Overview of the CNA Career

If you are considering a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, it’s important to understand at least in part all the facets of this essential and rewarding career. Many forms of financial assistance are available — such as scholarships and grants, as well as on-the-job training — so there is no reason not to be able to get the training you need to become a successful CNA.

Your Main Duties
You’ll be working every day to help patients with simple activities like feeding, grooming and bathing. Basic care for these patients is a challenge and they need your help. Remember that these patients also, as a result, have a loss of dignity so your job is doubly important. CNAs are needed as essential parts of community care facilities for elderly patients, nursing homes and hospitals around the country. These facilities have such a great need for these positions that many even help pay for training. The median annual salary for this position is approximately $24,000.

Education
It does not take much education outside of a GED or high school diploma to attain the certification necessary to become a CNA. In fact, CNA certificate programs only take six to 12 weeks in most cases and are widely available at your local medical facilities or community colleges. While receiving this certification you will learn infection control, nutrition, physiology and anatomy, as well as basic nursing skills — all the techniques you will need to become employed in this entry level position within the nursing industry. Furthermore, not all of the education is book-oriented; much of it is hands-on, particularly the experience gained through clinical activities.

Getting Started
There are two quick ways to get started on your career as a CNA. You should select either option based on whether or not you have the funds to afford certification training in your area. If you do, simply search for well-respected programs available to you now. If you do not, seek out on-the-job training which will allow you to sign a contract for your services and likely receive the training free as a result. If you need additional funds, or do not prefer on-the-job training, then you need to apply for grants and scholarships available in your state.