All About CNA Certification
Do you enjoy helping others, and would you like to assist licensed and registered nurses in providing essential care to patients? If you answered yes, a career as a certified nursing assistant may be the perfect job for you. However, before you can begin a CNA career, you will need to obtain certification in your state.
When you possess certification, it means that you have completed all of your state's requirements for becoming a CNA. In other words, you have participated in the appropriate training and successfully passed your state's CNA Nurse Aide Registry Exam. While the requirements for CNA certification may vary slightly from state to state, the core requirements are basically the same.
Completing Your Training
The national educational requirements for CNAs call for no less than 75 hours of approved CNA training, which must include a combination of classroom lectures, laboratories and clinical work. While some states maintain this 75 hour requirement, others require as much as 125 hours or more. You can find out about your state's requirements by contacting the Nurse Aide Registry in your state.
Taking the CNA Nurse Aide Registry Exam
After you complete your CNA training, you will have three to four months to take the CNA exam and become certified. If you obtained your training on the job, you can continue working, but you will still need to take your CNA exam within three to four months after you complete your employer's CNA program.
To find out when and where you can take the CNA Nurse Aide Registry Exam, simply contact your state's Nurse Aide Registry. After you choose a testing site that is near you, you can pay the current testing fee and reserve a seat for the exam. Your test will consist of two parts: a multiple-choice section and a hands-on practical section.
Obtaining Your Certification
Upon successful completion of the CNA Nurse Aide Registry Exam, your name will be added to your state's registry list as eligible for employment as a certified nursing assistant. You will also receive a CNA certification certificate and number within three to four weeks after completing your exam.
In most cases, your initial certification will be valid for one year, at which time it will need to be renewed annually or biannually. However, in some states, your initial certification will be good for two years. You can check with your state's Nurse Aide Registry to find out when you will need to renew your certification.
Choosing to begin a CNA career is extremely rewarding, and you can even use your work experience to pursue better-paying nursing jobs in the future. However, while you do not need a degree or license to become a CNA, you do need to become certified. Certification will allow you to work as a CNA and further your education if you wish.