As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age, the need for certified nursing assistants continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11% job growth between 2016 and 2026 for nursing assistants and orderlies.
The healthcare industry depends on nursing assistants to implement direct care instructions and provide emotional and physical support for patients. As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), you can enter into an exciting and growing industry, helping people recover from and live with health issues.
CNA courses cover a variety of topics that prepare you for entry-level positions in a healthcare setting. Good nursing assistant training programs should be approved by the Florida Nursing Board and prepare students to take and pass the certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification exam.
What to Look for in a CNA Training Program
The best CNA training programs incorporate academics and hands-on practical experience, giving students real-world practice to develop skills. You can expect to learn the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, nutrition and body mechanics. Practical applications of patient care techniques give you the skills needed to put your academic knowledge to work. Instruction in CPR, HIV/AIDS, and first aid prepares students to face emergency situations that have the potential for infection.
Some programs offer the additional benefit of an externship. During externships, students gain experience on the job in a healthcare facility and put their classroom skills to work with actual patients.
Successful completion of a CNA program gives students eligibility to take the exam for Florida Nursing Assistant certification (other requirements like a background check apply). Some programs also offer extra test preparation courses to help graduates prepare for the exam. In Florida, and many other states, nursing assistants are required to be certified in order to work. Passing the certification exam gives students the title of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Exploring Nursing Assistant Curriculum
Once enrolled in a nursing assistant training education program, you can expect to take a variety of courses to learn important skills, including:
- Assisting with patient personal care such as bathing, feeding, walking, changing bed linens, and more
- Tracking vitals including blood pressure, temperature, and pulse
- Communicating with patients to encourage them through difficult periods
- Practical experience using related medical equipment
- Basic anatomy and physiology
Once you complete training and certification, you have a variety employment options. Consider nursing homes, hospitals, retirement communities, patient homes, and hospice.
Originally posted: November 17, 2015
Last updated: February 6, 2018