If you are not currently working as a nursing assistant, then our Just for CNAs website is still a valuable source of information, but you do not need to complete our inservices quite yet. First, you must qualify for a license so you can become a CNA. No prior healthcare experience is needed, but you must attend a full-time training course that will run anywhere from 2-6 weeks.
In many states, these courses are run at hospitals, long-term care centers, or nursing homes. Be aware that these facilities will often require that you work for them for a certain amount of time in exchange for this training. You may have to pay for these courses, rather than having to work it off, and the cost is generally around $150-$200.
Another great option for training is to attend CNA classes at your local community college. Most community colleges have a CNA program. If it is more convenient, or closer to you, the Red Cross offers training as well. Classes at a community college or with Red Cross usually last longer—sometimes up to 6 months, and will cost somewhere between $300-$600 for training. The benefit of doing it this way is that the training is often more thorough or extensive, perhaps better preparing you for your job as a nursing assistant.
No matter what kind of training you do, afterwards you will need to take your state test to become a certified nursing assistant. This is usually done at a specific place and on a specific date that is coordinated by your trainer. The test consists of a written part and then a clinical part. Make sure that you take good notes during your training classes so you have something to study before your test. It may also help you to check out this site: Pearson Vue. Click on the dropdown menu and find your state. You can take practice tests for free, and check out several other valuable resources.
Since each state in the US has a different set of rules and regulations regarding your CNA license, the best way to get started is to call your state’s Nurse Aide Registry, found here.
The helpful folks at your local registry will be happy to tell you the closest place you can go for training. Once you start your training, everything else will fall in line. Landing a job with a health care organization shouldn't take long at all, as CNAs are always in extremely high demand.
You have made an excellent choice to pursue a career as a certified nursing assistant. Once you are working as a CNA, you will need to complete a specific amount of continuing education hours every year. This is where our site, Just for CNAs becomes important for you. Please download our free copy of the “Customer Service in Health Care” inservice so you can see all that our inservices have to offer.
Thank you and good luck!