How to Get a CNA Certificate

Aspiring certified nursing assistants must prepare for the certification examination if they wish to pursue this career.

Have you been let go from your previous job? Are you a fresh high school graduate with no clue as to what course you are going to take up in college? Are you frustrated because you were not able to pursue your nursing education due to financial incapacity? If you want a job that will secure your tenure and still provides decent pay, you might as well consider becoming a CNA. The work is in demand yet challenging in terms of your time and effort but it is definitely worth your investment. To become a CNA, you need to get a CNA certificate and here is how you can work towards that credential.

Step 1. Enroll yourself in certified nursing assistant programs.

These courses can vary in length from two weeks to six months depending on the kind of program and the school you are enrolling into. There are two possibilities wherein you can start your certified nursing assistant training. One is through enrolling in community, vocational schools or online schools and the other one is through undergoing hands-on training with organizations like Red Cross and hospitals offering the same program. The costs are very minimal, ranging from $300 to $600 on average. However it can also cost up to a few thousand dollars if your training will take about six months. However, there are scholarship grants given by Red Cross and some hospitals which will give you intensive hands-on training at no cost. Applicants for scholarship grants will either have to undergo a screening process or will be required to render a specific time period to work in the hospital or organization that sponsored their education.

Step 2. Take your CNA training classes seriously.

Though you may think that CNA classes are relatively shorter compared to that of other healthcare courses, you have to take all the hands-on training religiously in preparation for the quizzes and periodic examinations as well as the CNA state certification test. Whether you are enrolled in a traditional classroom type or in online CNA courses, the level of expectation is just the same. Expect that in a traditional classroom setting, you might undergo a longer training period of up to two months. Online courses, on the other hand, require you to have two to four weeks of hands-on training.

Step 3. Take the CNA certification examination.

The CNA certification test is administered on a per state basis. You have to take your examination in the state where you choose to work and live. Certification from a particular state may not be valid if you intend to work in another place. In some cases, you have to take another certification exam before landing a job. The CNA certification exam has two parts: theoretical and practical. You have to pass both parts in order to get your certificate. The theoretical portion of the exam consists of multiple-choice, enumeration, reasoning, and essay tests that are based on your readings and discussions in school. The practical portion subjects you to a supervised exam where you will be asked to perform basic nursing assistant tasks and be graded based on that.