If you seek a career change into a growing industry, learning how to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may be exactly what you want. CNA training can offer you entry into the healthcare field. Since healthcare employment is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, and add about 2.4 million new jobs, a career switch into healthcare can make sense. Here’s how to pursue a career as a CNA in three simple steps.
Enroll in CNA Courses
In Florida, you can enroll in a nursing assistant program to learn the information and skills you need to sit for the state CNA certification exam. Make sure the program you choose combines both classroom time and hands-on learning. Finding and enrolling in CNA training is the first step toward entering a potentially new and rewarding career.
Learn Nursing Assistant Skills
Becoming a nursing assistant requires a range of skills. During your courses, you will study how to document care, communicate with patients, and assist them with activities of daily living. You will also study the legal and ethical issues related to healthcare, including privacy and pain management issues.
Learning how to handle emergencies, dispose of contaminated materials, and control potential infections is important for a nursing assistant, as well. Given the increasing need for elderly care, it's not surprising that courses typically include a section on gerontology and family issues. Basic nutrition and hydration skills apply to both patient care and personal care. Learn what you need to be effective as a certified nursing assistant in the classroom and during a clinical externship.
Pass the CNA Exam
Once you complete your nursing assistant training courses, you will be eligible to take the CNA exam and earn certification (other qualifications like a background check apply).
Certified nursing assistants often provide the most direct patient care. Doctors and nurses depend on CNAs to notify them of changes in the patient's physical or mental condition. Job prospects for this essential healthcare role look bright according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, openings are expected to grow by 11 percent between 20146 and 2026.
Originally posted: November 17, 2015
Last updated: February 6, 2018