Becoming a CNA is a great way to get your foot in the door of the health care world. If you have a passion for helping others and enjoy working with patients to give them the best possible care, becoming a certified nursing assistant may be the right career for you. Because of the versatile skill set taught during certification, CNAs get to work in numerous diverse environments. From pediatric to senior care, there is always a need for CNAs. It’s a great way to gain experience and different skills that are transferable from one field to another.
You can become a Certified Nursing Assistant in three months
One of the appeals of becoming a CNA is the short amount of time it takes to earn your certification. You can expect classes to take 4-12 weeks and include about 75 hours of experience. In these classes, you can learn valuable clinical skills, such as controlling infections, taking vital signs, delivering personal care, and patients’ rights. You will develop your communication skills so you can effectively work with your patients no matter the setting.
Exposure to other health careers
CNAs learn skills that apply to many health care settings. These skills give CNAs the option to pick facilities where they want to work. Here, they have a chance to learn the ins and outs of various environments, from hospitals to rehabilitation centers. The knowledge they gain from working in multiple health care settings gives CNAs a chance to hone their skills and give them a clearer idea of which medical field they may wish to pursue in the future.
Prerequisite to enter a nursing program, plus experience
The skills CNAs offer in their field make them an invaluable part of any health care team. They act not just as a caregiver, but care coordinator between their patients and doctors. Becoming a CNA is usually the first step towards a more advanced health care field.
After becoming a CNA and earning more experience in other areas, you can become gain eligibility to become a practical nurse or registered nurse. For example, the skills you learn as a CNA can apply to a variety of careers, from surgery to pediatric care.
The process for becoming a certified nursing assistant is a certification, not a degree. The average cost of CNA classes is $1,200, with additional cost for certification and registering. However, there are plenty of financial aid options available that can mitigate the cost of training so you can complete courses with next to no debt. [i]
The need for CNAs is growing faster than nearly any other job in the US. Becoming a certified nursing assistant ensures you can get a job easily upon certification, no matter where you live. Compared to the average 7% of growth in other job markets, CNA jobs are expected to rise to 18% by 2024. [ii]
Never a boring day
If you’re someone who finds themselves easily bored at work, working as a CNA is perfect for you. The ever-changing nature of the job means you’ll be working with different patients. Frequently, their conditions can change on a dime. Working in this field promises a different shift every day, no matter where you decide to work.
Another benefit that comes from the high demand for CNAs is the ability to switch jobs easily. A certified nursing assistant could work in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, and hospice or long-term care centers.
For instance, you could start your career working with children and end up helping to care for hospice patients. A plus for CNAs includes the chance to stay in your chosen field but change your work environment.
Also, rotating different types of work helps focus your skills and interest in the health care field you find most pertinent to your career goals.
Building on the previous point of getting to choose a wide range of facilities to work, you also have your pick for the hours and shifts you want to work. Also, if you wish to work part-time, full-time, or hourly, you can be in charge of a schedule that works for you.
Because you do have the ability to work in a range of facilities and environments, you have the opportunity to make connections with nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. Making connections can be very helpful if you wish to continue your career path in the medical field. Not only that but making connections gives you a chance to find mentorship that will prove invaluable down the road.
Knowledge for the rest of your life
As a certified nursing assistant, you’ll gain valuable insight into a range of fields that you can apply in your own life. You’ll learn how to treat illnesses and stay healthy and gather valuable resources and direction you can use to help your friends and family.
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