One of the reasons that make CNA careers so popular today is because students can finish their training and earn their certification in a relatively short period. But just exactly how long will it take for you to become a CNA? While the answer to this question may vary from one person to another, the following information can help.
Your School of Choice
The first factor that will determine how long it will take to become a CNA is your school of choice. Some school's nursing assistant programs provide more in-depth training and instruction, which will relate to a longer training program. For example, while some facilities may offer four-week CNA courses, other schools' CNA programs may last as long as 12 weeks or longer.
Additionally, depending on the scores you receive on your college placement exams, you may need to complete various general education courses before beginning your nursing assistant training. Finally, you will also need to complete a CPR training course, and if you wish to earn specialty certifications, it will take you a bit longer to complete your training and graduate.
Your Enrollment Status
Although some college and trade schools require you to attend their nursing assistant programs on a full-time basis, others allow you to attend part time if you wish. With that said, if you choose to attend classes part time, it will take you up to two times longer to complete your training than it would take if you attended full time. Thus, if you want to join the workforce as soon as possible, it is recommended that you enroll as a full-time student.
The CNA Competency Exam
Finally, when figuring how long it will take for you to become a nursing assistant, you need to consider the length of time it will take to study for and complete your CNA competency exam. Although some nursing assistant graduates take their CNA exams immediately after they graduate, it is best for you to spend a few weeks studying first. In this way, you will be better prepared.
Furthermore, it is not always realistic to assume that you will pass both parts of your CNA exam on your first try. Many CNA graduates need to complete the exam two or even three times before they pass. You should also allow anywhere from four to six weeks to receive your certification after you pass your exam.
How long it will take you to become a CNA depends on such factors as your school of choice, your enrollment status and how well you do on the CNA exam.