Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Instructor can be a very rewarding position for a licensed nurse. Teaching and helping to develop individuals into caring, compassionate and competent CNAs is a way of assuring that clients in the health care arena receive the quality of hands on care that they deserve.
One must keep in mind that each state has specific requirements for those that become Nursing Assistant Instructors. Some states require that the instructor be a Registered Nurse (RN) whereas other states recognize the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) as a qualified candidate.
Most states require a version of the Train-the-Trainer Certification course. A Train-the-Trainer course simply means that the student is being trained to be a trainer of CNAs. This course is designed to meet federal requirements for CNA training programs and is specific to the state in which CNA instruction will be taught. Principles of adult learning are emphasized along with curriculum development, methods of teaching, utilization of tools in teaching and other useful skills to assure that educating the new nursing assistant is successful. Train-the-Trainer courses may range from 15-25 hours in length and may be taught in 3-4 days or over a weekend. The CNA educator must be a mature, knowledgeable professional that truly has a desire to prepare individuals in their role as a new CNA.
The CNA Instructor candidate will need to meet specific requirements in order to partake in the Train the Trainer course. Depending on the teaching facility many instructors are required to have a minimum of three years in the field before they can teach. Experience can be obtained from working in a hospital, emergency room, private office or clinic. The more experience that the candidate has, the more likely they are to obtain a position as a CNA instructor. Instructors are expected to have a working knowledge of the expectations and responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant and must also be able to communicate and demonstrate various procedures and tasks required of the nursing assistant. A desirable teaching candidate will demonstrate good character and be able to pass a background check.
CNA instructors can find employment at many different establishments offering training to students and staff, including:
- Vocational Schools
- Nursing Homes
- Assisted Living facilities
- Career Centers
- Community Colleges
- Online Colleges
- High Schools
- Health Departments
The average salary range for this profession is approximately $42,800 to $69,000 annually but will vary according to location, demographics and experience. In many situations, the RN will become a CNA instructor in addition to a regular nursing position. Information related to specific state requirements, the RN should contact the State Department of Health or State Board of Nursing.
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