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A CNA is different than a nursing aide in that a CNA has received training and a certification. CNAs are often able to complete more tasks and duties than a non-certified aid. Certified nursing assistants help patients with activities of daily living, range of motion exercises and in the monitoring of patient vitals and other details. Anyone who wants to start a career as a CNA must enroll in (and complete) a cna certification course and pass the state’s certification exam for nursing assistants.
Many cna certification programs require applicants to have a highs school diploma or GED. Students will normally need to be in general good health and must be free of any communicable diseases. Anyone interested in training as a nursing assistant, should be free of a criminal record (particularly felonies). A background check will be conducted for all CNA training applicants.
CNA Certification Guidelines by State:
CNA certification requires students to enroll in a certified nursing assistant training program that has been approved by the state.
The course will meet standards of curriculum as set forth by the agency put in charged of CNA programs by the state. Courses will be taught by qualified instructors (usually registered or licensed practical nurses). Students will need to complete a number of training hours that meets the minimum requirements for both the state and the national criteria.
CNA certification is not granted once a student finishes their training course. The student must then take the state approved nursing assistant competency examination. It is necessary to pass both parts of this test before receiving certification. Most states allow students to take the test on more than one occasion in order to pass. If an individual fails multiple times they can be required to take another training course.
Sometimes cna certification can be granted without someone needing to take a training course. Some states allow individuals with related work experience to challenge the certification test. This is sometimes true for individuals who worked as nursing aides in the armed forces. A state will often recognize CNA certification that a person received in another state. Sometimes an individual is required to sit for the certification exam before their out-of-state certification will be accepted.
There are some states that allow employers to hire individuals to work as CNAs before they finish all certification requirements. Those individuals are usually given a few months to finish all training and to pass their certification exam.
Every state has a nursing aide registry (or equivalent). This is a registry where everyone who holds a current nursing assistant certification is registered. Their certification dates and other pertinent details are listed on this registry. Employers can make certain that the individual they are hiring does hold a certification (and one that is still active).
It is not difficult to obtain a cna certification if an individual is willing to put in a few weeks time for training. Students must pay careful attention during their training program so that they are well prepared when it is time to take the examination.