The CNA (certified nursing assistant) is considered by some as the first step into taking care of patients in a medical environment. Some people choose to stay in the CNA position for their entire career while others use this as an opportunity to advance in the medical field. The natural order of advancement is to study for the position of LPN (licensed vocational nurse) and then climb one step further to become an RN or registered nurse. The LPN step is not necessary however and the CNA has the option of skipping this step entirely.
The first step in becoming a CNA, is to begin attending CNA classes. Your CNA certification classes will ensure you receive the proper training for your new career as a nursing assistant. After your CNA classes and training is complete, you will need to apply for a license in your state. Often the license examinations are administered by the state nursing board, but some states contract private parties, such as Pearson Vue, to administer the test. When successfully passed, the state will issue you your CNA certification license, and you will be cleared to apply for jobs as a nursing assistant. After several years as a proven CNA, you may wan to think about moving up to an LPN or RN position to further your nursing career.
How to Become an RN
Nurses who have determined that they are ready to take on greater responsibilities and become registered can choose the option of a two-year associate degree. The subjects that are required will include anatomy, nutrition and chemistry. This can usually be achieved from a community college that has been accredited in the field of nursing. Many of these institutions offer specific programs that are geared to facilitate the CNA to RN transition otherwise referred to in the educational system of nursing as a bridge.
Stepping Up from a CNA
The responsibilities of a registered nurse are far greater than that of a CNA. Another option for transitioning to a registered nurse would be through a university or college. The student will need to earn a degree that includes a bachelor of science in nursing. The last option is generally chosen if the student has not yet entered the workforce and has no financial responsibilities. The CNA can also work and study in a teaching hospital where they can earn an RN diploma, however, that option requires a three year term.
Bridging The Gap Between CNA and RN
The bridge between the CNA and the RN is probably one of the more popular transition programs available. Students interested in this option will need to be at least eighteen years of age, and have successfully completed all prerequisites. The main obligation is that the applicant has to be employed as a CNA in a hospital environment. Supporting documents will need to be proof of certification and at least a 2.0 GPA. The greatest advantage of this last option is the reduction in time and the ability to remain employed while completing the transition from CNA to RN. Contact your state nursing board for specific information on the official requirements for the CNA to RN transition.
A certified nursing assistant is someone who has trained to be a support person for registered nurses and licensed practicing nurses in a hospital. They may also work with patients in smaller medical settings that includes private homes. The CNA interacts with the patients on a daily basis, helping them with day to day activities that include medications and personal hygiene.
How to Become a CNA
To become a CNA you must have either a high school diploma or GED, and complete some basic medical training classes. These courses are given by the Red Cross, various learning institutions and include CNA training online. After your classes are completed, you will be required to take an exam to achieve your certification. There are free practice tests available online to help you familiarize yourself with the type of questions you will be asked during your exam.
Usually, training may be completed in three to eight weeks and includes a course load of Nursing Arts 1-3 and an internship, where you will shadow a trained professional in an actual medical setting. The cost can be upwards of several thousands of dollars, but you may be eligible for financial aid. There are even grants available from certain medical facilities and for ex military members. Additional requirements vary from school to school and may include and orientation, background check, physical exam and TB test.
History Behind CNAs
The role of a CNA was created in 1987, when congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act. This created a standard of care in long term living facilities, with actually rules vary from state to state. The state competency test, The Pearson View, consists of not only a written exam but oral as well. This ensures that a CNA is able to carry out their duties with the knowledge and safety required by law.
On the job settings will include, adult day care centers, hospitals and nursing homes. You will be the eyes and ears for the nurses while gathering important information about the patients. Additional responsibilities will include, giving medications, bathing patients and observing any changes in the behavior. The job of a CNA can be hard and involve long days, but in the end your reward is knowing that you have helped those who truly need it.
Working in a hospital as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) provides clinical experience and gives you the opportunity to work with many different people. Getting a position in a hospital can be difficult because they don’t have a high turn over. In the event that you want to stand out have a good resume in place and apply frequently. In the mean time, having experience in a nursing home, clinic, or private healthcare facility is a plus. There are several CNA jobs that are available in a hospital environment. Don’t just feel like a CNA, be a part of the team.
CNA Jobs In The Hospital
Emergency room jobs are the top positions of a CNA. They are responsible for escalating the intake of the patients. They still work under a LPN or RN. Their work responsibilities include the date and time for their visit, getting their vitals, notes on the patients feeding and minor care (i.e. allergies, other ailments), medications, and other doctors overseeing the patient.
Labor & Delivery room jobs are often occupied by a certified nursing assistant in a hospital environment. In most states, you must have your Basic Life Saving Certification and pass CNA certification II to work in the Labor & Delivery room. They are usually responsible for getting vital signs, changing linen, help with admissions, and setting up the room. They are usually responsible for all the smaller tasks not associated with major medical procedure.
Working in a hospital for a Certified Nurses Assistant is a rewarding job because it provides flexibility in hours, high pay, and you work with a larger group of people. Essentially, you are responsible for the care and safety of more people. To some people, it can be fulfilling to meet new people everyday.
Furthermore, if you contain to gain more certification while in these type of hospital positions it leaves the room for advancement. In fact, you can quickly become a certified LPN or RN at the experience qualifies as clinical experience towards your degree. CNA jobs in the hospital can be rewarding.