colleges.  The program covers a wide range of topics, such as Proper Body Mechanics, Basic Nursing Skills, Nutrition, infection Control, Basic Anatomy and Physiology.  Various clinical skills and knowledge is gained during the training.  Clinical Externship of at least 75 hours is must to become eligible for the next level i.e. to sit for the competency exam.

Free training programs also run in every state of the Unites States for aspirants working in the recognized nursing facilities. Under these training programs, it is the current employer of the employed candidates who meet all the expenses related to the training and testing.  

CNA Certification Renewal

The CNA certification has an expiry period. The license expired in every two years, which needs to be renewed in order to continue work as a professional CNA. License holders receive the notification mail from the State Nursing Board for the renewal of nursing certificates.

If the license stays expired for over 5 years, aspirants need to appear for the nursing aide training program and the examination again.

How to Know the Status of Nursing Aide Certificate?

The status of the CNA license can be checked online. Go to the website of the state’s CNA registry and then to the ‘CNA Certification Verification’ page.

After this, candidates are required to fill and submit the asked information. Then, the page will display the license name, number and the status of the certificate.

Otherwise, if you may get to locate the license verification page of a state, search can be made by the person’s name, certificate number or social security number in order to obtain the required information.

Several states have got a toll free number to help candidates to the status of their CNA license. 

How to transfer the CNA licensures to other States?

CNA license of a state can be transfer to other states of America. For this, candidates need to follow the ‘Reciprocity’ process. Under the process, candidates firstly need to contact the CNA Registry of the current status and ask for an enrolment application by reciprocity.   Then, fill the application and send it to the Nurse Aide Registry of other state. Candidates are suggested to keep one copy of the application document with them also.

How to Renew the Expired CNA Credentials? 

CNA licenses expire in the period of two years. The Nursing Aide Registry of the state sends the reminder mail to candidates notifying them about the expiration date of the credentials. Different states have specified requirements to continue the activation of the CNA license.  CNAs must keep their address information updated with the nursing aide registry of the state. For the renewal of the CNA credentials, there is a fee, and every state imposes a different fee for this. The online facility is also available to renew the license.