Nursing Assistant Certification

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Interested in allied health jobs within the nursing field? Completing industry-relevant training and achieving nursing assistant certification can pave the way to an entry-level nursing assistant position. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) supports Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), providing hands-on patient care in a variety of healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, hospitals and residential care centers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that nursing assistant jobs will experience faster growth than the average occupation, with employment of nursing aides, orderlies and attendants projected to increase 19% between 2008 and 2018.1 BLS reports suggest that nursing aide employment will rise in response to the long-term care needs of a growing elderly population, as well as scientific and technological advances that expand the lifespan of the general population. As a result, the agency indicates that there should be a positive job outlook for individuals with the training and aptitude for this type of work.

If you wish to embark on a career in this growing field, enrolling in a healthcare training program and attaining nursing assistant certification can be the first steps.

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Education for Nursing Assistants

Aspiring nursing assistants who seek both academic credentials and industry certification often choose to enroll in a formal healthcare training program that prepares students for the CNA exam. Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) offers one such nursing assistant program that is designed to teach students the knowledge required for entry into this field.

The Nursing Assistant diploma program from UMA provides the opportunity to develop the professional skills needed to perform nursing assistant job duties for a variety of healthcare employers. It also helps students prepare for the CNA exam. This program, including CNA prep, is available on UMA’s campuses in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida, and can be completed in as few as 7 weeks.

UMA’s nursing assistant program includes both laboratory and classroom work, and provides access to a local healthcare facility to practice hands-on patient care. Employers often look for candidates with this type of experience when hiring for entry-level nursing assistant positions. Upon graduation, students are prepared to sit for the State of Florida Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) examination.

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Role and Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Individuals who achieve CNA status have demonstrated skills and knowledge of basic patient care. Nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers depend on CNAs to help care for patients by assisting them with eating, bathing, dressing and a variety of other tasks. CNAs may also take patients’ vital signs, help them out of bed and prepare them for procedures. Nursing assistants’ contributions allow nurses to focus on advanced patient care.

To help students prepare for these important responsibilities, UMA’s hands-on CNA training program curriculum covers a variety of relevant topics, combining both theory and practice. In addition to participating in a clinical externship that provides real-world experience, students will complete a comprehensive Nursing Assistant course that addresses fundamentals such as:

  • Personal care
  • Patient rights
  • Maintaining mobility
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Collecting specimens
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Data gathering
  • Recognizing and reporting abnormal findings, signs and symptoms
  • Basic first aid
  • CPR skills
  • Emergency care

The nursing assistant training program offered by UMA is approved by the Florida Department of Health. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Nursing Assistant Examination. A passing score on the CNA exam is required for licensing.

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The CNA Examination and Qualifications

The State of Florida requires all individuals seeking employment as a CNA to maintain certification. The Florida Department of Health strongly recommends that CNA candidates complete a state-approved training program before sitting for the exam. In addition, candidates must submit a completed application, provide fingerprints and undergo a background screening.

Candidates who are deemed eligible for the CNA exam will receive notice to schedule their test with Prometric. The CNA examination consists of two parts: a written test and a performance (skills) section. The written test contains 50 multiple-choice questions, while the manual skills evaluation requires the applicant to perform five nursing assistant skills selected at random.2

Benefits of Obtaining a Florida Certified Nursing Assistant License

Obtaining Florida nursing assistant certification ensures employers that a candidate is qualified to provide basic direct patient care. Becoming a CNA can lead to entry-level positions in a variety of healthcare settings. It also opens doors to many different job opportunities, whether you’re looking to establish a long-term career as a nursing assistant or leverage your training and experience in pursuit of a nursing degree.

Prepare for Your Nursing Assistant Career With UMA

If you feel you would be well suited to working with patients, providing compassionate and supportive care and attending to their basic needs, a CNA career could be a good fit. Formal healthcare training and nursing assistant certification can position you to take advantage of entry-level opportunities in this expanding field. For a quality healthcare education and valuable hands-on experience, consider UMA’s Nursing Assistant diploma program and CNA preparation.

Thousands of graduates have completed UMA’s healthcare training programs since 1994, and have embarked on a wide variety of rewarding careers in the allied health field. When you enroll in UMA’s nursing assistant program, you can be on your way to joining the ranks of these qualified professionals.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition. “Nursing and Psychiatric Aides.” <http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos327.htm#outlook>
2 Florida Department of Health website; CNA Licensing Exam Requirements page. <http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/cna/cna_lic_exam.pdf>

For information on student graduation rates, retention and placement rates, and student financial obligations, visit www.ultimatemedical.edu/consumerinfo.

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