Certified Nurse Aide School Program Information

Certified nurse's aide programs are certificate-level programs requiring one year or less of school. In these programs, students learn the fundamentals of providing patient care through clinical training.

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Essential Information

Nurse's aide certification requirements vary by state. Programs offered by community colleges should meet the minimum state requirements for graduates to earn a Certificate in Nurse Assisting and be placed on a nurse's aide registry. Communication skills are especially important, so CNA programs include instruction on how to interact with patients who may be suffering from emotional and psychological distress.

Some community colleges only require that applicants be able to write, read and speak English. State nurse aide registries have different requirements for certifications, but do not accept candidates who have a prior history with substance abuse or a criminal record. Applicants must also be in good health and be at least 16 years of age

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Certification in Nurse's Aide Program

The courses for a Certified Nurse's Aide program focus on providing hands-on training in a controlled medical facility or laboratory. Class requirements might include the following:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Mobility
  • Grooming and skin care
  • Restorative care
  • Patient rights
  • The process of aging

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The employment of nurse's aides is anticipated to increase by 18% for the period of 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Advances in medical care and technology have increased the lifespan of U.S. citizens, and nurse's aides will be needed to care for larger numbers of elderly patients. As a consequence of the increase in older patients, elderly care facilities provide the best opportunity for employment. The BLS stated that the annual median salary of nursing assistants, including certified nurse's aides, was $25,710 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a certified nurse's aide program often choose to continue their studies and pursue an associate's degree in nursing and further certifications such as Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), or even a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Graduates of an associate's degree program may be eligible to be hired for entry-level nursing positions.

Students who want to become certified nurse's aides will need to complete an applicable certificate program and certification exam. Additionally, they can further their studies with associate's degree programs, licensure, and a bachelor's degree program.

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