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Certified Nurses Aide: Nurses Aide Certification Program Overviews

A certified nurse's aide (CNA) program teaches students how to provide basic care for patients. Upon completion of the program students are awarded a certificate and can take their credentialing exam.

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Essential Information

A certified nurse's aide (CNA) assists patients who need help with feeding, grooming, dressing and bathing. Students in a CNA program learn these skills as well as how to measure vital signs. CNA certification programs often award a certificate of completion and students are eligible to pursue credentialing in the field. A high school diploma or GED are not always required; however, placement tests are standard. Also, students may need a professional-level CPR certification.


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Nurse's Aide Certification

A certified nurse's aide assists patients by providing basic care. A nurse's aide certificate program typically includes a 3-credit course and clinical training at a medical facility. Students explore fundamental nursing duties, healthcare ethics and communication skills. Course topics include:

  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Infection control
  • Patient rights
  • Nutrition

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to 2014-2024 projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for nurse's aides could increase 18%. Contributing to this faster-than-average growth is an anticipated increase in long-term care for the large aging population. The annual median wage for these professionals was $25,710, according to May 2015 BLS data.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Nursing assistants working in nursing homes are required to earn the CNA credential. To earn the CNA credential, individuals must complete a state-approved training program and pass an exam. Additional requirements vary by state.

Nurse's aides can pursue further education to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). Individuals can become LPNs by completing an approved certificate program, while prospective RNs must complete a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program in nursing. Both LPNs and RNs must meet state licensure requirements.

Individuals wanting to get in the door of the nursing field may opt to complete CNA training, which typically includes a 3-credit course and clinical training at a medical facility that provides hands-on experience in providing basic care for patients. After the program you may be awarded a certificate of completion and will be eligible to take the CNA credentialing exam.

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