Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, are essential members of healthcare teams in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers all over the United States. There is also a high demand for these professionals today, and overall employment for CNAs is expected to increase by 8 percent from 2019 to 2029.
As a result, if you have decided to embark on a career as a CNA, you have made a terrific decision! Of course, you will need to learn the skills necessary to become a CNA, and we realize you may have questions pertaining to CNA training programs. If this is the case with you, the following FAQs can help steer you in the right direction.
Do I Need A High School Diploma To Become A CNA?
You do not need a high school diploma to enroll in a CNA program. You also do not need to earn a graduate equivalency degree, more commonly known as a GED. However, it is recommended to have a high school diploma or GED, as many CNA employers require it, and it will help you if decide to advance in the field of patient care (nursing).
How Long Is A Typical CNA Program?
The answer to this question depends on the school you choose for your CNA training and whether you enroll as a part-time or full-time student. For example, while full-time students may be able to complete their CNA programs in four to 12 weeks, it could take part-time students more time to finish their training.
What Is Taught In CNA Programs?
In your CNA program, the skills and knowledge you will learn include:
- Measuring Vital Signs
- Medical Terminology
- Patient Hygiene
- Infection Prevention
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Human Nutrition
- Care for the Dying Patient
Do I Need To Earn CPR Certification To Become A CNA?
You will need to earn CPR certification either before you can enter your chosen CNA training program or before you can sit for your state’s CNA certification exam. Some CNA programs indeed have it as a prerequisite, while others offer this type of training as part of their CNA curriculum for you to separately apply for and get the CPR certification so that you can sit for the state’s CNA exam. You will need to see at what stage of your journey to becoming a CNA you need CPR certification and train for and obtain it accordingly.
If your chosen CNA program have it as a prerequisite and the school doesn’t offer CPR training or if your chosen CNA program neither have it as a prerequisite nor does it or the school offer the training for you to separately apply for and get the CPR certification before you sit for the state’s CNA exam, you can get the CPR training and certification from the nearest centers of any of these organizations:
- American Red Cross
- American Heart Association
- American Safety and Health Institute
- EMS Safety Services
- Emergency University
- National Safety Council
Do CNA Programs Include Certification Exam Prep Classes?
CNA programs typically also include classes that are designed to prepare you for the CNA certification exam. If you find that your program does not offer these classes, you can either check with another local school or with various online resources. There are many sites online that offer CNA exam prep classes as well as useful practice exams.
Learning the answers to common questions about CNA training requirements, can help you launch your new career and begin working in no time at all!