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Fast-Tracking Your Career: How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?

February 13, 2023 · 3 min read

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) requires completing a state-approved training program and passing a certification exam. Here are the general steps to become a CNA:

1. Meet the eligibility requirements

Most states require that individuals have a high school diploma or GED before starting a CNA training program. It is important to check with the state board of nursing to understand the specific requirements in your area.

2. Complete a state-approved training program

CNA training programs typically take between 4 to 12 weeks to complete and include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. The programs cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, infection control, and patient rights.

3. Pass the certification exam

After completing the training program, individuals must pass a certification exam to become a CNA. The certification exam tests the individual's knowledge and skills in providing basic care to patients.The length of time to pass the certification exam varies by state, but it generally takes a couple of weeks to a month to schedule and take the exam.

4.Register with the state and obtain a certification

Once you pass the certification exam, you must register with the state and obtain a certification, usually a CNA certification card.

5.Meet continuing education requirements

CNAs are usually required to complete continuing education courses to renew their certification. The requirements for continuing education can vary depending on the state.

6. Finding a job

After obtaining the certification, you can begin looking for a job as a CNA. CNAs typically work in healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies.

7. Renew your certification

CNAs must renew their certification periodically, usually every 2 years, by completing continuing education or passing the certification exam again. This is an ongoing requirement to maintain certification.

Overall, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to become a CNA, depending on the specific training program and state regulations. It is important to check with the state board of nursing and the specific training programs to have a clear idea of the duration of the program in your area.

In addition to the time it takes to complete a CNA training program and pass the certification exam, there are also other factors to consider when becoming a CNA.

  • Prerequisites: Some training programs have prerequisites, such as a high school diploma or GED, that must be completed before starting the program. This can add additional time to the overall process of becoming a CNA.
  • Cost: The cost of the training program and certification exam can vary. Some programs may be offered for free, while others may require tuition and other fees. It is important to research the costs associated with becoming a CNA and plan accordingly.
  • Job availability: The availability of CNA jobs can vary depending on location and the healthcare industry. It may take some time to find a job once you have completed your training and passed the certification exam.

In conclusion, becoming a CNA requires a significant time commitment, and it is important to consider all of the factors involved when making the decision to pursue a career as a CNA. Researching the costs, duration, and job availability can help you make an informed decision.

by Yevheniia Osmakova

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