6 Things You Need to Know About CNA Programs
If you have been thinking about beginning a CNA career, you have made the first step to a bright and positive future. Not only are CNA careers in high demand today, but they provide excellent starting salaries as well. However, before you begin your nurse aide training, there are six things you need to know about CNA programs.
1. There Are Certain Prerequisites to Enrolling in a CNA program.
First of all, you need to know that there are certain prerequisites that you will need to fulfill prior to enrolling in a CNA program. Some of these requirements are set by your state's Board of Nursing, and some of them are set by the school of your choice. Although this criteria may differ depending on where you attend classes, some common prerequisites are as follows:
- High School Diploma or Graduate Equivalency Degree
- English and Mathematics Competency Exams
- Proof of Vaccinations and Tuberculosis Screening
- 18 Years or Older (16 in Some States)
- Criminal Background Check or Fingerprint Card
- Admission's Application and Enrollment Fees
2. You Will Need CPR Certification Before Graduating from Your Program.
Secondly, you will need to obtain CPR training before you can graduate from your CNA program. While some schools include this training as part of their CNA programs, other facilities list CPR courses within their continuing education program offerings. In any case, it is best to complete this training before you begin your CNA program. Depending on the school you choose, you may be able to complete this requirement online.
3. Online Programs Require On-Site Clinical Participation.
Studying online has become extremely popular for students who cannot, for one reason or another, attend traditional classroom lectures. However, it is essential for you to know that even if you choose to enroll in an online CNA program, you will need to attend various on-site clinical training sessions. The location of these sessions will depend on the school where you obtain your training.
4. Nurse Aide Programs Are Certificate Programs.
Another thing you need to know about CNA programs is that they are not degree programs. Upon satisfactory completion of your CNA program prerequisites and coursework, you will be awarded with a nurse aide program certificate of completion. This certificate will allow you to apply for and complete the national CNA certification exam, which is the basic requirement to become certified as a CNA.
5. The Length of Your Program Depends on Your School, State and Attendance.
It is also essential for you to know that the length of your program will depend on various factors including your school, your state and whether you attend classes full or part time. The attendance requirements for CNA students vary from state to state, and program completion requirements often vary from one school to another as well.
Additionally, while full-time students can complete their training in as little as six to eight weeks, it could take up to twelve weeks for part-time students to complete the same programs. As such, when choosing a school for your CNA training, it is a good idea to research the attendance requirements of both your state and school.
6. CNA Programs May or May Not Prepare You for the CNA Exam.
Finally, you need to know that not all CNA programs provide courses to prepare you for the CNA certification exam. If you find out that your program does not offer this type of instruction, there are several options you can choose among. One option is to register for such a course in another local school.
Another option that is gaining popularity today is to enroll in a CNA exam prep course online. Either of these options will prepare you for the rigors of your certification exam. You can also find a wealth of free and low-cost flashcards, blogs, discussion forums and practice tests online that are designed to help you pass your exam.